Negating a Chinese Century

An analysis of Delhi’s options in the Indo-China game.


In the recently concluded Military Literature Festival 2020, India-China relations managed to be the epicentre of the discussions on India’s security architecture.

The 2020 Festival arrived in the backdrop of incidents like Galwan and Ladakh standoffs, with the memories of 2017 Doklam standoff still ripe. The pattern of disturbances, neither new nor astonishing, is more frequent and more fierce now with loss of lives on that very LAC, that recorded bloodlessness for decades. As per reports, India lost 20 lives on LAC. The Chinese, on the other hand, have ceased to calm down despite global events like COVID19.   

REVIVAL OF THE PAST

It would not be wrong to say that China’s unprovoked  maneuvers in the Himalayas find roots in Mao Zedong’s Five Finger Policy with Tibet as the palm, and peripheral five fingers as Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh. As the Chinese geopolitical clout increases in the world, there is a fear of revival of the imperialist ‘five finger doctrine’ with much more zeal and vigour, furthering the Dragon’s aggrandisement at the cost of its neighbour’s sovereignty.

BEYOND HIMALAYAS

Chinese assertiveness is not limited to the Himalayas. India faces this music in its immediate neighbourhood as well as its sphere of influence in the IOR(Indian Ocean Region). The Chinese have made deeper inroads into other SAARC nations by giving them aids, weapons, LoC’s, infrastructure, a foreign language, training and more importantly anti-India sentiments. SAARC countries too have mastered the art of playing the “China Card” to bargain with India. Similarly, the CPEC(China Pakistan Economic Corridor) that cuts through Indian territories, Beijing’s Cheque-book Diplomacy,; the debt trap, String of Pearls in the Indian Ocean in particular, and the Indo-Pacific in general are other illustrations of Chinese assertiveness in India’s sphere of influence.

POWER DYNAMICS

Beijing’s super power behaviour is blind to the calls of Idealism enshrined in Nehruvianism and Panchsheel doctrines for peaceful co-existence. The power asymmetry between India and China has limited the room for Delhi’s orchestrations. Chinese $15 trillion economy is nearly five times

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