Chinese activities and influence in India’s extended neighbourhood have grown increasingly with the sole purpose of keeping New Delhi constrained and occupied in facing the resultant challenges, according to papers submitted at a key security meeting in New Delhi.
The papers presented by Indian Police Service (IPS) officers at the just concluded conference of DGPs and IGPs submit that by providing huge amounts of money in the name of loans for developmental works in Southeast and South Asia, China wants to reduce India’s influence in the Indian Ocean region and force resolution of bilateral issues on Beijing’s terms.
Explained | China’s moves in the Indian Ocean
The three-day annual conference was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and about 350 top police officers of the country.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), infrastructure related investments in India’s neighbouring countries through easy loans, hot borders and Line of Actual Control (LAC) are some of the tools Beijing has been using effectively, the papers say.
The last two-and-a-half decades have seen Chinese economic and military growth at a massive scale and Chinese activities and influence in India’s extended neighbourhood have grown proportionately, they find.
“All this is being done with the aim to keep India constrained and occupied in facing the resultant challenges, force resolution of bilateral issues on its own terms, modulate India’s growth story, leaving it [China] free to achieve its aim of becoming not only Asia’s pre-eminent power, but a global superpower,” according to the papers.
The papers on the subject “Chinese influence in the neighbourhood and implications for India” were written by some top IPS officers of the country.
China has become far more attentive to its South Asian periphery, moving beyond commercial and development engagements to more far-reaching political and security ones, according to one of the papers.
China is investing huge amounts of money in the neighbouring countries of India mainly Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka in the name of infrastructure development and other financial assistance, it said.
Without exception, India’s neighbouring countries have described China as a crucial development partner, either as a funder or in providing technological and logistical support. Additionally, it is the biggest trading partner in goods for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the second-largest for Nepal and the Maldives, it said.
“However, the economic element is increasingly intertwined with political, government, and people-to-people aspects of these relationships,” it said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for China to work directly with these countries in new ways such as the provision of medical equipment, biomedical expertise, and capital for coronavirus-related needs, it said.
These developments demonstrate that China’s presence in Southeast and South Asia is no longer predominantly economic but involves a greater, multidimensional effort to enhance its posture and further its long-term strategic interests in the region, the paper said.
“China is highly ambitious about achieving its regional power status in the Indian Ocean region. To do so Beijing wants to contain India which is the only threat before China in this region,” according to an analyst.
Radicalisation of Muslim youth a major challenge for national security
Radicalisation, particularly of the Muslim youth, is one of the key challenges for national security and it is important to take moderate Muslim leaders and clerics into confidence to counter radical organisations, according to papers submitted at the security meeting.
The papers noted that the rise in religious fundamentalism in India is primarily due to high level of indoctrination, easy availability of modern means of communication, including encrypted form, cross-border terrorism and Pakistan concentrating on encouraging these radical groups.
“Radicalisation, particularly of the Muslim youth, is one of the important challenges for national security of our country. Several radical Muslim organisations are active in India, which indulge in organised radicalisation of the Muslim youth. They have inherent tendency to corrupt minds of Muslim community, push them on the violent path and work against composite culture,” the papers noted.
In view of this, tackling radical organisations become imperative and priority in the interests of social harmony and national security.
These organisations are engaged in radical interpretation of Islamic scriptures and concepts.
They also create a sense of victimhood in Muslim psyche. In pursuit of puritanical Islam, their preaching go against modern values such as democracy and secularism.
In India, the papers revealed, the recently banned Popular Front of India (PFI), another banned group SIMI, Wahdat-e-Islami, Islamic Youth Federation, Hizb-ut Tahreer and Al-Ummah are some Muslim organisations, which fit in this category.
“Among these Muslim organisations, the PFI was the most potent radical organisation. It evolved as a national-level organisation since formation in 2006 by merging of three South India based outfits,” the papers noted.
Rise in religious fundamentalism is due to history and attending continuous religious programmes such as Dars-eQuran, Ahle-Hadith etc., high level of indoctrination, modern means of communication viz. internet, mail in coded and encrypted form, the papers said.
The cross-border terrorism and its post effects, Pakistan concentrating on encouraging these radical organisations, Muslim boys going to the Gulf countries and coming back with money and radical ideologies are some other reasons for the rise of radicalisation, according to the papers said.
The writers noted that terrorist radicalisation is a dynamic process whereby an individual comes to accept terrorist violence as a possible, perhaps even legitimate, course of action and each case of terrorist radicalisation results from the unique intersection of an enabling environment and the personal trajectory and psychology of a given individual.
Suggesting remedies, the papers noted that to tackle radical Organisations, multi-pronged approach is required, including monitoring of covert activities, creation of detailed databases on leaders and other entities of interests.
“Security agencies and state police need to be sensitised about threat to national security from radical organisations and in order to counter radical organisations, it is equally important to take moderate Muslim leaders and clerics into confidence.
“Emphasis should be given to identify and monitoring the hotspots of radicalisation and prior analysis must be done about the potentiality of a radical organisation in spreading extremism and involvement of its cadres in violent action and accordingly the plan of action should be initiated,” the papers noted.