Thursday, August 2, 2007
Can China be trusted?
There have been several rounds of talks on the border row between India and China and a JWG was also set up in the 80s. However, there has been hardly any progress and a solution seems to be nowhere in sight. China itself does not believe that a solution is possible. Yes, there have been certain CBMs which have reduced tensions between the two countries. On the eve of the visit of the Chinese President to India, the Chinese envoy's statement that Arunachal Pradesh belonged to China and the cession of Tawang would be a pre-condition to solving the border dispute dampened the spirits in the South Bloc. Again, these types of statements by Chinese envoys are not new. The reiteration of border claims has been made prior to visits by Chinese dignitaries. What is even more intriguing is the muted response of the government and the main political parties. Except for the BJP which stated that UPA's foreign policy had failed, no other party has commented on this very important issue. Of course one does not expect the left parties to make any public pronouncements on this issue. Secondly, we cannot afford to ignore the fact that China has consistently followed a policy of containment vis-à-vis India. China has supported, assisted and abetted Pakistan's quest for nuclear weapons and missile technology. Besides, China continues to be one of the major suppliers of conventional arms to Pakistan. China has also come out openly against the Indo-US nuclear deal.China is also responsible for proliferation of nuclear technology. China supported and continues to covertly support insurgency movements in India's North East as well as extreme left wing groups. China's interference in Nepal, its growing ties with Myanmar have to be viewed as being not so India-friendly. China resents India's growing ties with the West, particularly the US.China fears India's rapid economic growth. No doubt we must make all out efforts to improve ties with China. But it has to be with certain amount of caution.