China is going to host the 9th BRICS Summit from September 3 to 5 in its port city Xiamen in the Fujian Province days after the border impasse between India and China saw an uneasy withdrawal. The solution to the India China border row in the Doklam region, known as the Doklam Standoff, came 73 days after the hostilities had begun in June.
Yes, the solution is contended as India says it has not compromised on its stand while China claims its victory saying it forced India to withdraw. Anyway, India was composed and behaved like a mature and responsible superpower while China broke every norm of diplomacy behaving childishly, which included incessant threats to India of war and dire consequences.
And the world knows it was China which had to finally buckle under the international pressure, led by global powers like the US. It was clear from the day one that both China and India could not afford a war because it would be detrimental for their economies and so for the ruling regimes back home.
China boasted its 1962 supremacy when it had defeated India in war but its strategists very conveniently forgot that it was 2017 and not 1962 when China’s interests were very much dependent on global economy and geopolitics, unlike 1962 when it was an isolated country trying to stand on its own.
And India is now a much stronger military and economic power, even if it still cannot compete China on both parameters. It is, in fact, a market that both China and the US, the two larger economies than India when seen on purchasing power parity (PPP), need desperately. Also, the debate ends about any comparison between military strength of India and China with the fact that India is a proven nuclear power with inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in its arsenal.
Another major reason that pushed China to accept India’s resolute stand was this BRICS Summit which the China is chairing this time. It is well known that China uses its state machinery and every multilateral platform where it is a stakeholder to further its vested interests and propaganda.
Though BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the Chinese hegemony wants to portray it as a China driven platform which is going to be the alternative to west driven organizations like G20 or NATO. But the Doklam standoff was threatening it as India’s prime minister Narendra Modi was non-committal to confirm his presence there.
That would be a severe blow to the event as besides China, India is the only other country in the bloc which is doing well on economy and its presence was a must for a ‘shining China’ presence. An Indian absence at the Summit level would mean the event had failed, something that China, a propagandist nation, could not have afforded.
China is already calling its president Xi Jinping a diplomatic pioneer, an answer to the west and is using the upcoming BRICS Summit to promote that, along with its pet One Belt One Road initiative to develop economic corridors in Asia, Africa and Europe, something that India is opposed to as one of such corridors, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that is legally India’s.