Dealing With The Devil At The Door
Colonel Kirtiyanand Das, Veteran
MUSING: Dealing With The Devil At The Door : China grew on the remote fringe of the Eurassian Landmass. Separated from the rest of Asia and the Europe by impregnable forests ⁰in the South East, high inaccssible mountains and high altitude plateau in the South and in the west remoteness of deserts and steppe.
All it contacts with the out side world was limited to monks, merchants and mercenaries.
On it east were seas and vast stretch of Pacific Ocean.
Chinese did not like the seas and especially the Sea Pirates, so much so that they dug a grand canal joining the Yellow river in north to Yangtze in south, some 2500 km hugging the sea to avoid the sea pirates. Who often looted the grains beings carried from rice rich south to grain deficient north.
Similarly up in the north they did not like the Nomads , so they constructed 2500 km long wall to keep nomads away. It is in its nature to avoid open contact with the out side world and over millenniums it has developed into a closely controlled ,mostly monitored and opaque civilization.
They fought the nomads on its north and west as much as they could.Otherwise bought peace by bribes in gold, grains and silk and by brides called kinship diplomacy.It’s preserved in Chinese literatures in Swan Songs of sadness by Princess Xinjun.
” I live in constant sorrow.
I wish I were a yellow beaked
swan winging back to my
my home country.”
Keeping these nomads at a bay was almost a existentional struggle for China.Northern China is like like the Northern Indic world, from Afghanistan to Assam, it is a mix of steppe nomads and the Indic settled population.Here every body could maintain their identity and co exist for millennium.
A Salad Bowl Civilization. Dasa, mentioned in vedic lore, who lived in the grand cities still exist all over the subcontinent, including Afghanistan, as Dasoi clan in Sulemani Khel of Pastuns even to this day.
But in China they went through churning and mix, forming into to Han homogeneity physically and spoke Mandrin dialogue orally and latched on to the Chinese Characters(alphabets) across China, same every where without any change.
China kept expanding at the cost of its neighbours. Amalgamating locals in the fertile south and its south eastern and eastern plains and islands.But in difficult and resource deficient terrains in steppe, it pushed out the inhabitants mostly nomads like the Parthians, the Sakas, the Kushans, the Huns and the Turks. Mongols and their cousins the Monchus piled on the Chinese itself.
The maximum expansion of Chinese real estate happened during it’s two foreign occupations that is of Mongols in 13th century and of the Manchus in 17th century.
Manchus added not only Manchuria, Mongolia to the Chinese realm, but Eastern Turkistan that is Xinjiang, Tibet, Yunnan and island of Formosa that is today’s Taiwan. Chinese were so scared of the sea pirates that they only set foot on this island as fugitive running away from the law.
The voyage by Zheng He in the Ming period was unique because the admiral was non Han , a Hui Muslim from Yunan. And as his voyage ended, the Han bureaucracy burnt all the ships so that it never took to the sea again.
The water dragon unfortunately is traditionally scared of Sea water and it is where he may get his watery grave in Our Ocean!
Some how we have been contracting while Chinese have been expanding. In Buddhist period we were always beyond the Hindukush till the Balkh.
It increased manifold in time of Kushan , who reaching beyond the Fargana Valley. Kanish died fighting in Xinjiang suppressing a rebellion, may be inspired by the Han Dynasty, which always had pretence that it was the custodian of Silk Road, which she never was and should never be.
By Gupta period we were limited to present day Afghanistan. The Mughals lost Afghanistan to Iranians and the British, even after three wars could not look beyond Khybar Pass.
And before they retreated they caused Partition in connivance with Muslim elites of present day India and the Congressmen.
As if that was not enough,we let go POK and Gilgit- Baltistan from state of Jammu and Kashmir by declaring a cease fire, when we were winning the war that was started by Pakistan just because these areas were populated with non ethnic Kashmiri Muslim who could oppose Sheikh Abdulah subsequently.
Nehru helped Chinese to occupy Tibet , he was virtually a contractor to PLA who supplied rice to feed the oppressors of Tibetans and supplied cement to build road through the Aksaichin, where our men are bleeding now.
He surrendered all advantages that India had inherited from the British with out any thing in return.Even varbous Vajpayee abandoned Tibetan cause without any gain.
We abandoned an ancients neighbour Tibet and took a intruder on their property as our neighbour. An act that was not only unethical and foolish but dangerous.We never knew Chinese as our neighbor before 1951.And still are quite woolly about them.
Where as the Communists,on assuming power in China immediately went and occupied all non ethnic countries like Southern Mongolia, Xinjiang, Manchuria ,Tibet and lay claims on lands of all most all its neighbours. Expansionism is part of its civilizational traits.
