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, and Sanket Joshi, Research Associate, from open-source reports and publications.

During a foreign policy discussion on May 6, 2024, India's External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, reiterated that India-China bilateral relations are abnormal owing to a lack of peace and tranquility on the borders, and improvement in relations is dependent on resolving the boundary issue. On bilateral economic ties, he stressed that despite growing trade, India will continue to take all necessary steps against China’s predatory trade practices. Amidst ongoing border tensions, China has emerged as India’s largest single trading partner in 2023-24, with bilateral trade reaching USD 118.4 billion.

In an interview on May 26, 2024, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh rejected claims of Chinese incursions into Indian territory, also underscoring that both countries are currently engaged in resolving outstanding border issues. Meanwhile, the latest satellite imagery indicates that China has deployed its most advanced J-20 stealth fighter jets at the Shigatse dual-use airfield, barely 155 Km from the LAC and close to Doklam, near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

On May 14, 2024, President Biden ordered an increase in tariffs on Chinese imports worth USD 18 billion under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. A key objective of this action is to protect US companies and workers from China's “unfair trade practices” in strategic sectors such as steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, critical minerals, solar cells, and medical devices.

President Xi Jinping visited France, Serbia, and Hungary from May 5-10, 2024. The visit was aimed at promoting ties with Europe at a time when the US is working with Europe to counter China's industrial overcapacity and support for Russia. In remarks at a China-France-European Union Trilateral Leaders’ meeting held in Paris, Xi called upon Europe to view relations with China from a long-term strategic perspective, see each other as partners, and strive to make new contributions to world peace and development. 

On May 16-17, 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a state visit to China, his first foreign trip post his re-election. During his meeting with President Xi, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to further deepening comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation based on mutual respect and unwavering support on issues concerning both parties' core interests.

Taiwan’s 16th President, Lai Ching-te, was sworn in on May 20, 2024. In his inaugural address, Lai described Taiwan as a “sovereign, independent nation” that will “neither yield nor provoke and maintain the status quo” on cross-strait relations, and called on China to cease its political and military intimidation. Beijing denounced his remarks for separatism, and the PLA conducted joint military drills around Taiwan code-named ‘Joint Sword-2024A’ on May 23-24, 2024.

The 20th CPC Central Committee will hold its third plenary session in July 2024, focusing on deepening reform and advancing China's modernisation.

To read this China Monitor, Vol. VII, Issue 5, please see the PDF attached.