Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Special Forces
When the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China loses its poise totally,then the tabloid prints certain kind of articles written supposedly by a military analyst of a Chinese Think Tank. One such article advocates that a “third country’s” Army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request, using the “same logic” the Indian Army used for stopping the Chinese military from constructing a road in the Doklam area in the Nathu La sector on behalf of Bhutan.
The tabloid article goes on to argue in a most convoluted logic which only a country like China can propagate,that even if India had been requested to defend Bhutan’s territory, this should have been only limited to its established territory, not a disputed area . This warped logic has been put forth by Long Xingchun, who is the Director at the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University. As a veiled threat to India, Xingchun indirectly conveyed through the article he wrote in the Global Times, the possibility of entry of Chinese Army into POK or even rest of Kashmir .
The Chinese state media generally publishes a large number of vitriolic articles criticising India, and in this particular article went one step ahead by indirectly trying to threaten India by bringing in for the first time the Pakistan and Kashmir angle into the narrative.
China and India were engaged in a standoff in the Doka La area near the Bhutan tri-junction two years back after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Of the 3,488-km-long India-Tibetan border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh , only a small section is under perceptional dispute. For a long time, China has been talking about international equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of others, but it has pursued hegemonic diplomacy in South Asia, South East Asia and South of China Sea, seriously violating the UN Charter and undermining the basic norms of international relations.
Initially China invaded Tibet a peace loving country with its vast Army and capturing it after a long struggle put up by the brave but nearly unarmed Tibetans. This ultimately led to a clash with India. This was due to the increasing appetite of China for land grabbing. After Tibet its hunger grew for Arunachal Pradesh and Ladhak of India. Finally there was a short border skirmish in 1962 with an unprepared Indian Army. Later in 1967 an emboldened China again tried a similar thing in 220 km long Nathu La Sector to grab parts of Sikkim ( near the present conflict site of Bhutan)but was given such a bloody nose by now a prepared Indian Army that it is still smarting till date.
These Chinese incursions reflects the Chinese fear that Indian support to the Tibetan freedom struggle can quickly unravel the mainland China not only from Tibet but also from the troubled Xinxiang Province which has a vast population of Uighurs. Such unravelling may also give a fighting chance to Taiwan to gain back a foothold on the mainland.
In such a scenario not only Tibet and Xinxiang may take the opportunity to become independent but so may a few of the other suppressed nationalities within mainland China itself. Even Hong Kong people may like to fight for their independence from the oppressive Chinese. China has interpreted Indian passiveness to capturing of Tibet as having a weak Government. Now India is unable to accept this kind of Chinese hegemony any more and so it stopped China’s incursion into Bhutan at once.
China’s incursion, based on its own strategic judgement, is a clear violation of international law.
As for the illegal occupation of parts of Indian Kashmir by Pakistan in case China or any other country tries to intervene militarily, they should just try it out. In case China does it , then in the bargain it should be ready to lose Xingiang and as it is Tibet will have gained its independence. So instead of issuing veiled threats China should resolve its border disputes with both India and Bhutan. It must also respect Bhutan’s sovereignty.
China can also show the region and the international community and even the UN Security Council its sincerity by advising Pakistan to immediately vacate the illegally occupied PoK at once. As a first step China should back India in declaring Azhar Masood the vile terrorist as an international Killer. It will illustrate China’s position and highlight China’s sincerity and effort to maintain peace as a responsible big power.
The Tibetan national flag, a symbol of the free people of Tibet and the Tibetan government-in- exile, was unfurled on the shores of Pangong Tso Lake, in Ladakh region. It is a clear indication that the Tibetans are just waiting for the right time to win back their freedom. The lake sits astride India and Tibet, with the Line of Actual Control passing through it. It’s the right place for the Tibetan exile administration to unfurl its the flag for a ceremonial celebration.
The timing of the flag-hoisting on Indian territory sparked wide speculation not only in China but world over. The Indian authorities have not instigated the Tibetans but being a democracy, Indians will also not stop any legitimate political activity of Tibetan Govt in Exile. It also helps in giving a taste of their own medicine to the Chinese. India too is ready to join China in their traditional game.
It is seen that when the Chinese government attaches great importance to its relationship with India, it keeps a tight grip on anti- Indian activities on the border. However, when it is dissatisfied or has conflicts with India, the Kashmir and Arunachal card is played up. But China may have overestimated the influence of its own game over India.
With the rise of India, China is feeling really threatened. It also knows that Tibet people settled all over the world have been gaining world opinion in their favour for Tibetan independence. The space for manoeuvre by the Chinese Communist party has been largely squeezed as more and more Western countries have snubbed the Chinese Govt over the issue. The Tibet card is gradually becoming a nightmare for China and one day even Hong Kong may follow the same route.
Unless Beijing stops pulling such border tricks as it has been doing it will only be burning itself. India won’t yield to any Chinese threat or provocations. Given the ongoing border spat, China should “act prudently” to avoid escalating tensions or be ready to pay for the same.