In recent years, China has been increasingly resorting to ‘coercive, assertive practices’ to achieve its goals in the Asia-Pacific region but at Xiamen, the desire to make the BRICS summit successful ahead of the congress of its ruling Communist Party appears to have influenced Beijing’s decision-making process on Doklam and its position on Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.
India’s quiet diplomacy with China has helped in resolving the Doklam standoff and BRICS nations naming Pakistan-based terror groups in a joint declaration against terrorism.
The twin developments within a week signals a diplomatic victory for New Delhi and an adjustment in Beijing’s stance in line with current geopolitical trends, experts said.
China’s attempt to make the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa —Summit successful ahead of the once-in-five-years congress of its ruling Communist Party in October appears to have influenced Beijing’s decision-making process on Doklam and its position on Pakistan-based terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) according people familiar with the Asian giant.
A key way understand China is to understand Chinese culture,” an expert on Chin said. “Face loss is not accepted in Chinese culture and considered a setback. Under such, circumstances Beijing wanted a successful BRICS Summit as a host.”
Hard negotiations last week led by top officials of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) helped add the names of LeT and JeM along with other international terror groups such as Taliban, ISS and Al-Qaida in a BRICS declaration. Now, the ball is in China’s court to agree to name JeM chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist by the United Nations after having thwarted New Delhi’s efforts to get that done multiple times in recent months.
How do China shape its Pakistan policy remains to be seen as some Chinese scholars are upset with China’s negotiating team at the BRICS.
Forceful arguments, experts said, compelled China to agree to India’s position on Pakistan-based terror group with Beijing conscious of a successful BRICS summit.
The mention of anti-India terror outfits in the Xiamen joint declaration is significant as China had opposed the inclusion of these terror organisations in the Goa summit declaration last year.
Two other factors may have shaped Chinese decision-making process — Russian influence over Beijing to keep BRICS spirit intact and rising anti-China sentiments in India during Doklam episode, experts said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held dialogue that went past schedule and talking points, reportedly causing speculations among the Chinese leadership.
Earlier, quiet but firm diplomatic manoeuvres in Delhi and Beijing saw China agreeing to a bilateral withdrawal from Doklam just a week before BRICS Summit.
Explaining the recent Chinese behaviour, a report in Hyderabad-based Centre for Asia Africa Policy Research said, “Lehman moment is staring at China just after it made a Himalayan climb down from its bravado at Doklam in order to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS summit in Xiamen. Its finances are in a mess, and the society is soaked in debt with no quick fixes in sight, according to state and party controlled Chinese media and Hong Kong publications even as the outside world tends to see China’s new Silk Road fixation and offer of liberal investment as sure signs of a gallant white knight in shining armour.
“But the emerging situation is such that the Chinese leadership must make people turn away from domestic mess and be focused to rally behind the party flag. Only a threat to the integrity and sovereignty of the country can become a rallying point… In recent years, China has been increasingly resorting to ‘coercive, assertive practices’ to achieve its goals in the Asia-Pacific region.”
–by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury in The Economic Times, Sept 6, 2017