Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande’s observations about China can be interpreted as Beijing's ambition to replace the United States as a superpower, in order to become a security provider, which is evident from its 14-point peace plan put forth by President Xi Jinping to end the 13-month-old Ukraine war.
Second, China's brokering of the Iran-Saudi Arabia deal may become worrisome for India, which has stood by Russia despite the strong opposition from the United States and European nations, as it is aimed at enhancing Beijing's influence in the gulf region which is worrisome to India also.
A weak Russia is in China's interest
Experts opine that China will diplomatically and strategically welcome a weakened Russia which may increase Moscow's dependence on Beijing thereby giving birth to an element of suspicion about the execution of defence deals of billions of USD between India and Russia.
It poses a threat to the security of India though Russia has promised to preserve its ties with India irrespective of its friendship with China.
Experts feel that the army chief has got a point when he says that the world must analyze the fallout of China’s efforts to expand the sphere of influence through the weaponization of resource supply chains, economic manoeuvring, financing large infrastructure projects with scant regard for environmental and safety standards, and spanning recipient countries with unsustainable debt.
However, the army chief has assured the countrymen that India’s preparedness remains of high order and troops continue to deal with PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) in a strong, unyielding, and measured manner while ensuring the sanctity and sacredness of our claims which are rock solid.
China and Russia getting economically closer is bad news for India
China is clearly playing in the economic arena and enhancing and cementing its economic engagement with Russia which is evident from a quantum jump in Russia’s exports to China.
As per available data, Russia’s exports to China grew by 50% i.e 72.9 billion US$ (energy component contributed 75% of total transactions). On the other hand, China’s imports grew by 8.5 % i.e. 44.2 billion USD.
American policymakers believe that China is squeezing the economic base of Russia to make it dependent which weakens its position and bargaining power with the rest of the world thereby threatening the close continuation of ties with India.
Xi’s recent visit has assured full tactical support of Russia if it invades Taiwan in future
China's step-by-step policy to encircle Russia and bring it into its trap is part of a long-term plan of invading Taiwan, which is part of the silent resolve of XI Jinping after emerging as the strongest leader in China following 98 percent manipulated support of the Congress.
It may be a stepping stone towards Xi's life-long presidency which is a bad omen for India as chances of peace on LOC will recede and China will continue to occupy India’s territory despite 16 rounds of talks having taken place among the two sides which have yielded no tangible result so far.
Second, Xi has wished that Putin will be re-elected in next year’s elections in March which has sent a clear message of China's unflinching faith in the current leadership of Russia. Such open support may be beyond the diplomacy of India as it may amount to interference in a trusted friend’s internal matters.
Third, China was not deterred by the indictment of the Internal Nation Court (ICC) as XI has ignored it and does not give any credence to such a ruling.
Fourth, China is rapidly advancing towards its enhanced role in Indo pacific, hence it has completely taken Pakistan in its grip and Sri Lanka has also been trapped through huge debt.
Fifth, America will have to rework its policy to counter China’s influence in Asia which will lead to increased dependence on India and both powers can easily checkmate Beijing.
Finally, the United States seems to be worried over the successful attempt of China to act as a broker and ensured the signing of a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia thereby ending their decades-old enmity. It may help in ending the ongoing conflict in Yemen which will give relief to the entire region.
China ropes in Iran which happens to be USA's enemy
Analysts say that China has been successful in roping in Iran which has an enmity with the United States. This may have severe repercussions in the gulf region.
China has agreed to invest USD $400 billion in Iran for over 25 years in exchange for a regular supply of oil to support its growing economy.
China took advantage of growing reservations regarding Saudi Arabia with the Biden administration and utilized its proximity with Iran to iron out their differences which resulted in a deal.
The outcome of the Iran and Saudi Arabia deal could help in checkmating America in keeping Iran in isolation besides deepening the Dragon's influence in the middle east which has got immense importance in the world arena.
Unfinished task of capturing Taiwan
Experts do not rule out the fulfilment of Xi’s lifelong ambition to finish the unfinished task of taking over Taiwan which may escalate the direct confrontation with the United States.
Putin’s unsuccessful attempt to expand Russia’s boundaries may discourage Xi but he may have his entire life to make it a reality after becoming a lifelong president in the coming years.
US President Joe Biden has threatened that China must be careful while attempting such a misadventure as it will come to the rescue of its ally which may lead to unimaginable disaster.
Analysts say that India and America must rework their diplomatic strategy to check China’s president, Xi who is working to take over the space vacated by the United States in the gulf region and Asia.
(Writer is political analyst and senior journalist based in Shimla)
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