China’s long term strategic goal  to become a superpower by 2049 is already a work in progress. Ever since Xi Jinping took over the reigns of China, the People’s Liberation Army(PLA) has been undergoing massive military reforms to modernize its army in every aspect. Recent Chinese incursion into Galwan Valley in Ladakh is another example of recent expansionism that was thwarted by Indian Army. However, in many ways Chinese expansionism is currently underway and that can be through trade dependency or military or having military bases in various countries. 

President Trump’s Tough Stance on China

Per reports, the United States has a trade deficit of $419.2 billion in 2018 and is heavily dependent on China, However, President Trump raised existing import duties on China from 25% to 30% from last October and he also imposed tariffs on another 300 Billion dollars of Chinese goods to 15% from 10%. While India has a trade deficit of $48 billion in FY20. Interestingly, the trade deficit fell from $63 billion in 2017-2018 and this will further go down in coming years. Surprisingly every country is dependent on China on raw and finished imports. President Trump vehemently discussed the Pandemic is due to China and it intentionally used bio weapon against United States to dampen his election prospects and he cuts the funds to World Health Organization for its deliberate delay in declaring the COVID-19 as Pandemic. In a significant move, President Trump has ordered to shut down Houston Chinese Consulate on charges of Espionage. FBI on July 2020, arrested a Chinese researcher in San Francisco who took refuge in Chinese Consulate after allegedly lying about her Chinese Military background and visa fraud. In fact, President Trump allege that China is influencing the United States Elections.

Chinese Expansion into south Asia

Apart from this, Chinese venture into CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is another aspect of expansion into Pakistan and leased Gwadar port for 99 years is a good example of Chinese base in India’s backyard apart from Hambantota in Sri Lanka. This is exactly why India was overwhelmingly worried as India had conventional wars with both China and Pakistan.While China is busy with its expansion, the Pentagon has released a report that provided alarming details about Chinese Naval fleet surpassing the US Naval fleet apart from Chinese military bases in over a dozen countries including Singapore, Burma, Horn of Africa apart from the existing ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This report has caused a deep introspection with its existing military capabilities of both India and China. Compared to China, India’s Naval fleet is negligible to 60 ships including 15 conventional submarines and two nuclear submarines with one air carrier INS Vikrant and the second air carrier will be commissioned in 2021. Although this report is concerning, India still enjoys its affinity in Indian Ocean Region.

QUAD and its Objective

QUAD Initiative.. Courtesy: IASgatewayy

As these two largest and biggest democracies are increasingly worried about Chinese expansion, two other vibrant pacific democracies Japan and Australia have joined to form QUAD security dialogue to curb the Chinese expansion. These QUAD countries are working on cooperating in various fronts of Indian and Pacific Ocean Region. QUAD was formed as a necessity to form an alliance with like minded democracies on the backdrop of ASEAN Summit in 2017. Since then The QUAD security dialogue has met five times and during the 2020 Pandemic, New Delhi is planning to host the QUAD ministerial meet in October soon after the monsoon parliament session. QUAD security dialogue is expected to discuss the Chinese expansion and strengthen its existence by running a naval exercise at Malabar coast in India by the end of year 2020. it underlines the rising significance of maritime geopolitics in an increasingly integrated world. Economically, the strategy is regarded as an answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is establishing a China- Centric trade route and China Sees this initiative as significant and alarming.

Biden and Kamala’s association with China and Chinese Communist Party

Biden and Harris, sharing a joy moment

This QUAD initiative is important for both the United States and India in every aspect to contain the Chinese expansion and as the United States is going over an unprecedented election campaign, with China being named frequently due to COVID and its expansionism. The important aspect to discuss here is, whether Democratic party will adhere to this QUAD security Dialogue as Democratic party is being backed by China with an expectation to see Joe Biden in White House. Democratic Party is seemingly close to China and soft on COVID-19. At one point, Joe Biden criticized Trump as Xenophobic due to travel ban imposed on China soon after WHO declared COVID-19 as pandemic. Not limited to this, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi overridden President Trump’s warning on COVID and asked people to participate Chinese New Year at Chinatown in  New York City. In a significant report circulating on the news media that Kamala Harris’s husband’s law firm DLA Piper represents the Chinese communist party and its corporations by hiring Ex-CCP officials dedicated to its Chinese investment services. Apart from this, Biden’s son Hunter Biden himself was accused of having dirty deals with Chinese BHR company and he stepped down from the board citing his father’s election prospects last year. This is indeed significant and these soft pointers raise serious questions on whether Biden at White House will revert trade and tariffs to 2016 status apart from going soft on China. This will have severe repercussions to the United States on a longer run.

This article was first published for US-Impact.

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