Thursday, November 13, 2008
TIME TO TEACH CHINA A LESSON
13th November 2008 : China made a direct request to India for blocking the proposed six-day meeting organised by the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala from November 17 to discuss the future of Tibet. Significance of Tibet.
Qin Gang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman stated: “Anyone who participates in the meeting being organised by the Dalai Lama will not be liked by the Chinese people. The Chinese government is against anyone trying to split the nation or raise such an issue in the international arena. The Indian government has made solemn commitment about not allowing any anti-China activities on its soil. We hope that the commitment will be implemented.”
The Dalai Lama invoked article 59 of the Tibetan Charter that empowers him to call a 'Special Meeting' to discuss the future course of action as his envoys returned empty handed after secret meetings with Chinese government representatives. The past few weeks has seen the Tibetan leader complaining that he had "given up" on China and that his "faith in the Chinese government is thinning."
The "special meeting" to be held in Dharamshala will be attended by past and present members of the cabinet in his government-in-exile, past and present members of the Tibetan parliament in exile, representatives of non-government organisations and intellectuals interested in the Tibetan issue.
INDIA MUST NOT STOP THIS “SPECIAL MEETING”.
Chinese aggression on ground and verbal diktats are no longer welcome. It is time India behaved like a powerful nation and rapped the knuckles of these "interfering" Chinese.
30TH September 2008: The wall of mistrust continues to be an impediment in Indo-China relations. Intrusions by the Chinese forces continue unabated into Indian territory despite attempts by a red-faced South Block to brush them under the carpet.
The most recent incursion occurred on September 30 at the Burste post in the Ladakh sector along the Sino-Indian boundary. Soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army entered 15 km into India.
While the transgression itself was unacceptable, the Chinese captured the patrolling base hut of Indian forces who were not present at the outpost. The patrolling base was burnt and rations and other equipment stolen. In another incident a fortnight ago, the Chinese PLA confronted Indian soldiers and asked them to “vacate Chinese sovereign territory”.
THE CHINESE AUDACITY IS A DIRECT FUNCTION OF INDIA'S IMPOTENT RESPONSE.
Recent example of this. Chinese Premier himself gave assurances to the Indian Prime Minister that China will not obstruct India's entry in the Nuclear Supplier's Group but it did exactly that. Instead of being in the forefront, China aligned itself with countries that were opposing India's entry into the NSG by playing an active role inside the room with these dissenting nations. When Indian PM tried calling up the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao - Jiabao refused to take the call - such was the audacity. It was only when George Bush telephoned the Chinese Premier, that China relented.
While an all out war with China is a very remote possibility,more so to do with Himalayas and geography (as opposed to history), however there are clear Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 of possible local "war" with China.
Alarmingly, according to a report sent to National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, the incursions tally has increased to 213 incidents, up from 170 reported last year. While the Chinese continue to maintain an aggressive posture, India’s diplomatic response has been weak and tardy, which is certainly not the way an aspiring power behaves.”
The Chinese foreign ministry recently challenged external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee's claim that Arunachal is an integral part of India. Foreign Minister Qin said that Mukherjee's statement was contrary to historical facts as China does not accept the MacMohan Line and the border between the two nations has not yet been demarcated.
McMahon Line : The McMahon line runs through the eastern Himalayas and constitutes a psychological border between India and China. Drawn up and agreed to during by British India and Manchu China, its subsequent repudiation by China made it the major irritant plaguing the relations the two countries. Sir Henry McMahon, British India’s foreign secretary, drew this 1,360km border on a map at the 1914 Simla Convention attended by British, Tibetan and Chinese delegates, thereby adding 129,500 sq km to India. Though Mr Chen I-fan, the Chinese representative, initialled the map, his government disavowed it. China has never recognised the McMahon Line.
Chinese duplicity is its stock foreign policy. For example China’s stance on India’s annexation of Sikkim: the Chinese government did not accept India’s annexation of Sikkim for over two decades in spite of the fact that Sikkim was nowhere near the McMahon line which China first accepted and then unilaterally repudiated.
Bhutan incursions: There is a deep-seated fear in Indian defense circles that Chinese troop movements in Bhutan near the strategic Chumbi Valley are dangerously close to the Siliguri Corridor, aka India's chicken neck, which separates India proper from its restive northeast and is a mere 13 miles to 25 miles wide, making India extremely vulnerable to a territorial cutoff. A Chinese move into Dolam means that India’s border with China gets distorted at Sikkim’s tri-point with Bhutan. It also means that Chinese forces move a few kilometres south from where they originally were. It brings them closer to North Bengal’s Siliguri Corridor. China has always laid claim to Dolam. There is a suspicion that it has now extended its claim line.
Through out the brief history of territorial dispute between India and China, India chose to be on the defensive side for all the wrong reasons. India failed to use the ‘Tibet card’ as a bargaining chip in the territorial negotiation with China. China knows it very well that India would not dare raise the issue of Tibet either on international plate form or in bilateral talks. The Chinese claim over Arunachal Pradesh was based on the history of Tibet, not on Chinese history. Historically Tibet owned the large territories of present day Arunachal Pradesh, especially the Tawang district. However, India on the other hand also has a historically attested reason to claim over Arunachal Prasesh. Ironically it is also based on Tibetan history.
With the demise of the Manchu dynasty in China in 1912, the Thirteenth Dalai lama drove out the Ambans, the Manchu emperor’s representatives in Tibet and their security forces out of Tibet and declared Tibet as an independent sovereign nation.
