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What is China up to ?

Apr 29, 2013 , ,


Many in India were taken by surprise when they came to know about the Indo China border issue suddenly erupting, with Chinese troops reported to have infiltrated into Indian territory. Of course, the Government of India is approaching the issue with great care and caution, giving an impression that it is almost pleading with China to withdraw and go back to earlier position in the border.

Many wonder as to what is China’s game plan and what it hopes to gain by creating some border issue suddenly with India ?

In recent times, one cannot but note that China has been having bilateral issues with Japan, Vietnam and Phillipines too.

China’s dispute with Japan particularly appears to be the most serious issue that it has with nearby countries. The dispute of China with Japan relating to Senkaku (or Diaoyu) Islands is causing animosity and bitterness

between the people in both the nations and it appears that the conflict would only escalate.

Japan is facing serious economic issues and has to necessarily improve its export earnings to put its economy back on the rail. It is desperately looking for export market all over the world and certainly China can be potentially a large export market for goods and services from Japan. China’s animosity is certainly hitting the Japanese economy hard, with the Chinese move to boycott the Japanese cars and other goods from Japan.

As Bloomberg reports, discrimination against Japanese has become increasingly common in China, as the head of China's Honda plant notes, he’s "never worked in a more hostile place." The dispute over the islands is raising resentment with bars and restaurants in China showing signs at the door saying, 'Japanese are barred from entering.' "Wherever I go, like department stores or in taxis, people ask me whether I am Japanese," and the reaction can be frosty. Simply put, no matter how cheap the Japanese make their cars by explicitly devaluing their currency, the largest auto market in the world (that of the Chinese) will not be buying; he summed up rather bleakly.

It is not as if the Chinese economy is in better shape. Having created huge manufacturing capacities in multiple fields and after investing enormous money in infra structure projects, that are not giving the returns expected, the Chinese economy is now at the cross roads. China has to necessarily increase the capacity utilisation of its industries and production centres, which is possible only by substantially increasing its exports all over the world. But, this is not happening , with several countries initiating anti dumping measures against the products from China.

While several industrial sector in China are operating at low capacity levels and many units being forced to close in recent times due to want of orders, retrenchment and unemployment is becoming too big a issue in China for its comfort. Just to take one example, the solar equipment industry in China which expanded at more than 300% per year in the last few years are now in dire straits. All the big solar players in China have drastically reduced their production level and L D K Solar which is one of the big players in China employing more than 5000 people have shut down more than 70% of its plants and has asked most of its employees to go on “gardening leave”

The present situation in China is a rude shock for the ordinary Chinese people, who have thought that China would become most powerful nation in the world by its economic strength in the near future. On the other hand, people are becoming restive and agitations are happening. With no democratic culture or practice prevailing, the suppressed people may suddenly burst out , when there would be no opportunity to give vent to their bitterness. With practically no communication between the top political leadership of the country and the common man who really do not understand what is happening, Chinese society can become turbulent if the present state and distress economic conditions would continue any longer. Obviously, the Chinese government realise this and is aware of the potential issues that can create difficult times.

Having invested billions of dollars at break neck speed in the last decade and with the overall economy of the country and the purchasing power of the people not increasing at the expected rate and the targeted export market not being achieved, the Chinese government has no quick fix solution to tackle the scenario.

Under the circumstances, it is more than likely that the Chinese government want to shift the focus of the people from the economic travails by giving an impression to them that the country has issues with other nearby countries and has to defend itself. It appears to be whipping up the patriotic urge amongst its people in the name of conflicts with the neighbouring countries.-, to divert their attention. It is said that the hostility of the average Chinese against the average Japanese have become very intense in recent times and Japanese citizens really feel unsafe in China where they have poured huge investments in the recent past. This scenario may be due to deliberate creation of hostility by the government of China.

The external conflicts of China with the near by countries such as Japan, India, Vietnam and Phillipines is a reflection on its internal problems. This is the typical way of non representative and dictatorial governments approaching the issues to save the government. Another example of similar behaviour of the government is now North Korea.

By : N.S.Venkataraman
Trustee,Nandini Voice for The Deprived
M 60/1, 4th Cross Street,Besant Nagar,
Chennai - 90




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