Alive - - Editorial -

China is con­sid­ered the sec­ond po­ten­tial en­emy of In­dia, the first be­ing Pak­istan. In­dian de­fence pre­pared­ness is based also with a view of the threat from China. In­dia’s Army Chief claims that we are pre­pared for a war on two fronts, ob­vi­ously the sec­ond be­ing the East­ern front with China.

But, is it right to see Pak­istan and China through the same coloured glasses? Pak­istan has been an en­emy of In­dia from its very in­cep­tion. Meanwhile China, af­ter the fun­da­men­tal­ist Mao tse Tung and the dis­man­tling of USSR, had lib­eral lead­ers who found com­mu­nism could not work, the coun­try can progress only through con­trolled cap­i­tal­ism. So it took ad­van­tage of cap­i­tal­ist en­trepreneur­ship while re­tain­ing com­mu­nist dis­ci­pline. The re­sult was un­prece­dented devel­op­ment and be­com­ing the sup­plier of con­sumer goods to the whole world. And In­dia too is a ma­jor client with Chi­nese goods flood­ing the mar­ket.

How­ever, po­lit­i­cal ri­valry, if not en­mity, per­sists, be­tween In­dia and China. There have been spo­radic clashes along the long bor­der. Chi­nese ac­tion to be­friend coun­tries in In­dia’s neigh­bour­hood, is con­sid­ered with sus­pi­cion. Above all, Chi­nese help to Pak­istan is seen as hos­tile by In­dia.

How­ever, In­dia can do lit­tle to stop Chi­nese “ex­pan­sion­ism” but to burn it­self in jeal­ousy and anger. But the dan­ger posed by China to In­dia is mostly imag­i­nary and out of fear com­plex.

There have been bor­der prob­lem be­tween the two coun­tries, but not a shot is fired by the ri­val armies to set­tle them. Even in Dok­lam, which at­tracted much at­ten­tion, China had only massed its troops but no in­tru­sion to In­dia was made. The Chi­nese Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to ex­pand its com­mu­ni­ca­tion to other coun­tries was sup­ported by al­most all na­tions ex­cept In­dia. In­dia op­posed it stat­ing the road from China to the Ara­bian sea port goes through Pak oc­cu­pied Kash­mir (POK). So what? Doesn’t In­dia build dams in In­dian part of Kash­mir, though Pak­istan con­sid­ers it a dis­puted ter­ri­tory. No doubt China could en­ter into eco­nomic part­ner­ship with Bangladesh, Mal­dives, Myan­mar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, which all were un­der In­dian in­flu­ence. But it was be­cause these coun­tries found China as a bet­ter eco­nomic power than In­dia.

In­dia’s op­tion to re­gain its power and pres­tige in South Asia and In­dian Ocean re­gion is to grow as a for­mi­da­ble eco­nomic power ri­valling China. In­stead, In­dia is try­ing to de­pend on the US which is op­por­tunis­tic and un­de­pend­able. Pak­istan has ru­ined it­self by de­pend­ing on the US. Should In­dia too take the same path by con­ced­ing US supremacy in the In­dian ocean?

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