In 1914 British tried to mediate a negotiation between Tibet and China to settle the political status of Tibet and territorial dispute between Tibet and China. China declined to sign the treaty. With a failure to resolve Sino-Tibet dispute, British decided to settle the Indo-Tibet border directly with Tibet. On July 3rd 1914 the British foreign secretary Sir Henry McMohan and the Tibetan government representative Lonchen Shatra signed the Simla Convention. They accepted the McMohan Line, which accorded Tawang to British India, as an officially accepted boundary between the two nations. The actual map showing the McMohan Line as a boundary between Tibet and India was published by Survey of India in 1937. In 1954 India officially called the territories accorded to her side of the McMohan Line NEFA- North East Frontier Agency. To consolidate her claim over NEFA, in 1972 India gave it an Indian name, Arunachal Pradesh, which remained a Union Territory of the Central Government of India until 1987. In 1987 Arunachal Pradesh formally became an Indian state.
India must be aggressive diplomatically with a fresh and more insightful foreign policy in dealing with China. The best card India can use to bargain with China is Tibet. Nothing perturbs China diplomatically more than Tibet and Tibet is not a dead issue yet. India is a host nation to Tibetan government in Exile and home to the Dalai Lama, accepted leader of the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet. With India’s initiative more and more countries will come forward to join India to raise Tibet on the international platform. Hollywood is smitten with Tibet - need to bring it to realistic levels to choke CHINA.
BACK TO 1962: Nehru was smitten into the "Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai" concept. The Govt of India, with Krishna Menon as Defence Minister, was least interested in defence preparedness - he and Nehru refused to believe that China is an enemy. Ordnance factories were manufacturing coffee percolators and toasters, because they had “extra spare capacity”. (CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS - COFFEE PERCOLATORS AND TOASTERS AND NOT AMMUNITION).
Look at the population map of China above. See how sparsely it is populated around Tibetian region. The Chinese fear is this: If China were to withdraw from Tibet, and there were no military hindrance to population movement, Beijing fears this population could migrate into Tibet. If there were such a migration, Tibet could turn into an extension of India and, over time, become a potential beachhead for Indian power.
It is the Chinese fear that is forcing them to behave aggressively around their weakness. India should play around these Chinese fears and make it a reality for them.
8 steps :
1. Air force multiplers to be based in North East & Ladakh: Status – In Progress (The IAF is on course to base two squadrons (some 40 aircraft) of Sukhois, which have a cruising speed of 3,200 km, at Tezpur to counterbalance a Chinese threat on the eastern front. The air force has contracted some 230 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters from Russia in orders totaling over US $ 8.5-billion. The Ladakh sector has come to occupy lofty status in the IAF’s calculus as was evident when it reactivated the 2.1-km airstrip at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) in northeastern Ladakh after 43 years.)
2. Army commando units based in forward positions – Done
3. Strengthen Tawang area by infrastructure, dams etc. Status – Not happening
4. Cross over to Chinese side and cause incursions – Not happening.
5. Internal sabotage through Tibetians and false flag recruitments of Uighur Muslims. Tibetians have a valid fear : that the Chinese have tried to alter the demographic balance of Tibet by settling Han Chinese there, that it wishes to assimilate the religious and cultural distinctiveness of Tibetan identity into a larger Chinese identity.
6. Give Brahmos and other top range missiles to Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, S.Korea, Taiwan (countries that view China with animosity).
7. China is pushing 500 million people from farms and villages into cities too soon. Although it gets almost no publicity, China is experiencing hundreds of demonstrations around the country, which is unprecedented. These are not students in Tiananmen Square. These are average citizens who are angry with the government for building chemical plants and polluting the water they drink and the air they breathe. India should extend help to FALUN GONG and many other anti-establishment groups (incl martial arts groups, theatre & arts groups etc) and create dissension.
8. How can India take over Mt Kailash – ordained as a religious site in Indian Vedic texts, now in Tibet (China)? Well India will not, Tibet will. And Tibet being hostlile to China will lease or hand over the region to India. Hence India should start preparing the Tibetians for armed struggle against the Chinese. Tibet is the soft underbelly and a strong guirella force of 50,000 battle hardened (taken from ITBP and infiltrated back to China) would cause enough unrest. Simultaneously help mass uprisings in Chinese villages against mainland city centric China. India's goal should be Tibetian independence.
Chinese navy is today weaker than Japanese navy and of course the US Navy. However, in 15 years, Chinese navy will be a force to reckon with. Gwadar is a port in Pakistan that can base Chinese naval ships and play three roles:
i) safeguard Chinese oil shipment to mainland China,
ii) threaten Indian navy and mainland India and
iii) provide a security blanket around Pakistan.
Do we wait for this to play out and forever alter our dealings not only with China but also Pakistan? The clear answer = NO.
Ancient Indian thinkers produced two schools of war, diplomacy and interstate relations; the dharmayuddha (ethical warfare) school; and the kutayuddha (devious warfare) school. The two schools were, however, not mutually exclusive. Chanakya scores of Sun Tzu many times over.
Buddhism is India’s cultural gift to Tibet and China. We win nations through culture and that is our primary way. Kutayuddha as a means of last resort - with China we have come to that last resort !
FLAG OF INDEPENDENT TIBET.
THE GOAL IS : TIBETIAN INDEPENDENCE. ANYTHING LESS IS NOT IN INDIA’S LONG TERM INTERESTS.