Fear and anxiety dominates Chinese foreign policy

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) The Chinese have been pursuing an aggressive foreign policy aided and abetted by the ‘Wolf Warrior diplomats of the country’s Foreign Ministry across the world. Whether it is Hong Kong, Taiwan, the South China Sea, Bhutan or the Galwan Valley, one has seen the Chinese diplomatic manoeuver taking place at in an unusually heightened pitch.A nation which takes pride in a strong leadership and a robust and firm Communist Party, showing signs of panic and anxiety in dealing with foreign policy matters leads one to think deeper about the sense of insecurity that prevails in the Chinese leadership. An element of accommodation, appreciation and pragmatic approach should form part of the foreign policy narrative of a mature and confident nation such as China.However, over a period of time, one has witnessed abrupt and rash reaction from Chinese government officials and diplomats on issues which could have been handled more maturely. One has noticed that any aspect pertaining to the Quad or the Tibetan issue gets translated into foreign policy nuances by China on the bilateral front with India. Likewise, in a small country such as Nepal, China has been overtly reactive to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) deal between Kathmandu and Washington, wherein the Himalayan nation is to get $500 million worth aid. While the entire objective of the MCC is to ensure infrastructure development and economic upliftment of a struggling nation, the Chinese have construed the aid as part of the Indo-Pacific strategy and have linked the same to an intended military venture by the Indians and the Americans in Nepal. The Chinese have, thus, smartly converted a development aid programme to one aimed with military objectives of the Indo-Pacific and have accordingly gone out of the way to stall the aid.In as far as the Quad is concerned, the Chinese have been reacting to every activity relating to the Quad and any statement made by members of the Quad pointing to strengthening of the entity. The Chinese have reacted to the statement made by the visiting US Secretary of State Blinken on the Quad. They have, likewise, expressed their unhappiness on a member of the Dalai Lama’s group interacting with Blinken and also the congratulatory message sent earlier by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Tibetan spiritual leader on his birthday. Such micro-management of narratives by the Chinese indicates a hollowness in their foreign policy approach.Most significantly, as a result of these highly reactive behavioural tendencies, China has actually exposed its sore points enabling the global community to play on these nodes to either irritate China or to calibrate their policies towards China. As far as the MCC is concerned, Nepali political parties have exploited the Chinese sentiments to benefit in their internal political dynamics by either favouring MCC or opposing it to serve their political purpose. In the end, a nation like Nepal, that is desperately in need of financial assistance, would inevitably go for the MCC leaving the Chinese red faced.Similarly, on Quad and Tibet, there is realisation by the Indians and the Americans that these two form the eternal lever to keep the Chinese anxious and disturbed and use as negotiation handle. The flawed Chinese foreign policy approach is also evident from the latest picture of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with the Taliban leader Mullah Bardadar. This is probably the only instance when the Foreign Minister of a major nation has been photographed with the leader of a terrorist group in such an elegant setting. This is again driven by a sense of insecurity, deep concern and Chinese fears of Islamic terror groups trying to muster strength and create trouble in the already disturbed region of Xinjiang in China.More than its desire to ensure security of its projects in Afghanistan and to see the US pull out, it is the fear of threat from Islamic radicals based out of Afghanistan that has driven the Chinese to a state of complete surrender to the terror organisation which is responsible for the killing of hundreds and thousands of innocent Afghans, an activity that they continue to indulge in even today. The killing of the famous Afghan comedian Nazar Mohammad (also known as Khasha Zwan) and Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui recently brings out the stark reality of an entity that is being regarded as a partner by the Chinese.–IANSspecialcorrespondent/ksk/

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