China Face off: time to reinvent India China ties

Summary of the main points arising from the discussion in the virtual conference on the current India China standoff organised jointly by BVSS and ARSP on 25 June 2020.

Stressing that it is time to reinvent India China Ties, former Foreign Secretary Amb Shashank said that India needs to have a long term vision to tackle China which is aggressively working on becoming the largest economy and most powerful nation by 2050.

He was speaking in the virtual conference on the current India China standoff organised jointly by BVSS and ARSP on 25 June 2020.

Amb Virendra Gupta, ARSP president and former DDG of IDSA, dismissed the scepticism expressed by some ‘China Experts’ that India will not be able to contain China. He said that China is behaving like an ‘adversary’ and India needs to adopt a sustained assertive approach towards China.  India should also effectively use the non-military leverages available with it.

Both the experts were of the view that India, being a large country with trained manpower, has the potential to replace China. Countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Israel will be more comfortable working with India. The current global sentiment against China provides an opportunity to offer India as an alternate manufacturing hub but India will need to act fast on addressing concerns of foreign investors on issues like land acquisition, taxation and procedural delays.

Following is the summary of other important points discussed in the conference-

  • China has constantly regarded India’s cooperation as her weakness
  • China has always taken steps adversarial to India’s interests. To illustrate a few-
    1. BRI going through POK, despite India’s objections
    2. India’s appeal for action on Masood Azhar was constantly thwarted by China’s opposition in the security council
    3. China blocked entry of India in the Nuclear Supply Group
    4. China opposed India’s entry as permanent member in UNSC
    5. Line of actual control kept floating resulting in frequent skirmishes and border dispute.
    6. China supported Pakistan in development of nuclear weapons
    7. Exporting Chinese goods through Hong Kong route by manipulating rules of origin
    8. Propaganda warfare by instigating neighbours against India.
  • The adverse Balance of Trade, currently around 50 billion USD, needs to be checked by using legitimate tariff and non tariff barriers like-
    1. Enforcing strict Quality controls for imports from China
    2. Anti-dumping duty
    3. Checking under invoicing
  • Promoting manufacturing and Import substitution in India by:
    1. Land reforms, low interest rates, easier tax regime, labour and judicial reforms.
    2. Collaboration with other Asian powers and promoting regional cooperation.
  • Need to instill confidence in foreign investors by ensuring that change of Government at Center or State does not effect the agreements already concluded with foreign investors. The case of Japanese Bullet Train project was highlighted which was shelved by the new state government in Maharashtra.
  • We need to change our Mindset and be confident.
  • This is not 1962 and today we are a nuclear power. We are much stronger and other world powers support our perspective.
  • During the deliberations, Amb Shashank gave rare insight into the world politics and developments during initial decades following Indian independence which set the stage for disintegration of USSR and rise of China.
  • A reference was also made to the millennia old cultural relations between India and China including Visit of Chinese scholars to India for education, Spread of Buddhism, The Silk Route etc.

The panel discussion was moderated by senior journalist N C Bipindra. BVSS President CA Rohit Vaswani welcomed the panelists and participants. ARSP Secretary Prof. Gopal Arora introduced the panelists. Sh Anil Gupta, Member Advisory Board – BVSS, Sh. Anil Sharma, Member Advisory Board – BVSS & Member NFRA, Sh. Vipan Agrawal, General Secretary – BVSS participated in the discussion. Viewers questions were addressed by the panelists. Adv. Puneet Agrawal, Convenor of IBC Group and the Newsletter Group – BVSS presented the formal vote of thanks.

Compiled by Puneet Agrawal

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