John Garver, professor emeritus in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, was quoted in “Handshake Hurrah To Hawks” for Outlook India.
Seasoned observers of Sino-Indian relations like John Garver is however, not surprised by the turn of events. “China’s leaders are well aware of the heavy political costs of war with India,” says Garver, professor emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Yet, Beijing does see utility in convincing India’s leaders—or even more, its public—that another Chinese ‘lesson’ might be forthcoming if India transgresses against Chinese interests too egregiously. Thus, a type of psychological warfare—border confrontations, diplomatic demarches, threatening media messages etc,” he adds. According to Garver, China’s India policy is mainly twofold—invitation to cooperate and partner with China, but with the threat of punishment if Indian policies become “too hostile” to China and its interests.
But, under the circumstances, how significant is the Chinese shift? “It could be significant,” says Garver. He feels Beijing is increasingly becoming concerned with progressive “Islamisation of the Pakistan state” and the possible ill consequences of it for the entire region, including Xinjiang. “I doubt that Beijing will break with Islamabad. But it may seek to nudge the Pakistan army and the state in a more secular direction,” opines the emeritus professor.
John Garver joined the Nunn School in 1985 as a professor in the Nunn School and specializes in China's foreign relations. For many years, he served on the editorial boards of journals and has written several publications, including China’s Quest; History of the Foreign Relations of the People’s Republic of China. Garver retired in 2015 and was awarded emeritus by the Institute.
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