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[op-ed snap] Xi, Trump, Asian disorder


Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Effects of relationship between the US and China, on India.



  1. The article talks about the upcoming Asian visit of Donald Trump, his China’s visit and its possible effects on India’s foreign policy

The US and China relationship

  1. They need each other is not in doubt
  2. What is importat, though, is the terms of a new economic and political settlement between the two

What should India do?

  1. should stay the course on managing its problems with China
  2. And deepening ties with the US and key Asian actors, Japan, Korea, the ASEAN, and further afield, with Australia

Trump’s Asian Tour

  1. On his extended Asian tour, Trump is participating in two major regional summits
    (1) the forum for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vietnam and
    (2) the East Asia Summit in the Philippines. In the current tour
  2. Trump has also had bilateral visits to Japan and South Korea
  3. What America wants from Asian Countries: America’s demands for “fair” rather than “free trade” with Asia
  4. And the problem of accommodating China’s rise without abandoning its long-standing allies and friends in the region

Three broad objectives that the president was intended to pursue in Asia

  1. One was to get greater reciprocity in the commercial engagement with Asia
  2. The second was to strengthen US alliances and partnerships in the region
  3. A third was to get a better fix on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme

China’s trade Strategy with the US

  1. Beijing resorted to the familiar trick of wrapping a package of commercial deals with American companies amounting to $250 billion
  2. While the big number grabs the headlines, sceptics point to the fact that many of these “deals” are MoUs rather than commercial contracts
  3. Many of them will take a long time
  4. And this does nothing to resolve Trump’s political problem with America’s massive trade deficit

Talk on Political relationship between the US and China

  1. On the question of political relations, Trump and Xi had nice things to say about the need for greater cooperation and engagement
  2. But there was no apparent breakthrough on the question of North Korea that was at the top of Trump’s agenda

India’s PM upcoming visit to the Philippines to join the East Asia Summit

  1. Three things stand out infront of India:
    (1) America and China will continue to jockey for political primacy in Asia
    (2) the tension between Washington’s traditional commitment to economic globalisation and Trump’s “America First” policies is unlikely to be resolved any time soon
    (3) and most countries in the region are beginning to diversify their security partnerships

The way forward

  1.  The rise of China and the turbulence in American domestic politics have created great disorder under the heavens
  2. But they have also opened up much room for creative Indian diplomacy in Asia

India urged to join Belt and Road Initiative


Mains Paper 2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: OBOR.

Mains level: It is important as the article highlights how China is open and inclusive to cooperation with India on BRI.



China urges India to join BRI

  1. China on Wednesday counselled India to shed its objections to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which had already drawn wide international support.
  2. China in a veiled reference to India, said the project did not target “third countries” or prejudice China’s position on territorial disputes.
  3. Also, that CPEC corridor is an economic cooperation.
  4. China hopes that countries and parties with shared vision will work with us to allow practical cooperation to bring more benefits to our peoples.
  5. And China is open and inclusive to cooperation involving the BRI.


One Belt One Road Initiative

  1. It is a development strategy proposed by China‘s paramount leaderXi Jinping to connect China with Central Asia, Europe, Africa and Indo-Pacific littoral countries. He called for the building of a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, collectively referred to as One Belt One Road (OBOR).
  2. This policy has two components:
  • Belt– The “One Belt” refers to the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt”. Here Beijing aims to connect the country’s underdeveloped hinterland to Europe through Central Asia.
  • Road – The “One Road” references the ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road”. It is to connect the fast-growing South East Asian region to China’s southern provinces through ports and railways.
  1. The Belt and Road initiative is geographically structured along 6 corridors.
  2. The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network.
  3. In the past three years, the focuses were mainly on infrastructure investment, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, and iron and steel.

[op-ed snap] The picture after Doklam

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“Partnership with Japan could be the cornerstone of a coalition to take on China’s economic, military might”.Comment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BRICS, CPEC, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Mains level: India-China-Bhutan relations


Lessons from the stand-off between India and China

  1. It was the first time that India deployed troops on the Chinese border after a third party asked for help.
  2. Stand-offs have multiplied, suggesting that mechanisms of border dispute resolution were not as effective as they used to be, or not even relevant in such a case.
  3.  India can claim that it has forced China to withdraw by showing determination-cum-restraint, a mix that has impressed other South Asian countries which are under Chinese pressure and may turn to India for preserving their sovereignty


Economic development with Bhutan

  1. Bhutanese appreciate India’s soft power in cultural and societal terms, but the cooperation in the domain of hydropower that represents 25-30 per cent of Bhutan’s GDP is far from satisfactory.
  2. India will have to deliver more effectively on that front to retain Bhutanese trust.


  1. Observers emphasised that Bhutan should not alienate China and take the risk of breaking the dialogue between the two countries.
  2. Both countries have no diplomatic relations but they have talked since 1984 and have even signed the Agreement on the Maintenance of Border and Tranquillity in 1998

Withdrawal of troops from Chinese side

  1. because China was hosting the BRICS summit in early September and feared an Indian boycott
  2.  It will affect the  international image of Xi Jinping very badly

India’s concerns

  1. Chinese authorities announced that the PLA will continue to patrol in the area.
  2. Xi’s ability to control the expansionist agenda of the PLA after his re-election will have to be scrutinised
  3. China may continue to veto a move targeting the Jaish leader, Masood Azhar, in the UN.
  4. In any case, China will not let down Pakistan while the CPEC is gaining momentum as one of the major components of Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  5. The first major problem India may face in its attempt to resist China is economic: China is not only the first trade partner of India but a large investor too.
  6. New Delhi cannot mobilise as many resources as Beijing to make inroads in third countries. Sri Lanka is a case in point
  7. China could acquire 70 per cent of the Hambantota deep sea port  in addition to many other strategic locations, including Gwadar, because of a financial strike force India cannot compete with.

Way forward

  1. Besides the US, India can turn more towards Japan. Narendra Modi launched the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, a project New Delhi and Tokyo have conceived together.
  2. Shinzo Abe, while inaugurating the line of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train on September 14, will probably reassert Japan’s will to build an ambitious strategic partnership with India.
  3. This partnership could be the cornerstone of a larger coalition that may include other countries eager to resist China’s “string of pearls” in the Asia-Pacific region.




[op-ed snap] Back on track: on India and China’s united front at BRICS

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Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“India and China must address bilateral issues in a sustainable way, pursuing the BRICS spirit” Discuss

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BRICS ,  Belt and Road Initiative

Mains level:India- china relations



  • India and China putting up a united front at the BRICS summit, and proposed a revival of the Panchsheel principles of peaceful cooperation

BRICS Summit- Key points

  1. India-China, agreement that Doklam-like situations must not recur is an indication that India and China are looking for new mechanisms to strengthen the border defence agreements that have held in the past.
  2. China gave nod to the inclusion of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed among the terrorist groups threatening regional stability.
  3. China choosing not to speak of the contentious Belt and Road Initiative at the summit suggested it was heeding India’s concerns.
  4. Both countries expressed similar views about resisting economic protectionism of the kind that the Trump administration in the U.S. has been espousing
  5. All five countries condemned North Korean nuclear tests, while advocating dialogue and not the use of force.

