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TACKLING EXPANSIONIST CHINA

The Editorial covers GS paper 2 [India and its neighbourhood- relations.]

From the Himalayas to the Pacific, China's expansionism worries the world -  India Narrative

Context

  • China has been pursuing expansionist designs for a long time now. 

  • Being a communist country, analysts believe expansionism is crucial to its ideology.

What is the Background?

  • To support their view, they cite the instance of the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) overwhelming all its neighbours into submission. 

  • Though China claims to have resolved its borders with all its neighbours except two, but in view of its expansionists tendencies, China has border disputes with all its neighbours, be those the land or marine jurisdictions. 

  • The only exception is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is virtually its vassal state.

What is China’s strategic perspective?

  • In pursuit of its centrality in international politics, China’s primary strategic goal is the accumulation of ‘comprehensive national power’ defined by economic, military, technological and diplomatic global leadership. 

  • To attain this objective, it has long set itself on four-pronged converging strategic courses.

  • Firstly, ensuring the domination of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) to retain a strict internal political and social code. 

  • Secondly, achieving high economic growth complemented by the disciplined domestic environment. 

  • Thirdly, following the concept of ‘Pacifying the Periphery’ by deepening economic ties with its Asian neighbours to ‘reduce regional anxieties’. 

  • Finally, China intends to cement its international status as the central actor in the international arena. 

What is the way forward?

  • Despite a perceived power asymmetry, India must stand up to China’s hegemonistic tendencies. 

  • Resolution of the standoff through diplomacy is ideal. If that fails, Indian Armed Forces have adequate capability to inflict a bloody nose to the Chinese in a short duration conflict.

  • Future of India’s regional standing and Sino-Indian relationship depends upon how India resolves the current crisis.

  • In April 2020. Any concessions to the Chinese will only lead to more conflicts in future and diminish India’s stature in the region.

Conclusion

Lastly, there are lessons in this crisis for India. Firstly, never link national security narrative to domestic politics. It forecloses strategic options.  Secondly, it is time political executive realised that foreign relations are not merely a function of personal equation between leaders, even less of the brilliance of party ideology or functionaries. Latter, to some extent, is responsible for deteriorating relations with our eastern neighbours. Lastly, we must urgently evolve an exhaustive National Security Doctrine. Its absence remains a legacy from the past.