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.

On January 29, 2024, India’s Army Chief, General Manoj Pande, described the situation along the LAC with China in eastern Ladakh as stable but sensitive. He added that in 2023, there were no new areas of friction, and that India has significantly strengthened its border infrastructure and maintained a “robust and balanced” troop deployment.

Amidst a growing diplomatic row with India, the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, paid a state visit to China from January 8-12, 2024, elevating their bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. President Muizzu sought China’s support to bolster and stabilise his country’s economy by encouraging more Chinese tourists to visit his country.

Maldives has allowed a Chinese research vessel, whose previous activities in the Indian Ocean have raised red flags in India, to dock at the Male port. The vessel, however, will not be allowed to conduct research in Maldivian waters.

On January 9, 2024, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, addressing a symposium on “International Situation and China’s Foreign Relations”, stated that in 2024, China’s diplomacy will remain committed to “self-confidence and self-reliance, openness and inclusiveness, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation”.

On January 26-27, 2024, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, and US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, held extensive talks in Bangkok. Wang Yi emphasised the importance of implementing the “San Francisco Consensus” underlining mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation as key to stable, healthy, and sustainable US-China relations. He cautioned that the Taiwan issue remains a major challenge to bilateral relations, and called on the US not to use national security as a pretext to suppress other countries' development. As part of their re-established military-to-military communication, China and the US held their 17th Defence Policy Coordination meeting in Washington on January 8-9, 2024.

In 2023, China’s economy grew 5.2 percent year-on-year to CNY 126.06 trillion (about USD 17.7 trillion), exceeding the government's target of 5 percent. Although Beijing remains optimistic about the growth prospects of the Chinese economy, analysts have reiterated concerns about debt, deflation, de-risking, and demographics.

To read this China Monitor, Vol. VII, Issue 1, please see the PDF attached.