World View: China's Premier Visits India, Fails to Solve Any Problems

World View: China's Premier Visits India, Fails to Solve Any Problems

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China’s premier visits India, fails to solve any problems
  • China’s Depsang Plain incursion
  • The results of Li Keqiang’s visit to India
  • Syria’s opposition fighters clash with Hezbollah in Lebanon

China’s premier visits India, fails to solve any problems

China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang (L) shakes hands with President Xi Jinping (Getty)
China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang (L) shakes hands with President Xi Jinping (Getty)

With China’s new government in power, led by president Xi Jinping,the new prime minister Li Keqiang chose India as his firstinternational visit, with the nominal objectives of reducingtensions in at least three areas: India/China border disputes,trade and commercial relations, and China-Pakistan relations. Ananalysis from the point of view of India indicates failuresin all three areas.

China’s Depsang Plain incursion

Li Keqiang’s visit to India was overshadowed by a recent incident inthe Depsang Plain region of the border between China and India. OnApril 15, China’s military intruded 19 kilometers past the agreedborder, into the Depsang Plain. The intrusion threatened a 750 squarekm region whose access was blocked by China’s military. According toIndian analysts, China has used this technique frequently during thepast few decades: Use the military to take control of a piece ofIndian territory, then claim “indisputable” sovereignty via somedistant historical claim — the same technique that the Chinese haveused time after time in the South China Sea.

From the Indian point of view, India forced the Chinese to retreat byresorting to diplomatic hardball: Specifically, the Indians threatenedto cancel Li Keqiang’s trip unless the Chinese pulled out, which theydid. One may assume that India’s victory will be short-lived, asChina can return to its previous behavior now that Li’s visit hasended. India Times and The Hindu

The results of Li Keqiang’s visit to India

For the three nominal reasons for Li’s visit to India, littleor nothing was accomplished from the Indian point of view:

  • China refused to commit to a demarcation of the LAC boundary, which would presumably end boundary disputes like the Depsang plains incident, since China evidently wants to continue the technique of military incursions, followed by claims that the captured land is “indisputably” Chinese territory.
  • While trade between China and India has been growing rapidly and exponentially, the trade deficit, in China’s favor, has been growing rapidly and exponentially as well. India exports raw materials to China, and China floods the Indian market with finished goods, thus sharply reducing India’s manufacturing capacity. Li offered nothing to solve this problem, or to open Chinese markets to Indian products.
  • China ships massive amounts of weapons to Pakistan, everything from fighter aircraft to missiles to naval vessels, including a nuclear weapons program. These weapons will be used in India’s approaching “two-front war” — one front being China, the other being Pakistan.

The Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) (New Delhi)

Syria’s opposition fighters clash with Hezbollah in Lebanon

The Syria conflict continues to spill over into Lebanon where, for thefirst time, Syria’s opposition fighters are carrying the fight intoLebanon, in response to last week’s announcement by Hezbollah leaderHassan Nasrallah that Hezbollah fighters would actively fightalongside the Syrian army in Syria. The clashes in Lebanon occur justas it appears that the Syrian army is close to winning a major victoryin Qusair, Syria, where thousands of civilians trapped and are underattack. Al-Jazeera and AP

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