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China Should break up the Indian Union, suggests a Chinese Strategist

August 11, 2009

By D.S.Rajan,
August 10, 2009

(C3S Paper No.325 dated August 9, 2009)

Almost coinciding with the 13th round of Sino-Indian border talks
(New Delhi, August 7-8, 2009), an article (in Chinese language) has
appeared in China captioned "If China takes a little action, the
so-called Great Indian Federation can be broken up" (Zhong Guo Zhan
Lue Gang, , Chinese,8 August 2009). Interestingly, it has
been reproduced in several other strategic and military websites of
the country and by all means, targets the domestic audience. The
authoritative host site is located in Beijing and is the new edition
of one, which so far represented the China International Institute
for Strategic Studies (

Claiming that Beijing's 'China-Centric' Asian strategy, provides for
splitting India, the writer of the article, Zhan Lue (strategy), has
found that New Delhi's corresponding 'India-Centric' policy in Asia,
is in reality a 'Hindustan centric' one. Stating that on the other
hand 'local centres' exist in several of the country's provinces
(excepting for the U.P and certain Northern regions), Zhan Lue has
felt that in the face of such local characteristics, the 'so-called'
Indian nation cannot be considered as one having existed in history.

According to the article, if India today relies on any thing for
unity, it is the Hindu religion. The partition of the country was
based on religion. Stating that today nation states are the main
current in the world, it has said that India could only be termed now
as a "Hindu Religious state'. Adding that Hinduism is a decadent
religion as it allows caste exploitation and is unhelpful to the
country's modernization, it described the Indian government as one in
a dilemma with regard to eradication of the caste system as it
realizes that the process to do away with castes may shake the
foundation of the consciousness of the Indian nation.

The writer has argued that in view of the above, China in its own
interest and the progress of whole Asia, should join forces with
different nationalities like Assamese, Tamils, and Kashmiris and
support the latter in establishing independent nation-states of their
own, out of India. In particular, the ULFA in Assam, a territory
neighboring China, can be helped by China so that Assam realizes its
national independence.

The article has also felt that for Bangladesh, the biggest threat is
from India, which wants to develop a great Indian Federation
extending from Afghanistan to Myanmar. India is also targeting China
with support to Vietnam's efforts to occupy Nansha (Spratly) group of
islands in South China Sea. Hence the need for China's consolidation
of its alliance with Bangladesh, a country with which the US and
Japan are also improving their relations to counter China. It has
pointed out that China can give political support to Bangladesh
enabling the latter to encourage ethnic Bengalis in India to get rid
of Indian control and unite with Bangladesh as one Bengali nation; if
the same is not possible, creation of at least another free Bengali
nation state as a friendly neighbour of Bangladesh, would be
desirable, for the purpose of weakening India's expansion and threat
aimed at forming a 'unified South Asia'.

The punch line in the article has been that to split India, China can
bring into its fold countries like Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan,
support ULFA in attaining its goal for Assam's independence, back
aspirations of Indian nationalities like Tamils and Nagas, encourage
Bangladesh to give a push to the independence of West Bengal and
lastly recover the 90,000 sq km. territory in Southern Tibet.

Wishing for India's break-up into 20-30 nation-states like in Europe,
the article has concluded by saying that if the consciousness of
nationalities in India could be aroused, social reforms in South Asia
can be achieved, the caste system can be eradicated and the region
can march along the road of prosperity.

The Chinese article in question will certainly outrage readers in
India. Its suggestion that China can follow a strategy to dismember
India, a country always with a tradition of unity in diversity, is
atrocious, to say the least. The write-up could not have been
published without the permission of the Chinese authorities, but it
is sure that Beijing will wash its hands out of this if the matter is
taken up with it by New Delhi. It has generally been seen that China
is speaking in two voices -- its diplomatic interlocutors have always
shown understanding during their dealings with their Indian
counterparts, but its selected media is pouring venom on India in
their reporting. Which one to believe is a question confronting the
public opinion and even policy makers in India. In any case, an
approach of panic towards such outbursts will be a mistake, but also
ignoring them will prove to be costly for India.

The writer is the Director of Chennai Centre for China Studies,
Chennai, India, and can be reached at
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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