LSTV--Inisght--India---China-Standoff
Video Summary

[LSTV Insight] India – China Standoff

Though China has the hegemonic interest in the area it will have to recognize that India is not the pushover, and differences should not become disputes. Indo-China relations should be analyzed in short and long term view and establishing new equilibrium with China.
By IT's Video Summary Team
August 28, 2017

Contents

  • Background
  • Is China opening up new fronts against India & is there a real risk of escalation?
  • How to look at this escalation level as an anxiety and frustration of China or anything else?
  • Is China really following the aggressive Foreign policy?
  • Why is Doklam important for India and what is at stake for India and China?
  • Will this situation de-escalate or get more worst in the coming time? Will it be difficult for China to back off?
  • Is China winning over India’s neighbors by checkbook diplomacy?
  • Is China’s global ambition spilling across its borders affecting the trade ties? Should the trade ties between India and China be reviewed?
  • Effect of the Chinese economy due to its trade practices?
  • What are the China’s global ambition and its problems?
  • What should be the strategy of the USA & India and their role?
  • How should India deal with China?
  • Conclusion

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GS (M) Paper-2: “India and its neighbourhood- relations.”

 

Background

  • China has fought war with its neighbouring countries in the past for the territorial disputes, and also has claimed over the territories of different nations surrounding it.
  • Presently, India-China standoff for the conflict of Doklam has been seen as aggressive rhetoric for which Chinese Government has refrained from, but it is seen as relentless propaganda of war and implicit threat against India & Bhutan.
  • Bhutan has asked for the Indian assistance to resolve the crisis but China has blamed India for oppressing the Bhutanese Kingdom.
  • There are frequent skirmish between India & China soldiers along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh region, Arunachal Pradesh and other places, and sometimes the instance of intrusions by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in LAC.
  • Fearing game plan is to step up pressure on India to unilaterally withdraw from the face off site in the Bhutanese territory of Doklam.

Is China opening up new fronts against India & is there a real risk of escalation?

  • It is the historical fact that from Aksai Chin to Arunachal Pradesh, the border has not been demarcated & it is generally LAC in controversy around where that line actually lies.
  • There have also been such transgressions in past, but the recent incidence of stone pelting in Ladakh and conflict and standoff in Doklam is the sheer case of violence.
  • Intrusions and skirmish happening across the LAC can be planned or local, but the diplomatic channels are on.
  • The area of Doklam becomes important as it can prove vulnerable in case there is a sudden Chinese military aggression, as it connects North East with the rest of India.
  • In the case of any military skirmish or war in the region, the insurgent groups in North East many of which have been assumed of getting the support of China may destruct peace in the region.
  • India is keen on a diplomatic resolution to de-escalate the situation but without backing off.

How to look at this escalation level as an anxiety and frustration of China or anything else?

  • The border issues were there from decades but it grew only as China began becoming stronger economically and militarily which showed a marked uptick in Chinese incursions along the border.
  • As an isolated action but more of a planned one, Ladakh instance is seen as a reflection of what happened at Doklam and a frustration of China.
  • India needs China to come to the diplomatic solution but China wants to pressurize India to withdraw first from Doklam to start talks.
  • There is also a high level of frustration as India has shown an unusual response by not backing off on this issue and instead shown firm stance on the issue of Doklam.
  • India is focused due to its security arrangement & concerns in Bhutan with the strategic importance of the area for India’s northeastern states.
  • India & China also signed an agreement in 2012 with China on Doklam for not to undertake any road construction without prior discussion.
  • China is now caught in the swift and robust Indian response of blocking them and hence don’t know what to do.

Is China really following the aggressive Foreign policy?

  • There have been a number of agreements between India, Bhutan & China regarding LAC & Mac Mahon Line bilaterally and trilateral as well, so the view of all the concerned countries should be taken into consideration.
  • The border disputes are complicating the situation more in the particular areas and the matter of concern is China crossing the international border as it will be an act of war & against the China projecting itself in the world as a responsible global power.

Why is Doklam important for India and what is at stake for India and China?

  • Doklam is a disputed area between Bhutan and China and is obviously not the Chinese territory.
  • Chinese propaganda of India trespassing and Doklam being Chinese territory & Bhutan not asking for Indian support was exposed as lies when Bhutan denied it.
  • The construction of roads right down to the southern tip of this tri-junction & unilaterally take over Doklam & pressurizing Bhutan for diplomatic ties puts India in the tactical military disadvantage.
  • India’s Siliguri corridor will also get threatened and more vulnerable bringing China much closer to the North Eastern States.

