Bill to recognize TAR (Tibet) as an ‘independent country’ introduced in US House of Representatives on May 19, 2020.
“There has been pressure on India by USA …to come down heavily on China… US pressure regarding Taiwan, Tibet…ThePrint, 13 May, 2020.
World should give recognition to Taiwan and Tibet -Comment in wionews.com, May 20, 2020.
“Join anti-China global platform… Revise ‘One China’ policy” –Seshadri Chari, former editor, Organizer, RSS voice, June 12.
PM Modi “maintained India’s appeasement policy towards China,” alleged Brahma Chellany in an article June 10, 2020.
The above are some of the headlines in recent weeks, which are a pointer to what is working in the hawkish minds of Indian Establishment, as part of a campaign against China by US vultures. This alliance would only benefit merchants of death, the war industry.The above views are consolidated in a webinar on June 12, as reported briefly below.
But before that, what is the latest situation along the LAC?
India’s Army Chief MM Naravane said on June 13: “ I would like to assure …that the entire situation along our borders is under control. We are having a series of talks…As a result, a lot of dis-engagement has taken place…hopeful all perceived differences (both have) will be set to rest…(ANI)
Naravane said: “ Both sides are dis-engaging in a phased manner…hope that the ongoing military dialogue will resolve “all the perceived differences” …It has been a very fruitful dialogue…” Asked if Chinese refused to retreat from Indian territory at Pangang, the COAS said he would not “like to use the word retreat in any context..There is no retreat. The correct word would be dis-engagement..” (Times of India June 14)
The Economic Times in a comprehensive update on June 15 said dis-engagement is going on…: “ The Indian deployments along the LAC are more than a match for the PLA build-up.”
“China, India properly handling border issue, taking actions to ease situation : Chinese Foreign Ministry” is the title of a TOI report June 11, based on “consensus reached recently during diplomatic and military level talks..”
China has not CAPTURED any Indian territory!
That is the assertive title of an unambiguous article by Retd. Col S. Dinny, who took voluntary retirement from Indian Army recently in October 2019, and who had worked for long along LAC including as a Commanding Officer in the present hot-spot area of Pangong Tso, apart from JK and North-east. He wrote on June 15, RediffNews:
“ There has been an attempt by some to project a narrative that China has captured Indian territory…both sides have locked horns along LAC…both have taken close positions opposite each other, but within their own area of LAC …
Satellites don’t lie…Indian Army has a time-tested reporting system…There has not been a single image showing any ingress or capture of Indian territory in these areas…Reports that China captured the heights along LAC…this is also far from reality…
as a policy the Chinese have not resorted to capture of heights for building up their differences anywhere along LAC…They have only created limited defences for protection of their posts which are …much away from LAC…
As far as troops on ground …there are no issues of perception or understanding of the LAC..they operate with maps having clear and unambiguous markings of LAC…So where is the question of hidng the truth?
So let us not make the current crisis in Ladakh as another Kargil, he concluded.
Border Disputes: Record of India and China
There is persistent jingoistic propaganda in Indian media, painting as if China is a notorious aggressor.The reality :
“ China has borders with 14 nations, and except for India, it has resolved its disputes with all, including Russia. India has borders with six countries, and excluding Bhutan, it has disputes with all five.”
– Subramanian Swamy, Sinologist, Ex-Union Minister, and BJP MP (Frontline 2000 Sep 2: Sino-Indian Relations Through the Tibet Prism)
That was 20 years ago. Is there a change in subsequent period? India-China border issue remains unresolved despite dozens of meetings at various levels. There were two issues ever since: Doklam,which is being recalled now by many, and the present episode.
What was the situation vis-a-vis India in the last 20 years?