Way forward

  1. Indian and Chinese officials must re-engage in a sustained manner to address all areas of discord which led to the charged situation at Doklam.
  2. They must review where the border defence standard operating procedures failed
  3. Two countries must convene the delayed meeting of the Special Representatives, and add the latest claims and counter-claims over the Sikkim boundary and the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction to the agenda for discussions.
  4. It is necessary to see that the much-acclaimed BRICS language on terrorist groups like the LeT and JeM is translated into actionable points
  5. Beijing will have an early opportunity to do so in October when the issue of designating JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist comes up at the UN Security Council and when the UN’s Financial Action Task Force takes stock of Pakistan’s actions against the LeT.




[op-ed snap] What not to learn from Doklam

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“India should not overestimate its own military strength, and the support of other powers, in a conflict with China” Critically comment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: India-China relations



  1. Article talks about the lessons India should learn from the Doklam stand off and and the necessity to be prepared for further threats

Lessons for India

Indian military strength

  1. Indian armed forces really don’t outmatch the Chinese in a conflict scenario.
  2. Even at Doklam, India did not have the military capacity to defeat the Chinese
  3. It had sufficient military strength to only hold on to its positions and inflict heavy casualties on the Chinese army for a short period of time.
  4. Even in its strongest areas, the Indian deployment is oriented towards defending territory. 

Indian military preparedness.

  1. Delay in military modernisation schemes — only 32 fighter squadrons or just 13 submarines or poor air defence profile
  2. Army’s ammunition reserves are not stocked for a 10-day-long war is also a worrying sign.
  3. It is designated to be prepared for a two-front collusive threat from China and Pakistan
  4. Indian armed forces cannot afford to fulfill their role successfully if they are not properly equipped and stocked.

Impact on Bhutan

  1. Even though Bhutan has been a strong Indian ally and has stood by New Delhi during the standoff, there are voices in Bhutan which seek a “balanced foreign policy”, that is, opening of ties with China
  2. The Chinese offer of a swap for Doklam with disputed areas in the north is bound to be renewed, an offer which has always interested Thimphu.
  3. As China starts courting Thimphu and as Bhutan starts seeking greater ties with Beijing, it would be unfair to expect Bhutan to choose between India and China

International support for India against China.

  1. Besides a tentative statement by the Japanese ambassador, most other countries — including the United States — asked New Delhi and Beijing to resolve the situation peacefully.
  2. While most countries were happy that India was standing up to China, their own relations with Beijing made it very difficult for them to state their support openly.
  3. India handled the Doklam crisis single-handedly and will have to be prepared to handle any such situation similarly in the future.

[op-ed snap] Making the Doklam standoff useful for India

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“Rather than resting on its laurels, India should be prepared with its diplomatic and military apparatus should China try another adventure” Discuss

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: India-China relations



  1. The India-China standoff in Doklam, came to an end on Monday after more than two months
  2. The Indian side has withdrawn from Doklam and China has ceased its road construction activities, which had triggered the standoff in the first place.
  3. China has saved face by portraying the endgame as India’s unilateral withdrawal to its domestic audience.
  4. The Indian withdrawal has come in exchange for the Chinese concession of not going ahead with the road construction.

What made Beijing budge from its position?

  1. India’s military advantage in the Sikkim sector that would have made any escalation costly for China
  2. Chinese concerns regarding the overhang of Doklam during the forthcoming Brics summit, which they will be hosting in Xiamen, must have also played a part.
  3. President Xi Jinping would also have wanted to ward off even a remote chance of an embarrassment before the 19th national congress of the Chinese Communist Party, to be held later this year.

Important lessons to be learnt from this standoff

  1. China’s tactical retreat should not lull India into a belief that the former will stop deploying its time-tested technique of using incursions into disputed or others’ territories
  2. China is now increasingly adept at changing the facts on disputed territories and waters to present rival claimants with a fait accompli
  3. But  India used denial tactics to physically prevent China from altering the facts on the ground
  4. China’s rise presents a daunting challenge to India’s primacy in South Asia.
  5. Beijing is well aware of its disadvantages in Chumbi Valley—but it was to create a rift between New Delhi and Thimphu. Thimphu maintained its calm endorsed India’s position by calling for a return to the status quo ante.
  6. But India’s relations with other South Asian neighbours are not as strong as with Bhutan. New Delhi has met with some limited success due to the presence currently of friendly regimes in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  7. In Pakistan, China has facilitated the creation of a nuclear-armed state which deploys terrorists against India to achieve its territorially revisionist goals.
  8. Another challenge is headed India’s way through the activities of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean

Way forward

  1. India should be prepared with its diplomatic and military apparatus to prevent Doklam-type unilateral adventurism again.
  2. India should also exploit its advantages of geography and cultural affinities to present its economic growth as a veritable opportunity for neighbours through higher volumes of trade, greater investment flows and better connectivity.
  3. It is also time—in light of the changed circumstances that China’s rise presents—to discuss an even closer military partnership with the US and Japan.
  4. Such a move may have its downsides but it is important to weigh them against the benefits rather than continue debating the utility of concepts as outdated as non-alignment and as mythical as strategic autonomy

[op-ed snap] Lessons from Doklam


Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Q.) “India and China need to conduct bilateral consultations on various issues – ranging from Afghan reconciliation to regional economic development.” Can it help both countries to solve their issues with each other?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: It is important to know post-Doklam strategy of both the countries.



  1. The article talks about the current issues between India and China, and the lessors that we learnt from the Doklam Standoff

What after the Doklam Standoff?

