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lecture on “China’s Radical Military Reforms-Strategic Perspective”

ALIGARH May 14: Maj Gen G G Dwivedi, Professor and Chairperson, Faculty of International Studies, Aligarh Muslim University delivered a lecture on “China’s Radical Military Reforms-Strategic Perspective” at the National Defence College, India’s Premier Institute which trains senior defence, civil services and foreign offices on a yearlong programme in ‘Security, Strategic Studies and Global Affairs’.
Quoting eminent scholar Derek Bodde, Prof Dwivedi said that ‘many people seem to know China, but very few understand it’. That is why those who deal with China often feel frustrated, when its leadership sends mixed signals. Substantiating the point, he briefly narrated a number of instances including 1962 War, invasion of Vietnam in 1979 and recent incursions by China’s Military, particularly when President Xi Jinping was visiting India in 2014.
Gen Dwivedi stressed that the real challenge lied in decoding the Chinese leadership thinking, which is deeply influenced by nation’s strategic culture, based on the philosophy of ‘Centrality’ and supremacy of the Chinese race. The Communist leadership’s obsession to regain top spot as the sole superpower is the driving force behind series of bold reforms and innovative initiatives. Chinese statecraft believes in use of force to eliminate threat and is wary of any competitors, often pitching one rival against the other. Diminution of US influence, containing Japan and marginalizing India are part of China’s strategic objectives, he added. 
Sharing own perceptions, when he was posted as Defence Attaché in Beijing; General Dwivedi recalled that reforms in China’s military have been an ongoing process. However, it is after President Xi Jinping took over that the nature and scope has been path breaking, catching the global attention. The key drivers are Xi’s quest for absolute control over the People’s Liberation Army and President Obama’s Doctrine of ‘Pivot to Asia’, which Beijing perceives is aimed to contain China.
Prof. Dwivedi said that China’s seven Military Regions stand reorganized into five Theatre Commands, integrating army, naval and air force along with strategic nuclear assets under single theatre commander, with President Xi as the Commander in Chief. He asserted that China’s Military Reforms in the prevailing security environment, had greater implications for India.         

(Dr. Rahat Abrar)

Consultant, Public Relations

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