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China Factor

What is commonly referred to as the “border dispute” between India and China manifests itself in two distinct and separate areas of contention. One is Aksai Chin, a virtually uninhabited high-altitude desert expanse of about 37,000 square kilometres. The other is what is now the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, a diversely populated hill region with a population of around 1.4 million people spread out over 84,000 square kilometres, much of which China claims as Lower Tibet.

 

The 15th trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China concluded in New Delhi on Monday with many nuanced takeaways embedded in the joint statement of 46 paragraphs. Reiterating that the forum “is not directed against any other country”, the statement underlined the importance of the establishment of a “just and equitable international order based on international law and featuring mutual respect, fairness, [and] justice in international relations”.

 

When a rising power challenges an incumbent one, war often follows. That prospect, known as the Thucydides trap after the Greek historian who first described it, looms over relations between China and the West, particularly America. So, increasingly, does a more insidious confrontation. Even if China does not seek to conquer foreign lands, many people fear that it seeks to conquer foreign minds.

 

This week, the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China met for their fifteenth ministerial trilateral meeting in New Delhi. Russia was represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, India by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and China by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. In a lengthy joint statement released after the meeting, the three sides stated their interest, concern, and objectives on a range of issues.

 

The president of Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, couldn’t have asked for anything more from his Beijing visit that turned into a love-fest.

 

China and India agreed on Monday to work together to build trust as tensions between the two Asian giants continued to simmer along their shared border.

 

China’s growing assertiveness on the world stage is blindingly obvious - but the best way to deal with it is less clear.

 

The Indian Army official statement has said that it was on a training mission and strayed across the LAC in the Sikkim area. But what is awaited is the report about whether it crashed on its own or was brought down by the Chinese. The next issue is whether it was a Searcher Mk II or a Heron – both imported from Israel.

 

China clocked in GDP growth of 6.9% in the first three quarters of 2017, and is set to end the year at 6.8%. But Peking University finance professor Michael Pettis believes that the figure is no indication of the actual state of the Chinese economy.

 

Much has been said in the conversation on China-U.S. relations so far, but the one topic that hasn’t been brought up often enough, according to Henry Paulson Jr., is the areas where the countries are working together.

 


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