Will this situation de-escalate or get more worst in the coming time? Will it be difficult for China to back off?

  • There is a larger stake for India in Doklam and all the countries watching the issue closely and carefully India can not afford to back off.
  • There is also a domestic political compulsion for the Chinese administration making difficult for PLA to back off while there are divisions within the PLA as well.
  • China also has the border & other issues with all the neighboring countries and they are trying to bully and browbeat and using cash to sort out the issue.
  • Chinese problem is that by going far ahead on their propaganda they don’t know how to pull out of it.

Is China winning over India’s neighbors by checkbook diplomacy?

  • China talks about the multipolar world but actually looks for a unipolar Asia.
  • India is the biggest market in Asia and China is upset with India not joining OBOR.
  • It has also misjudged India on its security issues that India won’t stand up when its sovereignty is in question.
  • China is using cash to buy the influence in South Asia and establish dominant relations with these countries to counter India.

Is China’s global ambition spilling across its borders affecting the trade ties? Should the trade ties between India and China be reviewed?

  • While Beijing is alleged on improperly obtaining foreign technology and theft on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the Chinese government has said to defend its interest and take actions.
  • There is a large trade deficit and trade imbalance when it comes to China & other countries including India.
  • India, while reviewing its trade, has concern over IT & Electronic imports from China.
  • Scanners have been put for security concerns and data leakages as a part of the move of securing data within the country itself, a step as a part of national security.
  • The approach of USA is also a matter of concern as it is changing from containing China to not questioning the territorial claims of China.
  • Bridge and Road Initiative (B&RI) is seen as the balance of power of front against one belt one road (OBOR) of China.
  • So India should think of what leverage it has against China and find a new equilibrium.

Effect of the Chinese economy due to its trade practices?

  • The Chinese economy is always been at secrecy, unpredictability & suspicion when it comes to trade.
  • Trade imbalance remains a challenge for India, USA, and other countries when it comes to trade with China.
  • China has a common trade policy of dumping and supplying cheaper goods everywhere which lasts for a limited period of time.
  • The future global growth is going to go through the IPR which China is aware of hence allegedly using false practices in IPR.

What are the China’s global ambition and its problems?

  • China wants to be acknowledged as a global super power but lacks what USA have.
  • Huge investments and cash flows by China in countries over the world for gaining influence makes them indebted to China, while China’s own debt is 3 times more than its GDP now.
  • In OBOR project by not taking India into confidence has also caused a problem to China and to counter India it has caused the instability in the region as well.
  • There are also domestic discontent in China itself on economic and political front.

What should be the strategy of the USA & India and their role?

  • China is facing critical economic situation with its sagging and droping growth rates, therefore, India should not be taken up by Chinese propaganda.
  • India is not getting the equal benefit of the Chinese market as they have for Indian Market by their companies penetrating which should be taken into consideration and act accordingly.
  • The USA is clear that it will not compromise its dominant position in the world and has started to counter China in trade under Intellectual Property Rights.
  • The USA had also played a game by not backing other countries on their territorial issues with China but strongly supporting Japan to build up its strength.

How should India deal with China?

  • Indo-China relations should be analyzed in short and long term view and establishing new equilibrium with China.
  • In long-term perspective, we don’t need to look only at the border skirmishes, China is also aging very fast and by 2050 almost 49% population will be aged.
  • Future is in the Service sector and in Digital where India has a go ahead and has the potential to take over USA & China.
  • India needs to be more pragmatic and care full when dealing with China as it can act as a complementary partner with China.
  • China is on the aggressive path when it comes to territorial claims and India to fall in line with its agenda which can cause a fundamental difference between Democracy and Dictatorship.
  • India needs to understand the Chinese nature from its past experience and make special preferential trade arrangements for other countries to come in India as it is indeed the biggest market.
  • India should draw its red lines as far as its security is concerned to send a message out loud and clear.

Conclusion

  • India and China are the great civilization which coexisted peacefully since 2000 years but the abberation is of last 100 years. Hence for peaceful coexistance in future both will have to work together.
  • Though China has the hegemonic interest in the area it will have to recognize that India is not the pushover, and differences should not become disputes.

 

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