  1. Several significant questions remain unanswered about the terms and conditions of the resolution
  2. But it provides India and China an opportunity to reflect over what went wrong and rearrange this important bilateral relationship
  3. Also, we need to examine the political strategy guiding India’s military deployment at Doklam

Important lessons

(1) India is on its own 

  1. The most self-evident lesson from the Doklam stand-off is that we inhabit a ‘self-help’ world 
  2. It is important to note that none of the major powers unambiguously and unreservedly supported India’s position on Doklam

(2) China’s unnecessary concerns in South Asia

  1. The second lesson is that China is unlikely to respect India’s ‘special relationships’ with its neighbours
  2. India has long enjoyed a special status in the South Asian region and often treated it as its exclusive backyard
  3. With China expanding its influence in the region and it is competing for status and influence

Other issues between India and China

  1. It is also becoming abundantly clear is that the slowed down ‘Special Representatives’ talks on the India-China boundary question have not yielded much so far
  2. And it is perhaps the appropriate occasion to revamp the dialogue process
  3. The 19 rounds of talks held till last year have hardly anything substantive to show for them in terms of the resolution of the boundary dispute
  4. Indeed, the focus is increasingly shifting from conflict resolution to conflict management
  5. It is high time, therefore, that the two countries appointed dedicated high-ranking officials to discuss the boundary issues in a more sustained and result-oriented manner

The way forward

  1.  While Doklam may now be a thing of the past, Sino-Indian ties are never likely to be the same again
  2. There will be skirmishes, war of words and attempts to outmanoeuvre each other in the neighbourhood and beyond
  3. India needs to constantly look over its shoulders for potential Chinese surprises, there is also an urgent need to adopt a multi-pronged strategy to deal with Beijing
  4. The two sides also need to conduct bilateral consultations on various issues, like regional economic development

[op-ed snap] Agreeing to disagree: ending the Doklam stand-off

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

With the experience from Doklam standoff, what are the flaws in India’s border security management and what are the changes required to address further future security issues?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Nathu La pass

Mains level: India-China relations



  1. With separate announcements, India and China have ended the Doklam military stand-off
  2. Decision on Doklam, which comes a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to go to China

Separate announcements

  1. The tone of the statement from New Delhi, referring to the “expeditious disengagement of border personnel” as part of the understanding between the two countries, shows that the government’s policy of pursuing diplomatic measures in the face of China’s angry rhetoric was wise
  2. In turn, China’s statement, which said that Indian troops had withdrawn from the disputed Doklam plateau while Chinese troops continue to patrol the area, gives Beijing the latitude it requires to end the stand-off peacefully.

Modi and Xi Jinping meet

  • Once Mr. Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met, diplomats must begin to repair the rupture in ties over the past few months, beginning with the cancellation of the Nathu La route for Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrims. 

Other concerns

  1. Statements from China during the stand-off indicate that it no longer recognises the gains made in the Special Representative talks in 2012. Nor does it regard the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction near Batang-La to have been settled.
  2. India has made it clear that it does not consider the Sikkim boundary settled either, and both sides will have to walk swiftly to come back to some semblance of an accord on such basic issues before they can move further

Way forward

  • India and China must revert to the spirit of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement of 2013, which laid down specific guidelines on tackling future developments along the 3,488-km boundary the two countries share.


Standoff at trijunction with Bhutan over: India, China withdraw troops from Doklam

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Much awaited. It will end the ongoing border standoff between the two countries.


Standoff ends after two and a half month

  1. India and China has decided to de-escalate and withdraw their soldiers from the site at the trijunction with Bhutan
  2. The move was announced by both foreign ministries almost simultaneously
  3. Troop withdrawal has been “mutual” and “simultaneous” but “sequential

Why is this disengagement important?

  1. This disengagement comes a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to Xiamen in China for the BRICS summit from September 3 to 5
  2. Therefore, it is important for the BRICS summit, for going smoothly

Is China withdrawing?

  1. According to the Chinese spokesperson, “in light of the changes of the situation on the ground, China will make necessary adjustments and deployment in accordance with the changes”
  2. The nature of its change in deployment and the time-lines for these adjustments have not been clarified
  3. But following the Indian withdrawal, there remains no reason for the Chinese troops to continue staying in Dolam plateau
  4. According to many observers, the Chinese have agreed to not construct the road as a quid pro quo(a favour or advantage granted in return for something) for the withdrawal

China agrees to tackle trade imbalance

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: What is trade deficit?

Mains level: Important initiative to look after India’s concerns on the Trade Deficit, with China.


High-level official team is visiting India

  1. China has agreed to send a high-level official team led by Commerce Minister to address the issue of growing trade imbalance with India
  2. The development could be termed a breakthrough for India which is facing goods trade deficit with China

Decision came while Military tension between the two countries

  1. The China is keen to ensure that trade with India is not adversely affected by the prevailing military tension
  2. In case of a full-fledged ‘trade war,’ China will have much to lose with its goods exports to India in 2016-17 valued at a whopping $61.3 billion
  3. While India’s shipments worth just $10.2 billion to China

[op-ed snap] Fixing the trade deficit with China won’t be easy

Image result for India china trade skew

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“The deficit is not a result of exchange rate but of the inability to either boost productivity or to plug into international supply chains” Discuss it in the backdrop of increasing trade deficits with China.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: India-china relation, Reasons behind increasing trade-deficits with China



Article talks about India’s increasing trade deficit with China and the reasons for that.

Trade deficit with china

  1. The ongoing military stand-off with China has once again brought the issue of trade imbalances with that country to the fore.
  2. China’s quest for regional military dominance makes trade imbalances with it a strategic concern for a country such as India.

Why India has a nearly $50 billion trade deficit with China.

  1. Indian imports from China are nearly five times the exports to it.
  2. China has used a weak currency to push its products into India.
  3. The Chinese currency has actually appreciated against the Indian currency over the past 15 years
  4. A country can continue to maintain its export competitiveness despite a strong currency if its productivity is growing faster than the productivity of its trading partner.
  5. Inability to either boost productivity or to plug into the international supply chains that span the world.
  6. China uses various mercantilist ploys to keep other countries from freely accessing its growing markets.
  7. Obstacles to market access are one reason for the large trade deficit with China.
  8. Composition of trade between the two countries.

How China trades with countries with which it has a deficit ? 

    1. Chinese imports from countries such as Germany, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are far higher than the exports it ships to them.
    2. These countries make the more valuable parts of various gizmos which are then sent to China for cheap assembly. The iPhone is a classic example.
    3. It is assembled in China but most of the value created lies in parts of the global supply chain that is outside China.
    4. India exports basic material to China and buys more sophisticated products from it.
    5. The main reason is India’s failure to build a globally competitive manufacturing sector

[op-ed snap] Seize the Doklam crisis

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Q.1) “India must use the current border  crisis between India and China, to announce a set of long-term measures to improve military readiness vis-a-vis China.” Is it the right time to  do so?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Naresh Chandra Committee

Mains level: Important and rational analysis of the current crisis between India and China



  1. The article talks about some ways, by which, India can gain maximum from the Doklam Crisis between India and China

Some known issues with China

  1. India has accumulated asymmetry in power with China that will improve slowly as India’s growth rate overtakes a declining Chinese growth rate
  2. Chinese elites are not sympathetic to India, and their ambition will continue to increase as Chinese power increases
  3. There is a large list of potential Chinese actions that India will find problematic, and so a strategic Indian response is warranted instead of tactical responses to each new development
  4. Finally, redressing the balance in military power and preparedness is both possible and highly desirable, for India

What can we get from this issue?

