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Call China’s bluff

Call China’s bluff
Highlights

The simmering tensions in Sino-Indian ties are set to exacerbate in next couple of days, if one goes by Chinese fulminations and threats to India of serious repercussions over Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Dalai Lama, the spiritual guru of Tibetans, set out for Arunachal Pradesh from Assam on Tuesday. 

The simmering tensions in Sino-Indian ties are set to exacerbate in next couple of days, if one goes by Chinese fulminations and threats to India of serious repercussions over Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Dalai Lama, the spiritual guru of Tibetans, set out for Arunachal Pradesh from Assam on Tuesday.

He will visit Tawang monastery, which is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa. It is near where Dalai landed in India 58 years ago for asylum. He said Tibetans agree Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India. But, the Chinese claim it as South Tibet and, hence, consider him a traitor.

Though the McMahon Line drawn by the British has been the de facto border, China refuses to recognise it, and wants all of Arunachal Pradesh. India lays claim to Aksai Chin area under the Chinese on the north-west.

Unfazed by the Chinese sinister designs, Modi government resolutely stood its ground and even made a scathing attack against China for poking its nose in India's internal affairs.

Irritants between China and India have escalated of late. India is accusing China of torpedoing its move to get Pakistan-based terrorists named global terrorists. China is also blocking India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group and UN Security Council. China thinks India is seeking to be US pivot, and is interfering in far distant area like South China Sea.

But, China does not practise what it preaches. India respects territorial integrity of China, but it is not vice versa. China is already ringing India to cause it strategic unease by providing India’s neighbours with financial muscle and deals.

It blatantly ignores Pak-abetted terrorism and practises double standards – It calls Dalai Lama a terrorist, but not Masood Azar who plotted Mumbai blasts. It is also going ahead with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, despite India’s objections.

Despite this, India has let China become its largest trading partner with bilateral trade currently pegged at $72 billion. The huge $46 billion trade deficit with China does not worry India, but strategic skew does.

China fears any Indian overt support to Tibetan protestors for freedom on its soil would lead to global celebrities and, in course of time, nations joining their cause. This explains its serious warnings to India.

New Delhi is certainly doing it right in standing up to its giant hegemonic neighbour. Its message is loud and clear. It can seek strong ties with Taiwan and forge closer links with nations in dispute with China in South China Sea. It has a strong defence ally in the US.

However, India wants to pursue these tactics only to break China’s resistance to India’s efforts to make Pakistan mend its ways. China can be made to understand this only at political level. To that end, PM Modi needs to keep up his energetic and sustained engagement with China to help it bridge the trust deficit. But India should not put up with bullying anymore.

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