The former Northern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. (retd) D.S. Hooda, said reports suggesting China had over the recent years “nibbled away” at parts of Indian territory were incorrect…
“In the past15-20 years, there has been no real change in what we felt was the alignment of the LAC. Those [points] are sacrosanct to the Indian Army.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, as if corroborating the above, said on June 02, 2020:
“There will hardly be a year when there is no face-off on the border between both the Indian Army and the Chinese Army. ”
Mr. Singh did not respond to a direct question on whether Chinese troops crossed over into Indian territory. Instead he said there were differing perceptions on the alignment of the LAC due to which both sides patrolled across the LAC till their lines of perception. (The Hindu, June 03, 2020)
But despite such a situation, Indian hawks are actively discussing hegemonic alternatives, in a provocative manner. See Report below:
India’s one China policy may not be permanent feature amid Beijing’s aggression–Experts at a Webinar, June12.
The above is the title of a latest Report by Economic Times(ET), June 13, 2020 about a webinar on the topic “Revisiting ‘One China’ policy: Economic and Political Options for India: Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan, and Xinjiang” on June 12 Friday. “Prominent Indian strategic experts” have explored possible options, it said.
In fact, it was preceded by many-sided efforts as can be seen later in this report. See details of ET report:
The speakers at the event were: President of Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, Jayadeva Ranade; Secretary General of Forum for Integrated National Secretary, Sheshadri Chari; Director of Vivekananda International Foundation Dr. Arvind Gupta; Editor of Strat News Global and Bharat Shakti, Nitin Gokhale; and Senior Fellow at Peace and Conflict Studies, Abhijit Iyer Mitra.
(Many are associated with RSS or pro-RSS agencies, it can be seen.)
Arvind Gupta expressed his concerns about not taking a dynamic approach beyond the statements; suggested that India should be supporting Tibet and try that the Dalai Lama should be given a higher position and more visibility in India’s political circles. Along with this, India must begin economic and technological engagements with Taiwan, besides supporting it politically.
He also recommended garnering India’s support to the democratic movement in Hong Kong, even if Delhi is not part of joint statement by the West. He also talked about raising the issue of human rights violations in Xinjiang at global platforms… give an entire rethink on the entire policy on China, which needs to be modified. “We also need to think whether we should go at once or gradually work towards it?”, he said.
The arguments of Gokhale revolved largely around Taiwan and Tibet. Exploring India’s policy options on Taiwan he said, “Taiwan is the low hanging fruit as far as a rethink on One China Policy is concerned…India’s trade with Taiwan has moved from 66 Million Dollars to 6 Billion Dollars in the past few years. 90 Taiwanese firms are operating in India. There is some direction towards our Taiwan policy, as we have recently set up a separate desk on Taiwan Invest Organisation within the Commerce Ministry. Also, in two instances, Indian MPs have attended the PMs inauguration ceremony in Taiwan. India is on the verge of a policy change towards One China Policy towards Taiwan.
On Tibet, he said that not only the Dalai Lama but the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Government in Exile should be provided greater visibility amongst the media, academia, and government events/meetings.
Buddhist diplomacy should be integral to India’s China policy… Setting up Buddhist Alliance in countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia would be fruitful. India should think about passively helping Tibetans to organise protests when Chinese leaders visit India”, he added. Talking about the worries of China, he said that three Ts bother China the most: Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen, Trade.
Ranade stressed the need to build up India’s own capabilities in countering China – not only on the border, but the need to take them on all other fronts. He predicted that the tensions between the US and China willcertainly either put India in a sweet or in a delicate position in the time to come.
Backing Gokhale’s views about Mandarin, he recommended that since a large number of our students go to China and come back with a sort of pronounced bias in favour of Beijing, if not brainwashed by them, why should we not shift away from China and shift that cohort of students to Taiwan? …think about how to fund scholarships for students going there.
Ranade also advocated that the Dalai Lama needs to be given more prominence on major platforms. He should be photographed more with more Indian Ministers. “Tibet touches us because of Buddhism. We are entering a delicate status with Dali Lama’s advancing age. Dalai Lama’s advantage is to be taken for two reasons.”