  1. According to the writer, the more chances of any Chinese action in the border area, the more likely it is that China will refrain from risky behaviour
  2. With this, India will succeed in getting an effective restoration of the status quo ante(the previously existing state of affairs) in the area
  3. But even if this proves not entirely feasible, India can still come out of the crisis having improved its bargaining position for future crises

How can India use this situation of crisis, strategically?

  1. We can use the crisis to announce a set of long-term measures to improve Indian military readiness against China
  2. Such announcements would have multiple advantages
    , China would signal immediate resolve without risking tactical danger
    Second, India would make clear to China and other Asian nations and the United States that irrespective of the resolution of the crisis, India is committed to do what it takes to retain its strategic autonomy
    Third, it would allow the Indian government to use the crisis to initiate a set of reforms that have proven difficult to execute in “peace time

Suggestions from the Naresh Chandra Committee

  1. The Committee has proposed measures to improve the capacity of India’s armed forces to work together
  2. How: By a dedicated and effective Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
  3. It would also create an effective joint command of the critical installations in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  4. It also suggested professionalising the personnel of the defence ministry

The Way Forward

  1. The Indian government should also continue with its careful programme to pursue mutual interests in the Indian Ocean region, with friendly countries such as the United States 

China hasn’t shared monsoon river data: India

Image result for brahmaputra flood

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Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: India-China relations



  1. Buoyed by support from Japan over the Doklam border stand-off, India Friday upped the ante against China, saying that the country has not shared “hydrological data” on the Brahmaputra river since May 15, which is a violation of bilateral pacts.

What is Hydrological data? What is its significance?

  1. Long-term monitoring of hydrologic systems – precipitation, streamflow, groundwater levels, water lost through evaporation and so on – and archiving the data  is to provide a set of sufficient good quality data that can be used in decision-making in all aspects of water resources management
  2. The hydrological data is shared every year, between May 15 to October 15, during the monsoon season. This data has not been shared so far.
  3. The two countries have two agreements, in 2013 and 2015, on sharing the data.
  4. The hydrological data is shared by upper riparian states to lower riparian states every monsoon, so that the flow of the water can be anticipated, and measures can be taken to deal with flooding.
  5. The hydrological data has not been shared by China for Sutlej river as well.

[op-ed snap] In South Asia, be the Un-China


Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Q.) “India needs to rekindle the SAARC process in order to secure historical affinity with its neighbours.” Discuss.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: The article comprehensively explains Chinese influence in South Asia.



  1. The Article talks about the China’s influence in South Asia and ways to counter it

Views of different countries on Doklam issue

  1. According to a statement by Nepal’s Dy PM, Nepal will not get dragged into this or that side(means India and China) in the border dispute
  2. Sri Lankan Minister in Colombo contended that India and China are “both important” to Sri Lanka
  3. Bhutan is blaming China for violating agreements at Doklam, but not mentioning India

China’s presence in India’s Neighbor

  1. Chinese companies has bagged contracts to most infrastructure projects in Maldives
  2. This includes development of a key new island and its link to the capital Male
  3. And a 50-year lease to another island for a tourism project


  1. Nepal has signed a transit trade treaty and agreement on infrastructure linkages with China in late 2015-2016
  2. China is also building a railway to Nepal, opening up Lhasa-Kathmandu road links
  3. And has approved a soft loan of over $200 million to construct an airport at Pokhara

(3)Sri Lanka

  1. Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port construction project went to the Chinese in 2007 only after India rejected it
  2. China doesn’t just own 80% of the port, it has also won practically every infrastructure contract from Hambantota to Colombo


  1. China has committed $24 billion to Bangladesh for its infrastructure and energy projects

How can India boost its relations with neighbors?

  1. India must regain its role as a prime mover of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  2. Even after a year, there have been no steps taken to restore the SAARC process is unfortunate
  3. It should be remembered that despite China’s repeated requests, SAARC was one club it never gained admittance to

The way forward

  1. India must recognise that doing better with its neighbours is not about investing more or undue favours
  2. It is about following a policy of mutual interests and of respect which India is more culturally attuned to than its large rival is.
  3. Each of India’s neighbours shares more than a geographical context with India. They share history, language, tradition and even cuisine.
  4. when dealing with Beijing bilaterally, New Delhi must match China’s aggression, and counter its moves with its own. When dealing with China in South Asia, however, India must do exactly the opposite, and not allow itself to be outpaced. In short, India must “be the Un-China”.

Two options on Doklam standoff: Let Bhutan troops replace India’s, wait until November

Image result for Doklam standoff:

Image source


Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: P5 Countries

Mains level: India-China relations



  • As the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam at the trijunction with Bhutan continues, the government is working hard on two diplomatic options to resolve the crisis. 

Two options

  1. The first option involves Bhutan, wherein its soldiers replace Indian troops in the standoff, leading to a mutual disengagement by China and Bhutan.
    • Replacing Indian troops on Dolam plateau with soldiers of the Royal Bhutan Army, which is then followed by mutual withdrawal by the Chinese and Bhutanese troops
    • By addressing the Chinese complaint of Indian troops on Bhutanese soil, this option gives Beijing a face-saver to withdraw its troops while meeting New Delhi’s aim of preventing Chinese road construction.
  2. The second option is of prolonging the standoff until November, till after the National Congress of the Communist Party of China, when de-escalation can take place through quiet diplomacy.
    • As winter sets in, the weather in the area deteriorates by November, making any military action, or even road construction, difficult.
    • National Congress of the Communist Party of China will be over by November which will then allow Chinese President Xi Jinping to bring down the rhetoric needed for political support in the Congress.
    • This would then create an environment where mutual de-escalation can take place and a way out can be found through diplomatic engagement by both sides.
    • It is a course of action seen as most likely by many foreign embassies, including some of the P-5 countries.

Issue with first option

  1. “Cordination issues” with Bhutan which New Delhi will have to overcome deftly
  2. Chinese acceptance of the proposal
  3. There is a fear that this could provide Thimphu the impetus to eventually start engaging with Beijing directly, and have diplomatic ties with China

[op-ed snap] Mind the power gap

Image result for India china

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.

Op-ed discusses China’s recent developments in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Apart from the Doklam stand off now China increasing their influence on Indian Ocean region.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to fully attempt the below.

Do you think China’s growing ties with Myanmar and Sri Lanka leads to strategic encirclement of India? What are its implications for India?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Special economic zone, Kyaukpyu Island, Hambantota port, Sittwe port

Mains level: India-China relations.



  1. Sri Lanka, Colombo handed over the Hambantota port, sitting astride the sea lines of communication of the Indian Ocean, to a Chinese consortium.
  2. Similarly in Myanmar, the government is close to a deal with a Chinese company for the commercial development of the Kyaukpyu island on its Bay of Bengal coast. 
  3. Chinese companies are promising that the two deep sea ports will integrate Lanka and Myanmar into the global trade and production networks.

India’s concern over these new developments?

