February 25, 2008

Should India Confront China on Arunachal?

Recently, Manmohan Singh has reinforced India's stake over Arunachal Pradesh by visiting the state and declaring it an integral part of India. This was long overdue, given China's strong rhetorics about Arunachal. The fact that China is playing the AP card just to get diplomatic edge over India is beyond doubt. They want to revive a closed issue; they want more concessions in the ongoing boundary settlement. So is India falling into the trap? I don't think so. Many people believe India should send out strong messages across the Himalaya about AP and make strong counter-claims about Aksai Chin. That is exactly what China wants! It is good that India isn't falling into the trap.

Should India be more vocal on Arunachal issue?
I mean, we already have nuclear and missile deterrent against China.
Chinese govt is very business minded and won't commit any foolishness that would hurt its international trade...not even in Taiwan where its demands are legitimate.

So is it cool for us to take a confrontational attitude? China plays it cool with bigger powers and tries to bully smaller powers. That is very much true with many other countries. Here, I would like to refer to Deng's foreign policy. Ex-premier of China Deng always believed in lying low and channeling all diplomatic energy towards national interest. China itself avoids much confrontation with other countries unless it's self-interest is involved. It is like the 'hidden dragon' which was the prime beneficiary of cold war by aligning with USSR, ditching USSR and then realigning with US. Today it is in a position to claim world-power status. I think India is also following this line. This is evident from the articulations of Brajesh Singh, who played a major role in shaping India's foreign policy.

Accepting the fact that India still is a regional power (it will be a world power sometime in the future, no doubt), is it in our interests to confront China in the barking-dogs-diplomacy the way Bangladesh does with India or Venezuela does with US?

1 comment:

Karun Bir Singh Sandha said...


At the time of accepting Tibet as autonomous area of China we should have bargained AP.

Same thing happened at the time of Nehru when Chou En-lai said that AP issue would be settled later as news maps marking the region (AP) are not yet prepared.