China is making efforts to accomplish its goals by persuading India with hollow promises of bonhomie between both the nations even while facing off with the Indian army at the volatile border.
Beijing that adopts a unilateral stance even in minor disputes over border lines, has now opened its doors for discussions as part of attempts to ensure the support of India for its dream project. India that learnt from its failure in 1962, proclaiming to strongly move ahead and its decision to abstain from the grand summit scheduled to be held this week in the Chinese capital of Beijing to discuss the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) that’s touted to turn China into the region’s super power, are what has prompted the nation to extend a hand of cooperation towards India.
The project that aims to connect China with Asia, Europe and Africa through a network of land and sea links is expected to be the biggest development project ever in the history of the world. When China says that the initiative isn’t just a Chinese project but also benefits people across the world, powerful nations including the US and neighbouring countries including India that are prepping enthusiastically to vie with each other in the region, aren’t able to swallow it fully. Also, the increased influence that China might have in the Indian Ocean as part of the project might not be in favor of India’s interests. That the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPAC) passes through Pak-occupied Kashmir is seen as an attack on India’s sovereignty by New Delhi. It’s while India continues its rigid and relentless fight with Pakistan for Jammu and Kashmir that China attempts to make a way for itself by accepting the claims of Pakistan. India decided to stay away from the Beijing summit only realizing this fact. China cannot move ahead with its ambitious project without the support of India, that is a significant power, geographically as well as politically. It’s out of this helplessness that China’s attempts to coax India into participating in the summit through hollow words.
At a time when China, that created severe border threats for India and banned the entry of Indian pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar , goes as far as threatening India, the country extending a hand of cooperation is plainly a double-stand. It was only last month the Chinese troops crossed the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction where India, China and Bhutan shares border and destroyed two make-shift bunkers of the Indian army in Doko La. On June 16, Chinese troops intruded into the Doklam Plateau accompanied by earth movers and other construction equipment trying to claim the region that belongs to Bhutan providing naïve excuses. India extended help after appeals from Bhutan. Doklam that’s located adjacent to the narrow Siliguri corridor which links India’s northeast to the rest of the country, is critical to the nation as well.
India has been using this shortcut route to Kailash, with China’s permission. This path is now closed. It’s when China aggressively moved ahead quashing the resistances from Bhutan that India intervened in the matter. India foiled the moves to cross the border through resistive moves that extended up to ten days. Even as the face-off between two prominent army troops in Asia continue rigorously, India had recently increased its military base. China has made it a habit to intrude across the Indian border whenever it could. Given this fact, India should certainly be vigilant. Whether those waiting for opportunities are taking advantage of communal polarization presently brewing up in the country as well as the circumstances where separatists and terrorists have become increasingly active in Jammu and Kashmir, northeast regions and red corridors, should also be analysed. The sharpness in India’s usual answer for any move that destabilizes the border and undermines the neighbouring ties shouldn’t be lost in the case of China.