I would like to write in this article what I think China’s strategy will be in their ongoing confrontations with the nations of the world including India. Please keep in mind that I am only a part time blogger who has read a few books. Decisions in these matters need to be taken by qualified experts – I am just weighing in with some bits of advice.
The first assumption I will make is that the Chinese will consult the teachings of the military strategist, Sun Tzu, for a solution to the challenges they are facing. The main principle laid down by Sun Tzu is – Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
This being the case what may possibly be of use to the Chinese in breaking India’s resistance? To know that we need to examine the facts on the ground.
- Due to globalisation China is now the factory of the world.
- The Per Capita Income of China is 18,170 PPP dollars whereas that of India is only 7680 PPP dollars.
- The GDP of China is 13.61 lakh crore USD whereas that of India is only 2.72 Lakh crore USD. China can invest much more money on building its armed forces and also its population is larger than India’s. As such they have the edge over us in any long drawn out military engagement.
- This also means that the Chinese are capable of hurting the Indian economy much more than India can hurt the Chinese economy.
- Th trade surplus of China in 2019 was as much is 421.9 billion USD. This means that China is adding more than 400 billion every year to its war chest. This can be used to buy strategic businesses or high tech businesses, rig elections in other countries, and build its military.
- There is an enormous role played by big business is the economy and political affairs of all countries including both India and China.
- Big business exists to earn profits for its shareholders. That is its raison d’etre. The CEOs of any big business will look to increase or at least maintain the current profits. China being the factory of the world has a huge leverage over these businesses as no other country can give them ease of doing business, cheap and good infrastructure and cheap labour on as large as scale as the Chinese.
- We can expect the Chinese to make use of this leverage in order of breaking the enemy’s resistance (i.e India’s resistance) if it comes to a confrontation. India – as an underdeveloped country – needs massive amounts of investment to grow its economy and lift it people out of poverty.
- As with businesses, so also with politicians. Politicians in any democracy need economic growth and plenty for jobs for their voters if they are to be re-elected. With China being the factory of the world, they have enormous clout over politicians in democracies all over the world.
- Because of the nuclear deterrent and also because the Chinese have no interest in ruling India, we can assume that the Chinese will not invade India for the purposes of occupation. They are only interested in claiming the territories that they had once governed.
These are the facts on the ground that, possibly, the Chinese will try to exploit in any confrontation with India or other nations of the world.
I am not sure what India can do in the short term to counter the pressure that the Chinese will use. I can only mention in passing Deng Xiaoping’s maxim- Hide your strength, bide your time.
In the long term the only solution I can think of is to grow the Indian economy so that it is comparable with China’s. This is the ultimate and only deterrent to maintain independence and freedom.
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