  1. Once Yangon signs on the dotted line, the Chinese company will start building a deep seaport, special economic zone and an industrial park.
  2. The port contracts lay the foundation for China’s long-term economic influence in India’s immediate neighbourhood.
  3. India no longer has the luxury of contesting Chinese strategic incursions into the Subcontinent one piece at a time.
  4. While some of India’s concerns have been addressed in Colombo, Delhi has not been a part of Myanmar’s discourse on Kyaukpyu.

Kyaukpyu Island significance?

  1. Sittwe port which India is building is not far from Kyaukpyu
  2. Kyaukpyu becomes the energy gateway for petroleum imports into western China through a twin oil and gas pipeline system running from the Bay of Bengal.
  3. But Delhi did not have the bandwidth to compete with China on the Kyaukpyu project worth $10 billion

Four other factors add to India’s problem.

  1. China, under Xi Jinping, has brought abundant political will to match the expanded national power resources. Xi thinks the era of China deferring to other nations’ sensitivities is now over and now its others’ turn to adapt to Beijing’s rise as the foremost power in Asia.
  2. Widening strategic gap between China and India. China’s current GDP is five times larger than that of India and its defence spending is four times as big.
  3. India had underestimated the implications of China’s rise for India. Changing power balance in Beijing’s favour could alter the dynamic on India’s long and disputed frontier with China.
  4. India had taken its regional primacy for granted all these decades. China had never accepted the proposition that the Subcontinent is India’s exclusive sphere of influence. It now has the will and resources to challenge that premise on a routine basis. That leaves India scrambling to restore its economic and strategic centrality in the region.

Power gap with Beijing

  1. Delhi is now far more conscious of the existential challenges that the power gap with Beijing generates.
  2. China has been transforming the southern tip of Sri Lanka and the western seaboard of Myanmar over the last few years. But Delhi is doing nothing with its forgotten national asset in the Bay of Bengal — the Andaman and Nicobar Island chain.
  3. The longer Delhi takes to act vigorously on its frontier region development, military modernisation and regional economic integration, the greater will be its degree of difficulty in coping with China’s rise and future Doklams, Hambantotas, and Kyaukpyus.

New Delhi nod for Karmapa’s Arunachal visit

  1. What: The govt allowed Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, to address a public gathering at Mon in Arunachal Pradesh
  2. The Gyalwang Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism
  3. He escaped from Tibet in 2000
  4. Recently the govt has allowed the U.S Ambassador to India and the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh
  5. 6 months ago the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by PM Modi, allowed the Karmapa to travel abroad


This news item can be important from a culture perspective – terms such as Gyalwang Karmapa, Tibetan Buddhism. The other importance is from point of view of China’s claims on Arunachal Pradesh – the news shows how the govt has recently become more aggressive in countering Chinese claims.


Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic, and material from an ancient Tibetan religion called Bon. Although Tibetan Buddhism is often thought to be identical with Vajrayana Buddhism, they are not identical – Vajrayana is taught in Tibetan Buddhism together with the other vehicles.

Buddhism became a major presence in Tibet towards the end of the 8th century CE. It was brought from India at the invitation of the Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen. At present Tibetan Buddhism is a religion in exile, forced from its homeland when Tibet was conquered by the Chinese.

[op-ed snap] CPEC: Prospects and Challenges

  1. Context: China and Pakistan have operationalized CPEC, to connect “Kashgar to Gwadar”
  2. Prospects: Many infrastructure and energy projects under way. Many investments in energy sector- gas, coal and solar energy across Pakistan
  3. Challenges: Critics question the project’s viability, some accusing China of launching a second “East India Company”
  4. Security challenges- especially in western areas near the key Gwadar port, where militants ranging from Baloch nationalists to Taliban and the Islamic State have carried out attacks
  5. World Bank warns that project delays in CPEC’s first year could prove an impediment to Pakistan’s overall growth
  6. Pakistan-India tensions, could endanger sectors of the project where Pakistani troops are engaged in providing security
  7. Economic slowdown in China and political instability in Pakistan could impact the project’s future
  8. China sees CPEC as: physical link between OBOR project and MSR- India has refused to be a part of either
  9. It plans a floating naval base off Gwadar
  10. Delhi should take a closer look at security implications of China-Pakistan clinch that is fast drawing in Russia

[op-ed snap] Asia: next hub of global wealth II

  1. India: Has capacity for global leadership in the hub of new knowledge-based order, including new pharmaceuticals and crop varieties
  2. It is the only country with both extensive endemic biodiversity and world-class endogenous biotechnology industry
  3. It has leadership in software-led innovation, foundation of the new low-carbon digital-sharing economy
  4. It is also developing low-cost solutions for urbanisation, governance, health and education problems
  5. China is keen to have India on OBOR initiative, suggesting FTA and both countries recognise the synergies for achieving the ‘Asian Century’
  6. India’s knowledge-based strengths complement those of China in infrastructure and investment.
  7. India should seek to ‘redefine’ OBOR, adding a stronger component for a ‘Digital Sustainable Asia’
  8. The countries should understand each other on issues like NSG membership, global terrorism, and Gwadar, which are irritants in the development of stronger ties

[op-ed snap] Asia: next hub of global wealth I

  1. Indications: China emerging as the largest global economy
  2. Alliances losing relevance in Asia, countries gaining more influence because of the strength of their economy than the might of the military
  3. India and China: have no strategic thinker who conquests lands outside this sphere
  4. This in sharp contrast to Western strategic thinking on control of seas, security alliances
  5. West also relies on rules pushing common values as best way of organising international relations
  6. China will remain world’s largest producer of goods and India can be the largest producer of services- the real driver of future growth in Asia

Army’s Demchok mission a success

  1. What: The Army has completed laying an irrigation pipeline for residents of villages in the Demchok region of Eastern Ladakh
  2. Background: A face-off last week with Chinese troops over the work
  3. The irrigation project was being built under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to link a village with a “hot spring”
  4. This is the first time since 2014 when the Chinese Army had come deep inside the Indian territory in Demchok in protest against an ongoing irrigation project

‘60% dip in sales of Chinese goods this Diwali’

  1. Source: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT)
  2. Claim: That there was a 60 per cent dip in the sales of Chinese goods this Diwali
  3. Reason: A result of the massive social media campaign urging people to boycott Chinese products

It’s Dalai Lama’s turn to visit Arunachal now

  1. Event: Arunachal Pradesh is preparing to welcome the Dalai Lama for another controversial visit
  2. It is likely to attract criticism from China
  3. Context: It comes days after China criticised Richard Verma, U.S. envoy to India, for visiting Tawang that it declared as “disputed”

Nothing unusual in Verma’s Tawang trip: India II

  1. War: Disagreement between the nuclear-armed neighbours over parts of their 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border led to a brief war in 1962
  2. Both sides held the 19th round of Special Representatives’ talks to resolve the dispute over the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) in April this year
  3. However the issue has not been resolved

