India is facing challenge of China’s aggressive stance but this challenge has also provided India an opportunity to strengthen itself internationally and domestically. Discuss.

The relation of China-India is indeed a peculiar one; though sharing interactions for over 3000 years, we know little about each other & this can be attributed to the present misgivings.

Pinch Points with China:

  • Occupied region of Aksai-Chin & Shaksgham glacier.
  • Border issues in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Clash in Arunachal Pradesh & issue of stapled visa.
  • Human rights violation in Tibet, Taiwan & Hongkong.
  • Incarceration of Uyghur muslims in Xinjiang province.
  • Bids to foil India’s efforts to designate Lakhvi & Masood Azhar as international terrorists.
  • Aggressive stance in the IOR (strings of pearls).
  • China’s BRI & use of debt-trap diplomacy. Also, CPEC and Hambantota port in Sri Lanka.
  • Inciting neighbours such as Nepal to take on India. Even Bhutan followed a soft-glove approach in Doklam stand-off.
  • Opposition to UNSC reforms, IPR issues & disregard for trade laws.

Opportunities for India:

  • India acting as a net security provider in IOR via SAGAR initiative.
  • QUAD grouping of Australia, India, Japan & USA for naval & maritime security.
  • Sri Lanka still a firm ally of India.
  • Blue-Dot network to counter China’s policies.
  • Black listing of Pakistan by FATF despite China opposing the move.
  • Aatmanirbhar Bharat & reduction of China imports.

Way forward:

India must utilize the opportunity to strengthen itself only then power balance can happen and peace can prevail in the region.

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