China had never been a trustworthy neighbour. It has always tried to change the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).The imperialist and expansionist policies of China have been a potent threat.
Two Indian Prime Ministers –
Jawaharlal Nehru and Narendra Modi – tried their best to maintain good relationship with China, but both were ditched and disappointed by their Chinese counterparts. Keeping its track record in mind, former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had given befitting replies to the strategic and diplomatic policies of China.
India was first among the non-Communist countries which recognised the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)-led China under Mao Tse Tung. Nehru also recognised the Chinese annexation of Tibet in 1950. China had always been desperate for a full control over Tibet. Before 1950, the Himalayan region was an autonomous country.
TIBET AGREEMENT DEFIED
For the first time, in 1914, a tripartite convention was held between Great Britain, China and Tibet representatives in Shimla and an agreement was signed among the stakeholders. But the Chinese Government defied the agreement and attacked Tibet in 1950 and occupied it. India did not oppose the Chinese annexation.
In 1960, Chinese head of the government Zhou Enlai visited India. He was given a red-carpet welcome and ‘Hindi-Chinese bhai-bhai’ slogans were shouted from the Indian side. But the cordial relationship between two countries ended with the 1962 war, in which India had to pay a heavy price.
The loss was recovered with strong action by Indira Gandhi in 1967.From 1967 to 2020 there were minor conflicts on the border from Chinese side. A major incident took place in the Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers had to sacrifice their lives. The most recent incident was in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, early this month when the Chinese soldiers tried to infiltrate into the Indian side. India’s vigilant soldiers pushed the Chinese back.
According to some reports, China is preparing for war. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi recently ‘alerted’ the Indian Government against the Chinese conspiracy. China has already strengthened its presence in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. It is also making efforts are to establish better relations with Bhutan and Myanmar. The strategy is to gherao India.
THE ARAB WORLD TILT
The Chinese geo-strategic policies are towards the Arab world. The recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia and the Riyadh Declaration are the most sensitive developments in global politics. President Xi’s visit to Saudi Arabia was his second visit to the country in six years. This, itself, is an indication that China is seeking to expand its ties with Saudi Arabia not only at the oil, economic and investment levels, but also at the strategic level in general.
India was first among the non-Communist countries which recognised the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)-led China under Mao Tse Tung. Nehru also recognised the Chinese annexation of Tibet in 1950
The political discourse in Saudi Arabia includes aligning interests and investment networks with the Kingdom’s vision of the short and long term projects for its international relations. It is not a question of squabbling or reacting to one side or the other; rather it is about strategic repositioning and reorientation of its foreign policy. It is also in line with the rules of the game in the environment of international relations and balances after the pandemic and the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.
The Arab-China and Gulf-China summits were held at the invitation of the Kingdom and reflect Saudi Arabia’s leading role in laying out the cards in the region in accordance with strategic interests of the Gulf and Arab countries. China’s role and global influence are growing and this has happened significantly in the recent years. The initiatives, first announced in 2013, include a network of cooperation with 68 countries.
Figures confirm that China is currently spending $150 billion annually to invest in partner countries as part of an ambitious economic project that includes building ports roads and railway tracks in dozens of countries. Keeping all these preparations – strategic as well as diplomatic – in mind, India needs to be more vigilant and also revise its China strategy at the earliest