Sheshadri Chari presented an insightful view of Xinjiang…
he explained its strategic importance… Because of occupying Xinjiang, they got direct borders with India (Aksai Chin), Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Tibet, Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan. It was an important strategic move by China. The development of Urumqi-Kashgar road, an all-weather road, China will get access to South Asia. Kashgar is a part of the Karakoram range. The road goes through Gilgit Baltistan (GB), connecting it to Islamabad…
India should be more concerned about the scope and range of the One China Policy.It also has significance as far as its relation with Tibet, outer Mongolia, and Xinjiang is concerned. “What can be done? We should not engage in a barter system with China on One India and One China Policies. Even if you don’t accept, One India policy or not, we will not accept the One China Policy at all”, Sheshadri Chari stressed.(See later another item by him.)
Mitra flagged a couple of questions “are we ready to give nuclear weapons to Taiwan? Can we support Taiwan strategically? Can we support the democracy movement in Hong Kong? Can we recognise Taiwan? Can we support Uighurs? Can we support Manchuria and Inner Mongolia? Can we support the minority rebels in Mongolia? Can we sell them weapons? The answer is always covert, covert, and covert!” …
he suggested developing Intelligence cooperation with Taiwanese, who have excellent counterintelligence capabilities and brilliant technological intelligence… We should ensure that middle-level manufacturing moves away from China to Taiwan.”
Mitra also recommended diverting Chinese attention to the South China Sea and other borders by providing resources and support to countries like Vietnam and Philippines, who are ready to take on China… India should act as a platform for the transfer of Western tech to Vietnam.
He also argued about the need to have clarity on alliances and suggested moving away from non-aligned movement’s different versions. What is the problem in building a doctrinal relationship with Japanese and US forces, he questioned.
Indeed, many things said here are already initiated…always the watch word has been covert, covert, and covert…for instance doctrinal relationship with Japanese and US forces is already there…QUAD is working. And India indeed joined them to work against at the WHA of WHO targeting China, though it was nullified by China’s moves.
Arvind Gupta said there should be reciprocity in all the areas between the two countries. He expressed his concerns about not taking a dynamic approach beyond the statements.
“Join anti-China global platform… Revise of ‘One China’ policy”
RSS voice Seshadri Chari, former editor of Organiser, now a member of the National Executive of the ruling BJP, makes his own review, with the usual disclaimer, Views are personal. Note that he stated it recently, 12 June, 2020, even as military-level talks with China commenced. He wrote :
There are signs of an anti-China global platform emerging but New Delhi would be advised to wait and watch its progress before committing to be part of it. And the Tibet card is only one of them.
He makes a brief Review:
Seventy years later, recognising Tibet as part of China has not ensured safety and security, India’s defence spending has not reduced, we have no peace and tranquillity in the borders, China is not content with just having Tibet and is looking to “annex the five fingers of its right palm” and there is no lasting friendship. Even the Wuhan spirit is evaporating.
So this is what the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi can do to alter things in India’s favour and also tackle the ‘Tibet question’.
His suggestions are briefly as follows:
Dalai Lama richly deserves to be honoured with Bharat Ratna.
Boycott of Chinese goods will have immediate effect in the short run .
Inform Beijing that all these projects (China Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC) are illegal and India reserves the right to take appropriate action at a suitable time.
A new Indo-Pacific architecture that can include these countries along with financial hubs like Hong Kong and Taiwan, which will necessarily call for revision of ‘One China’ policy.
We can sum up his prescriptions:
Join an anti-China global platform, of course cautiously. Tibet card is only one of the tactics. A new Indo-Pacific architecture, obviously part of an Indo-Pacific strategy (and QUAD) of the US, allying with some countries along with financial hubs like Hong Kong and Taiwan, which will necessarily call for revision of ‘One China’ policy.
Similar views suggesting to learn from US were expressed earlier too by the same camp. See below.
