While China’s desire for economic prosperity in Xinjiang may be achievable, it has not seemingly found any solution to the sense of alienation felt by the local Uighurs.
Like in the 2011 edition of the Defence White Paper, this year too, the report warns that China’s military movements are “a matter of concern” for the Asian region and the international community, and “should require prudent analysis.”
China’s decision to set up a military garrison on the Yongxing Island and creating a city administration could be seen as a step in firstly expanding its military reach, secondly strengthening its claims in the South China Sea, and thirdly countering the US rebalance towards the region.
The timing of the proposal for the new Turkmen-Afghan-China pipeline is intriguing, setting off speculation about whether it was being conceived to stymie TAPI or is part of China’s strategy to guard against any extra-regional influence in Central Asia.
On territorial and sovereignty related issues, China is likely to increasingly display unilateral tendencies. This is commensurate not only with China’s growing power but also with the relative decline of the United States.
Even though both the national and metropolitan governments might eventually decide to come to an agreement, the possible repercussions on Japan’s bilateral relations with China and Taiwan might still create serious hurdles in proceeding with the nationalization plan for the Senkakus.
The gestation period of 3-5 years to implement this tourism project gives China sufficient time to complete several projects linked to Tibet that improve connectivity, trade and commerce.