In­dia buck­les un­der Chi­nese pres­sure

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Mo­ham­mad Jamil Email: mjamil1938@ hot­mail. com

gation of rel­e­vant coun­tries.” Re­act­ing to the In­dian move, Isa said: “On 23 April, I got a very short note by the In­dian side that my visa is can­celled. There was no ex­pla­na­tion.” He, how­ever, spec­u­lated it may have been be­cause of Chi­nese pres­sure on the In­dian gov­ern­ment.

There is a per­cep­tion that In­dia’s de­ci­sion to per­mit WUC lead­ers whom China re­gards as back­ers of ter­ror­ism in its volatile Mus­lim- dom­i­nated Xin­jiang province was re­ported to be in re­sponse to Bei­jing block­ing In­dian bid to get Jaish- e- Muham­mad chief Ma­sood Azhar banned by the UN. In 2009 also, China had ex­pressed its anger over the planned visit of Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, and had warned that there should no political speeches. Dalai Lama of course avoided any political state­ment dur­ing the trip, as he did not like to ex­ac­er­bate the ten­sion be­tween China and In­dia. Ac­cord­ing to In­dian press re­ports, China’s soldiers, he­li­copters and even fighter jets had been in­trud­ing in the dis­puted ter­ri­tory to slowly and steadily re­trieve the area. Though Chi­nese me­dia had never cre­ated hype about its ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute with In­dia, yet Chi­nese diplo­mats, in­tel­lec­tu­als and lead­ers of the pub­lic opinion as­serted claims over Arunachal Pradesh.

The same year, in­ter­na­tional me­dia had car­ried re­ports that In­dia sig­nif­i­cantly up­graded its mil­i­tary prow­ess along the bor­der it shares with China, de­ploy­ing two army divi­sions along with a squadron of top- of- the­line Sukhoi Su- 30MKI war­planes at a crit­i­cal base in the north- east. Chi­nese lead­er­ship as usual re­mained well- com­posed, as it nei­ther bul­lied other coun­tries nor ac­cepted any non­sense even from the su­per power. In 1962, when In­dia tried to flex its mus­cles, Chi­nese troops had ad­vanced to 48 kilo­me­ters in As­sam plains and also oc­cu­pied In­dian forces’ strate­gic posts in Ladakh in 1962. The bor­der clashes with China were a di­rect con­se­quence of the Ti­betan prob­lem that cropped up when the Dalai Lama had fled to In­dia. Since then it has be­come a flash­point that could spark a war be­tween the two nu­clear- armed neigh­bours, though both coun­tries held se­ries of ne­go­ti­a­tions to re­solve the ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute, but to no avail.

How­ever, af­ter Bri­tish For­eign Of­fice clar­i­fi­ca­tion on Oct 29 2008 ad­mit­ting that Ti­bet was part of China, In­dian po­si­tion has weak­ened. Re­la­tions be­tween China and In­dia im­proved since a brief bor­der war in 1962, but deep sus­pi­cion over a long­stand­ing ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute re­mains an ob­sta­cle to achieve full po­ten­tial of eco­nomic ties be­tween the two neigh­bors. Chi­nese Vice Pres­i­dent Li Yuan­chao had vis­ited In­dia from Nov 3- 7 2015. Re­port­edly, he dis­cussed rather com­plained about the In­dian sup­port to East Turk­menistan Is­lamic Move­ment ( ETIM) for cre­at­ing un­rest in China’s Xin­jiang re­gion. Since in­de­pen­dence of In­dia and China in 1947 and 1948 re­spec­tively, both coun­tries could not de­cide how far their bor­ders went as the coun­tries’ bor­ders had changed at var­i­ous times. China and In­dia has two bor­der is­sues - Ak­sai Chin ( west­ern front) and Arunachal Pradesh in North East In­dia ( East­ern Front).

Nei­ther the ter­rain nor its his­tory bore any ev­i­dence of a con­nec­tion of Arunachal Pradesh with In­dia, but Nehru was too head­strong and he was em­bold­ened by the fact that both su­per pow­ers the US and the USSR were against China at that time. Nehru thought that he could get away with his claim and China would not dare at­tack In­dia, but his gam­ble failed and In­dia had lost the war. China taught In­dia a les­son while still send­ing a pow­er­ful mes­sage to the rest of the world that it would not com­pro­mise its se­cu­rity and its in­alien­able parts. Dur­ing Cold War era, In­dia was in the Soviet camp, and Pak­istan was in­ter­twined in de­fence pacts with the West and the US. Since dif­fer­ences be­tween Soviet Union and China emerged over in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Marx­ism and other fac­tors, In­dia op­posed China to ben­e­fit from both the su­per pow­ers.

In­dia has been as­sur­ing the US and the West that it would help con­tain China, as they were wary of ris­ing mil­i­tary strength of China which they be­lieved was fo­cused on coun­ter­ing US power. De­spite ap­par­ently cor­dial re­la­tions, the US con­tin­ued the pol­icy of con­tain­ing China and crit­i­cis­ing it for hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions. In Oc­to­ber 2010, award of No­bel Peace Prize to Chi­nese dis­si­dent Liu Xiaobo was a part of the plot to den­i­grate China. The No­bel Com­mit­tee while award­ing the Peace Prize 2010 to the Chi­nese dis­si­dent had stated that it was given for his long non- vi­o­lent strug­gle for fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights in China. But Nor­we­gian No­bel Com­mit­tee at the same time had ac­knowl­edged that “China has had eco­nomic growth hardly com­pa­ra­ble in his­tory, and lifted mil­lions of peo­ple out of poverty”. How­ever, the com­mit­tee had failed to grasp the true sense or real mean­ing of free­doms and fun­da­men­tal rights. — The writer is a se­nior jour­nal­ist based in La­hore.

In­dia has been as­sur­ing the US and the West that it would help con­tain China, as they were wary of ris­ing mil­i­tary strength of China which they be­lieved was fo­cused on coun­ter­ing US power.

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