China provides a salutary warning about the risks of pursuing personalised diplomacy, centred around big events and photo opportunities, as has been the case with Modi since he became the prime minister.
When the Modi government abrogated Article 370 from the Indian constitution, simultaneously downgrading and dividing the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson said that India had undermined “China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law” and this practice was “unacceptable”. Home minister Amit Shah had earlier spoken in Parliament, vowing to lay down his life to wrest back Aksai Chin and other regions that are in China’s control. The Modi government tried to paper over the cracks by suggesting that this internal administrative action had no bearing on China but was soon compelled to despatch …
Sushant Singh is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has taught at Yale University (Fall 2019 and Fall 2021) and was deputy editor of The Indian Express. A winner of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2017 and 2018, he had earlier served in the Indian Army for two decades. He is also the author of Mission Overseas and co-author of Note by Note: The India Story.