Pakistan Is A Diminishing Force In South Asia

Aggressive Posturing Of China Cause of Worry For US-Led Global Order

by WebDesk
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In October, British High Commissioner Alexander Ellis said about the dynamics of Asia: “Pakistan is not as predominant as it once was. I keep saying it is Indo-Pac with a ‘c’ and not Indo-Pak with a ‘k’.”

The British High Commissioner was referring to the diminishing stature of Pakistan within South-East Asia. Perhaps his saying ‘Indo-Pac’ with a ‘c’ referred to the China dynamics not only in Asia, but also in the world order.

China Only Understands The Language Of Power

Remarking on the second anniversary of the Galwan clash between the patrolling troops of India and of People’s Republic of China, a political analyst wrote, “Chinese only understand the language of power. Negotiations is seen as a sign of weakness by the wolf warriors of Middle-Kingdom.”

These words are significant for all those engaged with China through diplomatic or military channels. The broader strategic competition between the two Asian neighbours is not far beyond commerce and economy.

The leadership conclave of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was held recently in October. The CCP National Congress charts China’s policy framework for the next five years and also finalizes its future leadership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s has an often repeated maxim. He says that to understand China, one needs to understand the Communist Party. If this be the insight into China’s policy trajectory, it is important to take note of some recent developments.

Xi Showcased Galwan Clash As Part Of His ‘Main Achievements’

Significantly, PLA Galwan commander Qi Fabao was given the pride of place as a delegate at the CCP National Congress held in October. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the principal military force of the People’s Republic of China and the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Images of the bloody clash in Galwan were part of a video that were shown at the Congress as part of the ‘main achievements’ of Chinese President Xi Jinping. In February this year, China fielded the military officer involved in the Galwan Valley clash as a torchbearer for the Winter Olympics. India was outraged at this positioning by China. But India’s concerns were brushed off by China, which claimed that India or the world should not read too much into it from a political perspective.

China also faced the wrath of the US for making the PLA commander the torch bearer for the Winter Olympics. This decision taken by China is symptomatic of its aggressive international posturing.

The Use Of Military Power Needs To Be Normalized, Believes Xi

In his work report presented at the CCP National Congress, President Xi Jinping stated: “The use of military power needs to be normalised and used in diverse ways… China needs to be able to conduct military operations readily, create a secure environment, deter and control risks and conflicts, and win regional wars.” The China President addressed the National Congress for about two hours. During his speech, Xi Jinping called upon People’s Liberation Army to expedite troop training and to work on new strategies to achieve the PLA target of becoming a world-class military force.

The China President has gradually raised the pitch in all matters related to military and strategy. The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee regularly holds its plenary session. This is the annual conclave of the CCP’s elite and it deliberates on policy matters that China must focus on. The communique of the 19th Central Committee’s fifth plenary session used the Mandarin war cry which means “Get Ready For Battle”.

China Will Continue To Up The Ante

Leading political analysts have noted that Xi’s rhetoric on Taiwan at the CCP National Congress must worry the world. The reunification with Taiwan has been a major focus of the Chinese Communist Party’s central leadership. Speaking at the National Congress, Xi said that efforts would be made to bring back the territory peacefully. Equally, he stressed that CCP reserves the right to use force to fulfil its objectives. There was thunderous applause at the CCP National Congress when Xi declared, “Total reunification of China must certainly be realised, and it will be realised, without doubt”.

China will continue to up the ante. CCP led by President Xi Jinping takes inspiration from an ancient Chinese treatise, which means: “Create noise in the east and strike in the west.”

The Chinese President has pledged that the complete reunification of China shall see fruition soon. The constant focus in his announcements and declarations is that it is his ‘strong leadership’ that has efficiently and effectively tackled China’s problems. He has called upon the Chinese Army to become a superior war machine that must become the singular dominant force in all military wars, whether over land, sea or air. Xi’s rhetoric on Taiwan continues, and he may make it his focus during his third term as President. If, instead, China intends to follow the old treatise to create noise in the west and strike in the east, it may be a major cause of worry for India and for the US-led global order.

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