Wang Yi In India: Is India Ready For A Reset

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“A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk, and Xi is drunk on power” ~ Insightful Geopolitics

Chinese foreign minister and State Councilor Wang Yi was to visit Nepal from 25-27 March 2022. He is also likely to visit Bhutan and Bangladesh after that. However, as per the latest information, Wang has already landed in India on 24th March.

China is a country of contrasts, and its leaders personify contradictions. On the one hand, its foreign minister sent a request to visit India, and in the same breath, he compared Jammu and Kashmir with Palestine at the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) meeting.

Nevertheless, it would be the first trip by any senior Chinese leader to India after the bloody standoff in Galwan Valley in May 2020. It is not that Indian and Chinese leaders have not met. Indian foreign minister Dr. S Jaishankar has held several rounds of talks with Wang on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Moscow and Dushanbe.

So why is Wang Yi visiting India? Is he self-invited? What is his plan? Does China think that such optics would put the relationship back on track?

The Opportunist China

China has been observing the exchanges between India and the USA over India’s neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict with utmost keenness. China is delighted to have India on the same page as far as the Russia-Ukraine conflict goes. This also allowed them to take a dig at the United States. Without naming the USA, Wang had recently stated that some forces have always sought to stoke tensions between China and India.

So why is Wang in India? Chinese President Xi Jinping recognizes two facts. Firstly, American President Joe Biden and his team are poking and pressurizing India from time to time, which can be exploited. Secondly, this is the first time in years India and China have agreed on any issue, and this opportunity can’t be wasted. Therefore the most significant motive of Wang’s visit would be to confuse India and sow a wedge between the two countries.

Beware Of The Chinese Carrying Empty Promises

As one should be beware of Greeks bearing gifts, so should Indians be beware of the Chinese proposing empty promises. Indian leadership should clearly understand two facts. If the West has pushed Ukraine into harm’s way, then it is China that has made Russia take this dire step. CCP hasn’t grown out of its revolution and guerrilla warfare days. They continue to hide and strike from behind. This time they are firing from Russia’s shoulder, and India should not become part two of this gameplan.

To elaborate further on this, one has to study Xi Jinping. He is modern-day Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier during the 1962 India-China war. As per declassified CIA paper, Zhou deceived the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on several occasions through a strategy of assurances and intimidation. Zhou went back on many of his promises or presented them opaquely. His intentions were clear; he conveyed to Nehru that China is a great power and will punish India at will.

In 2018 when Indian Prime Minister Modi was undertaking a river cruise with Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was undertaking one of the 326 transgressions into Indian territory. The very next year, in 2019, while Xi was sharing swing space with Modi in Mahabalipuram, promising to resolve the contentious issues and improve trade ties, a contingent of 1000 PLA soldiers were intruding in Eastern Ladakh’s Chumar sector.

Despite all that, 2020 was designated the ‘Year of India-China Cultural and People to People Exchanges.’ PLA took the theme to heart and did people-to-people exchange by intruding into Indian territory and backstabbing unarmed Indian army soldiers in May 2020. No Indian would forgive and forget the ‘Galwan Valley’ betrayal.

September 2020, five-point agreement with China was to resolve the eastern Ladakh border dispute. Quick disengagement of troops, avoidance of provocative activities, complying with all agreements and protocols in border management, and restoring peace were part of this agreement. However, within months of the agreement, the Chinese troops tried to enter Naku La in north Sikkim. Indian soldiers once again displayed utmost discipline and restraint. They pushed back the PLA patrolling party, though the Indian Army was in a position to send body bags back to Beijing.

The Chinese Objectives

Ethics and leadership are the first casualties of absolute power, and today Xi has absolute power” ~ Insightful Geopolitics

Some naive observers reported that Wang is in India to discuss trade and lifting the ban on the Chinese apps. That is not the case. Wang’s visit is part of a bigger game plan. China is ready to go to any length to increase its circle of influence while damaging the American hold.

On 1st January 2022, China officially took over the BRICS chairmanship and will host a series of activities, including the 14th BRICS Summit. Therefore the first aim of Wang’s visit is to persuade Prime Minister Modi to attend the summit personally. China knows it very well that without Modi, the summit has no value attached.

