CHENNAI, India, 5 March 2017
After marching into peaceful Tibet more than six decades back, occupying the country and suppressing freedom in Tibet, world opinion against China’s aggressive move remained largely impotent. So China now seems to have become over-confident that it can view world opinion with contempt and get away with its notorious behaviour of bullying its neighbours. China seems to have concluded that no one will come to the aid of the victimized countries, so long as China remains economically and militarily strong.
Aggressive claim on India’s province Arunachal Pradesh
After having annoyed Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, and other neighbouring countries with its aggressive expansionist policies, claiming their territories however unjustifiable it may be, China is now focusing its aggressive stance on India, claiming that Arunachal Pradesh in India belongs to China.
Every time a Tibetan leader would visit Arunachal Pradesh, China cries foul and denounces the visit with total arrogance. Now, such aggressive reaction from China has reached a new peak with China warning India not to allow the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Reflecting its typical unacceptable behaviour, China has said that it is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh. It has further warned India that invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh will cause “serious damage” to Sino-Indian ties.
Of course the Modi government in India would ignore the protests of China, knowing very well that China really can do nothing in the matter and can at best cause some skirmishes along the border.
China’s vulnerability on trade front
Though China has made spectacular progress in industrial and economic growth, the ground reality is that the health of the Chinese economy considerably depends on its trade relationships with other countries. Since the capacity creation in China for several industrial and other products are much more than what China can internally absorb, it has to necessarily export its products in large measure.
China’s exports of various goods and commodities to India constitute a significant percentage of Chinese total exports. If India would retaliate against China by imposing a trade embargo, it would inflict deep wounds on Chinese economy, much more than such a trade embargo would hurt India. In today’s conditions, China cannot afford it.
China should know that those living in glass houses should not throw stones at others.
Need for neighbouring countries to work out strategies
It is high time that the neighbouring countries of China should discuss this situation amongst themselves and work out strategies to face the threat posed by China to their stability. China is now known as an aggressive country seeking to impose its will on neighbours with no consideration for healthy values in international relations.
In recent times, China has been able to get away with its threats. When US President Donald Trump assumed office and spoke to the Taiwanese President over the telephone, China became suspicious and protested — as if the US President should get permission from China to talk to the Taiwanese president. Unfortunately, it appears that President Trump has buckled under the pressure of China and committed himself to what is called the “one-China policy”.
Many nations, including the rich US and west European countries, who shout from the rooftops about commitment to the causes of liberty and freedom, have been maintaining a thunderous silence as far as the issue of China’s aggression in Tibet is concerned, to protect their trade and investment interests in China.
Tibet stands as a ready and visible example of China’s uncivilized expansionist policies. Peaceful Tibetans have been protesting around the world, seeking support from the world governments to get justice for Tibet and force China to quit Tibet. It is sad that the appeals of Tibetans are falling on deaf ears.
India will protect the interests of Tibetans
However, Tibetans living in Tibet and around the world should know that even if most world governments ignore their plight and sufferings, India will always stand by them to the extent needed. With Mr Modi in power as the Prime Minister of India, the Dalai Lama and hundreds of Tibetans living in India should feel reassured of their safety and respectability.
There is strong public opinion in India in favour of the freedom of Tibet, and the Indian people would stand by the cause of Tibet.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice For The Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden and working for probity in public life.
More articles by NS Venkataraman on Tibet Sun.