International politics, is not the cup of tea for many, who simply state statistics and try to interpret them. Issues need to be handled with certain finesse so that even if one is begging, some sort of aristocracy is felt. Well, a poor man from a former royal family may inform his neighbour that he decided to bestow his blessings on this particular neighbour and allow him to ‘loan’ some money so that the ‘highness’ can have his morning tea!
Despite practising Capitalism in the guise of Communism, Chinese have not mastered the art of diplomatic speaking and the blame goes to the much violent doctrine of Communism. Coupled to it was the legacy of ‘Japanese treatment’ of Chinese that was akin to the treatment of Indians at the hands of Islamic invaders and then by the Brits. If Indians were called ‘kafirs’ & ‘Bloody Indians’, there were boards in China with a caption ‘Dogs & Chinese are not allowed’. Though China could prevent the western onslaught by building the great wall, it had succumbed to the military might of the Japanese. And, the racial discrimination that one generation of Chinese experienced may, perhaps be equal to the discrimination of Indians by the foreign rulers. The trauma experienced by both China and India would make the task of international diplomacy very difficult to them.
Long forgotten are the philosophy of Confucius and administration of Chanakya. All the present day Chinese and Indian administration, media and intellectuals could do is giving a war call at the drop of a hat.
Given this much of common back ground even in the psyche of Chinese and Indians, it is not surprising to see ‘mutual aversion’ expressed by people of both sides. As China is the only country on the earth, other than Pakistan that fought a war with India, the anti-Chinese feeling in Indian population was not without a reason. The support to Dalai Lama and Tibetans by Indian Government is seen as an anti-Chinese stance by the Indian government in the eyes of Chinese, at least by the current generation that might not have faced the rule of Mao. As now they project Mao as a great leader China ever had, the anti-Indian feeling in an average Chinese is a bitter truth. Added to this intrinsic antagonism is the support of China to Pakistan. Well, support to Pakistan is a win-win situation for China, as it not only helps in checking India, but would enhance the economic progress of China.
For how long, India would remain a mute spectator? Every now and then, India tries to antagonise China by retorting through similar tactics. The visit of an all women parliamentarians from Taiwan are on a visit to India, by invitation has again tripped alarms in Chinese. Some not so independent observers have warned India that reviewing the ‘One China’ policy is not acceptable to the Chinese.
Yu Ning, the writer of the column in Global Times, the official mouth piece of China questions the wisdom of India interacting with Taiwan at government level, while even Donald Trump seems to be softening his stance on China.
Yu Ning warned India is playing with fire, by challenging China on Taiwan issue.
The point Yu Ning, like many other Chinese nationalists miss is that they simply can’t expect India to remain ‘cool’ while the Chinese mock at India, at every available international forum. To say the truth, this is not the first time India played a card annoying China. There were many issues on which India took anti-Chinese stance. Some observers think selling missiles to Vietnam is far more serious issue. But, armament sales are normally seen as a point of enhancing economic interests, as they rarely result into actual deployment. Even if America supplies hundreds of military jets to Vietnam or South Korea, they would never be deployed, fearing the backlash of firing a single bullet against the much powerful Chinese army.
But, issues like questioning the sovereignty of Chinese on the reclaimed islands in South China Sea, stalling the participation in building the ports in Sri Lanka are the real problems that question the ‘soft power’ that China tries to exhibit.
As both India and China are enhancing their stature and evolving in the global arena in the recent past, slowly both nations were trying to learn living together, despite daily skirmishes.
Leaderships of both nations, irrespective of the party and person that is in power acknowledge the futility of fighting one another. As both nations have firmly set their eyes on the economic development, they limited their reactions to the activities and statements by either side to verbal replies, but continue to do whatever they want. If India checked China in Sri Lanka, China won Nepal, but both are simply two milestones in the long diplomatic war that is on. Sri Lanka would look to China in future, as Nepal moved to India. Except Pakistan, there is no other country that would be sticking to either India or China on permanent basis.
If there is anything that may upset China truly by the increasing relations between Taiwan and India, it is only the technology transfer and India importing technical goods (say electronics) from Taiwan that are cheaper than the world’s average prices. To be frank, it is highly questionable on Indian government’s part why so far business relations with Taiwan have not improved the way they should have, considering the opportunity that exists.
Perhaps, in the coming days of restricted, if not reverse globalisation, the business between India and Taiwan may increase. This, certainly would be costing to China in terms of reducing the deficit that exist as of today in the business with India. However, commenting on this aspect tantamount to accepting the quality and pricing of Chinese electronics and so China would never do so. So, the reactions of ‘playing with fire’ like remarks that appear. Whether India considers Taiwan as China’s Achilles’ heel or not, China confirmed that it is.
There was a time when Indian Prime Minister had refused a permanent seat to India in the Security Council of United Nations, at the cost of China. But, the same could not be expected even by Manmohan Singh, much less by Narendra Modi. Now, it is for China, by virtue of being the bigger and powerful country, to exhibit some gracious thinking on its part.