15th July – Learnings from China

What can India learn from China about statecraft?

C Raja Mohan, has pointed out the differences between the anti-imperialist traditions of Delhi and Beijing. He assures that the Communist Party of China is no less anti-imperialist than the Indian nationalists but there is one big difference between Indian and Chinese anti-imperialism.

Points of difference –

  • The Indian elite is utterly comfortable, at a personal level, with its British peers. However, the Communist China, began with multiple handicaps in engaging with Britain. But over the last two decades, the CCP has systematically advanced its strategic influence in Britain.
  • A recent British report, titled “Elite Capture”, outlines how Beijing is converting the British ruling class — from the Lords to senior bureaucrats, ministers to mediapersons and business tycoons to university dons into “useful idiots” in promoting Chinese interests.

What can India learn from China about statecraft?

  • First, India needs to learn from the Chinese emphasis on separating anti-imperialist ideology and the pursuit of national interest. The CCP has never disowned its founding ideology nor has it forgotten China’s past conflicts with imperialist power. It leveraged the partnership with the US in the 1980s to elevate its position in the global system and now challenges American primacy.
  • Second, instead of treating the West as a collective, China continually probed the inter-imperialist contradictions’. The report on elite capture says that separating Britain from the US and weakening the Five Eyes alliance of the Anglosphere (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) were among the major objectives of China’s influence operations in the UK.
  • The biggest lesson, however, is that Delhi should not write off Britain as a strategic priority in its foreign policy calculus. “If Beijing could nearly subvert London, Delhi has enough equities to promote a change in the British establishment’s attitude towards India”.

Conclusion –

C Raja Mohan concludes by underscoring the opportunity for India: “As Britain recognises that China can’t be the anchor of its post-Brexit foreign economic and strategic policies, Delhi has a huge opening to restructure its relationship with London”.

SourceThe Indian Express

QUESTION – There are fundamental differences between India and China with respect to their recognition of anti-imperialism. Discuss what India can learn from the Chinese Communist Party’s anchor of ‘anti-imperialism’ against the western capitalist states.

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