CHENNAI, India, 17 June 2020
The morale of the world community is at a very low level due to the COVID-19 crisis, with no one knowing when it would end, and the consequent shattered economy of most countries in the world. The Chinese government under the dictatorship of Xi JinPing appears to have decided that now is the best time for the Chinese government to achieve its long-cherished ambition of dominating the world in all respects and emerging as the undisputed superpower of the world.
It is very obvious that the Chinese government has concluded, after all its calculation or miscalculation, that its strategies towards total domination of the world should start now by confronting and weakening India and even humiliating it, if possible. A large populated country like India, if it were to decisively weaken under the pressure of China, then probably the Chinese government thinks that there would not be many insurmountable hurdles to “conquer the world”.
While the 1962 war with China left India humiliated, and yet to recover from the shock of Chinese deceit, the Chinese government has consistently applied pressure on India in various ways in multiple forums.
With this game plan of weakening India, the Chinese government has directly and indirectly encouraged Pakistan to maintain a hate relationship with India. The prejudiced leadership of Pakistan has just unwisely considered China as an “all-weather friend”. In this process, today Pakistan has virtually become an extended territory of China and the Pakistan government is in no position to refuse any dictates from China. With huge debts and several infrastructure projects under the Chinese companies, China can at any time make Pakistan open a bigger military front against India than what it has been doing so far.
With the border dispute raised by the Nepalese government with India, the Nepalese government is now virtually dependent on the mercy of China.
The appeasement of China by India started when Jawaharlal Nehru misread the motives and game plan of the then Chinese government. The recent visit of Xi Jin Ping to India, when Prime Minister Modi went out of the way to extend a glamorous welcome to the Chinese President, made many think whether Mr Modi also has misread the game plan of the Chinese government, just as Jawaharlal Nehru did several decades back.
When China occupied Tibet after the massacre of thousands of Tibetan protesters, India simply recognized the Chinese occupation of Tibet, in spite of the fact that Tibet under Chinese control could be a threat for India’s security interests. The world virtually lost faith that India has the willpower to confront the Chinese government.
Now, the tragic news that three Indian army men lost their lives in the border clash with Chinese military on 15th June has shocked entire India, with people wondering how Mr Modi will handle the situation. Will he try to buy peace with China in spite of the provocation, or gather courage and work out plans to resist the Chinese government?
In any case, it is obvious now that India has no option other than resisting China in every possible way, and making China realize that India is not a country that China can take for granted.
The terrorist attacks by militants from Pakistan in Kashmir which have been steadily increasing in recent times, the government of Nepal creating border dispute with India, and Chinese military creating border tension, all clearly indicate that China has worked out its strategic game plan.
In all probability, it is likely that Pakistan will intensify its conflict with India in Kashmir and the Nepal government would become more belligerent against India and Chinese military provocation in the border will intensify. Just as China killed Indian military personnel on 15th June, the Nepal government too shot down an Indian a few days back at its border with India.
The scheme behind the well-coordinated plan of the Chinese government with support from governments of Pakistan and Nepal is to force India to resist the incursions on the border with China, Nepal, and Pakistan using its military force. This will give an opportunity for the Chinese government to send its forces to Pakistan and Nepal to “defend their border”. Then, the Chinese military will not go back at all from these territories of Pakistan and Nepal.
The news that China has asked the Nepalese government to teach its students Chinese language Mandarin and has promised to meet the expenses for teaching the Mandarin language clearly indicate that China has deep interest in controlling Nepal and possibly even occupying Nepal in one form or the other. It is disturbing to think whether Nepal too would go the Tibet way.
What options for the Indian government now?
China’s exports to India increased by 2.1 per cent last year totalling 515.63 billion yuan, while India’s exports to China decreased by 0.2% totalling 123.89 billion yuan. India has to necessarily stop imports from China in a big way and certainly the import of non-essential items can be stopped forthwith by imposing safeguard duty. This will be a matter of concern to China and effectively reveal present the Indian government’s mindset to the Chinese government. Certainly, India would suffer a little by suddenly curbing imports from China, but this will be a very small price that India can afford.
India has to express its concern about the occupation of Tibet by China in subtle ways and allow the Tibetans in India to express their views and anger freely about atrocities committed by China in Tibet.
India has to develop a relationship with Taiwan in a more open way, and strengthen the trade relations with Taiwan. China should be given an impression that India would not hesitate to give recognition to Taiwan if necessary.
India has to seek cooperation from countries like the US, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Israel, and others, who are equally concerned about Chinese greed and territorial ambitions.
It appears that military confrontation with China and its allies Pakistan and Nepal will be inevitable in the coming days in a small or big way. Possibly, India need to have an understanding with the US, and even a military pact to face the situation, in the event of massive attacks from these three neighbouring countries.
Above all, Prime Minister Modi has to clearly realize that China has to be paid in the same coin, and that the appeasement policy has lost its value once for all.
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.