From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : India-China Relations
An annual report from the U.S. Department of Defense describes Chinese leaders’ use of tactics short of armed conflict to further the country’s objectives, citing border conflicts with India and Bhutan among the examples.
Try this question:
Q. What are Non-War Military Activities (NWMA)? Discuss how China is using NWMA as a tool for its overtly ambitious expansionist policy.
Various non-war military tactics
The report describes Non-War Military Activities (NWMA) as one of two kinds of military operations (the other is war) used by the PLA. NWMA can be conducted internationally or domestically and encompass activities in multiple domains.
(1) Provoking armed conflict
- China calibrates its coercive activities to fall below the threshold of provoking conflict with the United States, its allies and partners, or others in the Indo-Pacific region.
- It can notably include operations in which the PLA uses coercive threats and/or violence below the level of armed conflict against states and other actors to safeguard its expansionism.
- These tactics are particularly evident in China’s pursuit of its territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China Seas as well as along its border with India and Bhutan.
(2) Neo-imperialist tools
- China also employs non-military tools coercively, including economic tools during periods of political tensions with countries that China accuses of harming its national interests.
- The Belt and Road Initiative is leading to a greater overseas military presence for China in the guise to protect its economic interests.
(3) Multilateralism as a strategic messaging tool
- The report says that China uses multilateral forums and international organisations to generate new opportunities to expand its influence, strengthen its political influence.
- It promotes strategic messaging that portrays China as a responsible global actor, advances its development interests, and limit outside interference in and criticism of its initiatives.
- The Brazil Russia India China South Africa (BRICS) grouping and Shanghai Cooperation Organization are among those cited as examples of this alleged phenomenon.