Nothing unusual in Verma’s Tawang trip: India I

  1. India asserted territorial sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, describing it as an “integral” part of the country
  2. Event: China admonished the United States for sending its ambassador in India Richard Verma to Arunachal Pradesh, to attend a festival
  3. The annual festival had drawn similar objection from Chinese authorities when the Dalai Lama visited Tawang in 2009 as a special gesture to mark half-century of his exile in India
  4. China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas
  5. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet

Ladakh drill not aimed at third country, says China

  1. The first-ever Sino-Indian joint military exercise in eastern Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir was held on Oct 19
  2. The exercise was descirbed as a normal exchange between the frontier troops of China and India to properly deal with border affairs

[op-ed snap] The Asian century beckons

  1. Theme: India-China bilateral relationship and the way forward.
  2. Recent developments in India-China relationship: First, an improvement in China-India business cooperation as seen in the two-way trade figures.
  3. Second, people-to-people exchanges exceeded one million for the first time last year.
  4. Third, 11 pairs of sister provinces/cities have been created between the two countries.
  5. Fourth, cooperation between the two has also strengthened in issues pertaining to climate change, global governance and reform of international financial institutions.
  6. The way ahead: First, keeping up the momentum of high-level exchanges to  enhance strategic communication and increase mutual understanding.
  7. Second, aligning our development strategies as both India and China share common ideas and complementary strategies of development.
  8. Third, deepening business cooperation. We may actively explore a China-India regional trading arrangement and encourage cooperation on major projects.
  9. We can also work together on new and renewable energy projects.
  10. Fourth, promoting people-to-people exchanges by introducing more direct flights between the two countries and promoting religious exchanges.
  11. Fifth, enhancing international and regional cooperation. E.g. we need to enhance cooperation in SCO, and work together to ensure the success of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, increase strategic communication and coordination on international and regional affairs and become global partners in matters of strategic coordination.
  12. Sixth, managing our differences with mutual cooperation.

India and China to cooperate on Delhi-Nagpur high-speed rail

  1. India and China have signed agreements for cooperation covering a host of issues like a feasibility study on Delhi-Nagpur high speed railway
  2. It also includes construction of Delhi-Chennai high-speed railway and establishment of China-India Technology Park in Hainan Province
  3. Besides, India is studying China’s coastal manufacturing zones
  4. Why? It can help India develop its 7,500-km of coastline and help the country further strengthen its export potential, particularly in labour-intensive industries such as textiles, leather, light and electronic manufacturing
  5. The agreements were signed as part of India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, which started in 2010

China caught in a corridor of uncertainty

  1. Context: The Uri terrorist attack
  2. China: Described the attack as shocking & expressed sympathy for the victims
  3. It asked for relevant parties to create a favourable environment which will secure CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)
  4. Indications: These comments amount to Beijing’s admission of deep strategic interest in the Kashmir region
  5. By tying up the Uri attack with concern for CPEC, Beijing has shown that its views on terror are shaped by its evolving interests in the South Asian region
  6. China is unable to appreciate India’s concerns about constructing important projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir that is historically part of India

China may allow imports of Indian non-basmati rice

  1. Indian Demand: Market access for products including non-basmati rice, pharmaceuticals and several fruits & vegetables among others
  2. Beijing had been denying market access to India’s non-basmati rice
  3. Why? The item had failed to meet Chinese norms on quality, health and safety
  4. Concern: Likelihood of a pest called Khapra beetle (or cabinet beetle) getting transported along with Indian non-basmati rice consignments to China
  5. China was the world’s largest rice importer in 2015-16 followed by Saudi Arabia and Iraq
  6. Trade deficit: The Centre had repeatedly taken up the issue of the country’s ballooning goods trade deficit with China bilaterally
  7. India’s goods trade deficit with China has surged from $1.1 billion in 2003-04 to $52.7 billion in 2015-16

Willing to work with India, says Xi

  1. Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in an attempt to reboot troubled ties
  2. PM Modi: India and China must be sensitive to each other’s concerns
  3. Concerns: Including terrorism emerging from the area covered by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — the $46 billion connectivity project that India has objected to
  4. Response to terrorism must not be motivated by political considerations
  5. President Xi: China is willing to work with India to maintain their hard-won sound relations and further advance cooperation- a tacit acceptance that the relationship needs improvement
  6. China and India should continue dialogues at various levels and in various areas, and frequently exchange views on major issues of common interest to enhance understanding and trust

India, China hold financial and economic dialogue

  1. News: China and India held their 8th high-level Financial and Economic Dialogue in Beijing to strengthen trade and economic cooperation
  2. Aim: Exchanging ideas and status reports on the macro economic situation in both the countries
  3. The officials of both the countries brief each other about their economic and fiscal policies and discuss issues of structural reforms and bilateral investment flows and economic cooperation
  4. Outcome: Underlined the need for building more solidarity to adopt more responsible macro economic policies

China says NSG door not shut on India

  1. News: China’s state-run media said that the door for India’s admission into the NSG is not tightly closed
  2. South China Sea: And also that New Delhi should fully comprehend Beijing’s concerns over the disputed South China Sea
  3. Co-operation: India and China are partners not rivals & as both head into a season of intensive top-level diplomatic encounters that could well define the future of their partnership, the two need to work together to keep their disagreements in check
  4. NSG issue: What should be noted above all else is that India has wrongly blamed China for blocking its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
  5. So far, there is no precedent for a non-Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory to become a NSG member

Chinese scribes asked to leave after adverse report

  1. The 3 journalists were intercepted when meeting with members of the Tibetan community in Bangalore
  2. This event is likely to further the strain put on Indo-China relations over the past few months
  3. Beijing had reacted adversely to a conference being held in Dharamsala for Chinese dissidents
  4. More recently over the Nuclear Suppliers Group meeting – India accused China of blocking its membership bid
  5. Last week, China’s decision to ‘express concern’ over the violence in J&K was another source of tension

India ramps up its military presence in Eastern Ladakh

  1. News: India’s quiet efforts at beefing up military capabilities in Eastern Ladakh, to match China’s wide-ranging transformation across the border, are finally becoming a reality
  2. A much-criticised policy after the humiliation of 1962 war had resulted in India deliberately neglecting infrastructure
  3. This was even as China had transformed the mountainous and disputed border into a showcase of its economic might with all weather roads running up to frontline military posts
  4. The process of force enhancement from the Indian side was put in place over the last 5 year

Way forward on restoring Stilwell Road

  1. Despite its concerns, India has toned down the two concerns because of the Look East policy
  2. The process of advancing the strategy requires the stability of northern India, in which a well-functioning road system matters a lot
  3. In line with these developments, Assam has recently started to fix part of the road
  4. China as a more developed country should play a major role in the reconstruction work
  5. All three countries should set up a joint dialogue mechanism, in which their concerns and problems can be put on the negotiating table
  6. Dialogues will also include how to make peace with ethnic insurgents, and the three countries can find out solutions together
  7. The ethnic groups living in this area can seize the chance and prosper

Issues with Stilwell Road in India & Myanmar

  1. Myanmar: Started to renovate another section of the road, but the reconstruction is not smooth
  2. Why? Lack of funds and technologies and the presence of Indian and Myanmarese ethnic insurgents in the area
  3. India: Worried about the reconstruction of the road for two reasons
  4. First, the road starts from Assam, a State where local militants have become increasingly active
  5. Second, China-made products can flood into the Indian market through the road

What is Stilwell Road?

