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China reaction intolerable

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China Reaction Intolerable, President Pranab Mukherjee’s Visit To Arunachal Pradesh, Beijing. It is ironical and disturbing that President Pranab...

It is ironical and disturbing that President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh has irked China. It is not for the first time that Beijing has reacted to such high-level visits. It was stated by Beijing that such a visit would bound to heighten tensions over the long running border dispute between India and China.
It goes without saying that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. There is nothing which can prove that it is not under India’s control. All the Indian laws as per the Constitution are applicable in both domestic and international contexts of Arunachal Pradesh. Therefore, Beijing’s reactions to it have no basis at all.
However, there are certainly some misunderstandings and misperceptions on Arunachal Pradesh among the key policy makers of China. But, it can be reiterated here that there are none in New Delhi. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the important States of the seven sisters in the North-East and in fact is a gateway to India’s look east policy.
More recently, the signing of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) by India and China this October was seen as a positive development in at least building and changing the mutual perceptions about each other. The BDCA, however, was nothing but a replica of India – China earlier agreements on peace and tranquility across borders signed during 1993 and 1996.
The packaging of BDCA was done in a way where Beijing can market it well to the rest of the world, reflecting its intentions and fundamental goals. Despite having a mention in the BDCA that the India-China Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity serves the fundamental interests of the people of the two countries, there seems to be a lack of move by Beijing to realize the goals enshrined.
It has also been mentioned in the agreement that neither side shall use its military capability against the other side and that their respective military strengths shall not be used to attack the other side. It must be stressed here that it is high time India starts taking the border negotiations with lot more seriousness and see whether there will be a win-win situation for both.
The political dimension of Sino-Indian relations cannot be neglected and both sides should keep their political understanding in order. If the centre of gravity is shifting from the West to the East, then it is certain that both India and China together will have to play a role in leading world affairs.
Any irresponsible act by either of sides will lead to a disastrous path and will ultimately be problematic especially in terms of assuming the responsibilities of the international community. China will have to finally engage with India seriously on the border issues and reach to some level of understanding, where a resolution would help in bridging all the differences and dispelling misunderstandings. Undoubtedly, India does figure on China’s radar screen.
The emphasis on economics and commerce will not be sufficient unless and until the core issue of the border row is addressed. The bilateral economic partnership cannot afford to override political issues for a long time. New Delhi has to understand the political issues with more seriousness and give primacy to these. China obviously needs to change its political stance and understand the emerging geopolitical realities. --- INFA
(The writer is professor of the Department of Geopolitics & International Relations,Manipal University).
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