BRICS SUMMIT IN DOKLAM SHADOW

SHORT NOTES

China is going to host the 9th BRICS Summit from September 3 to 5 in its port city Xiamen in the Fujian Province days after the border impasse between India and China saw an uneasy withdrawal. The solution to the India China border row in the Doklam region, known as the Doklam Standoff, came 73 days after the hostilities had begun in June.

Yes, the solution is contended as India says it has not compromised on its stand while China claims its victory saying it forced India to withdraw. Anyway, India was composed and behaved like a mature and responsible superpower while China broke every norm of diplomacy behaving childishly, which included incessant threats to India of war and dire consequences.

And the world knows it was China which had to finally buckle under the international pressure, led by global powers like the US. It was clear from the day one that both China and India could not afford a war because it would be detrimental for their economies and so for the ruling regimes back home.

China boasted its 1962 supremacy when it had defeated India in war but its strategists very conveniently forgot that it was 2017 and not 1962 when China’s interests were very much dependent on global economy and geopolitics, unlike 1962 when it was an isolated country trying to stand on its own.

And India is now a much stronger military and economic power, even if it still cannot compete China on both parameters. It is, in fact, a market that both China and the US, the two larger economies than India when seen on purchasing power parity (PPP), need desperately. Also, the debate ends about any comparison between military strength of India and China with the fact that India is a proven nuclear power with inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in its arsenal.

Another major reason that pushed China to accept India’s resolute stand was this BRICS Summit which the China is chairing this time. It is well known that China uses its state machinery and every multilateral platform where it is a stakeholder to further its vested interests and propaganda.

Though BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the Chinese hegemony wants to portray it as a China driven platform which is going to be the alternative to west driven organizations like G20 or NATO. But the Doklam standoff was threatening it as India’s prime minister Narendra Modi was non-committal to confirm his presence there.

That would be a severe blow to the event as besides China, India is the only other country in the bloc which is doing well on economy and its presence was a must for a ‘shining China’ presence. An Indian absence at the Summit level would mean the event had failed, something that China, a propagandist nation, could not have afforded.

China is already calling its president Xi Jinping a diplomatic pioneer, an answer to the west and is using the upcoming BRICS Summit to promote that, along with its pet One Belt One Road initiative to develop economic corridors in Asia, Africa and Europe, something that India is opposed to as one of such corridors, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that is legally India’s.

©SantoshChaubey

SO MUCH SO FOR CHINESE RESTRAINT, INDIA CHINA BORDER STANDOFF SPILLS OVER IN AUSTRALIA

Some days ago, in a boastful article, China’s hawkish state publication Global Times had claimed that “contrary to India’s nationalistic fomenting, Chinese public was largely calm over border tension” between India and China on Doklam Plateau.

What to say then on these vituperative remarks by Chinese people, “Anyone who offends China will be killed no matter how far the target is”, “Borderline is our baseline” and “China: Not even a bit can be left behind”?

And that too, in a faraway land, almost 9000 Kms from Beijing, in Sydney, Australia, so much so for the so-called Chinese restraint.

According to a report in The Australian, these slogans were carried by Chinese people in a rally in Sydney on August 15 to protest the Indian stand in the Doklam standoff. The Chinese used a convoy of luxury cars covered in Chinese flags and anti-India slogans.

Close on the heels of this, another controversy erupted in the University of Sydney where an Indian origin professor Khimji Vaghjiani used a map during the course of one of his lectures that showed India in control of territory on the Indo-China border, especially Aksai Chin.

The Chinese youth, whom the Chinese media portray as uber cool folks who have shown “no extreme reaction directly related to the standoff targeting India”, lost their temper on such a trivial issue even if the professor clarified his situation for using the map.

“Over 18 months ago, I used an out-of-date map, downloaded from the internet, when discussing characteristics of IT entrepreneurs around the world, however I was unaware that the map was inaccurate and out-of-date. This was a genuine mistake and I regret any offence this may have caused”, The Australian quoted him saying.

Now that is what we call a calm attitude and a gentleman’s reaction, unlike Chinese people or Chinese state media or Chinese government, who have been threatening India of war and dire consequences every other day, ever since the Doklam standoff began in June.

The Australian example once again shows how Chinese scramble to catch up every opportunity to target India. The otherwise calm Chinese youngsters posted articles on different platforms demanding removal of an innocuous map that showed India’s claims on its territory in forceful Chinese occupation, Aksai Chin and parts of Ladakh. After all, what else can be expected from them who threaten to kill anyone who offends China.

©SantoshChaubey

CHINA’S VESTED INTERESTS IN ‘ONE BELT ONE ROAD’ A PRETEXT TO MEDDLE IN KASHMIR ISSUE?

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified and extended.

Global Times, China’s official mouthpiece, has called for an increased Chinese role in South and Southeast Asia. Citing Chinese mediation between Myanmar and Bangladesh over the Rohingya refugees issue, in an article published today, it says that it is imperative that China protects the interests of its organizations with their increasing global footprint across the world, saying that ‘Beijing cannot turn a deaf ear to such demands’.

Taking its argument to the next level, the article further says that China has made huge investments in many countries under its ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative and therefore it has ‘vested interests’ to mediate in regional conflicts including the ‘Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan’. According to the article, the Chinese experience over the Rohingya issue should serve as a template for the larger Chinese role in South and Southeast Asia.

Such provocations by the official media in China are gradually becoming a trend. Recently, an editorial had suggested that China should intervene in the Kashmir issue actively after India had declined illegitimate Chinese demands of clamping down on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit. China claims Arunachal Pradesh is South Tibet and even went on to rename six Arunachal Pradesh cities in maps released by it.

