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Behind China’s sabre-rattling

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by humblehobbes, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. humblehobbes

    humblehobbes FULL MEMBER

    Jul 21, 2009
    +0 / 273 / -0
    Behind China’s sabre-rattling

    By By Amulya Ganguli
    Oct 21 2009
    The deterioration in Sino-Indian relations is obvious. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the present phase is the worst since 1962. What is also clear is that the responsibility for the downturn is Beijing’s. Arguably, India even bent over backwards for a time to placate an increasingly belligerent China, as when government officials stayed away from the inauguration by the Dalai Lama of a Sanchi-style stupa in East Delhi’s millennium park. But China did not respond favourably.

    As a result, New Delhi’s attitude is a lot more assertive at present as is evident in its decision to ignore Beijing’s protests about the Tibetan pontiff’s forthcoming visit to Arunachal Pradesh. It has also been strengthening its military presence on the Chinese border, imposing stricter curbs on visas, protesting against Chinese activities in *** and on the Tsangpo river and has even mentioned the ‘T’ word, probably for the first time since it accepted Chinese overlordship over the roof of the world.

    Apart from these diplomatic manoeuvres, what is of interest is the reason for China suddenly upping the ante. The change for the worse began not long after the 2005 agreement under which the inhabited areas were to be kept out of any settlement of the boundary question. There are two possible explanations why China unilaterally resiled from this stand. One is its realisation that for all the economic progress that is claimed for Tibet, the people there remain unreconciled to Han Chinese hegemony.

    Secondly, China is probably worried about the post-Dalai Lama scene, for it realises that once the restraining influence of the spiritual leader is removed, the more militant among the Tibetan exiles will become active. It isn’t only the recrudescence of the kind of violence which the plateau saw before the Olympic Games about which China is concerned, but the possibility of simultaneous uprisings in both Tibet and Xinjiang. As a ruthless dictatorship, China may have little difficulty in controlling the situation, but the uneasiness in the rest of the world about the persistence of its Tiananmen Square mentality will undermine its standing.

    It is apparently in preparation for such a turn of events that China wants to ratchet up tension in Southern Tibet, which is its name for Arunachal Pradesh. Ideally, it would like to grab Tawang, which is an important centre of Tibetan Buddhism. But since it cannot conceive such a step even in its hubris, especially after India has militarily bestirred itself, what China seems to want is to keep the pot boiling and even engage in a short border conflict to, first, keep the adventurous Tibetan exiles off balance since India will not like them to create more problems at a time of heightened tension between the two countries. Secondly, China may also use such a border skirmish to whip up nationalist sentiments at home in order to divert attention from its uncertain hold on Tibet and Xinjiang.

    The restiveness of its Buddhist and Muslim minorities are not the only internal problems faced by China. The reports of fairly widespread rural unrest in the context of its embracement of capitalism also underline the uncertainties through which China is passing, making any prediction about its steady economic development difficult. In contrast, much of the world is slowly realising that the innate stability provided by Indian democracy makes its admittedly slower economic progress more durable. This is another of China’s worries, for its earlier belief about India not only remaining mired in poverty, but also disintegrating because of its many internal fissures (which made a Chinese analyst speak recently of India’s Balkanisation) is being negated.

    Instead of India, it is Pakistan which is in danger of falling apart. There is little doubt that China’s all-weather friend is now very much under the weather. There is no certainty whether it will survive in one piece in five years or become some kind of a diplomatic oddity with the Army holding on to Punjab and adjoining areas while Sindh, Balochistan and the Pushtun areas breaking away. But, whatever happens to Pakistan, it is clear that China can no longer use it as a cat’s paw to needle India. The scene will be even more nightmarish for China if the turmoil in Pakistan compels the Islamic terrorists, under pressure from an increasing American presence in the region, to turn their baleful attention to Xinjiang, where their co-religionists are not some of Beijing’s favourite citizens.

    India, in contrast, is better placed. It does not face the same level of rural unrest because of the economic reforms as China does. The insurgencies in Kashmir and the Northeast, though bothersome, no longer threaten to spin out of the control. As for Pakistan, even it does not take its earlier quest for parity with India seriously. Only the Maoists are a problem, but they do not pose an existential threat. India’s soft power, too, mainly because of its vibrant multicultural democracy, is a constant reminder to China that no one loves a one-party state. Its provocation, therefore, may not be unrelated to a latent belief that it may not come first in the race between the two Asian giants.

    Amulya Ganguli is a commentator based in New Delhi

    Behind China?s sabre-rattling
  2. Srinivas

    Srinivas ELITE MEMBER

    Sep 20, 2009
    +8 / 14,863 / -27
    Nice article about the present state of indo china relations. India should use diplomacy and should be well prepared, if there is any skirmish from chinese side.
    though India at present cannot catch up with china in economy, china knows that india has the potential to challenge or compete with china in various fields.:cheers:
  3. applesauce

    applesauce SENIOR MEMBER

    Jun 9, 2009
    +2 / 1,939 / -0
    United States
    some selected quotes from the article:

    "India even bent over backwards for a time to placate an increasingly belligerent China"

    ^^ absolute lie.

    "India, in contrast, is better placed. It does not face the same level of rural unrest because of the economic reforms as China does."

    the west also predicted massive protests and such due to depression, these same people also talk every year of when china will fall apart, then when it appears china wont fall apart they talk every year of when the Chinese economy will nose dive, when the western economy went nuts and the chinese one is doing great they then usually just point out that china is a one party state, its military is unclear blab, blab, blab

    "China seems to want is to keep the pot boiling and even engage in a short border conflict"

    ^^ yet not a single word on indian media's desire for war

    "no one loves a one-party state."

    ^^no one can afford to ignore this particular one.

    now someone tell me the reason Behind India’s sabre-rattling
  4. Merilion

    Merilion FULL MEMBER

    Apr 18, 2009
    +0 / 262 / -0
    No, India does not face the same level of rural unrest . India has Red Corridor-40,000 km in 20 states, In China, we called it Red Area(苏区)-an area controlled by rebllions)-abt 80 years ago.:partay:
    No, India does not face the same level of rural unrest. In China social unrest is like ppl go on street to protest and sometimes lead to riots. In India it is not the same level, per Mr Chidabarm, it's like this:
    now you should know how better India placed.:victory: