Maj Gen BK Sharma, AVSM, SM**(Retd) writes: The informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping is being widely debated by strategic analysts. There are differing viewpoints on the motive behind the summit; some say India succumbed to China, others say China blinked and some others say it suited both leaders to seek rapprochement in the light of American protectionism and overall geopolitical scenario. In the instant article Mr. Nayan Chanda explains the Chinese motive of reaching out to India on the basis of Mao’s theory of Contradiction. Mao theorised that once beset with primary contradiction, the secondary contradiction should be temporarily set aside till the primary contradiction is resolved. At this juncture, China is entering a vicious trade war with the US. Trump Administration has designated China as a hegemonic and revisionist rival. It has imposed trade barriers on major Chinese companies that are potentially damaging for their economy and technological advancement. So, for China the primary contradiction at this juncture is how to deal with intransigent US. India, on the other hand, is seen more of a major irritant and potential challenger to China’s rise as an Asian power and therefore is ipso facto a secondary contradiction. Hence the need to pacify relations with India till the American challenge is managed.
The fundamentals of geopolitics dictate that India and China will compete for domination of resources, location and influence. This hard reality should not be glossed over by India’s policy makers and strategic community. Pragmatically speaking, there is a widening gap in the Comprehensive National Power of India and China. China is constantly gaining a competitive advantage in the strategic and military balance vis a vis India. Given the nature of asymmetric relations between India and China, we need to have a coherent policy of ‘New Modus Vivendi’ with China, albeit without compromising our core interests. Let the optics of Summit not make us complacent about China’s intent and machinations to see India as a subordinate power in Asia. We should be deftly assertive to make China understand and heed India’s sensitivities. In the meanwhile, the time window of heightened strategic brinkmanship between Dragon and Uncle Sam, should be utilised by India to build strategic capacities to reclaim strategic influence in the periphery and place India in a favourable position for long -term strategic competition with China.
To read more about this please see the link below
The Wuhan Puzzle: Mao’s student Xi flatters India as he prepares for bare knuckles clash with US May 5, 2018, 2:00 AM IST Nayan Chanda in TOI at – https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/the-wuhan-puzzle-maos-student-xi-flatters-india-as-he-prepares-for-bare-knuckles-clash-with-us/?source=app
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