A component of China’s three-warfare strategy is its cartoon offensive.

World News

The South China Sea, Taiwan, Arunachal Pradesh, and Aksai Chin are all illegally depicted as being within Chinese territory in the 2023 edition of the standard map of China, which was published on August 28, 2023. India and the other South China Sea claimants have already started diplomatic complaints. Giving Chinese names to locations in other nations where the PRC extends its illegitimate claims constitutes the other aspect of this cartographic assault. Even though it is a given that a single act like this has no impact on actual events, it is nonetheless important to consider the motivation, timing, and strategy behind such repeated actions.

Ten days before the G20 Summit, the map was made public. China expects that many G20 nations would criticize the encroachments and aggression by powerful nations, whether it be Russia’s aggressive operation in Ukraine or China’s gradual intrusions into the South China Sea, the East China Sea, or Taiwanese air and maritime space. By claiming that all of its actions are defensive in character and intended to safeguard its sovereign territory, China has issued unlawful maps up to this point, including the most recent one, in an effort to lay the groundwork for a “legal war.” This would be China’s position at any G20 meetings or in the event of a bilateral meeting between China and India.

By taking a maximalist stance right away, it is also an attempt to put the opposing side on the defensive at the bargaining table. According to Chinese media, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi “agreed to maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through military and diplomatic channels” during the BRICS Summit 2023, showing no commitment to pullout. Therefore, releasing the map is a wise step to gain leverage in the discussions or to engage in disengagement. Such tricks could be a subliminal attempt to distract Chinese citizens from the nation’s economic decline.

The “Chinese Strategy of Three-Warfare” includes the example of legal warfare.When China amended the “Political Work Guidelines of the People’s Liberation Army” in 2003, it established this method, which incorporates the notions of public opinion warfare, psychological warfare, and legal warfare. Sun Tzu’s phrase “winning without fighting” perfectly sums up the Three-Warfare Strategy’s goal of defeating the enemy’s will to fight.It aims to sway the enemy’s decision-making through deception, diplomatic pressure, information operations involving rumors, false narratives, and harassment. The PRC routinely uses propaganda and illegal maps, like the one released just now, to undermine the will of the opponent and win the support of the domestic populace for a lengthy conflict.

No change in ground position is predicted, despite the optics of the “Modi-Xi Conversation” at BRICS 2023. This is because the unlawful map widens the trust gap between the two nations. Even if India continues to claim that “India-China relations cannot be normal unless the border situation is,” China’s political purpose is to maintain the standoff and keep up a front of talking without producing any outcomes in the hopes that the current stances become the new normal with the passage of time.

India, on the other hand, has come to realize that China cannot be trusted, and it will continue to vehemently defend its position about the boundaries and its territorial integrity. Up until India can produce some more leverage in a multi-dimensional powerplay with other strategic allies, both sides will have to face the cost of greater deployment. Normal relations are unlikely for China unless the political cost of not resolving the border issue exceeds that of resolving it.

Related Posts