HomeWorldWhat lies ahead for India-China conflict as Xi Jinping begins third term...

What lies ahead for India-China conflict as Xi Jinping begins third term as president

The India-China border situation appears to have come to a standstill, but the undercurrent of tension between the two countries remains. Two years after the Galwan clash in 2020, there has not been a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the recent G20 summit, he made a face to face conversation But a small one, just to share the fun.

As Xi Jinping reigns as the Chinese President for a historic third term, it will become important for India and China to find a permanent solution to the border disputes. It has started invading India’s territories in the wake of Xi’s expansionist policies and border construction projects. Xi Jinping Has ambitions to expand China’s influence on the global stage and consolidate power for the next 5 years to bring its plans to fruition.

the eleventh

(Image credit: Reuters)

To better understand what Xi Jinping’s third term means for India, Zee News Digital spoke to Mohammad Zeeshan, policy analyst and Editor-in-Chief of Freedom Gazette, and Byron Chong, Research Associate, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy .

How will Xi’s regional expansionist policies affect India?

Freedom Gazette editor-in-chief and policy analyst Mohammad Zeeshan described the Galwan conflict as part of Xi’s invasion of Indian territory. He clarified that it is unlikely that talks between India and China will restore the status quo ante before Galvan.

Talking about Xi’s Himalayan strategy, he said, “Xi’s Himalayan strategy is not entirely different from what it has been doing for years in the South China Sea – by gradually building up and militarizing islands to defend China’s claims.” expanding, and reinterpreting where their coastline begins. China can claim large areas of the sea around it. It will essentially slowly and steadily occupy small parts of China’s territory. Trying to legitimize controversial territorial claims.

galwan

(Image credit: Reuters)

Byron Chong, a research associate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, expressed similar views, saying “Beijing will double down on its assertive policies towards other states in the region, including India.”

He also said that there has been no real indication from Beijing that it regards repairing bilateral ties with India as a matter of urgency.

Chong made an important observation — part of the Doklam and Galwan crisis, highlighting the promotion of 3 PLA generals to top posts. “It could be an ominous sign that Beijing expects more conflict along the China-India border and wants military commanders with the necessary experience,” he said.

Will Xi’s focus on modernizing his military pose a threat to India in the future?

It depends on how Xi wants to use his modernized military, Zeeshan explained.

army

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“If Xi intends to use his modern army for the purposes of territorial expansion, India will certainly be in the firing line. But if Xi decides to go easy on his neighbors and instead focus on larger goals – say, rivaling the US in global governance or the quest to create a Chinese-led world order – then, with China India’s equation will depend on how far the two countries are able to meet these broad global objectives,” he said.

Does China consider India a rising global power?

Prime Minister Modi has reiterated India’s growth in becoming a global power in recent years. However, Zeeshan said there is “no public evidence” of Chinese policy makers holding this belief.

“It seems that China views US-aligned India as a threat, which would explain China’s repeated statements against the Quad and India’s participation in it,” he explained.

He proposed, “Another reason behind China’s border incursions may be to keep India engaged in border disputes and thereby prevent it from playing a wider, more active global role.”

Furthermore, Zeeshan said that India “has not prepared for itself a coherent policy framework on these sensitive political questions”.

He concluded, “Therefore, China has not really been forced to sit up and pay attention to India’s role on the world stage.”

It has often been said that there is mutual distrust between China and India. Will this mistrust grow further in Xi’s coming term?

According to Zeeshan, mutual mistrust may increase, given the fact that Xi now has a “license to be more reckless and aggressive” to achieve his “nationalist goals”.

Meanwhile, Chong attributed China’s distrust of India to strengthening the US-India strategic partnership. He said, “China fears the prospect of confronting the US Navy at sea and the Indian military on its southern border and in the Indian Ocean—a scenario that becomes more real and dangerous as security cooperation between India and the US strengthens.” ”

India

Asked whether China and India’s common stance on the Russia-Ukraine war would improve relations, he said, “The conflict is unlikely to have that effect.”

How will Xi’s partnership with Pakistan affect India? Will this mean that India is strengthening its ties with the US?

Chong said that China’s partnership with Pakistan has been at the forefront of the political front as it has been refusing to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists at the UN fora. But there are cracks in the partnership.

