Question: With China increasing its footprint in Nepal, India faces a challenge to maintain status quo and balance of power in the region. Analyse.
Answer: China has rapidly expanded its footprint across the globe including in traditional Indian backyards of Nepal and Bhutan. These events signify a change in China’s policy from wait and watch to aggressive tackling. In present circumstances, India must be ready to face a more aggressive and powerful China.
China’s expansionary activities
- Incursion in foreign territory
China has been guilty of violating international regulations and entering foreign territories regularly. This has been observed in South China Sea as well as in Indian region of Ladakh and Sikkim.These events signify that China is trying to flex its muscles and intimidate its adversaries.
- Claimingothers territories
Claiming foreign territories as it’s sovereign right is not new for Chinese. In addition to that, creating defence infrastructure in disputed region is highly common. Recently China has claimed rights on Mt Everest, facing flak from Nepal. Earlier also China has claimed disputed islands of Paracel and Spartly as its territories.
- Regular engagement
In order to reduce tensions between India and China, we need to have regular engagement. This will remove any misunderstanding that may occur due to misplaced media reports.
Ex: Wuhan and Mahabalipuram informal summit.
- Targeting China’s weakness
We must not restrict ourselves to just polite actions. Certain strong steps have to be taken to express displeasure of China’s activities. This can be done by targeting those issues which China is not comfortable in discussing such as democratic protests in Hong Kong, detention camps for Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province etc.
- Pressurising China on trade front
Pressure can be applied on China on economic and trade front as they make up core of China’s economy. Levying additional taxes and duties on Chinese products, suspending duty free products, reducing Chinese monopoly in business ventures can be initiated to send a clear cut message to highest echelons of power in China.
Thus, China and its policies constitute a major portion of security threat for India and its close allies. Every small action by China has to be keenly observed and suitable steps needs to be taken.