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  Opinion   Edit  09 Mar 2023  AA Edit | How real is the China threat?

AA Edit | How real is the China threat?

Published : Mar 10, 2023, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Mar 10, 2023, 12:10 am IST

An issue that may be of greater concern is the Chinese President’s call for better use of its resources like tech to enable winning of wars

Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: AP)
 Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Photo: AP)

It may have been rhetoric in a motivational speech to the People’s Liberation Army that lent grim overtones to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech ahead of his coronation as President for an unprecedented third term later this week. Furthermore, an US intelligence assessment report virtually prophesies an India-China clash on the LAC leading to a wider conflict and nasty repercussions based on its definition of the Russia-Ukraine war as a defining characteristic of the most modern era. It is moot how much of this is scaremongering or byproducts of generals playing war games or plain old China syndrome gripping the West.

An issue that may be of greater concern is the Chinese President’s call for better use of its resources like technology to enable the winning of wars. The fear of China breaching security with spyware to gather troves of data on everything under the sun through apps like TikTok, much maligned now as a spying tool, and more economical Chinese smartphones that command a huge market share in India, is far more real and immediate as a threat to security as well as a breach of privacy of users.

The scary scenario being projected by the West in the wake of the posturing by China can be traced back to the recent angry outburst from Mr Xi Jinping that the US’s strategic moves regarding the Indo-Pacific are aimed at suppressing China. While the expansionist urge of authoritarian regimes is to be sneered at, and not without reason, any further push on the LAC or an invasion of Taiwan remains only within the realm of possibility rather than immediate reality.

And yet, to be prepared to resist any further attempted alteration of the rules-based global order is the duty of sovereign nations. India is paying high enough a price for constant vigilance on two borders with hostile neighbours, but there can be no letting down of guard, however non-imminent any threat appears to be at the moment. But it is not as if the West, particularly the US, is not straining every sinew to derive a strategic advantage or employ modern technology, including artificial intelligence, in their preparedness to fend off threats from China and Russia.

Tags: people’s liberation army, xi jinping, us intelligence, tiktok