By Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Special Forces Veteran
During the early 1950’s, right after throwing away the British yoke, India was busy consolidating its independence and thus not in a position to prevent China from forcibly entering a peace loving country Tibet. By late 1950s Nehru had no option but to reluctantly accept the conquering of Tibet by China. Beijing’s regional hegemony was later boldly shown by the border face-off it had with rest of its neighbours, one after the other. It has had tiffs with Russia, Mongolia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Bhutan and war with Vietnam and India. This is still continuing from South Asia to south of China Sea.
After the Chinese were able to capture whole of Tibet, there was again an uprising against foreign occupation. However the Tibetan war of Freedom over sovereignty in the 1950s was brutally crushed down by the ruthless PLA and thousands of Tibetan were butchered. His Holiness Dalai Lama, somehow managed to escape to India and formed the Tibetan Govt in Exile. Thousands and thousands of Tibetans also managed to escape to India and Nepal.
In 1962, the People’s Liberation Army did a backstabbing by marching into Indian Territory after hiding behind the PANCHSHEEL slogan for a long time. The short war was joined by an unprepared India with just three of its infantry brigades out of over 30 it had at that time. China then acted smart and swiftly withdrew its troops back to the initial position because they knew that once the Indian Army got mobilized fully then the Chinese would get hammered. Thus PLA was able to claim a sort if victory in the military conflict against the Indian army. Nowadays, the situation is entirely different from 1960 . So China should not do anything irrational for its own good, otherwise it will pay more than what it did when it had gone into Vietnam. Even in Nathu La Sector, the Chinese had been given such a bloody thrashing in a short Skirmish in 1967 that till date they had no guts to raise their head in this area.
Now once again Chinese regional hegemony is being boldly displayed by the border face-off this time with Bhutan. Using the excuse of constructing and repairing its roads the Chinese have tried to occupy territory of Bhutan a country whose sovereignty is protected by India.
Ratcheting up its rhetoric against India, a state-run Chinese daily today warned that Beijing may support “pro-independence appeals in Sikkim” if New Delhi does not stop pursuing “regional hegemony” through the border face-off. The tabloid, known for its aggressive rhetoric, said that China should reconsider its stance over Sikkim. The tabloid under control of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) also accused India of exerting “startling control and oppression over Bhutan. There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue. As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim’s independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim. This is a powerful card against India if it tries to play the Dalai Lama Card. As a result of Indian pressure, Bhutan has not established diplomatic ties with China or any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. Through unequal treaties, India has severely jeopardised Bhutan’s diplomatic sovereignty and controls its national defence,” it said.
Well China perhaps does not know what it is getting into. Now India is not the same as it was under Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi or Manmohan Singh. In the past, India was not ready to play the Dalai Lama card, but now China is forcing the issue. Thus India which is now in a position to stand up to Chinese hegemony may be forced to re raise the issue of Tibetan Independence. After all the Indian Parliament has never accepted or ratified that Tibet was part of China. It was just Nehru who made that statement in his individual capacity and it was never the Indian Cabinet. Thus Firstly India can re-negotiate all its Boundary issue with the Tibetan Govt in Exile. Next it can start backing the Tibetan Freedom Movement and spread the issue all over the Free World. It is also in a position to unleash the Special Frontier Force, an all Tibetan Freedom Fighters Force, if required, into Tibet.
So raising Sikkim issue will exert no additional effect on the Bhutan Boundary or Tibet question. But if New Delhi adjusts its stance on Chinese -sensitive issues, it could be a powerful card to deal with Beijing. Here we are not even talking about Taiwan or independence of Honk Kong from oppressive Chinese rule.
The Global Times apparently aired the views of a fully rattled China. It never anticipated the swift Bhutan’s diplomatic protest to China by accusing the Chinese troops of constructing the road in Doklam, a territory claimed by both nations. Then came a swifter Indian response and China did not know how to react and was totally paralyzed. Now it is trying to issue threats as per its old habits.
It does not know that with certain conditions, Tibet, Uighurs,Taiwan and Hong Kong, all can see strong anti-China movements, which will negatively affect China’s already turbulent state and rewrite China’s and Asia’s geopolitics.
The Sino-India relationship is quite complicated. Beijing thinks that it is more powerful than India but yet knows fully well any confrontation with New Delhi will not only lead to its economic ruin but will get China a very bloody nose. However presently India may have to utilize all its diplomatic tools to deter China from taking further provocative actions. Instead Global Times should advice the communist party bosses that China should drop its delusion of military strength. India of 2017 with Modi at helm, is in a position to sell Chinese Govt to the Chinese people itself.
Democracy is always mightier than dictatorship even if it is of the Party.
Not only militarily, but economically, technologically and diplomatically India is in no way inferior to China at this moment. We have no hostility to China and we really want to cooperate with China to improve our ties. The door of peaceful resolution is always open as long as China doesn’t shut it.