“There is growing criticism of Islamabad’s involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative, which has been seen as one of the major contributors to Pakistan’s growing international debt as well as the growing economic crisis in the country. Beijing also appears to be less forthcoming than in the past in providing financial support to Islamabad,” he said.

Can America support Pakistan instead of India? Chong casts doubt on the loyalty of the US and says, “There have been recent moves by the West to distance Pakistan from China.”

He argued this by saying, “Pakistan was recently removed from the FATF’s ‘grey list’ on terror-funding, allowing it to more easily access funds from the IMF and the World Bank. And US President Joe Biden reversed the Trump administration’s decision to freeze security aid to Pakistan, announcing a $450 million F-16 fighter jet fleet maintenance program for the country.

Zeeshan also raised questions on the longevity and stability of Pakistan-China relations. “It appears that China does not have the economic capacity to control the debt-ridden regime forever and we have already seen a sign of failure in Sri Lanka,” he said.

What is the perception of India and Indians among Chinese citizens under Xi?

While China and its policies are the focus of debate in India, according to Zeeshan, this is not the case there. “The state-controlled media has often portrayed India as a gullible American bastard or a corrupt and dysfunctional democracy,” he said.

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Zeeshan explained that the latter description comes from the Communist Party’s desire to show that the Chinese system is more effective in delivering development.

“But if India can develop and at the same time revive its secular, multicultural democracy, it will pose a serious strategic threat to the CCP – both at home and abroad,” he said.

How do Chinese citizens feel about the growing presence of the CCP in every area of ​​their lives?

The Chinese media is largely controlled by the state, which influences public opinion. This may be considered restrictive by most liberal, free-thinking individuals. However, Chong argued that most Chinese do not see this as a problem.

“Many Chinese view the strong authoritarian regime as a form of stability, and credit it with China’s economic achievements – massive poverty reduction, infrastructure development and a world-class leader in technological innovators,” he explained.

The Chinese, Chong says, accept the surveillance and exertion of power as a social contract in exchange for stability and development.

On the other hand, Zeeshan felt that a section of Chinese citizens were quietly rebelling against the repressive policies of the CCP. For example, when protest banners against zero-COVID policy measures were displayed a few days before the 20th CCP Congress in Beijing.

“There were reports of an exodus of young Chinese people and wealthy billionaires from China following the latest urban lockdowns as there is much uncertainty about long-term policy due to Xi’s centralization of control,” he said.

Does China see India as a strategic partner, a threat or just a neighbor?

The Chinese worldview has historically viewed neighboring countries as subordinates. Zeeshan offered a possible explanation for this “condescending” approach. “Chinese emperors often viewed their state as the center of the universe and neighboring states often paid tribute to them,” he said.

Chong takes a similar stance and says, “His approach to Asia is strictly hierarchical—China sits at the top, and India is not seen as an equal.”

“Despite this, China recognizes India’s long historical influence in South Asia and growing capabilities as a regional power. Furthermore, by virtue of its sheer size, India has the potential to emerge as a dangerous rival in the future. Thus, China’s policy towards India has focused on balancing India in South Asia by supporting Pakistan and developing ties with smaller countries in the region.

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(Image credit: PTI)

This, says Chong, does not necessarily mean China wants to break ties with India as it could mean “exposing China to the US in the Pacific”.

“Notably, China’s perception of India changed somewhat after the Doklam confrontation. Beijing was shocked by New Delhi’s assertiveness during the conflict, and was forced to reassess its previous view of India’s inferior position in the regional power hierarchy,” he says.

How strong are the cultural ties between China and India?

Cultural ties between people are important in creating deep social and intellectual ties, which in turn lead to mutual understanding. While cultural exchange between India and China was on the rise – after the 2020 clashes, it went down.

“Some Chinese investments have moved out of India since then and there was a bit of a backlash until recently over the status of Indian students who were studying in China and were limited by Covid-era restrictions,” explains Zeeshan. At the time of the border conflict, Indian feelings towards the Chinese apparently soured and the Chinese media reinforced their anti-media stance through strongly worded op-eds and articles. It remains to be seen whether there will be any improvement in people-to-people ties in Xi’s third term.

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