2017 in review: The China contestation

Hardnews looks back at its year-long in depth reporting on China. In April, we looked at the growing tension between between India and China after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. We provided a detailed account on the visit, its implications and China’s desperate need to co-opt Tibetan Buddhism. In July and August, in the backdrop of the Doklam stand-off, our reporters travelled to Nepal and Sri Lanka to ascertain the impact of the fallout on the neighbourhood.

China’s challenge is deeper

As India turns 70, the biggest threat to its idea as a plural, inclusive democracy not only comes from the forces within but also from the external world. Post the 2008 economic slowdown, democracy is not the most cherished value or system behind forming governments. Now there is deep admiration for systems that are authoritarian, paternalistic and tough, that are now synonymous with ‘getting results’.

China's access to the Indian Ocean

China cannot give up its newly- won access to the Indian Ocean and Myanmar's strategic importance to Beijing cannot, therefore, be overestimated.More than 60 per cent of the world’s oil shipments pass through the Indian Ocean from the Middle East’s oil field to China, Japan and other strong economies in the region, as does 70 per cent of all container traffic to and from the Asian industrial countries