Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Ladakh Stand-off: What it Says (or Doesn’t) about China’s India Policy and India’s China Policy

Originally published as part of a debate at, ‘The China-India Border Issue in 2013: Point and Counter-Point’, Associate Paper, Future Directions International, 28 May 2013.

If there is just one lesson to be drawn from the recent stand-off between China and India, it is that the two sides have a long way to go to in establishing mutual trust. While the Ladakh incident was eventually resolved by a combination of military-to-military meetings and diplomatic interactions, three aspects stand out.

One, the Chinese incursion was of a qualitatively different nature from previous such incidents. Hitherto, such ‘incursions’ meant soldiers marking their presence in their claim areas by frequent patrols, painting on rocks, littering and so on. The recent escalation and the intruders’ willingness to stay put for a considerable length of time, despite the difficulties of terrain and logistics, very likely marks the beginning of a new trend along the LAC. It also puts pressure on existing bilateral mechanisms of diplomatic and military contact and procedure. There are several formal mechanisms for inter-military and inter-government interactions, including clear stipulations laid out by treaty, about the nature of military presence in the border areas and the kind of responses that the two sides are to employ if they run into each other in disputed territory. This time, however, there was clearly a degree of unwillingness to compromise or to follow those formal mechanisms and obligations. Indeed, it is possible that this has been the case for some time now. Continue reading The Ladakh Stand-off: What it Says (or Doesn’t) about China’s India Policy and India’s China Policy

Advertisements

Candour on the Red Carpet: Parsing the Sino-Indian Joint Statement

Published as जबिन टी. जेकब, ‘चीनी पीएम की यात्रा पर संतुलित रुख’, Business Bhaskar, 22 May 2013, p.4.

(Original in English follows below Hindi text)

देश के पश्चिमी इलाके में मौजूद दपसांग में चीनी ‘घुसपैठ’ की वजह से तीन सप्ताह का गतिरोध खत्म होने के दो सप्ताह बाद चीन के प्रधानमंत्री ली खचियांग भारत की पहली आधिकारिक यात्रा पर यहां पहुंचे। पिछले दिनों की गतिविधियों पर नजर रखने वालों के सामने यह साफ हो गया है कि भारत न तो लद्दाख की घटना की वजह से अपनी जगह से उखड़़ा और न ही ली खचियांग की पहली आधिकारिक यात्रा के दिए गए संकेत से बहुत अधिक प्रभावित दिखा। भारत ने वही किया जो एक परिपक्व, आत्मविश्वास से भरी ताकत करती है।

राजनीतिक और आर्थिक लिहाज से देखें तो चीन के लिए ग्लोबल और स्थानीय स्तर पर अपने कदमों का कोई आकलन करना तब तक मुश्किल है जब तक कि वह यह न जान ले कि भारत अपने हितों को किस तरह देखता है और इसके मुताबिक क्या कदम उठा सकता है। Continue reading Candour on the Red Carpet: Parsing the Sino-Indian Joint Statement

Li Keqiang’s India Visit: Towards Realistic Expectations

(The English version was written on the first day of the Chinese Premier’s visit to India and updated and published originally as जबिन टी. जैकब, ‘भरोसा बढ़ाने वाली भेंट’, Dainik Jagran, 22 May 2013, p. 10 (see below).)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in India on his first overseas visit since taking over his new position in March. The visit is notable for a number of reasons.

One, it came against the backdrop of the recent Chinese ‘incursion’ in the Ladakh region and the resultant stand-off that lasted three weeks. As a result, the mood could have be decidedly indifferent if not unfriendly in terms of the public reception of Li in India.

In the case of high-level visits, however, no matter what the problems and complications in a bilateral relationship, it is always important from a diplomatic point of view to make sure the atmospherics are excellent and that warmth and enthusiasm are on full display. Continue reading Li Keqiang’s India Visit: Towards Realistic Expectations