Tag Archives: Chinese_Foreign_Policy
President Xi Jinping has emerged out of last month’s 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party as a new paramount leader of China on a par with Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Deng Xiaoping, engineer of the reform policy that has delivered China’s economic rise. It is an extraordinary measure of his dominance in Chinese politics that he is the first living leader to be named as a guide for the party since Mao died in 1976. With ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ written into the party constitution, he now—along with Marx, Lenin, Mao and Deng—defines the meaning of Chinese Communism. As The Economist puts it, ‘The congress has consolidated his authority not just for five years but, in effect, for life.’
The 10-week-long standoff between Chinese and Indian forces in the Doklam region of the Himalayas was peacefully resolved on 28 August. This is a victory for diplomacy on both sides. The temptation to score points and declare winners and losers is, however, hard to resist. Analysts from both China and India, as well as other countries, have tried to impose zero-sum verdicts on the resolution of the standoff. But zero-sum perspectives give a simplistic and superficial reading of the Sino-Indian border struggle—and, if they’re internalised by policymakers, they can also produce counterproductive and dangerous conditions for future strategic interaction between the two countries.
The Sino-Indian standoff in the Doklam (Donglang in Chinese) region of the Himalayas where the borders of China, India and Bhutan converge is now nearly two months old. The dispute arose in mid-June when China attempted to build a road in an area it believed to be under its sovereign control, provoking Indian authorities to block the construction by crossing the Sino-Indian border with troops and bulldozers.