Prime Minister Modi’s statement at the All Party Meeting on 19 June ended up casting doubt on India’s own behaviour and claims along the LAC and actually encourages further Chinese assertiveness all along disputed sectors on the LAC as well as the temptation to open up fresh disputes.
The pragmatic realism of the kind that the Indian foreign minister appeared to promote at the lecture actually falls short where China is concerned.
There appears to be a lack of willingness by the Indian government to call China out publicly on its double standards and its unmet promises even as it continues to be obliquely referred to as a concern by several BJP leaders.
Structural problems between India and China are unlikely to be resolved by two leaders having ‘informal’ dialogues or meetings without agendas.
There is little that actually changes on the ground on the LAC between India and China despite the latter’s rhetoric. It could also be reasonably argued that a change in the status of J&K is not a major concern for China in so far as it involves Pakistan.
General elections due next year in India are an opportunity for political parties to turn greater attention towards foreign policy issues and elevate the level of discussion on China in the popular domain.
Instead of half-baked attempts at military diplomacy, India should impart greater clarity of expression and purpose to its military relationship with China. Is China a ‘strategic partner’ or a ‘strategic competitor’? Or both?
Jabin T. Jacob, ‘What does India think of China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative?’, ICS Occasional Paper, No. 19, December 2017. Abstract China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious regional and global project that it has attempted to sell as a global public good. One country where the Chinese project has met clear, consistent andContinue reading “What does India think of China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative?”