Friday, October 16, 2009

India's Firm Reply To China's Aggressive Attitude

The objection that China has raised over Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's Arunachal Pradesh visit is completely improper and an illegitimate act. The Indian Government has given a befitting reply by rejecting it outright. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. The people of this state are an inseparable part of the Indian democracy.

The threatening manner in which China has expressed its displeasure is an obstinate act of interfering into the internal matters of an independent and sovereign country. We are free to travel anywhere in our country. Our guests are also free to travel anywhere within our borders. China cannot instruct us where we can go and where we cannot.

Maintaining Peace on Border
This is not the first time that China has expressed its displeasure over the prime minister's visit. In 2008 also, it had expressed regret at calling Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory. Earlier in 1987, China had taken control of a far flung border post in Arunachal Pradesh. It has illegally occupied 43,180 sq km of Indian territory.

On contrary, it accuses India of illegally occupying 90,000 sq km of its territory in Arunachal Pradesh. Talks are going on between the countries over the border dispute, and both countries are committed to maintaining peace on the border. Undoubtedly, the issue is very complicated. Until now, 13 rounds of talks have been completed, but the dispute stands where it was.

Honoring Line of Actual Control
Although India and China both have agreed not to use power and honor the Line of Actual Control as long as the border dispute is not settled, still apprehensions of conflict with China have been raised from time-to-time. For the past some time, China has been exhibiting its aggressive stance again. Though there is dominance of moderate leaders in China's government, its foreign policy is still on the old track, the foundation of which was laid by Mao Zedong. No matter where Dalai Lama goes, China always raises objection. If any leader goes to Taiwan, it becomes displeased. If anyone goes to Arunachal Pradesh, it becomes incensed. This has become its habit, but nobody would be afraid of going into the disputed territory.

In coming November, Dalai Lama is going to travel to Arunachal Pradesh. Even if China protests against it, the Indian Government would not stop him. All mutual disputes between India and China could only be sorted out through dialogue and not by exhibiting aggressive behavior. Both countries should sit together for this, so that it does not affect our long-term relations.

China's Claims
China's claim on a part of Arunachal Pradesh for years cannot be overlooked. But it has never been so offensive before. At one time, it had even started issuing visas to people of Arunachal Pradesh. It is, therefore, imperative for India to find out the reasons for this sudden extreme attitude. Can there be any other latent reason behind it, instead of the border dispute? Even otherwise, the border dispute had reached a deadlock long ago.

India has been accusing China of illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir. As against this, China has been charging India of occupying 90,000 sq km of its territory. It must be also borne in mind that China alone is responsible for the stalemate in this old border dispute. Several rounds of talks have been held to solve it, but so far no plans have been exchanged.

China has most certainly experienced the strengthening of trade relations between the two countries. It is equally aware of the fact that tension in diplomatic relations might jeopardize its trade. Could it then be all set to increase this tension knowingly? In view of past experience it is necessary for India to tell China directly that it is not only embittering the relationship between the countries by this unfriendly behavior that is also ruining the atmosphere in Asia. It must also beware of foreign affairs experts like Natwar Singh who have suddenly started taking China's side. They are likely to prove harmful to India.

India's Reply to China's Aggression
Although belated, India has made the right move by showing firmness against China's aggressive attitude. Objection raised on Chinese interference in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir [PoK] is also totally justified. The earlier hesitation to replying to China in its own language is inexplicable. Is it not strange that the prime minister had described Chinese incursions into Arunachal Pradesh and Laddakh as a creation of the media? Surprisingly enough, when objections were raised against some projects China was working on in PoK, the Chinese President stated that his country would continue participating in them. India should actually have lodged a protest when China had started taking interest in Pakistan's projects.

It is difficult to say for certain right now how this neighboring country will react to India's sharp riposte. Nevertheless, India must try to find out the reasons for China's sudden aggressive stand. It not only causes concern but is also surprising.

No comments: