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Has India Stopped Appeasing China? – OpEd


Chinese President Xi Jinping must have been surprised, when he heard the news that Government of India has issued orders that any foreign direct investment from countries bordering India  including China would be closely scrutinized and specific permission is required for such investment to take place. This order is obviously aimed at China., as India has realized that China wants to use the present opportunity of falling equity share value in companies to gradually taking over Indian companies and consolidate it’s hold over Indian trade and business.

India taken for granted

So far, China has been taking India for granted for all practical purposes and several provocative moves by China against India’s interests have been soft pedalled by India. This approach of India in dealing with China has given an impression that India is going out of way to appease China and India wants to keep China in good humour.

In the past, China has taken number of steps which have gone against India’s interests and Chinese government has not bothered as to how India would react to China’s moves.

Several instances can be shown to highlight such trends.

Occupation of Indian territory by China

After 1962 war between India and China, China has occupied thousands of kilometres of Indian territory and has not vacated them till today. Near silence of Government of India about China occupying Indian land indicates India’s reluctance to pick up border issue with China.

China claims that Arunachal Pradesh, which is an Indian province, belongs to China. China has gone to the extent of refusing proper visa to the residents of Arunachal Pradesh to visit China. Further, China objected when His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Arunachal Pradesh and held a congregation there.

Though India has protested against China’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh, China has ignored this so far. China’s atrocious claim on Arunachal Pradesh  has not prevented India from seeking friendship with China in every possible way.

Pakistan’s gift of disputed land to China

Pakistan handed over to China part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which India claims as its own. Without bothering about India’s claim, China accepted the “gift of land from Pakistan”,  which is now used by China for military and transportation strategic purposes. India is helplessly and silently watching this situation and has only registered a weak protest , which has been ignored by China.

Bowing  to China’s pressure on Tibet

 When China invaded Tibet and drove out the Tibetan protestors mercilessly and His Holiness the Dalai Lama with his followers were forced to flee to India, there was no big protest from India. While India gave asylum to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his followers, India has recognized  the occupation of Tibet by China as legitimate, though large number of Indians were unhappy about this.

Now, the movement of Tibetan activists in India are restricted and even  His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s proposed meeting in New Delhi was cancelled by Government of India sometime back,  when China protested.

Many believe that India’s conscience has been silenced with regard to the Tibetan issue, as Government of India did not want  to displease China.

Dependence on China for trade import

 Now, India is heavily dependent on China to meet its requirement of several finished products, intermediate chemicals, auto components, equipment  for solar industry and several spare parts for computers, mobile phones etc.

It is claimed that India has large share of the global pharma industry. However, the fact is that while Indian pharma formulation industry has large share in the world, it is not so in the case of Active Pharma Ingredients (API) , which are input for pharma formulations. For API  requirement, India is largely dependent on China.

In the unlikely event of China deciding to stop export of all such chemicals , spare parts etc. to India, thenIndian industry sector would get nearly paralysed.

In spite of  such excessive dependence on China, any worthwhile steps have not been initiated by Government of India to check the import from China by resorting to alternate sources /methods, as it would lead to trade war between India and China. India would not like this to happen.

Support  for anti-Indian terrorist

China has been supporting the Pakistan based terrorist , though international efforts have been made to restrict the movement and activities of this terrorist, who is known to have launched several terrorist attacks in India.

While India has spoken against China’s support to the anti Indian terrorist, India has blamed Pakistan in strong terms for accommodating the terrorist but not in equally strong terms accused China of protecting this terrorist.

China’s growing dominance in the region

Realising that India can be the  only country that can be a potential threat toChina  in achieving it’s objective of regional dominance, China has been systematically gaining sort of control overIndia’s neighbouring countries such as PakistanNepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Maldives. These countries have been provided with huge loan byChina for various projects in which China is actively participating. These countries will not be able to repay the debt to China in the foreseeable future and are bound to be obliged to China.

Even after realizing that China is steadily tightening its control over India by getting  prominent place in India’s neighbouring countries, India is not doing much to counter the situation by any aggressive  and worthwhile strategies.

Appeasement of China obvious

It is very obvious that India has been trying to appease China so far,  as India wants to avoid any friction in relations with China.

Prime Minister Modi invited Chinese President Xi Jinping two times to India  and gave him a grand reception, like of which no other country in the world has extended to Chinese President Xi Jinping, making the visit look like a national event in India.

While extensive discussions were carried out between Prime minister Modi and President Xi Jinping during these visits or Modi’s visits  to China,  there is no indication that some provocative moves of China such as claiming Arunachal Pradesh as it’s own have been discussed.

The net result is that China is sticking to it’s stand and is not mending its ways or going out of the way to satisfy India. Obviously, this  strategy of China indicates that China takes India for granted.

Will India’s appeasement end?

The recent decision of India to restrict or prevent investment by Chinese companies in Indian projects make one wonder as to whether India would end its appeasement policy towards China.

One cannot be sure and it is possible that such strong action by India may be short lived.

It is high time that India should realize that China has the ambition of global dominance by adopting fair or foul means. India’s interests should be protected by redesigning the relationship with China, to ensure that India would not become a victim ofChina’s ambition for global dominance.

India’s appeasement approach towards China should end once for all.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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