Bill Introduced in US Congress…for Tibet as a separate country
US official website says: Bill Introduced , H.R.6948 – To authorize the President to recognize the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China as a separate, independent country, and for other purposes.116th Congress (2019-2020).
Bill to recognize TAR as an ‘independent country’ introduced in US House of Representative
DHARAMSHALA, May 25: US Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would recognize the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) or the Tibetan province of Utsang to be a “separate country” on May 19, 2020.
The bill (H.R. 6948) would “authorize the President to recognize the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China as a separate, independent country, and for other purposes”. The same bill has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Republican Scott Perry who is a former military man with the rank of Brigadier General was among the 32 members of US Congress who signed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’s bipartisan letter to the US Secretary of State in May 2019.
The letter urged the Trump Administration to promptly implement key legislations on Tibet including Tibet Policy Act of 2002 and the 2018 Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act—passed by Congress to guide United States policy on Tibet.
A comment by “Tibet” was added:
The geopolitical and ideological clash between the US and communist China is once again in our favour. It is now clear that it’s a battle for the US to retain its pre-eminence and the emerging kid on the block, communist China’s attempt to topple its nemeses. A golden opportunity comes once in awhile and we have to seize this opportunity to be assertive of our historical independent status…
It confesses: There are competing views in the exile diaspora about the future of Tibet and four decades have passed without any tangible result. A comment by Adruk Tenpa May 26, 2020 says:
I do not think US Congressman, Scott Perry, said the right thing on Tibet. Mr. Perry can not fragment Tibet and this disheartening to every Tibetan around world. We always live together and fight together as one nation. He sends a wrong signal to everybody which is what the Chinese leaders wanted for a long time.
There has been pressure on India by USA to toe its line as can be seen by this report, theprint.in, 13 May, 2020, and earlier on May 2:
India isn’t worried about tension with China, unlikely to give in to US pressure on Taiwan
The US, meanwhile, has also activated its diplomatic channels to push India to “come down heavily on China”, according to a top diplomatic source…
According to a top Indian diplomatic source, “The LAC is a question that comes up in every high-level meeting and there is an understanding between both sides that unless it is clearly defined and demarcated such scuffles at the ground level will take place. China also knows it…
India is being nudged by some of its strategic allies such as the US, Australia, Japan and others to speak against China when it comes at the helm of affairs at the WHO, diplomatic sources told ThePrint…
In a recent phone-call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, Australia is believed to have urged India that as a “natural partner and like-minded democracy”, Canberra expects New Delhi to stand with it as it prepares to launch a full-fledged inquiry against China and the origin of novel coronavirus from Wuhan…
Amid these tensions, international pressure has been also mounting on India, particularly from the US, to recognise Taiwan’s older status as an ‘observer’ in the WHO’s main decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA)…US has been nudging India to take Taiwan on board of the body ..
Though it is initially to target China at WHA-WHO Meet later in May, it is part of a wider Indo-Pacific strategy and QUAD both aimed against China. China successfully warded off all such attempts, as reported later.
“World should give recognition to Taiwan and Tibet”
The jingoist media followed up : wionews.com, May 20, 2020, published a comment By a regular columnist, N S Venkataraman with the above title…
Amid these tensions, international pressure has been also mounting on India, particularly from the US, to recognise Taiwan’s older status as an ‘observer’ in the WHO’s main decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA).
With New Delhi set to assume the chairmanship of the WHA by the end of May, the US has been nudging India to take Taiwan on board of the body …(The effort was nullified in WHA Meet)…
So far, China has not been effectively challenged by any country in the world for its aggressive occupation of Tibet and claims on Indian territory and islands in the South China Sea as well as it claims on Taiwan…
Taiwan and Tibet are two test cases of China’s unjustified territorial claims, with little resistance from the rest of the world.
It is necessary that Taiwan and Tibet should be recognized as sovereign countries, which is a necessary step to curtail and defeat China’s expansionist ambitions.
United Nations Organisation in its present structure and functioning style, is not in a position to do justice for Taiwan and Tibet.
