China – A new bully in town

China – A new bully in town

 China – A new bully in town – Today Current Affairs                                                       

Hollywood movie spiderman has a dialogue asserting that “with great powers comes great responsibility”. However, in real life it has been seen that “for a man with a hammer, everyone is a nail”. Keeping that in mind, we can see the same happening in international sphere, where who so ever is powerful violates international norms with impunity. For instance, the invasion of USA in Afghanistan and Iraq or Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

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In this context it is being argued that the rise of China is a case of “New Bully in Town”. This article will try to dive into the question, look at various arguments in favour and against the proposal.

China’s megalomanic attitude can be seen in its action in South China Sea and East China sea, where it has imposed air defence zone. In South China Sea particularly, China claims almost entire South China Sea defined by its Nine Dash Line. China even defied the Hague based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that the China has no legal basis to claim islands in the South China Seas on historical basis because such rights are extinguished to the extent of incompatibility with the exclusive economic zones provided in the UNCLOS. On the contrary, China Imposed the Air Defence Zone in South China Sea. Moreover, it is kept on making new islands with impunity to claim the Exclusive Economic Zone in the South China Sea and thereby ability to exploit the resources. Foreign Policy Analyst Brahma Chellaney, has put the blame on successive US governments, for Chinese expansionism and the substitution of a free, open, and democratic Indo-Pacific to an illiberal, repressive regional order. For example, USA did not take sides on Sankaku island issues and remained silent on China’s capture of Scarborough shoal. Both are islands in South China Sea. Basically he argues that by camouflaging offence as defence, China presents a targeted state with a Hobson’s choice, that is, to endure the territorial loss (salami slicing) or face a dangerous and costly war with a great power.

Similarly, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be always ready for battle. China’s Major focus has been on USA, as US has now categorically designated China as a strategic challenge. Moreover, the PLA is restructuring itself to prepare itself for the bigger war. At the heart of this lies the development of integrated command, control, communications, computer intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) structure which will enhance their joint operational capacity. Furthermore, the PLA’s Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) has sought to integrate capabilities in space, cyberspace and the electro-magnetic spectrum into the PLA’s combat arms to fight ‘informationised’ wars.  The Hindu Analysis

Moreover, China has been expanding its military and politico-economic footprints around the world. A point is case the Chinese premier dream project of “Belt and Road Initiative”. This project aims to increase Chinese presence around the world. Most importantly putting China as a “Net Security Provider” replacing USA in future. Chain is also using the BRI to put itself as the new super power in the world – a befitting competitor to USA. Richard N Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, has argued that BRI came as a counter to the Obama Administration “Pivot to Asia Policy”. Furthermore, there are voices of concern on the possibility “Thucydidian Trap”. Thucydides Trap is a situation of conflict in case of rise of one power which challenges the established power leading to wars. Here the rise of China is being seen as a challenge to the Pax Americana. It may lead to wars in future, a glimpse of which we saw in Trade Wars in recent past between USA and China.

It is not like China is sitting ideal. China is trying its best to convince the world that it is indeed not a threat to any nation. The rise of China would be useful for every other country in the world. China’s deep pocket would help developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to develop. For Example, China argues that BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) is helpful for various countries around the world to get funds to develop themselves. Moreover, USA is doing nothing but carrying out a negative propaganda to defame the peaceful rise of China.

However, if recent events are to be believed, in which China has shown unapologetic use of forceful measures to achieve its goals, Chinese argument of Peaceful rise does not hold much water. This is what Indian foreign policy analyst Brahma Chellaney argues, emphasizing that China always camouflages its offence as defense. The Hindu Analysis

Thus, it is evident from above discussion that dialogue of Spider Man movie may appeals emotional and moral side of man; but in real life “Might always stays Right”. Keeping that in mind the world must make create new arrangements to deal with the Chinese threat. The evolution of QUAD (Quadrilateral grouping), JAI (Japan-Australia-India) grouping and US initiated Summit of Democracies are indeed good measure. Now they must be substituted with more assertive measures to make one thing clear in Chinese leadership that any aggressive expansion and assertive use of power will be resisted at any cost.


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