China seems to have changed from its aggressive posturing to a more conciliatory and patronizing tone towards India. It is trying to create a narrative and a different rationale to make its people believe that India is doing everything because of deteriorating situations in India and on USA’s behest.
China is trying to create an elbow room to move out of the embarrassing military stand-off with India. It is because China is not able to achieve any objectives, and thus, it is stuck in this standoff. Beijing underestimated India and is now in a situation where it cannot move out without getting egg on its face, which is why China wants to create a rationale where they can both maintain a high moral ground and showcase to their citizens that they came out as the winners in the standoff.
Global Times, Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece has been opining obvious articles to create the above-mentioned narrative.
In one of its articles it suggested that “Given the dire domestic situation in India, which has seen over 7 million people confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus and the country suffering a high unemployment rate, it is possible that India is using the border conflict with China to divert domestic attention from these problems.”
The Chinese with this line of argument want their audiences to believe that one, the problem is not being solved because India wants to drag this on till its domestic situation eases and two, even if China retreats, it will do so. After all, it understands India’s situation.
Another one focused on the USA’s role, stating, “Both countries (India & the USA) are leveraging each other’s strengths through constant interactions within such a short period of time. The US is willing to see tensions between China and India, with the Trump administration hoping to win more votes in the November election by drawing India to its side.”
Here too China wants to keep the blame fixed on the USA, to make its people believe that Beijing maintains a decent relationship with its neighbours and will continue to keep it that way if not the interference of the USA for its malafide intentions.
All of this showcases that China has been getting beaten black and blue all over the world and as it wants to disengage before it gets royally humiliated, Beijing is concocting cock & bull stories so that it can at least sell the retreat to a Chinese citizen.
The Chinese had hoped for utilizing tactical advantages to fulfil their objectives, however, China got owned and all its plans were destroyed. India, while showcasing its military might, also acted on the economic front. As per its two-pronged response to China i.e. military & economy, India has banned major profit-making multimedia and software companies, removed all the Chinese companies from government projects (be it I.T. or Infrastructure), Huawei’s 5G remains outcasted and the new push towards supply chain decoupling has led to the demise of Chinese economic superiority.
All of this, obviously China cannot admit. To save its economy & its face from utter destruction and humiliation respectively, Beijing is trying to create a narrative by which it can show Chinese people that it was Xi Jinping who was the real gentleman and looked out for the whole region by overlooking small intimidations from fellow neighbours.
Throughout history, the legitimacy of all the regimes in China was based on social stability, economic well-being and moral superiority. China faces the risk of losing all three indices first time in the last 30 years of its rise as a great power, and that too against a fellow Asian civilizational state i.e. India. This is the reason why China seems interested in disengaging without fulfilling any objectives and just by claiming a moral high ground to save face.
India under PM Modi has turned China from an aggressive Dragon to a Dove.