Wednesday, October 14, 2009

India shouldn't lend ear to Chinese protest

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The Chinese protest over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's weekend visit to Arunachal Pradesh did not come as a surprise to many. Beijing expressed dissatisfaction over Singh's trip and said Indian side should address China's serious and just concerns and not trigger disturbances in the disputed region so as to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations. This because China doesn't recognise Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of the Indian Union.

This is the latest in a series of protest raised by China in the recent months. First Beijing had sought to block part of a loan to India from the Asian Development Bank earmarked for projects in Arunachal Pradesh as it regularly opposes any developmental work in the state. Then it had protested the visit of Dalai Lama to Arunachal as he has been leading the Tibetan freedom moment for the last four decades from the Indian soil after having sought asylum here.

The question now arises should we react to such protest made by the Chinese. The answer is a straight 'NO' as Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the Indian Union and our Prime Minister's visit to the state should not be subject to Chinese permission. The Red Country has been protesting on every VIP visit to the state for the last six decades and its claim on India's eastern most state had led to the Sino-Indian war in 1962.

Teasing India seems to be a major strategy in the Chinese Foreign Policy. China sees India as its biggest competitor in the coming decade, and its growth lies in India's slow progress. One strategy to unsettle India is by regularly issuing it military and diplomatic threats. They are also helped by the fact that a huge chunk of the Indian population believes in Chinese economic and military might and feels India is no comparison to China.

China might be militarily and economically ahead of us at the moment but they are no fools to confront India directly. If any theory says India can't win a war versus China the same theory also says China can't win a conventional military war against India. Thus the Chinese military threat is more of psychological than in reality. Small intrusions and border violations are a part of the game in any disputed border in the world.

So Indian needs to be more assertive when dealing with China. If we believe Arunachal Pradesh to be an integral part of our country we should not lend ear to Chinese protests. China will never think about a large scale military operation against India as it will be self demolishing act if it does so. So our leaders need to strong with more resolve and not bow down to each and every protest that comes from Beijing.


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