CHENNAI, India, 9 September 2020
It is well known that the Chinese government is now under the control of a coterie of a few persons with a strategic hold on the governance of China. Obviously, it is not a representative government of the people as it is a totalitarian regime, curbing the freedom of speech for the millions of Chinese citizens with characteristic ruthlessness. History shows that this kind of ruthless government has to necessarily fall one day, with the dictatorial leaders having to run away or getting wiped out. Certainly, such totalitarian regimes are sitting on a time bomb.
While several countries are concerned about the aggressive behaviour of China, the world should be careful to make a distinction between the Chinese people and the Chinese government, since very large sections of the Chinese population would not approve of the methods and approach of the Chinese government, both inside China and outside China. Unfortunately, the Chinese people have no say in the actions of the Chinese government.
There is worldwide concern that China could become even more aggressive in the coming months, considering its claims on the South China Sea, and creation of a near-war-like situation with India claiming large territory of India as its own.
Many people really do not understand why China is claiming other country’s territories and pursuing expansionist policies. China is certainly aiming at world domination by fair or foul means and seems to be under the mistaken impression that based on its strong economy and military power, no country in the world can stop China in its march towards expansionism and world domination.
While China was invading Tibet, no country in the world came to the aid of the helpless Tibetans. This has emboldened China to take the world for granted.
The ground reality is that China is not really as powerful as it thinks, since it is vulnerable due to its dependence on international market and trade.
It appears that while China is aggressive with regard to its claims on the South China Sea, it really wants to test its game plan and world reactions by taking a warlike posture against India.
As of now, India as well as a number of other countries fear that China would start a full-scale war with India soon, and try to invade India and forcibly take its territory. Perhaps China thinks that it would remain unchallenged in the case of war with India, and that other countries will only be watching the war scenes with India from a gallery.
The government of India has so far clearly given an impression that it would not like to enter into a war with China and would try to avoid it to the extent possible.
While China has killed 20 soldiers in the month of June, the Indian Defence Minister has met the Chinese Defence Minister in Moscow for a discussion, though no one really knows what transpired. Some unsubstantiated media reports have said that the Chinese Defence Minister has told that China would not give up an inch of its territory. Even as the China-India border is tense now, with Indian and Chinese army facing each other, it is surprising that the Indian Foreign Minister would meet his Chinese counterpart for a discussion. Such meetings invariably create an impression that India is pleading with China for peace and China is dictating the terms.
Obviously, India does not want war with China, since this would cause a setback to Prime Minister Modi’s economic target for the country. It would also lead to loss of lives; with India not being sure whether other countries would come to its aid by opening up a war front with China.
China has already “bought” and brought the weak neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh under its near control by extending loans and participating in projects. Certainly these weak countries are unlikely to take sides in the case of China-India war, while Pakistan may actively participate in the war against India along with China.
Ultimately, what would China really gain by launching a war against India and aggressive intrusion into the South China Sea?
Many people now suspect that the leadership of the Chinese government is foolish enough to think that such aggressive postures would help in meeting its goal of world domination. On the other hand, it is bound to have the opposite effect.
The world would realise the need to control China at any cost, if China would pursue expansionist plans that would destabilise world peace.
While the weak countries in Asia and Africa and in Latin America may remain silent spectators fearing China, the stronger countries in Europe, Asia, and North America would certainly put their heads together and start activities towards ensuring trade isolation of China.
China cannot bear such onslaught. Any trade isolation of China would lead to collapse of the Chinese economy, that would inevitably lead to unrest in China with grave consequences for the Chinese leadership.
Seeing the aggressive approach of the Chinese government, one cannot but think that the coterie of dictatorial leaders in China are consumed by their ego and ambition and think that they have the military and economic power to challenge the world.
With no capability and wisdom to learn from history. Chinese leadership is now leading China on a suicidal path.
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.