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China, West, G20 Presidency: Opportunities & Concerns for India in 2023

Dec 31, 2022

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Enhance your UPSC CSE preparation with our daily dose of Current Affairs wherein we discuss topics that make news at National and International level.

In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will discuss China, West, G20 Presidency: Opportunities & concerns for India in 2023. The topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: Current events of National and International importance

Russia-Ukraine war, China’s aggression, Test of Indo-Western ties, Taliban engagement, Ties with India’s Neighbor, Pakistan Turmoil.

For Mains: GS Paper II- India and its Neighborhood- Relations; Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

About G20 Summit 2023, Six challenging realities for India, Challenges and Opportunities for India

Context

As India hosts the G20 summit, 2023 is the year that brings various challenges and opportunities at the diplomatic and military fronts of India, after a tumultuous year in 2022 due to the Russia-Ukraine war and China’s belligerence.

Probable Question

India is entering 2023 with challenges and opportunities staring at it on the diplomatic and military fronts. Comment (150 words, 10 marks)

Six challenging realities for India 

Russia-Ukraine war

  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine has upended the global order in place since World War II. It impacted the world’s food and energy security, the nuclear threat from Russian leaders, and all of this is pushing the global economy towards a recession. 
  • The nuclear rhetoric from Russian leaders has caused anxiety, while the strategic embrace of Russia and China is another worry.

China’s Aggression

  • The visit of the US House Speaker to Taiwan and Beijing’s response have drawn attention to China’s moves.
  • India has been facing China’s aggression on its border, with a skirmish in Arunachal Pradesh after the 2020 Galwan clashes.
  • The recent activities in the South China Sea, where it has been observed to carry out construction on an island is also an instance of China’s aggression.

Also Read: Russia's MFN Status- UPSC Current Affairs

Test of Indo-Western Ties

  • India’s ties with the West are going through a stress test due to the Russian factor.
  • India’s diplomatic tightrope walk has often been seen by its partners in Washington and Europe as opportunistic.
  • European partners, which import more energy than India, have scoffed at India’s buying of cheap oil from sanctions-hit Russia.

Taliban Engagement Begins

  • In less than a year of the Taliban’s recapturing of Afghanistan, India reopened its operations in the Indian embassy in Kabul by sending humanitarian aid in the form of food grains, vaccines, and essential medicines.
  • India has made a commitment of USD 80 million, over and above its USD 3 billion commitment in the last two decades, to improve the lives of Afghans. 
  • India is finally looking at the Taliban as a political actor, which is influenced and even controlled by Pakistan’s military establishment.
  • However, India has made its red lines clear on the menace of extremism and the rights of minorities and women.

Pakistan Turmoil

  • The Imran Khan-led PTI government was ousted and the Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition of PML-N and Bhutto-Zardari’s PPP form the government. The rhetoric against India from Pakistan has lowered a bit, but there has been no headway in bilateral ties.

Neighborhood in crisis 

  • The Sri Lankan economic and political crisis was a major challenge in the neighborhood. To assist Sri Lanka, India gave humanitarian aid, fuel, medicines, and economic debt from the International Monetary Fund, more than any other country in such a short period of time.
  • There has been an influx of refugees from Myanmar to the northeastern states through the porous borders and concern about non-state actors fomenting trouble in the northeast.

About the Major Challenges and Opportunities for India in 2023

Dealing with China 

  • China is challenging the status quo in eastern Ladakh and in other sectors along the 3,500-km border with India.
  • The Indian soldiers are braving the harsh winter in eastern Ladakh for the third year in a row.
  • It's obvious that clashes and competing interests with China will arise, which will have to be resolved through negotiations.

Engaging with Russia 

  • Russia has been a reliable supplier of defense equipment for the past seven decades, despite diversification to the US, France, and Israel. 
  • China is Russia’s biggest trading partner and the largest Asian investor in Russia. India’s biggest concern is that Russia’s ties with China can influence some of its decisions.
  • India’s effort will be to engage with both Russia and the West and put its strategic defense and national security interests first.

G20 as a Global Stage 

  • The hosting of the G20 summit by India will be one of the biggest portrayals of India’s rise on the global stage in 2023.
  • India will seek to put its priorities on the global forum.
  • India will also seek to bring Russian and Western interlocutors and leaders together and end the conflict in Europe, which will be a diplomatic win.

Ties with the West 

  • The G20 gives India some opportunity as It has to work to assuage the concerns of European and American partners due to Russia.

Challenge in the Neighborhood 

  • India will have to constantly provide humanitarian, financial, and political attention to Sir Lanka.
  • India will also be part of the political conversation in the Maldives. 
  • India will be looking at Bangladesh's prospects after a long and uninterrupted political journey that has brought security to India’s eastern states.
  • The growing influence of China in Nepal will pose a significant challenge for India.

Pakistan’s Crucial Year 

  • As Elections in Pakistan are scheduled for later in 2023, the new civilian government and the Army chief will shape their attitude towards India. This will in turn hold the key to the next steps in the relationship between India-Pakistan.

Way Forward

  • Our domestic efforts will need to be bolstered by smart partnerships with others. While building new friends, we need to keep old partners like Russia by our side. 
  • A balanced approach is a must to ensure that we are better placed to deal with the real challenges of this uncertain decade.

News Source: The Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/china-west-g20-opportunities-concerns-8347510/

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