Today, there is increasing suspicion in the world about China’s methodologies and practices (which should be used for the above strategy.)…
Certainly, nobody should think or say that China should be destabilized. But, certainly, the growing thought is that China should be prevented from destabilizing the world and its aggressive methods of occupying other countries should be resisted.
The starting point to initiate such world wide resistance to China’s territorial expansion plans is to recognize Taiwan and Tibet as independent and sovereign countries. This will show China it’s place, he concluded.
In fact, the hawks were facilitated to confer last year, in a Shimla Venue, where officials joined others and shared platform with Dalai Lama to discuss anti-China politics, going against official policy to keep a distance with him. As an expert said covert is the watch word.
India’s New Tibet Card Or Just A Nudge To China?
Surya Gangadharan, Editor sniwire.com, active associate in a Shimla event, reported and reviewed it in an article November 22, 2019:
The event focused on China was hosted by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, a prestigious government think tank, on November 21, 2019. Many government officials and ruling elite were sharing the dais with Dalai Lama, reported Strategic News International, focused on foreign and defence policies. (sniwire.com). Its contributors include many diplomats, defence officials, experts, media persons, also from USA. Dalai Lama who claimed, in 2011, that he retired from active political role participated in a brazenly anti-China political event. The report in brief:
Could there be a new Tibet policy in the offing? “It’s a reminder to Beijing that India can play stronger cards if it wants.”
Prof. Madhu Bhalla, a China academic, advised caution. “If there is any signalling Delhi is doing, its full shape will only emerge over time,” she said… She pointed to the flip-flops in government policy towards the Tibetans, lending to confusion and lack of clarity…
But the government (we may see…no flip flop but ) as also acted otherwise. In March last year, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Culture, were in Dharmshala to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama’s arrival in India.
There was some furore over Madhav’s remarks which were interpreted to mean that the Tibetans in India should return to their homeland. But what he actually said was nothing of that kind: “We appreciate your desire to go back to your motherland and we wish you all the luck. This desire must not vanish. Till then India is your home. India is the land of the Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.” (thus elevating the Lama, we may add.)
Perhaps the government is trying to shore up its position, given the visit to Dharamsala last month (Oct 2019) of U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom…
Weeks after Brownback’s visit, a resolution in the U.S. Congress called for a “genuinely autonomous Tibet” and recalled “the deep bond the American and Tibetan people”.
… Read with the recent U.S. censure of China for incarcerating thousands of ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang and legislation targeting China on Hong Kong, it would appear Washington is determined to bring every diplomatic gun to bear on Beijing.
So coming back to Thursday’s event in Delhi, it could be that South Block wants to ensure that even as the Tibetans engage with the U.S., India does not lose ground.
Thus indian hawks join hands with US vultures against china. Using Dalai Lama, Tibet, and so-called Buddhist diplomacy is an old game that failed over the last 60 years. The same applies to the new Forward Policy being contemplated. This is harmful to the interests of India and its people, not to speak of the cause of peace and peaceful development.
What failed over the last 60 years can not succeed now, experience tells. Many experts are warning against it. This is not 1962 when China overwhelmed India, the hawks argue. It applies more to China with no comparison with past or with India. Thus such a policy would not succeed.They are only re-opening a Pandora’s Box :
“For this one so-called ‘Tibet card’ that we appear to hold, the Chinese have six in their hand,” wrote, in March 2018, Alka Acharya JNU Professor, School of International Studies, and former director, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi.
The folly of the ‘Tibet card’ or ‘Dalai Lama card’, and the new Forward Policy need to be to be discussed separately.
See also 3-part article on the subject published in countercurrents.org recently:
Part-1 on June 5 : Flood of Misinformation on the eve of India China Talks.
Part-3 on June 9: India- China Border Tensions: A New Forward Policy?
See also a 5-part series on India-Nepal Relations. And on a New World Order published in May, 2020, including :
Ramakrishnan is a media person