  1. Connects: India, China and Myanmar
  2. Earlier: Called the Ledo Road, but renamed after Stilwell at the suggestion of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek
  3. Ledo: A small town in northern India, is the starting point of this legendary road
  4. From Ledo in Upper Assam to Kunming in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the road is 1,800-km-long
  5. It is obvious that the road that connects China, India and Myanmar bears economic significance for South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia

Beijing calls for restoration of Stillwell Road

  1. Context: Chinese media reports on restoring the Stilwell Road
  2. Chinese media: India, China and Myanmar should establish a joint dialogue mechanism to restore the Stilwell Road to revitalise trade in the region
  3. China: Completed the reconstruction of the section from Kunming to the Sino-Myanmese border and connected the road to China’s well-developed road system
  4. Myanmar: Accomplished restoration of the section from the Sino-Myanmese border to Myitkyina, with China’s help
  5. India: However, the sections from Myanmar to India and within India are barely usable & some parts have already been deserted due to bad conditions

India eases curbs on conference visas for China

  1. India has removed conference visas for Chinese participants from the prior referral category
  2. China has, on several occasions, pressed India for lifting restrictions on conference and research visas
  3. It was a major hindrance for the Chinese to come here and share technological advancements and strategies
  4. The timing of the move is seen as an attempt to soften the atmosphere in the run-up to the meetings of the NSG in Vienna

India, China agree to advance ongoing boundary negotiations- II

  1. China also agreed to advance the ongoing boundary negotiations under the Special Representatives mechanism
  2. Also resolved to take actions to maintain peace and tranquillity in the boundary regions
  3. Other agreements: For strengthening cooperation in investment, trade and tourism
  4. China has shown its interest in India’s flagship schemes such as Digital India and Make in India
  5. It might also invest in the Smart Cities project
  6. Tourism: China has agreed to accommodate more Indian tourists to visit Kailash Mansarovar via the Nathu La pass into Tibet

India, China agree to advance ongoing boundary negotiations- I

  1. Context: India and China agree upon issues including nuclear energy and boundary negotiations
  2. President: India aims to rapidly expand its civilian nuclear programme in line with the country’s energy needs
  3. China agreed to strengthen cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
  4. Earlier: Chinese spokespersons had opposed India on joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group without signing the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)

India-China engagement in multilateral institutions

  1. Context: President Pranab Mukherjee on a four-day visit to China
  2. G20: Institutions such as G20 have seen greater engagement by India and China and these have been beneficial overall
  3. WTO: India had welcomed China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organisation in 1995
  4. India: Has always welcomed engagement with Beijing in multi-lateral institutions
  5. Nuclear Suppliers Group: Mr. Mukherjee’s visit to China comes at a time when Beijing has reiterated that India’s inclusion in NSG is contingent upon India signing the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty

Cardinal principle of Sino-Indian relations

  1. Context: President Pranab Mukherjee on a four-day visit to China
  2. The cardinal principle: The recognition that bilateral differences need to be reduced and ways to expand areas of agreement multiplied
  3. Both countries have managed to do so substantially, especially since the 2008 global financial crisis, by engaging each other in bilateral and multilateral fora

President praises diaspora for improving Sino-Indian ties

  1. Context: President Pranab Mukherjee on a four-day visit to China
  2. Praise: He appreciated the work of the Indian diaspora in China in developing Sino-Indian ties
  3. The work of the diaspora, many engaged in various economic sectors, has added new dimensions to the already expanding relations between India and China
  4. He called them unofficial ambassadors of the country & the representatives of a multi-party democratic system

China, India capable of solving disputes, Beijing tells U.S.

  1. Context: A Chinese top official asked U.S. to respect the efforts by China and India to resolve their boundary dispute peacefully
  2. China: The two nations are wise enough to deal with it
  3. The Chinese side is committed to safeguarding peace and tranquillity of the border areas between China and India and resolving the boundary question through negotiation
  4. Background: Chinese statement comes after the Pentagon accused Beijing of deploying more troops along the Sino-India borders
  5. Pentagon report also warned of increasing Chinese military presence in various parts of the world, particularly in Pakistan

India wants UN to declare more JeM men as terrorists

  1. Context: India’s bid to get declared JeM operatives as terrorists by UN
  2. India is ready with cases of other JeM individuals to place before the panel
  3. Background: China had recently put a technical hold on declaing JeM leader Masood Azar as terrorist by UN

About China holding back terrorist status

  1. Background: Recently China had put technical hold on Masood Azar being declared as terrorist
  2. It also said that the issue should be decided by concerned parties (Ind-Pak)
  3. Indian stand: JeM is known to have interests beyond South Asia and was listed as a terrorist group by the U.N. in 2001 due to its linkages with al-Qaeda and Taliban
  4. And by siding with Pakistan, China is turning a multilateral issue into a bilateral one given that the

China wants ‘fair’ solution to border dispute

  1. Context: Chinese Foreign Ministry on India-China border dispute
  2. Statement: China and India should meet each other halfway to reach a fair and reasonable political solution to the border dispute acceptable to both sides
  3. Indication: Beijing’s willingness to make concessions on the vexed issue

India-China military hotline likely

  1. Hotline: India and China are close to a breakthrough in establishing a hotline between the two military headquarters
  2. CBMs: It is a part of an effort to improve border management through a new round of confidence building measures (CBMs)
  3. India: Having a coordinated line on terrorism is in the interest of both India and China
  4. India is keen to step up its interaction with Beijing as engaging China more will resolve many of the issues

China responds cautiously to Indo-US logistics pact

  1. Context: India’s decision ‘in principle’ of signing a logistics support agreement with the US
  2. China: India is an influential country in the world and has been upholding independent diplomatic policy
  3. India will make up its diplomatic policies based on its own interests
  4. The subject could be taken up during Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to Beijing
  5. Omission: Earlier China criticised Carter’s decision to drop Beijing from the itinerary of his Asia visit

