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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

China, Tibet & Maoism

December 12, 2009

Editorial: Central Chronicle, India
Posted On Wednesday, December 09, 2009

On the issue of the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal, Beijing seems to
have discarded all norms of decorum and decency, not to speak of
diplomatic propriety. Otherwise she should not have reminded India of
1962, when her forces treacherously attacked Indian border guards across
the Tibet-Arunachal border, not prepared for such action, and scored a
few military victories.

China betrayed Nehru's strong faith in 'Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai', forgot
India's role in gracefully withdrawing her garrisons from Lhasa and
Gyantse in 1950 to facilitate the PLA's taking over of Tibet and also
her role in the early 1950s, when she was treated as an outcaste by
western powers in her strong advocacy of China's entry to the United
Nations and in providing escort services to Third World gatherings such
as the Bandung meet of the non-aligned nations and in strongly
advocating China's case for admission to the UN (1955).

It is widely believed that this betrayal caused Nehru's cardiac stroke
in 1963 and his untimely death in 1964. From then on China went on a
steady anti-India policy even to the extent of abandoning her earlier
neutral stand over Jammu & Kashmir, and shamelessly supporting
Pakistan's case by a bland letter issued on 6 July 1962 informing New
Delhi that Beijing did not recognize India's sovereignty over J&K. She
further informed that she was constructing a road in Ladakh to connect
Tibet with Sinkiang.?

This was followed by systematic attacks on Indian border outposts in
both Ladakh and NEFA. India was found unprepared to take on the Chinese
army, fully prepared to launch attacks. The Chinese advanced up to
Bomdila on 19 November 1962, and declared unilateral withdrawal to their
borders on 21 November, not giving the Indians a chance for a
retaliatory strike.

But 1962 in a way was a blessing in disguise for India. She was
compelled to pay attention to the defence of her northern borders and to
start equipping her Armed Forces, both equipment-wise and
organisationally. Thanks to the Indian Army's preparedness and alertness
along the Himalayan border, China did not needle India again. Even in
1971, when she had promised to Pakistan to come to her support, she did
not, thanks to India's preparedness and its military pact with the
Soviet Union, which would have brought Moscow's forces in support in any
eventuality caused by China's rash action.?

But once again Beijing seems to have reverted to a phase of jingoism.
The reported border incursions are only a small part of its deeper
agenda. Not only is she hobnobbing with India's neighbours like Myanmar,
jingoistic elements in Sri Lanka's army and the Maoists in Nepal, but is
allowing articles to be published in her blogues encouraging
secessionism in India (not contradicted by any official disclaimer).
 From the letters written by Pakistan's nuclear scientist AQ Khan it is
clearly established that it was China which provided it with both
enriched uranium and some needed equipment in order to build Islamabad's
nuclear capacity obviously directed against India.

And now it transpires from Union Home Ministry sources that much of the
small arms used by the so-called Maoists here are of Chinese origin. If
this is true, New Delhi should lodge a strong protest with Beijing.
China's aggressive military and diplomatic postures have to be linked up
with her obvious efforts to support and equip the so-called Maoists or
Naxalites, who have made their presence felt across India like a dagger,
from Nepal borders through Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal and
Orissa to Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.? India has thus also to fight
a war within.

All this proves, if any more proof is needed, that Beijing has embarked
on a mission to destabilize India. And, all this at a time when both
nations are clearly competing for higher economic growth in a
recession-hit world. However, China has a distinct edge largely because
she does not have to contend with the formalities of an elected
democratic system. New Delhi should sit up and take whatever corrective
steps are necessary, not allow a repeat of 1962.

India's Armed Forces must be provided whatever they need to defend its
borders and to deal a crushing blow to all intruders, as the Vietnamese
did to their big neighbour a few years ago. The Naxalites must be put
down firmly and the common people won over. The firmness shown by Home
Minister Chidambaram must be welcomed. Also, a 'tit for tat' policy of
real politic is called for in reply to China's straw-in-the-wind efforts
to provoke secessionism in our country.? Importantly, there is need for
a change in our policy on Tibet supporting Dalai Lama's pleas for
Tibet's autonomy and demilitarization subject to Beijing's overall
sovereignty.

No policy is there for all time to come. Nations need to change
policies, taking into account important changes in the situation
prevailing at a particular time.? After all China also did a volte face
with regard to her policy on the status of J&K in order to needle India
and encourage Pakistan.? There is nothing wrong in New Delhi taking a
stand that, in the light of her experience with the Chinese occupation
of Tibet, systematic border violations and suppression of the Tibetan
population and their replacement by Hans, India no longer supports
China's military occupation of Tibet.

Beijing must negotiate with the Dalai Lama and allow him and his
fugitive government to return to Tibet on honourable terms.
Unfortunately, the recent US-China joint communiquÄ, suggesting Chinese
mediation in Indo-Pak dispute has come as a damper. It is uncalled for
and invalid.? How President Obama was tricked into signing this remains
mysterious. Neither the US nor China had any business to arrogate to
Beijing some sort of super power status. India will never accept this
and its Foreign Ministry has already reacted strongly. Kashmir is an
Indo-Pak dispute, and there is no case for any third party mediation.
Happily, there was no reference to this communiquÄ during Dr. Manmohan
Singh's recent visit to Washington.

China's support to the Maoists, wherever they are, has been suspected
all along. What is very new is the confession of some of the ULFA
leaders, now in custody, that they received lot of financial assistance,
military hardware and training in China. It is necessary that our
government confronts Beijing with all this evidence and seek its
explanation. Even the dissident groups in Nagaland receive support from
China and openly admit it. Thus, in the face of such overwhelming
evidence, India cannot afford to treat China in the same spirit as in
the good old days of 'Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai'.

We have to confront China boldly with all instances of open
encouragement to dissident elements inside India and at the same time
try to seek international support. Unfortunately, China's economy has
prospered beyond all expectations. Significantly, the US economy has
become inter-linked with China's economy. For 60 per cent of China's
exports are to the US and 2/3rd of China's foreign exchange is tucked in
the US as treasury bills. Thus, in dealing with China one cannot expect
that the US will not come to its support. This is an unfortunate
development of modern times. But there is hope. There are other
countries, European, who can come to support India's stand.

Dr Nitish Sengupta, INFA
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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