Categories
Comparative Politics Foreign Policy

Reading between Chinese Lines

China’s new ambassador to India, Sun Weidong has been busy in the op-ed pages of major Indian newspapers since his arrival. The first of these articles came even before he had formally presented his credentials at Rashtrapati Bhavan.[1] This piece in The Hindu[2] talked about the long historical connections between the two countries represented by the ancient Buddhist site of Dunhuang in China’s Gansu province, the ‘pearl on the Silk Road’. While ostensibly about promoting people-to-people ties, the essay also regularly repeated such concepts and phrases as the ‘Silk Road spirit’, ‘harmony’ and ‘win-win cooperation’ seen as Chinese contributions to the lexicon of international relations, never mind that they remain poorly or vaguely defined. There is also, of course, the not so small matter of the rhetoric seldom matching the reality as both India’s own experiences and those of any number of China’s other neighbours show.

Spouting vague generalities of civilizational ties are however only a warm-up to the practical needs of ensuring the rest of the world accepts and backs Beijing’s positions on both the ongoing Hong Kong protests and the US-China trade war.

Categories
Borders Foreign Policy Sub-nationalism

A Framework for Understanding Sino-Indian Ties

Presentation titled, ‘India and China:Competition or Cooperation?’ at International Workshop on Recent Security Challenges in the Asia Pacific and India-China Relations, Institute of Chinese Communist Studies, Taipei, Taiwan, 30 July 2013.

Outline

What framework can we use to understand the current Sino-Indian relationship?

A.  two bookends of the relationship

  • the boundary dispute
  • the need for bilateral cooperation to both transform the current global order and to tackle their own internal problems

B.  the regular stuff in the relationship

  • regular ‘incursions’ at the Line of Actual Control
  • frequent high-level visits between leaders

C.  the irregular stuff in the relationship

  • infrequently organized people-to-people exchanges in the form of cultural shows, film festivals, etc.
  • sporadic attempts at military-to-military exchanges

D.  the framework

Categories
Borders Foreign Policy War and Conflict

Chinese Defence Minister’s Visit to India: Seeking opportunity amid crises

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.