India, China argue over Masood Azhar

  1. Context: India’s move to add Maulana Masood Azhar to international list of terrorist faced Chinese opposition at the UN
  2. Beijing’s response: they had not dismissed India’s move to bring a ban on Azhar. but as the information provided by India to the UN was inadequate, placed a ‘technical hold’— a temporary measure
  3. India’s accusation: China discriminating among different kinds of terrorists (think of Pak angle)
  4. Who is Azhar?: head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed mastermind of Pathankot terror attacks
  5. Azhar was also chief organiser of the Pakistani jihadist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in early 90s

China blocks bid to block Masood Azar

  1. Context: China once again foiled India’s bid at UN to ban Masood Azar, clinging to its pro-Pakistan stance
  2. Reason: Masood Azhar does not qualify to be nailed as a terrorist to face UN sanctions as his case did not meet the Security Council’s requirements
  3. Masood Azar: JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind

‘Closer Nepal-China ties need not worry India’

  1. News: Nepal’s expanding relations with China should not irritate India, a senior leader of Nepal said
  2. Context: Nepal want to establish relations with both the neighbouring countries [China and India] on the basis of equality, which should not cause irritation
  3. Relevance: Statement came in, as agreements inked by Nepal with China during the ongoing visit of Prime Minister K.P.S. Oli
  4. Bilateral cooperation deals with China are highly significant which help achieving long-term socioeconomic development goals to Nepal on its own

China evades response to presence of its troops in PoK

  1. Context: Recent reports of presence of PLA troops at a forward post in the PoK
  2. News: Chinese Foreign ministry has denied the incident
  3. Background: India has conveyed its protest to China on the China-Pakistan Economic corridor, as it goes through PoK along the Karakoram Highway
  4. Initiative: India and China have established Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination along the LAC to discuss the issue of incursions and aggressive border patrols

India may ease visa norms for China

India is all set to overhaul its security cooperation agreement with China and further liberalise visa norms for the neighbouring country.

  1. MoU signed in 2005 between the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Public Security, People’s Republic of China, is being revisited to expand its scope.
  2. The MoU was signed for exchange of security-related information to combat terrorism.
  3. The new agreement will factor in contemporary global threats like the Islamic State, as many Chinese nationals are also learnt to have joined the extremist outfit.
  4. India-China share experience on anti-hijacking, hostage-like situations and coordinate positions on anti-terrorism endeavours at regional and multilateral levels.
  5. China is among the top five nations which have expressed interest in doing business in India.

India and China link Home Ministries to counter terror

India and China have decided to establish a ministerial mechanism for the first time, linking the 2 home ministries

  1. It will fill the vital gap in the overall institutional architecture of the bilateral ties.
  2. Both countries decided to exchange information on terrorist activities, terrorist groups and linkages.
  3. The topics include law enforcement, cyber crimes, terrorism, trans-border crimes and drug trafficking.
  4. Communication lines would be opened to ensure information flows on aircraft hijacking and hostage situations.

In India, Li will ink pacts on river and culture

The Vice-President of China will sign agreements marking cooperation on better river water management and cultural exchanges.

  1. He will preside over the renewal of the 2013 memorandum of understanding on joint water management.
  2. China have a particular interest in Gupta empire, as it was during this period that the Nalanda university prospered which later on hosted Xuanzang during his visit to India.
  3. There will be renewal of the MoU on smooth sharing of hydrological data related to the common Himalayan rivers.
  4. Water scarcity is a big issue in China whereas the north-eastern States of India have abundant river water so hydrological exchanges are mainly aimed at emergency planning to help India.

Implications of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for India

  1. (+ives) – Economic dev. will unite the factions within Pak & that would increase regional stability.
  2. Commitments to China will put pressure on surging of Radical groups, India needs constraint on Fundamentalism in Pakistan.
  3. China and Pak have started a joint initiative to tackle terrorist activities around the Xinhua province. This will further reduce terrorism in PoK.
  4. (-ives) – POK, an Indian territory will used in CPEC, it is a challenge to sovereignty of India.
  5. Chinese naval vessels may frequently confront Indian Naval vessels due to the Gwadar Port.
  6. Influence of China and Pakistan will increase in Afghanistan which is bad for India’s investments there.

China says India’s fears of military base in Maldives unfounded

  1. China tagged India’s anxiety as baseless after Male approved a law to allow foreigners to buy land in the country.
  2. A senior Chinese military officer said that China did not own any military base abroad, nor did it seek military expansion.
  3. Maldivian President tried to placate the opposition and neighboring countries mentioning that Maldives is looking at projects like Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands or Dubai’s Palm Islands and not at strategic projects.
  4. The Maldives will now allow foreigners who invest more than US$1 billion to own land in perpetuity, provided 70 per cent of it is reclaimed from the sea.




Mandarin lessons for ITBP

  1. In an effort to bridge the communication gap between ITBP men and China’s PLA, the ITBP men are being taught Mandarin and Tibetan languages.
  2. There have been occasions where language barrier has caused friction between ITBP personnel and PLA.
  3. The need to learn Tibetan stemmed from the fact that a large number of locals, like grazers and villagers, move around in the vicinity of the LAC.

It was Chinese drone which Pak shot down – China acknowledged. Why?

  1. China has accepted that the drone shot down by Pakistan in PoK is of Chinese origin, quashing Pakistan’s claim that it was an Indian drone.
  2. Why has China done so?
  3. No country readily accepts that its drones are so weak that someone has managed to shoot one down.

Is this a tactical shift in foreign policy by China to integrate South Asian nations and further its one belt initiative?

Can we expect China and even Russia to start playing a greater direct role from now on in India-Pakistan affairs?

China to participate in Indian International Fleet Review

  1. Despite maritime friction, China will participate in Indian International Fleet Review (IFR) to be held in Feb’16 in Vishakhapatnam.
  2. India and China will exchange visits of naval ships and hold PASSEX [passing exercises] and SAR [search and rescue] exercises.


Lakhvi’s day at UN

China has blocked India’s attempts to ask questions about the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi at the United Nations.

Lakhvi, who is one of the masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was released from custody in Pakistan.

The Problem with UN:

  1. Its procedures are bureaucratic, defying what is needed to combat terrorism.
  2. For example, there is an ombudsperson to whom appeals can be made for de-listing from a list of terrorists.
  3. Even terrorists can appeal to this office. China just had to push a file to block India.

Indo – China: Focus on LAC clarification

India slaps anti-dumping duty on steel imports from China, Malaysia

Some issues with China still unresolved

Oil & gas exploration work in South China sea will need Beijing’s nod

China doesn’t recognise ‘illegal’ McMahon Line

China stalls India’s proposal at UN

China sets up largest gold sector fund for nations along ancient Silk Road

China to actively fund in Pakistan

[op-ed snap] India and China in a multipolar world

China hits back over South China Sea

  1. China and its two main detractors in the South China Sea — Vietnam & Philippines.
  2. China accused them over illegal constructions & reclamations for Spratly islands, called by China as Nansha islands.
  3. Beijing says its construction in Spratly Islands is within the scope of its sovereignty.

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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