While economic diplomacy is the mainstay, China’s maritime presence in the Middle East is also growing and together these support a clear and strong political message on China’s domestic and foreign policy interests that countries in the region are reluctant to contest.
A democratic transition in the Arab world is essential for India not only has civilizational linkages to West Asia and the Maghreb but also dense economic connections. And if India has seen its immediate neighbourhood descend into chaos of one form or the other due to failed transitions to democracy, it cannot now afford the chain of instability to grow still further.
Rather than concentrate all power in one person or even in a select few, the Chinese Communist Party sought to increase its membership – to some 80 million, now – and to draft into its ranks, the educated and the talented. These select are allowed the freedom to be frank and critical to the rulers, as long as they accept the legitimacy of the Party