From South China to Chirabian Sea

India Strategic - - NEWS - Gul­shan Rai Luthra

China has been on the rise eco­nom­i­cally in the re­cent decades, and lit­er­ally dom­i­nates the world as its pow­er­house for con­sumer and en­gi­neer­ing goods.

No­body has chal­lenged this rise, and even In­dia has been sup­port­ing it with in­creas­ing bi­lat­eral trade, which hap­pens to be much in China’s favour. In fact, every In­dian fes­ti­val, from Di­wali to na­tional days like the In­de­pen­dence Day and Re­pub­lic Day see the in­flow of a num­ber of Chi­nese goods into In­dia.

No­body has re­sisted that and China has been get­ting a place in our hearts as a soft power. It’s dif­fer­ent now.

For the past few years, in line with its im­pe­ri­al­is­tic his­tory, China has been try­ing to ex­pand south, be­gin­ning with the South China Sea and now the Hi­malayan bor­ders to­wards Bhutan and In­dia. Ex­cept North Korea, all its neigh­bours around the South China Sea are up­set, and down south on the Hi­malayan front, only Pak­istan, a state known for fo­ment­ing ter­ror trou­bles world­wide, is with it be­cause Islamabad gets mas­sive mil­i­tary and eco­nomic aid from Bei­jing.

Nonethe­less, there has been a good mea­sure of peace on the Indo-China bor­ders and the In­dian and Chi­nese lead­ers – in all fair­ness the lat­ter in­cluded – have shown warmth to­wards one another.

The sud­den move of the Chi­nese army to come closer to In­dia and Bhutan, in ter­ri­tory, which like many other ar­eas it claims, has dis­turbed the well-in­ten­tioned peace achieved be­tween the two coun­tries over the years. In­dia is bound to re­sist.

Where ac­tu­ally is the need to bring troops and bull­doz­ers so close to the bor­ders of other coun­tries! Peace is best for In­dia, and cer­tainly for China too.

But China has been threat­en­ing vi­o­lence and war through its of­fi­cials and of­fi­cial me­dia. In­deed In­dia suf­fered badly in the 1962 war, in­flicted de­spite the In­dian lead­ers be­ing kind to China. The US and three other UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil mem­bers pleaded with In­dia to be the fifth mem­ber, but Mr Jawa­har­lal Nehru, a states­man ahead of his times, in­sisted that it go to China.

In­dian De­fence Min­is­ter Arun Jaitley has rightly said now that the In­dia of to­day is not the In­dia of 1962.

No­body wants war, and hope­fully, that in­cludes China. I shud­der at the blood­shed and loss of hu­man lives it would bring on both sides of the bor­der.

I may re­call how­ever what Mrs Indira Gandhi had told in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers once: In­dia can­not com­pete with China eco­nom­i­cally, po­lit­i­cally and mil­i­tar­ily. But if a war is thrust upon us, we must make sure to cause three times the dam­age than to us, and set an en­emy be­hind by two to three decades.

The Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice is in­sti­tu­tional and I am sure this would be the think­ing of the cur­rent in­cum­bent, Mr Naren­dra Modi also. He is loved by us.

China al­ready claims the South China Sea, and through its pur­chase and ac­qui­si­tion of Gwadar port from Pak­istan, per­haps it has a vi­sion of ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters in the Ara­bian Sea also.

What a dream: From South China to Chirabian Sea!

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