India Returns Chinese Jibe On J&K Through Diplomatic Punch On Hong Kong
After its ban on 59 Chinese apps, the government Wednesday seemed to launch a fresh diplomatic offensive against China by breaking its silence on China’s new security law for Hong Kong.
At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the government said Wednesday that given the large Indian community that makes the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China its home, India has been keeping “a close watch on recent developments”.
“We have heard several statements expressing concern on these developments. We hope the relevant parties will take into account these views and address them properly, seriously and objectively,” said India’s permanent representative to UN in Geneva Rajiv Chander. He didn’t name China though.
The remark was made during an interactive dialogue on the human rights situation worldwide. This is the first time that India has spoken out on the Hong Kong issue and, perhaps not surprisingly, it comes in the middle of aggressive Chinese behaviour at the LAC that saw a violent scuffle last month in the Galwan valley resulting in casualties on both sides.
The remarks came on a day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorsed India’s decision to ban Chinese apps saying India’s “clean app approach will boost India’s sovereignty and boost integrity and national security.”
According to sources, the US was keen that Indian speak up on Hong Kong where China’s new law is said to undermine freedom and have implications for human rights. Twenty-seven countries came together at the Council Tuesday to demand that China reconsider the “sweeping” new security law.
India was also the only Quad nation to have not spoken up on Hong Kong until now. Australia joined the US, UK and Canada earlier in condemning China’s law. With Japan also having spoken up in favour of a free and open Hong Kong, India was is the only Quad nation to have not made any public statement on the issue.
“India mum as China effects a political sea change in Hong Kong by violating a UN-registered treaty. No word from India over China’s Muslim gulag, teeming with over a million inmates. India stayed mum as China changed SCS’s geopolitical map. China, however, took J&K issue to UNSC,” strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney tweeted Wednesday.
Many saw India’s silence as a manifestation of the fact that India was encumbered by its border dispute with China. The June 15 clash at Galwan and subsequent Chinese behavior seems to have changed it though.