The 14th Annual NPC Session: What Could Be the Possible Ramifications Arising Among Like-Minded Countries?

Background: What Does it Mean in China’s Foreign Outreach

Amidst economic cum emerging geopolitical challenges, the two sessions have witnessed the attendance of delegates from various companies, ministries, and businesses, making this an event filled with state-based socialist future planning while even keeping the private sector under the loop. Moreover, Xi Jinping’s tenure as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman hasn’t been a full stop, but he has tried to make his tenure without bounds. Hence, the CCP is laying out a framework to mitigate various challenges and infringements in the Party structure and also to deploy new quality productive forces in a multifaceted manner.

The Communist state isn’t leaving any stone unturned to further her nationalist policy of socialist characteristics. In this 14th Annual NPC Meet, various institutions laid out their outline regarding future action in internal as well as external security, where Premier Li Qiang presented the achievements and challenges Beijing overcame after the Zero Covid Policy restrictions and its further economic ramifications.

State Restriction: A Closed-Door Strategy

Further, global freedom and expression ratings vis-à-vis a free Beijing may not seem favorable with Freedom House ratings highlighting, ‘Beijing not being free.’ The statistics penned about freedom being restricted in expression, opinion, free speech, functioning of government etc. So, a sharp strategy is being adopted to thwart dissenters along with foreign agents.

In the midst of the upcoming event in Tiananmen Square, Premier Qiang presented an optimistic global outlook and work on resetting business and trade with multiple foreign companies who at a time when China’s economy will be at 5 per cent , as opined and mentioned by the Economist and 12 million jobs are supposed to be created in urban areas to tackle the repercussions Beijing has faced due to foreign trust deficit along with a rapid Sinophobia emerging in Asia.

Considering the security situation, multiple checks will be carried out to ensure censorship, maintenance of law and order. Commercial drones have been barred alongside frequent parcel checks being done. Even, sharing information to journalists have also been debarred, making information access securitized.

Moreover, in order to reduce technological dependence on the West, Premier Li intends to allure foreign investors and chip companies to come and create a level playing field to mitigate the already slowed economic growth. Productivity maybe laid emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, climate technologies alongside life sciences. Nevertheless, most of the credits may go to President Xi , a passive authoritarian who may envy anyone getting limelight, given their active participation and continuous call for Chinese Modernization taken by him Premier Li highlighting the achievements under the 14th Five Year Plan.

Perception of Stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific

Meanwhile, at this juncture, various countries are trying to decouple themselves from a China led front and forming groupings and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. Instances that could be looked at,  maybe New Delhi’s strategic overture towards Republic of Korea , in view of FM Jaishankar’s recent Seoul visit and India-France Office Consultations and discussions on Non-Proliferation cum emergence of threats emanating from AI and future technology . Multilaterals have frequently been taking place in the recent past among like-minded partners, who aim to collaborate towards mustering a rule-based order and respecting traditional norms underlined in International Law.

Looking at such examples taking place in the background of the meeting, the future instance of a Beijing-led global order will remain oblique. Partnerships may be a key to maintaining the status quo in the Indo Pacific in view of such developments. In the case of India, that cannot compromise on her boundaries along with a set national security mindset, where a win-win approach may be unlikely in the near future.

A security dilemma may have emerged in the thought of the CCP’s global outreach where the ongoing maritime dispute with Manila hasn’t witnessed any positive breakthrough, seeing the lashings and denial in the tone of Foreign Minister of PRC and even, technological competition with the U.S. over semiconductor or intelligence hasn’t witnessed positive results, furthering soar mutual suspicions. Technological Deterrence must be the key to focus and discussion for various states and non-state actors whose collaboration in the Indo Pacific could be a hedging option, keeping view of selfish geopolitical ambitions and great power struggle going further upend.

Author Bio: Vineet Malik is a member of the Consortium of Indo-Pacific researchers. He has completed his Master’s in International Relations from O.P Jindal Global University, India.

Disclaimer: Views are personal.


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