An August 29 interview of China’s Special Envoy on the Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong offers a useful overview of China’s views and concerns about the situation in the aftermath of the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Chinese envoy’s reference to “The irresponsible and hasty withdrawal of the troops of the United States as well as the NATO” indicates that the Chinese too have been caught in a situation where they are not prepared with options. The fact that the interview was conducted in English suggests among other things that they are not shy of letting the world know this.
China has at least two challenges before it with implications for its security. One, in managing the Taliban itself, and the other in terms of impact on its other neighbours.
Continue reading China in Afghanistan: Not Ready for the Burden
What does the removal of term limits for the Xi Jinping presidency in China mean for the developing world and, in particular, for South Asia?
One possible effect could be a demonstration effect.
China’s decades-long rapid economic growth has long been a source of envy and inspiration for many countries in the developing world. Some like Vietnam, for instance, have used China as a model in launching its own opening up and reforms process. Other countries, including many in South Asia, have seen Beijing as an alternative to the West for financial resources and capital.
With Xi’s latest move, an ambitious autocrat can try and sell the idea to his people or the elites that matter that he, and he alone holds the solutions to a country’s problems.
And often, as in the case of President Abdulla Yameen in the Maldives, who has imposed a state of emergency in the island nation, they will do so with considerably less finesse than Xi.
More of the Same? Continue reading Xi for Life: Implications for India and South Asia
Originally published as Jabin T. Jacob, ‘India, China and the Coming US Drawdown in Afghanistan: A Choice of Dilemmas’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIX, No. 14, 5 April 2014, pp. 24-27.
The post-US drawdown situation in Afghanistan throws up a number of national and regional political and security challenges for India and China. This essay outlines some of these challenges and prospects for joint Sino-Indian action to tackle them.
China and the US Drawdown in Afghanistan
Beijing is convinced that the US will actually not quit Afghanistan entirely. It takes this view from a realpolitik perspective; given the blood and treasure that the Americans have expended on Afghanistan for a decade, to leave giving the impression that they have been defeated or without adequate protection for what little assets they have created during this time, is in the Chinese view, unlikely. Continue reading India and China in Afghanistan: A Tangled Skein of Choices
The visit to India by the Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie last week, needs to be examined for what it says about four important or potentially important issues in the Sino-Indian bilateral relationship – the AfPak situation, the boundary dispute, bilateral military cooperation, and Chinese views about the Indian media. Continue reading Chinese Defence Minister’s Visit to India: Seeking opportunity amid crises
(original text in English follows below the Hindi text)
पिछले महीने तीसरे इंडो-यूएस रणनीतिक वार्ता के बाद दक्षिण और मध्य एशिया के लिए अमेरिकी सहायक विदेश मंत्री रॉबर्ट ब्लैक ने कहा, अमेरिका चीन और भारत के साथ एक त्रिपक्षीय वार्ता करना चाहता है ताकि अफगानिस्तान समेत तमाम दूसरे मुद्दों पर मिलकर काम हो सके। हालांकि मौजूदा अंतरराष्ट्रीय माहौल में यह देखने वाली बात होगी कि इस तरह की त्रिपक्षीय वार्ता की गुंजाइश बनती भी है या नहीं? Continue reading A US-India-China Trilateral? Big Promise but Dim Prospects
This is a presentation I made during the 11th Russia, India and China (RIC) Trilateral Conference held from 15-16 November 2011 at Beijing, China. The RIC is a Track-II initiative that involves the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi, and the China Institute of International Studies, Beijing.
The presentation titled, “Emerging Regional Architectures in Asia-Pacific and the Greater South Asia” is presented here in a slightly modified version and divided into five parts:
A. Regional Architecture
B. New Regional Architectures Emerging in Asia
C. What are the Fundamental Bases of an Effective Regional Architecture?
D. Domestic Political Systems and Regional Architectures
Continue reading Emerging Regional Architectures in Asia
Osama bin Laden’s death and the circumstances of his killing continue to provoke plenty of comment and analyses as to what it means for the future of US-Pakistan relations. By contrast, there has been considerably less attention paid to the implications for Sino-Pakistani relations. This paper argues that the killing of bin Laden, while increasing frictions in the US-Pak relationship, does not necessarily also mean a warming of Sino-Pak ties. The latter relationship is, in fact, bound up in a number of issues over and beyond the US-Pak equation. These include Chinese concerns over ethnic separatism in its Xinjiang province and the post-US drawdown stability of Afghanistan, the Sino-Indian equation, the Sino-US relationship and Chinese economic interests in Pakistan.
Read the full article here: Jabin T. Jacob, “The Future of China-Pakistan Relations after Osama bin Laden,” Associate Paper, Future Directions International (Perth), 8 August 2011.
During her visit to India for the 2nd Indo-US Strategic Dialogue, last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called upon India to “not just to look east, but to engage east and act east as well”. But the problem in New Delhi might well be an incapacity to ‘think east’ beyond the boundary dispute with China or trying to retain a toehold against Chinese dominance in Myanmar. What engagement there is occurs in the economic domain but India remains overcautious in its political and military outreach to the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s India Visit: Chinese Elephant in the Room
Osama bin Laden finally met his end in Pakistan in May 2011. While the world and Pakistan have not changed all that much since then, the killing of bin Laden did shake the Chinese up in more ways than one. From ordinary netizen to government-run media, there was disbelief (“Impossible! I don’t believe it”), sarcasm (“Sigh! Bin Laden has died once again!!”) and worries of a geopolitical sort (“After Bin Laden, will China become US foe?”).
Continue reading China and the end of Osama