A report on the annual ‘Raisina Dialogue’ hosted by India recently :
………………..India’s “Raisina Dialogue” began in 2016, and India is determined to make it an Indian version of the Shangri-La dialogue, Indian Foreign Minister, Swaraj, said on the 9th at the meeting. In addition to old-fashioned topics such as multilateralism, terrorism, and development of sustainable partnerships, she also specifically mentioned India’s border problems with China and Pakistan. She said that the border issue can be resolved through bilateral dialogue on the basis of safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity but only if the other side adopts the right attitude and creates a non-confrontationist atmosphere free of coercion. The Hindustan Times commented that this was a “subtle statement” on the Sino-Indian border dispute.
China has, over the years, naturally become the country most talked about in the “Raisina Dialogue”. On the 9th, at a seminar titled “Indo-Pacific: Ancient Waters and Emerging Multilaterals”, there was a suggestion for the five countries — US, Japan, India, Australia and France — to (make a) joint high-level military tie-up in relation to China. Indian Navy Chief Lambah said, “China has maintained six to eight warships in the northern Indian Ocean. Two years ago, China established its first overseas military base in Djibouti and deployed submarines, although it was claimed that they were to be used against pirates. Protecting China’s trade routes is fine, but submarines are least likely to serve anti-piracy.” The French Broadcasting Corporation and other media have noted that senior military officials of these countries will still express their readiness to cooperate with China while also raising concerns over China’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region. This is a softer tone than the strong criticism of China in previous sessions.
With regard to the United States, Japan,, India and Australia “quartet”, Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, said that “the strategy of a free and open Indo-Pacific is not aimed at China’s containment”. “We are not asking people to choose between the United States and China”.
Going through the conference manuals, this Global Times reporter found that only the names of the organizations of the participating Taiwanese scholars had been featured by the organizers, without using the expressions Chinese Taipei or “Taiwan”. It could be said that there was sensitivity to the special arrangements pertaining to Taiwan-related issues.