CHENNAI, India, 12 October 2020
The Foreign Ministers of Japan, Australia, USA, and India have now met at Japan under the banner of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) to discuss the future strategies and plans to ensure security in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Obviously, QUAD is an anti-China front, and China clearly knows this, just as everyone else in the world. Certainly, QUAD should be causing anxiety to leadership in China, as it is the first time that four nations have formed a front to check the aggressive and expansionist ambitions of China. While only four countries are members of QUAD, certainly a number of other countries like Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea would be wishing QUAD well and watching the developments with interest.
While China has made spectacular progress in industrial and economic growth and military power, this “progress” has only caused alarm among many countries who are concerned about several aggressive postures of China. Such countries must be thinking that China could emerge as a threat to world peace, and someone should challenge China’s aggressive approach in various possible ways, and peacefully to the extent possible.
China has already “pocketed” Pakistan and North Korea. With regard to other countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, it has gained a vice-like grip over them by extending loans and getting strategic positions in these countries.
China’s occupation of Tibet is now total. The massacre of thousands of innocent Tibetans by China has been virtually ignored by UNO and its member countries. It is occupying thousands of kilometres of Indian territory and is claiming more. China’s aggressive claims with regard to the South China Sea and Senkaku islands clearly shows its expansionist intentions. China’s OBOR scheme is part of its strategy to dominate the entire world. In such circumstances, it is a matter of crucial importance that China’s aggressive march should be halted and China should be made to give up its expansionist approach.
It is still not clear as to what would be the strategies of QUAD formed by the four countries, whether it would be restricted to defensive actions. The member countries of QUAD should realize that any defensive strategies would only give more time for China to strengthen its expansionist pursuits. China will have the last laugh if QUAD would simply end up as a discussion forum.
The Chinese government is a totalitarian regime under the control of coterie of leaders, and certainly it is not a representative government of the people of China. Therefore, any strategic action of QUAD members against China should be clearly understood as directed towards Chinese government and not towards Chinese people. QUAD members should make this clear to the world.
It is necessary that QUAD should work out a time-bound action plan to resist China’s aggression.
The first step in this direction should be to extend recognition to Taiwan and take measures to ensure that Taiwan would be a full-fledged member of the United Nations. China has been threatening to invade Taiwan for a long time now, and it may do so at any time in future unless such efforts are thwarted.
China has occupied Tibet for over six decades now and the world is silent. China is suppressing freedom in Hong Kong and the world is simply watching. Encouraged by such silence of the world countries, China must be expecting that its occupation of Taiwan would be silently “approved“ by the world, and probably China thinks that it can afford to ignore the “paper tigers“ protesting against any invasion of Taiwan by China. It is necessary that QUAD should not get an image of a paper tiger.
It is known from much historical evidence that aggression is the best form of defence, particularly when the cause is right.
As everyone knows, Taiwan was part of China, and when the Communist leaders launched an aggressive war against the then leadership of China, Taiwan became a separate region and Communist leaders occupied mainland China. Therefore, Taiwan deserves world recognition.
The second strategy of QUAD should be to work towards liberation of Tibet and undo the historical harm done to the peaceful Tibet by the ruthless and totalitarian Chinese government. The world and UNO have a duty to ensure that Tibet gets its independence back.
These two steps would make China realize the limitations of its aggression and expansionist strategies and would make China behave better, which is essential for world peace.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as 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.