The second aim of the visit is to read India’s mind vis-a-vis the Quad and the United States. One reality has dawned upon China that in the coming years, India is the only nation in Eurasia that would emerge as a challenger. Therefore China is desperate to find a weakness in India’s relationship with its partner countries. Now it is up to Indian leadership. They must keep China’s true nature in mind while dealing with any of their leaders.

The Indian Objectives

India’s sole aim is to live in tranquility on all its border with its neighbors, and China is one of them. It is also clear that Indian principles do not conform to the Chinese objectives.

The USA has acknowledged India’s security and energy concerns. Presently India is getting waver on oil import from Russia, and soon it could be S-400. The recent visit of US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland further throws some light on the issue. She stated that the US could help India find its Russian weapon components from other sources.

Is Indian MoD’s list of 107 banned imported weapon components announced on 24th March indication of a new beginning? The banned weapon component list includes T-90 and T-72 tanks, BMP-II infantry combat vehicles, warships, submarines, and anti-tank missiles, all imported from Russia. India would produce these components indigenously with a timeline ranging from 2025 to 2027.

So what would happen until 2025-27? Would India continue to import components from Russia or take help from Poland and Georgia? Both these countries have experience with upgrading tanks and armored vehicles indigenously.

From the foregoing, it is amply clear that India has no military dependence on China. However, India heavily depends upon Chinese imports in the civilian realm. The government of India has to layout a road map to overcome that deficiency at war footing. India cannot remain hostage to the mood swings of the Chinese leadership and the ‘Punish India’ attitude.

Visit of the Japanese Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi’s interaction with his Australian and British counterparts showcases India’s importance in the ‘Quad+.’ Russia-Ukraine conflict is an actual present-day reality. However, rather than getting bogged down with present-day occurrences, India has to start getting ready for the next 50 years, and China is the most significant impediment to India’s long-term dreams.

China: A Country Without A Soul

The 16th-century German folklore has a fictitious soulless devil called ‘Mephistopheles’ or, in short, Mephisto. He is a cultivated and cynical supporter of materialism and nihilism. Ironically, although he depicts evil, he can also be an unconscious force for good. Mephisto fails because he cannot understand or appreciate the positive sides of human nature. It is mesmerizing how close China’s character is to Mephistopheles.

India must keep its cards close to the chest, and the meeting with Wang should restrict to areas of mutual interests. Wang Yi is here to fulfill his bosses’ dream, and there is no place for India in that dream. The earlier India understands these facts and carves out its independent path, the better and safer future generations will be.

Chinese promises are like the Chinese products; they will last until the time you are willing to believe in them.” ~ Insightful Geopolitics

36 thoughts

  1. Absolutely to the point. Like you brought it out, China must be jumping with joy at the ineptness of Biden and his administration in dealing with India in the present crisis. Probably saner counsel will prevail once the dust settles. India’s problem is two fold. The Americans cannot be trusted to stay the course in their relations with India while China is outrightly untrustworthy.

    1. Nicely analysed and very well presented. Hope this rings the bell in the ears of our policy makers.

  2. Fantastic article on Mephistopheles China!!!!
    This will be a real test for our Diplomatic policies…..in today’s world scenario, and this could carve India’s future….

  3. Very well analysed & articulated! Chinese character is unique. One cannot trust them without verifying at every step.

    1. Mephisto used to alternate between the villain and a supporting character in Garth stories (Indrajal Comics). This mephisto is indeed incapable of supporting anybody

  4. As usual a great insight into the Indo-Sino relationship. Important aspects like Quad+, Defence equipment import, deceitful character of China and Modi-Xi relationship are some of important takeaways for India’s higher politicians n beaurocrecy. An educative and praiseworthy article by Sandeep.

  5. Thanks for the post, although a number of things need quick correction to make this blog more credible for an Indo-Pac audience.

    Firstly some more historical context, on how
    India subdued China along Doklam clash in 2017, fighting along Bhutanese forces

    How India gave a bloody nose to the Chinese in May, 2020 Galwan Clash. Where Indians killed over 45 chinese soldiers, which Chinese had to Heli-lift in body bags, and this was confirmed by Russia, American & Australian sources. Also by former PLA generals.

