2020 has not been the best year for the whole world. But it has been worse for the Chinese. With the spread of the virus the world has witnessed a growing anti china sentiment. For most people, the term “Indo-Pacific” simply refers to the vast geographical area that spans the Pacific Ocean and the Indian subcontinent. But it has also come to represent a geopolitical concept, and a new way of looking at world power relationships. All major powers have signalled that the concept of Asia-Pacific is becoming outdated, and that Indo-Pacific better fits the international order in the 21st century with its growing strategic competitions. The shift from Asia-pacific to Indo-pacific is nothing but a clear move to exclude China and condemn its notorious activities in the South China sea.
The long standing trade war between China and the US has had a tremendous impact on the geopolitics of the world. Although the since the US presidential elections the equations have changed, but the recent news indicate there won’t be much change in present situation.
Coming to the topic, the Indo-china relationship have reached a new low this year. May onwards both the countries have been involved in extensive border conflicts. The Indian government has banned more than 200 Chinese apps citing data privacy concerns. The app bans although have been propagated as move towards boycotting Chinese products in India. The latest development in the scene has come up with the news of China’s plan to build a major hydropower dam over Brahmaputra.
Yan Zhiyong, chairman of the Power Construction Corp of China, said China will “implement hydropower exploitation in the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River” (the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra) and the project could serve to maintain water resources and domestic security, the Global Times reported. The news has created a stir in both India and Bangladesh.
The dam building is an issue for India as the release of water during the monsoons can flood the Brahmaputra. China has used water as a weapon in the past too. Both India and China have signed a memorandum of understanding for sharing hydrological data. This data is crucial for flood control and water planning in India. In 2017 at height of the Doklam crisis china had refused to share hydrological data resulting in flooding in Assam. A number of rivers running in India originate from China giving China a upper hand in matters related to water.
In the background more and more troops are being sent to reinforce the position in the conflict zone. The major move has come with the deployment of one of the worlds finest commandos – The MARCOS. The MARCOS are highly trained and feared in the world. Most of their operations are classified. They have gained reputation as ‘Dadiwala Fauj’ or the bearded army among the terrorists in Kashmir.
The recent developments aside, there is an evident change seen in India’s attitude towards China. With a history of 70 years of appeasement foreign policy India is finally showing a brave face. It has successfully gained a positive international reputation and turned the tides in its favor. It has proved that it does not fear Beijing and has put its national interests first.
Stay tuned. Stay safe!