From the first week of May this year, the Sino-Bharat standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh has hogged the news cycle despite the Covid-19 pandemic and, perhaps, rightly so. While experts on the subject are better placed to comment on the goings-on at the border, this author is interested in the big picture significance, implications and lessons which Bharat must draw from the current round of conflict initiated, yet again, by China.
In early 2011, British Journalist Martin Jacques wrote in his piece Civilization State versus Nation-State that the reason why China confounded Europe was because the latter made the mistake of applying its Eurocentric nation-state paradigm in trying to understand China. He was of the unequivocal opinion that China saw itself as a civilization state, which was alien to the European, more generally the Western worldview, owing to the advent and normalization of the nation-state in Europe since the 17th century. He further opined that any resemblance of China to a nation-state was merely the top soil with the civilization state being its core.