To Chinese ,all foreigners are barbarians, the character that depicts foreigner and barbarian is either same or similar.The ethnic Chinese Muslims are called Hui and the character that depicts it either same or similar to that which depicts dog.
All gifts that came to the Chinese emperors from the foreign governments as part of civilized norm were called and treated as tributes.
They were in the centre of the world ,the Middlekingdom, the universal potent and rest of the world was there to serve and pay tax and tribute to the sons of heaven.The trait and trend continues ,communism hasn’t changed it.
All Chinese travellers who came to India went back to China with knowledge and information laboriously copied down in books. Those monks who went to China from India, never returned back.
They remained in China for ever. Now also the Chinese students mostly go to Western and American universities as undergraduates and go back to with knowledge and information to China.
Americans are saying that most of them come to spy and steal informations. They have no respect for the intellectual property rights and will copy and produce any thing and sell as their own product.
Tang emperor had sent an embassy to the Buddhist Court of Harshavardhan,but by the time they arrived, Harsha had died and his Brahmin minister named Arjunyah had usurped the power.
The new king mistreated the ambassador on grounds of his religious affinity that is Buddhism. Ambassador barely managed to save his life and reached the courts of Nepal and Tibet, whose kings were married to the sisters of Tang Emperor. He came back with Tibetan and Nepali troops and ravaged Gangatic plains and ransacked Kanauj.
Arjunyah was captured and taken to China as war trophy and was put on display in their capital Ch’agan. Gangatic plains remained under Tibetan control for many decades till orders were established by last Buddhist empire of the Pal dynasty. This episode was narrated by MaoTsetung to his commanders during the final briefing prior to their campaign against India in 1962.
As Chinese had never been our neighbours and we for many centuries, not been in power in our own country for long.We have been found with faults in dealing with the Chinese and running our affairs.But now it’s time we should know both well and deal with each better than before.
Both Muslim rulers and the British filled the higher bureaucracy with the foreigners and so both these periods never became Indian as such and remained foreign to the core till end.
In china both Mongol and Manchu rulers depended on traditional Chinese bureaucracy and the state remained Chinese run with ruling foreign elites also merging with the masses. Only last Mongol emperor was chased out to Mongolia. Mongols had tried to fill the bureaucracy with Persian and the central Asians which failed.
We cannot take Chinese lightly.Both their planning and executions of their plans are better.They are master in art of deception. It is difficult to read their intentions, their language and their scripts. In recent decades they have done well.
During cold war they made use of Russians and at the end of it when the Russians were loosing, they immediately changed sides.With the help of Americans, Japanease and the Taiwanis they have achieved the present prosperity and power and are now showing them their places.
This present pandemic is entirely their creation, they have put both the lives and means of livelihoods of the rest of the world in great peril.
And without hesitation is taking advantage of situation thus created to expand their territories at cost of all its neighbors.
Recently they have even claimed Vladivostok of Russia as it is there are many illegal colonies of Chinses migrants in Siberian vastness.
So the present expansionist trend is not just impulsive desire of Emperor Xi, but a very thought out part of a long plan. Hence we need to play our part with caution and without getting over charged with emotions.
These could be as under:-
Hold on to the Chinese in the Himalayas.
Put a Common Front with the rest of aggrieved neighbourhood.
Let it level rise to alliance.
Isolate China, both economically and culturally.
Work with the rest of democratic world in isolating China on theft of trade secrets, Human Right violations and willfully causing spread of Corona Pandemic. So much so that it loses its seat in UNSC as permanent member in same way it had got it.
Boycott China and work to reduce dependency on China.
Ask China to componsate all those who have suffered in this pandemic.
Help all occupied countries like Tibet ,Eastern Turkistan, South Mongolia, Manchuria and Yunnan to rise in revolt.
Recognize Taiwan and all other occupied countries as Indepandent countries.
Promote democracy in China so that there is a regime change
Become offensive in Indian ocean, in case China starts offensive in the Himalayas.Go after Chinese cargo ships and naval assets.Seek help from US ,Japan,South Korea,Australia and ASEAN countries to hold Chinese navy in its ports.
Destroy Gwadar port in very first action.
In case Pakistanis joins the Chinese offensive against us ,then effect an amphibian landing in Balochistan and major offensive in Sindh and unhinge the entire Pakistani posture up north.
Agree to American request to our presence in Afganistan,in case Americans bear the cost of raising dedicated troops at American scales of pay ,kitting and fitting and maintenance.
By that we may be in position to finish Pakistan, and put in its place three new nations of Sindh, Balochistan and Paktunistan. Amalgamate West Punjab with the rest three and India. And go for a Confederacy of South Asian Countries.
It is easier said then done.But it will have to be done or fall one by one into Chinese basket like ripe pumpkins in the field.