Should India be bolder with China?

India’s response to China’s diplomatic offensive of recent years has been inconsistent and sporadic. Using diplomatic tools in an institutionalised way to highlight China’s vulnerabilities is something India refrains from. This, despite China’s increased diplomatic activism against India. For instance, China raised the dilution of Article 370 in the United Nations Security Council on behalf of Pakistan. It has repeatedly blocked India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Supplier Group. It also took over 10 years to sponsor the blacklisting of Masood Azhar as a UN-designated global terrorist.

India should not refrain from developing diplomatic leverages and using them against China, whenever required. It should issue statements on China’s “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, its activities in the South China Sea which impact India, and Hong Kong protests. It could also occasionally use Tibet as an irritant like China uses Kashmir. All of these with the presumption that India has improved its border infrastructure to at least maintain status quo in case of escalation of tensions.

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