Thursday, September 29, 2022

One year since Galwan: Assessing larger geostrategic implications

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The Galwan Valley clash between India and China was a significant moment in the history of the bilateral relationship between the two nations. It was the first time in almost five decades that the border of the two nations saw bloodshed. Due to the rapid escalation of tension at the confluence of the lands, lives were lost on both sides and injuries were obtained by both parties. Almost a year later, it is time to look at that event in hindsight and ponder over the ripples that it created. These ripples are the source of lessons and building blocks of the path forward.
In a sigh of relief, firstly, the two nations were able to come to an agreement of partial disengagement at the Pangong Lake and the area in the vicinity. But the popular sentiment amongst the general population in both nations showcases a common distrust in geopolitics.
The conflict for the claim of the land is an issue that finds its origins back in the year 1962. A common tendency of human civilization is that civilization will dream of becoming an empire at some point in time. Mao Zedong was a visionary leader and the founding father of the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Liberation Army. He had a similar vision for China, for China to become a global leader and dominate the world.
The Galwan Clash brought some significant changes in the countries’ political relations with each other and other nations of the world. For instance, China dominates the manufacturing area of the world with the most significant manufacturing strength in the world. India, after the rising tensions, now aims at reducing the dependency over China for various products. Banning the Chinese apps in the country was yet another move in the same direction. Indian policymakers are now adopting ways to drift towards the western countries and balancing relations with countries like France, UK, and the USA. The QUAD initiative got a backlash from the Chinese leaders, and they termed the group “Asian NATO”. It proves that China is noticing the drift and is willing to take measures to prevent losing stakes in the power index of the world.

The fact that China and India are neighbours adds another interesting vector to the whole situation. While the army of China has more strength, the influence of India in the Indian Ocean region and China’s increasing stake in the area gives birth to another dynamic scenario between India and China.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made a deep dent in the global image of Xi Jinping-led China. India, at the recent session of the Group of 7 (G7) summit hosted by the Prime Minister of United Kingdon, Borris Johnson, India extended its support for a transparent probe into the origins of the vicious virus that wreaked havoc on the world since the previous year.
It is important to note that the geopolitical scenario is drastically changed after the Galwan Clash. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic into the equation, China doesn’t seem to have solid ground to stand on to defend itself in front of the world.

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