Prof. M. K. Bhat
The recent incursion by China in Galwan valley at Ladakh has charged everyone in the country and people want to revenge this misadventure of China at any cost. It has led to a continuous debate in the country on the role of China in the pandemic times. Modi baiters/ those close to China ideologically least shy out from propagating Chinese view point and those getting donations are bound to oppose the Government because of their own compulsions. These groups feel it as a chance to score brownie points against Modi and fail to realise that nation is more than Modi. Except these few, India stands behind the Prime Minister on China issue.
China unilaterally violated all the consensuses reached earlier, on June 15, 2020, a violent scuffle ensued resulting in the martyrdom of 20 soldiers. This type of fight on India China border happened after 45 years and enraged Indians against china. The Prime Minister assured the nation on last Sunday that “India honours the spirit of friendship….she is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary, without shying away. Our brave soldiers have proven that they will not let anyone cast an evil eye on the glory and honour of Mother India.”
Those who feel that the recent incident took place due to India’s decision of infrastructure upgradation along the line of control/ decision to make Ladakh a Union Territory/ India getting closer to America/ rising status of India in UNSC/WHO are only trying to mislead the country. India discarded automatic route of investment to save Indian industries from Chinese takeover during pandemic times, when their value was quite low. The matter of the fact is that India as a sovereign country is within its ambit to take any such decision. China since its independence has never left a single chance to harm India. Its frustration this time is mainly due to the notoriety it earned worldwide for hiding information regarding COVID-19 and the bold resistance to its misadventures from the Government of India.
The growing clout of China is a big threat to its neighboring countries because of its expansionist strategy. China wants to acquire areas of strategic importance for its further expansion. It over the years expanded its territory by amalgamating small States like .(1) East Turkistan (2) Tibet (3) Greater Mangolia (4)Yunnan (5) Hong Kong (6) Manchuria and no country mustered enough courage to raise its voice against such happenings due to the autocratic style of China. Its relations with South East Asian countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines etc are already in a bad state. In Nepal, it has resorted to land grabbing though Nepalese Government at present is not making much noise due to its ideological nearness. It has heavily invested in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal etc thereby they are to follow its dictates. It uses its money power for indebting a country, and then slowly squeezes its sovereignty.
The intensions of china towards the autonomy of Hong Kong became clear with its passing of controversial national security law that restricts the autonomy enjoyed previously by Hong Kong and enables the extradition of agitators from Hong Kong to mainland China. This law was passed by China during pandemics so as to restrict the agitation from the people of Hong Kong.
China’s intension to win the world without using a single bullet made America to take a direct confrontation with it by moving its forces in South China Sea. U.S senate passed Hong Kong autonomy act proposing sanctions against Chinese efforts to restrict autonomy in Hong Kong. It also passed Ulgir human rights act 2020 which holds China responsible for the persecution of minorities.
China sees India as a big roadblock in its way of being a super power and has in the previous years taken enough leverage from India’s patience. Today, it is time that India hits back with much intensity. It is proper time to say China that India of 2020 is quite different from India of 1962. It needs to be conveyed that areas which cannot grow even a blade of grass cannot be compromised at any cost. Those who make their stand clear, win the war sooner or later.
India needs to have a concerted policy towards its enemy no one i.e. China, even if the borders calm down. The latter has never left a single chance to denounce India’s stand be it in UNSC / occupation of Aksai Chin / construction of CPEC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir or terrorist blacklisting etc. It uses its financial power to provoke our neighbors against us, the latest being Nepal. How long India will bear the hegemonistic attitude of China is a big question at present?
In the economic front India shall make a feasible environment to attract firms leaving China. Today China is $14 trillion economy while as India is 3$ trillion economy. In 2018, China’s exports to India were only 3.1 percent of their total exports while as India’s exports stood at 5.8% of its total exports so the boycott may not cut much ice, still a dent can be made into non essential items till a proper supply of industrial inputs from other destinations will take place. The Government of India started its economic retaliation with the order from the Department of Telecommunication to BSNL that no Chinese equipment should be used by state run company which is resorting to 4G business as part of its rehabilitation plan. The Public Sector company has been asked to rework its tenders immediately. Government is also impressing on the Private Sector to reduce its dependence on China.
China at present is running in trouble times due to slow down in its economy, internal disturbances, threats to Taiwan, bad feeling in the international community due to covid19, repression in Hong Kong besides border dispute with almost all the neighboring countries. India needs to take a bold challenge and make world opinion against China, improve its military infrastructure and unite the border countries against China. This fight needs to be more diplomatic and less of direct confrontation.
We need to support prodemocracy movement in Hong Kong, expand interaction with Taiwan, raise its role in hiding COVID 19 in the international forums; India must declare Tibet as an independent country. It may be pointed out here that Government is soon going to start a new radio station for Tibet which will focus on news pertaining to Tibet and its culture. China has illegally declared it as its own State which it never has been. We must come to the rescue of Manchurians and become the voice of Ulgir Muslims. Their sordid story is in itself a grave disrespect to the human rights. We must strengthen border infrastructure all along the line of control at any cost. It is worthwhile to say that military too was quickly mobilised to forward posts and China has been conveyed in clear cut terms about its wrong attitude on June 15, 2020.
India has a fertile base to contain China at this time due to the COVID19 outrage felt in various countries of the world. It needs to strengthen QUAD comprising of US, Japan, India, Australia and shall include all other countries on China’s periphery in it. The internal and external diplomatic moves, if carried boldly, will make the dragon to dance to the musings of elephant.
Prof. M. K. Bhat