Sunday, September 5, 2010


Tenzin Lekshay

Last month, Sino-Indian relation was swamped by many hair raising episodes, which placed India on high alert with the much pugnacious actions of China over the borders, and diplomatic provocations including its denial of Visa to Lt. General B.S. Jaswal. Over the five decades, Sino-Indian relations sailed through rough edges despite Pandit Nehru's sweat toils in engaging with China. It is of no doubt that some historical developments over the years had dictated the bitter relationship between these two Asian Giants. The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 was the orifice of contemporary Sino-Indian relations, which for the first time in the history of India, brought China to a close neighbourhood, and caused Sino-Indian War of 1962. It became a precedent of a real politic of shrouded competition and 'Frienemy' between India and China. China, unambiguously ventures to expand farthest of its territorial and maritime capturing Tibet, East Turkestan, Mongolia and Manchuria in the north and west. Integration of such a gigantic landmasses widely opens a door of interference to the Central and South West Asia.

The gluelike all weathered Pakistan-China ally, continual incursions over the borders, militarization and rapid developmental plans inside Tibet, and diplomatic animus make India vulnerable to the core of its security and sovereignty. The problems of Tawang, Kashmir and other disputed areas along the Himalayan ranges arises somehow due to China's invasion of Tibet and since then become a contentious issue in frequent terms, irrespective of continual economic and diplomatic engagements.

While, observing the latest diplomatic circus, China is accused of laying its 'Grand Strategy' against India from all possible angles. Many of Indian political pundits were upset and miffed by China's coverted actions hintering India's sovereignty. Many suggested taking an offensive measures to deter China by emphasizing on rethinking its policy towards Tibet.

In fact, some of the events which occured last month conceivably damaged the much needed neighbourly affinity, which was supposedly engraved in their mutually acceptable principle of noninterference. But, China aggravated it over a period times, that India's saintly Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan singh called for a senior cabinet meeting to discuss on China.

Following are events that led to an escalation of high tensions between India and China.

  1. Mid last month, Pantagon Report on China's military power with the titled 'Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China' was presented to the United States Congress. According to the report, China is emphasizing on road construction plans along the borders to help support PLA border defence operations and to improve regional deterrence, China installed solid-fuelled CSS-5 MRBMs along the borders facing India. Mindful of Chinese military drills, India is gearing up its defence capabilities along the borders.
  2. 26 August, New York Times reported 7,000-11,000 PLA soldiers expected to work for railway construction, tunnels and dams in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan occupied Kashmir,which could be opted for long term military design.
  3. Beijing refused visa to Lt. General B.S. Jaiswal, Commander-in-Chief of Northern Area from visiting China. Indian Government reacted vehemently against China's divisive attitude. Manish Tiwari, Spokesperson of Congress complained, ' It is essential that every country should respect and be sensitive to other countries' concerns. If China goes one-sided, India will have to react this way." China, however claimed to have maintained consistent in giving visas to Indian residents of Kashmir, which so far is stapled visa. As for Kashmir, Chinese Foreign Ministry regarded Kashmir as issue left over by history between India and Pakistan and considered disputed.
  4. 27 August, Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Yan was summoned by India's External Ministry over the visa issues. India in an attempt of retaliation to China over visa issues, subsequently cancelled defence exchanges with China and refused visas to two Chinese defence officials to visit India.
  5. 31 August, Pakistan dismissed the presence of PLA forces in Gilgit-Baltistan, but accepted that China at their request is helping them in repairing the Karakoram highway, which was severely damaged by recent floods and landslides.
  6. 01 September, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu denied reports of PLA troops in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and condemned it as groundless report to provoke Sino-Indian relationship.
  7. 03 September, Indian External Affairs Minister, S. M. Krishna criticized China's claim of Pakistan occupied Kashmir as a part of Northern Pakistan. He categorically mentioned that "Kashmir is an inalienable part of India and we have noted with great concern the comments of Chinese spokesperson." Mr. Krishna asked the Chinese government to respect the sensitivities of Jammu and Kashmir. Later, China deleted the transcript of China's foreign Ministry spokesperson as India lodged its complaint. India's Ambassador to China, S. Jaishankar met Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Zhang Zhijun and conveyed Delhi's concern over the presence of PLA troops in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Today, in Hindustan Times, Pramid Pal Chaudhuri and Reshma Patil wrote an article titled, 'What is China's problem with India?', which gives four different schools of theories on what China contemplates when it comes to India: 1) school of confusion; 2) school of indifference; 3) school of rivaly; and 4) school of the military.

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