China's strategy of engaging in power play serves as a perfect Wei qi lesson

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 11, 2020, 10:58 PM(IST)

China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China is playing Wei qi in deferent geographical locations, and is trying to tilt the global power balance in its favour.

In Wei qi, the 2,500 years old Chinese abstract strategy board game, the goal is to slowly and patiently build up assets to tip the balance of the game in one’s favour. The emphasis is on long-term strategy, not short-term gains.

This is quite similar to what China has been doing with its neighbouring nations.

China is playing Wei qi in deferent geographical locations, and is trying to tilt the global power balance in its favour.

Take the example of Beijing's many maritime disputes in the South China Sea. 

Since January, the Chinese Navy has been encroaching Indonesian fisheries.

Since February, Chinese speed boards have been entering Taiwan's territorial waters. They have been conducting unwarranted drills.

In March, a Chinese fishing vessel damaged a Japanese maritime destroyer.

And in April, the Chinese Navy sank a Vietnamese fishing boat for no reason.

The same month, China deployed an exploration vessel near Malaysia to study marine life -- as the Chinese media said.

Soon enough, there were reports that China was establishing new districts in the South China Sea -- for better management, the Global Times said.

It began giving Chinese names to disputed islands. 

And then China shifted focus towards India -- first by pushing Nepal to pick up a fight with India.

But New Delhi chose diplomacy as a solution instead of confrontation.

When China saw this plan failing, it shifted focus to Ladakh.

It began reinforcing defences near the Ladakh border. 

It also aired videos of PLA troops preparing for the battle.

But the threats did not deter India, and hence, China has to trace back its steps.

And that's what Wei qi entails.

China provokes countries at the borders but insists it doesn't want a war. It encroaches on territories but doesn't engage in an all out confrontation.

For China, an upper hand is more desirable than full control -- it wants to tilt the balance of power in its favour.

Well played!


 

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