Monday, August 28, 2017

China is not India's enemy - by Seema Sapra

China is not India's enemy, and the Government of India under Narendra Modi should stop making China the enemy only to appease the United States. Both China and India have emerged from two great ancient civilizations with ancient ties. Both China and India have struggled through the present and the previous century to pull billions of people out of poverty, to seek a better life for their combined 2.7 billion people, and to recast the world order that emerged after World War II into a more just and equitable world order. The United States might feel threatened by China's rise, but why should India? Why should India begrudge the hard work and efforts of 1.4 billion Chinese seeking a better life when that is exactly what 1.3 billion Indians are also striving for. Why should India with its anti-colonial and non-aligned past team up with the United States to "contain" China so that US global imperial hegemony is not challenged? India should welcome the possibility of an Asian century and a multi-polar world. 

It is not in India's national interest to make an enemy out of China. We are neighbors. India's path to development and economic growth needs a peaceful and friendly neighborhood and friendly economic ties with China. India and China must work toward attaining a relationship like that shared between Canada and the United States. The entire country of Canada separates the United States from the State of Alaska, yet the mutual trust and friendship between Canada and the United States ensures that the United States does not worry that Canada might annex Alaska. 

India was in violation of international law in the Doklam Standoff, which has just ended with the withdrawal of Indian troops. The Indian Army had entered Chinese/Bhutanese territory without the invitation of either. Bhutan did not endorse the Indian intervention nor said that it was on their invitation. The Bhutan Foreign Office in its Press Release had admitted that Doklam is disputed territory, China claims it as Chinese. Where was the need for India to get involved? The Chinese Army already controls the territory. Bhutan has not claimed a Chinese invasion. The dispute about the extension of the Chinese road further from Doka La Pass is at best a bilateral dispute between China and Bhutan, which according to treaties between the two countries, is to be resolved peacefully. 

What if China were to enter Pakistan occupied Kashmir?  What if tomorrow Pakistan were to invite the Chinese or the US Army into Indian Kashmir because Pakistan claims it as disputed territory? Would India like that? India keeps insisting that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute with Pakistan and that the US and China should keep out. So, shouldn't India have applied the same principle to Doklam? Chinese troops have never entered Kashmir, China has respected the bilateral nature of the Kashmir dispute. But after Doklam, they might not want to.

China has not violated international law or Indian sovereignty by "building up" or supporting Pakistan, so this is irrelevant to the Doklam issue. The US has built up Pakistan even more, so why doesn't India lash out toward its "ally" the US? Will this justify India invading US territory? Should India unilaterally intervene in the United States' disputes with third countries because the US has supported Pakistan? So why apply this principle to China?

India is pushing China in Doklam and elsewhere to help the US contain China. But the Chinese will never back down under this Indian Army posturing. And Bhutan, that values happiness, does not want to end up as a war zone. 

India is not threatened by China or any expansionism by China, India is being puppeteered by the United States to contain China to further US interests. India is the aggressor here, egged on by the US. India needs to partner with China for economic growth, and not play US war games. There has been no Chinese aggression against India for several decades. Even in Kashmir, China has not entered Indian territory. 

India had entered territory that is admittedly disputed between China & Bhutan. So, the aggressor here even according to international law was India. It is good that better sense has finally prevailed upon the Indian Government and they have withdrawn the Indian troops from possible Chinese territory. 

No comments:

Post a Comment