India has made it amply clear that the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir, including Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan, is an integral part of India and if there has to be a dialogue, it has to be bilateral in nature and would focus on Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. If the official Chinese media is still hell bent on advocating increased Chinese mediation in the Kashmir dispute, it should be construed as an extension of the official Chinese propaganda that tried to demean India whenever it gets a chance.

A significant part of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ passes through PoK where China is making huge investment and which India has objected to as it is ideally an Indian land.

It also exposes the Chinese double standards. China’s considers Arunachal Pradesh its own territory and therefore disputed and cannot tolerate even an exiled Tibetan person, even if the person is the Peace Nobel Laureate, to venture there, whereas it sends an army of its organizations, workers and, in turn, its forces, in the name of safeguarding them, to a disputed territory that has historically been a part of India.

Though some reports say that Myanmar has turned down the offer of Chinese mediation, Myanmar may finally succumb to the Chinese pressure of meddling into its affairs. China has gradually increased its investments in Myanmar to a significant level including an oil pipeline through Myanmar that gives China direct access to crude oil from Middle East and Africa. The oil pipeline was an important piece of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ map.

China may be the world’s second largest economy but its global reputation is still of an autocratic country with an expansive mindset that is involved in multiple territorial and sea disputes. China’s one party rule has become synonymous with human rights abuses and meddling in global affairs to protect other autocratic regimes like Syria and North Korea.

©SantoshChaubey

CONTINUING DOUBLESPEAK, NOW CHINESE MEDIA WARNS OF GEOPOLITICAL GAMES IN KASHMIR

How rattled is the Chinese media on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit is visible from the flurry of threats, warning and even advices that are appearing in its official publications. After calling India’s stand on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit an undignified and obstinate stand damaging to the India-China bilateral ties or summoning the Indian envoy in Beijing to lodge its protests, it is now the Kashmir issue that China has threatened to rake up.

A latest editorial in China’s official publication Global Times that has been at the forefront of anti-India tirade on the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit, warns India that the use of the Dalai Lama card is ‘tactless’ and at the same time, threatens to use the Kashmir card against India.

While repeating the oft quoted patronizing tone of the official Chinese publications that how big and powerful China is, militarily and economically when compared to India, the editorial writes, “With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?”

But China is already playing the Kashmir card against India with its ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project that passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). India considers PoK as its integral part and has lodged strong protests over the Chinese presence in PoK but the CPEC is going ahead in full steam. Here, China goes on bulldozing, mutilating India’s sovereign claims in PoK, but starts making overtures when it comes to even an innocuous Dalai Lama visit to Arunachal Pradesh, that China considers a disputed territory even if the Indian position has been clear to the world that the state is an integral part of India. China expects India to respect its sensitivities, but conveniently forgets to do the same when it comes to the Indian sensitivities.

The editorial, like a doublespeak, writes that the Indian concerns on China blocking India’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Groups (NSG) or China vetoing proposals in the United Nations to ban Masood Azhar are international multilateral issues while ‘the Dalai Lama is purely a China’s domestic issue’.

Well, to remind the Chinese strategists writing such doublespeak editorials here that even Masood Azhar is a pure diplomatic issue for India because India has been facing terror acts of terrorists like him or Hafiz Saeed for decades while they have been under patronage of Pakistan and even now China. China’s obstinate stand on Masood Azhar validates it.

It is India’s unchallenged right to hunt down or corner such terrorists and if China considers India as a friendly neighbour and partner, as the editorial says, then it should, in fact, come forward and help the Indian efforts to ban terrorists like Masood Azhar and should put pressure on Pakistan, India’s pestering neighbour that claims to have brotherly ties with China, to stop sponsoring terror in India.

But no. While the Masood Azhar issue is a technical one for China, the Dalai Lama issue is such that ‘India’s attitude towards the Dalai Lama almost affects the entire relationship with China’, the editorial writes.

This screenshot from the Global Times tells us how obsessed and rattled China has been over the Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit where ‘India’s Dalai invites’ figure’s among the hot topics.

©SantoshChaubey

HANGZHOU AGAIN TELLS WHY INDIA IS BETTER THAN CHINA

Hangzhou is hosting the G20 Summit of the world’s 20 largest economies which got over this evening. It is the Capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China and should strike our curious nerves with the fact that it is home to Alibaba, the global ecommerce giant from China, the company that floated the biggest ever IPO globally and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese company that took over the Swedish carmaker Volvo.

But that is for curious folks who would bother to know about some major cities in China beyond Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Macau and Hong Kong. Otherwise, the larger world, in general doesn’t know and will not bother to know where Hangzhou is and why it is famous for.

But China has a habit to overdo everything – fuelled by its autocratic dogma – that the newfound Chinese might and opulence have to have telling signs in every bit of land that works as an interface to global exposure – even if it is at the cost of common Chinese, the millions who form its middle and lower middle classes. Violating their lives has become a principled debauchery of Chinese power elite.

So when a big event of the scale of Olympics (as during the Beijing Olympics 2008) is organized, millions are swept out of Beijing and nearby areas lest they backbite on China’s economic marvel. Suppressing data and people that may show China in negative light is a favourite tool regularly employed the Chinese power corridors. So much so that even if it is a smaller event like this G20 Summit in Hangzhou. To sanitize Hangzhou on every count, including security and vanity, Chinese authorities have temporarily displaced around a quarter of the city’s population – so that the visiting delegates of the world’s most powerful countries and large markets cannot see through the patches that may otherwise tell some otherwise side stories on the China story that has made it the second largest economy of the world.

Something that never happens in India, the world’s third largest economy now.

To continue..