DPG China Monitor

China Monitor

The monitor features developments related to China during the month and is compiled by our research team of Brig. Arun Sahgal (Retd.), Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Angana Guha Roy, Ph.D., and Sanket Joshi, Research Associates, from open-source reports and publications.

At a public address during the month, External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, affirmed that India has responded resolutely to an “exceptionally difficult” Chinese military challenge along its northern borders, adding that the confidence to make tough decisions will define “Bharat” (India) as a nation.

China has offered to cooperate with Bangladesh to construct reservoirs on the Teesta River. However, given India's reservations over China's involvement in a major project near the strategic Siliguri Corridor, Bangladesh has reacted cautiously, maintaining that this is a sensitive “geopolitical issue” that requires deeper consideration.

On December 26, 2023, the CPC Central Committee held a symposium marking the 130th birth anniversary of Mao Zedong. President Xi Jinping described Mao’s Thought as an “invaluable spiritual wealth of the CPC” and reiterated the Party’s central task of building a modern socialist country. On the issue of Taiwan, Xi reiterated that the “complete reunification of our motherland would happen as it is a righteous cause and a common aspiration”.

On December 28, 2023, President Xi addressed the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs. With US-China strategic competition intensifying, Xi called for a multipolar world that is equal and orderly, rejecting hegemony and power politics, and promoting inclusive economic globalisation.

Following the Xi-Biden summit in November 2023, the US and China have resumed high-level military-to-military communication. The Chinese side demanded respect for China’s core interests over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

During the 24th China-EU Summit held in Beijing on December 7, 2023, President Xi reiterated that China and the EU are partners, not rivals, and their common interests far outweigh their differences. He called upon the two sides to develop a right perception of each other, promote mutual trust, and honour commitments.

On December 29, 2023, China’s National People's Congress (NPC) appointed Admiral Dong Jun, a former commander of the PLA Navy, as the country’s new defence minister. He comes with the experience of having served in operational theatres responsible for Taiwan and the South China Sea.

China is reportedly rebuilding the ‘Lop Nur’ nuclear missile testing facility located in Xinjiang. This move comes as Beijing is considering testing a new generation of nuclear weapons to enhance the lethality of its strategic deterrence.

To read this China Monitor, Vol. VI, Issue 12, please see the PDF attached.