Daily Editorial Analysis for 11th August 2020

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Isolating China, as proposition and the reality


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management


  • K. Narayanan, a former National Security Adviser, analyzes India’s approach to isolate China as a countermeasure to China’s military aggressiveness along the LAC.


  • In the light of Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector, India had adopted both military as well as non-military countermeasures. The non-military measures included efforts to isolate China in the realm of global trade and investment, international relations.
  • India has repeatedly reiterated that the state of the border and the future of its bilateral ties with China are closely related.

Key Details:

Choosing between China and the U.S.:

  • As relations between the United States and China continue to deteriorate, there has been the realignment of forces, with the U.S. and China leading opposite camps. Most countries have been hesitant to take sides.
  • India’s attempt to isolate China would lead to a perception of India aligning with the U.S.

Chinese economic prowess:

  • Despite the expansionist attitude displayed by China and its utter disregard for international organizations, hardly any country in Asia is willing to openly confront China.
  • Despite growing anti-China sentiments, the world over and repeated calls for an economic boycott of China, some nations have continued to be in favour of continued economic relations with China. Very few nations across the world are willing to risk China’s ire because of strong economic ties that these countries have forged with China over the years. Economic ties are proving way stronger than military and strategic ones.
  • Australia,a member of the Quad (the U.S., Japan, Australia and India), that is widely seen as an anti-China coalition has recently reiterated Australia’s desire for a strong economic engagement with China.
  • The U.K.’sSecretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has recently stated that the U.K. would continue to work with China.
  • Even though the majority of ASEAN countrieshave expressed grave concerns about China’s expansionist tendencies, the ASEAN grouping has never taken sides against the Chinese given the fact that ASEAN happens to be one of China’s biggest trading partners.
  • China’s stranglehold on the global economyhas led to the Chinese confidence in overcoming any calls for an economic boycott.
  • China has been using its economic prowess to increase its influence in Asia and the surrounding areas.
  • Recently, the Chinese Foreign Minister organised a virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This included a proposal for an economic corridor plan with Nepal, styled as the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network,and expanding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan.

India and the neighbourhood:

  • India’s efforts to isolate China seem to be countered by China focusing its attention to garner support among India’s neighboring countries.
  • Pakistan, considered China’s ally, has used the current situation of tense relations between China and India to take a more anti-India stand.
  • India’s relations with Nepal have been deteriorating. China has made headway in enhancing its relations with Nepal.
  • In Sri Lanka, the return of the Rajapaksa’s to power after the recent elections does not augur too well for India-Sri Lanka relations given the pro-China attitudedisplayed by the administration in its previous stint.
  • The strain in India-Bangladesh relationsis a real cause for concern given the previous warm ties between India and Bangladesh.
  • China has also made headway in Iran to an extent, again at India’s expense, with the economic and security partnership between Iran and China.


  • Geo-balancing is not happening to China’s disadvantage. India should recognize this fact and must consider this aspect while planning its future strategy.

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