Remarkable Shift in Sino-Indian Foreign Policy
India’s refusal to reaffirm the oft-repeated ‘One China Principle’ and declare ‘Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China’ in the joint statement following China’s refusal to concede ‘Jammu & Kashmir as an integral Part of India’ is a welcome change in the Sino-Indian Policy. Maybe the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao is trying to play it safe as he is scheduled to visit Pakistan after his India visit but that is mischievous.
Jammu and Kashmir has always been an integral part of India. The problems we face there are the result of political blunders and the many difficulties we face today are results of deliberate interference in the internal matters of India by our neighbouring countries. On the other hand, Tibet was usurped by China by force under the very nose of the United Nations of which it is a Security Council member and the super powers which used to masquerade as global policemen in those days.
Illegally, and in contravention of internationally accepted conventions, China occupied Indian territories and claimed them as its own. That China also has sinister designs on Arunachal Pradesh which is an Indian state and therefore an integral part of India is again a well-known fact. India has done no such thing and therefore does not need to be on the defensive in raising issues that embarrass China.
Under the circumstances, there is no reason for India to cow down under pressure to inappropriate Chinese demands. India should fight tooth and nail when faced with such a situation. Pakistan has embarrassed India constantly and consistently at international forums and got away with it. That should encourage India to adopt a similar policy toward Pakistan, China and all other nations which choose to act against our national and international interests.
Once dubbed as the weakest prime minister of India by an opposition party, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has shown exemplary courage and conviction in sending out a strong message to China that India will not accept double standards in it foreign policies, which no other prime minister in the past can be credited with. It is also a welcome sign that we now have a breed of bureaucrats in the South Block which houses the external affairs ministry who can guide India to its rightful place in the twenty-first century.
We can promote bilateral trade and have excellent trade relations with China. But, that should not prevent us from taking a dig at China whenever we can.
After a long time, India has made a first step towards an aggressive foreign policy which it should have adopted decades ago. India must build on this initiative and use it to its advantage in the coming years. Who will become the Asian tiger and ultimately the world leader will depend upon such assertive foreign policy initiatives.
In fact, India should start identifying other issues which can cause considerable embarrassment to China and start raising them at international forums at the drop of a hat. There are dozens of issues that India can use to its advantage.
It will not only force China to take a cautious approach in its foreign policies towards India but also offer considerable leverage to India in its foreign policy towards that country. That will help us improve our bargaining power with China both politically and economically. This should be seen not only as pure politics but also commendable diplomacy.