    India banned over 250 Chinese apps, and taking due measures to keep reducing trade deficit to a trivial amount. Progress has been made in last few years, and much more to come regardless of the geopolitical events of the near future.

    It also needs to be mentioned that militarising QUAD is on India’s tap. This would put severe pressure on Chinese along with their supplies and global trade. India has won every conflict with China after 1962 political defeat by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

    India’s LAC mirror deployment strategy as well as new ToT partnerships that India has co-signed with other world powers with the likes of France, Russia, USA, S.Korea, Japan, Israel and more.

    Also, India’s continued weapon sale of lethal missile systems to Philippines, Taiwan and to more ASEAN nations in near future is only going to make the naval conflict far more expensive for the PLA.

    India welcomes all diplomats, it does not mean we turn a blind eye to their intentions of aggressions. India is well prepared and is only only forging more strategic partnerships to punish China for any Himalayan adventurism.

    You also need to remind your audience, that PLA has not won a single solo conflict in last 50 years, and Indian Armed Forces haven’t lost a single solo conflict in last 50 years. So level of military preparedness is much different across the sides. That will mountain warfare extremely excruciating for the PLA.

    1. Thank you so much for your informed and detailed review. All those details could have been included in the article; however, people lose interest after 1000 words and stop reading after 1500. Therefore this format was more suitable.

  6. 💜 A Persons “true character” is found in their Childhood and Conditioned UpBringing EveryOne; it’s NEVER!!! The Substance it’s ALWAYS The Mood

    …💛💚💙…

  7. India has set the terms! China must revert back to pre 2020 status. The border standoff between the two countries still continues. The QUAD is the new irritant for China. Another effort to put a wedge in the QUAD! Economically, Diplomatically and Strategically India now is a force to reckon with in the Asian continent.
    An informative article by Sandeep.

  8. Your assessment about China is really not understood easily because they say one thing at one place and repeat something else in other place. This calls for care and caution on our part to be very careful while analyzing their real intentions. Though Chinese FM is India yet what would be the outcome of this visit and engagement between India and China is anybody’s guess. There are problems in Ladakh and other parts of LAC while Indian and Chinese are eyeball to eyeball position.

    While parleys continue between two countries but one thing is sure, we have to have defence prepared to meet any eventuality. Seemingly, India has leverage now than ever and have to remain wary with visit of FM or any other leader notwithstanding.

    MILITARY clashes do not suit both to India and China since the global situation is highly surcharged. Till such time border issues are resolved normal relationship between the two countries would only be a wishful thinking, visits by FM or any other leader notwithstanding.

    With regards,

    HARBANS

    1. Thank you so much, Harbans. War is never a solution; it destroys both parties even though one wins it. That has been Indian stand for millennia and would remain so in future. However, being peaceful doesn’t mean being weak; this should be known to all our adversaries else; they should be reminded about it from time to time.

      1. Fact remains, no country should consider us weak in taking decisions. This may either be about taking sides or having some say in the international sphere. But one thing should not happen, nobody should consider us pushovers. The way American President mentioned India a few days before is really not appropriate. Regards.

  9. “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
    If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
    let us ambush the innocent without reason;
    like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
    we shall find all precious goods,
    we shall fill our houses with plunder;
    throw in your lot among us;
    we will all have one purse —
    my son, do not walk in the way with them;
    hold back your foot from their paths,
    for their feet run to evil,
    and they make haste to shed blood.”

    Proverbs 1:10-16 is good advice for India.
    🙏, c.a.

  10. Dear Sandeep,
    Very well articulated! History has shown that China can never be trusted. Nevertheless, China very well knows that a nuclear war with India is not possible. Their strategy of eating the adjacent regions in small chunks is well known. This has to be guarded against. However, their discipline and shrewd thinking has put them in a position of power after the US. They (PLA spies) have penetrated all the top universities of the world including MIT, Cambridge, ANU etc and have downloaded the latest technology available in the world.
    Regards
    MCV Jose

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