India must reorient its China policy : The Tribune India

Abhijit Bhattacharyya

Author and Columnist

The then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, sincerely tried to maintain good relations with Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, both individually and institutionally. However, he misread the situation and died broken and distraught after the Himalayan blunder. Even 58 years after his death, Nehru is blamed for the ills that plague India-China relations.

Nehru’s criticism of the failed China policy is justified as his ‘overconfidence’ in the Dragon, even when in October 1950 there were unfavorable and hostile signs of the Chinese invasion and forced occupation of independent Tibet.

Understandably, India’s wounded psyche took time to heal from the humiliation and humiliation of the 1962 war. A long period of inactivity was therefore inevitable when the Delhi-Pek bilateral froze. However, when relations thawed and XX. When bilateral trade started at the beginning of the 20th century, in the first year (1999-2000), China’s exports to India reached 1.282 billion dollars, and 539.04 billion dollars were imported from India. New Delhi’s recurring bad trade balance began. The trade deficit of $743.85 million in the opening year was a bad omen for India. However, the start of bilateral trade also raised hopes of a rapprochement between the two Asian non-friends.

Fast forward to the current decade. Among other things that drive Beijing-Delhi relations, trade has certainly taken center stage with exponential growth. But once again, trade has created problems rather than subduing China’s hostility towards India. India’s trade deficit is heading towards an insurmountable $100 trillion by March 31, 2023. Today the rising “current account deficit” is a major political headache and embarrassment for the Indian establishment.

Things, however, looked promising during the visit of Xi Jinping of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to Ahmedabad in September 2014, which evoked the “Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai” spirit of the 1950s. Like Nehru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi initially showed good intentions to befriend an enigmatic and erratic enemy nation. The current Prime Minister must take cue from Nehru’s China fiasco lest history judge him harshly. It’s time to draw a dotted line of no return. Delhi needs to reorient its China policy towards not causing self-injury or scoring an own goal.

So it’s time for New Delhi to look into China’s psyche and take a hard look at recent bilateral exchanges. A glance at the volumes of Mao’s “Red Book” and political thoughts would reveal that Xi, the current top leader of the CPC-PLA, claiming to be the reincarnation of Mao, has become a veritable megalomaniac as far as India is concerned.

China does not recognize India as an equal sovereign nation because the CPC-PLA duo only understands power, money, military power and vassals bowing to the dragon. However, he knows that New Delhi is the biggest and most formidable obstacle to his ambitious projects – from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), setting up a diplomatic mission in Bhutan for unrestricted access to smaller ones. South Asian territories to access the Indian Ocean, capturing landlocked states, controlling ports, sabotaging the economy, trade, banking, communication and politics of rivals.

The latest chronology of India-China events, however, shows that things are turning quite threatening. The Doklam incident of June 2017 was a desperate and diabolical design to engulf the Druk behind Delhi’s defense and diplomatic corps. In April 2019, India went another mile to Wuhan to mend ties and followed it up in Mamallapuram in October 2019. In fact, India even coined the acronym “Strength” for bilateral relations – Spirituality, tradition/trade/technology, relationship, entertainment. , nature conservation, games, tourism and health/healing. But it all went in vain.

The dragon would have none of it. Instead, China, having tasted the accessibility of the Indian market, would like to be the way to further expand and consolidate its prosperity and profitability to reach the top of the world economy. India has been tied to China’s monetary power. Hence, despite the Galwan killings of Indian soldiers, China did not lose any of its presence in the Indian market.

Today, there are at least four Ts facing India as the CPC-PLA wreaks unrelenting economic havoc on Delhi. The first T is the $100 trillion trade deficit, the second is the territorial division that forces India to divert domestic development funds to the Himalayan border, the third is the CPC-PLA’s push for terror in India’s neighborhood and the fourth is the mastery of Chinese telecom companies. of the craft of plundering by deception.

The most misleading of China’s actions, however, is turning bilateral issues into actual or potential multilateral issues. Accordingly, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is now bilateral due to the forcible occupation of Indian land by the PLA. What happened in Doklam was an act of desperation to kick India out of Thimpu and open a diplomatic mission of the Dragon on Druk land. Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are on CPC-PLA radar to undermine Indian influence.

What should India do then? Completely restrict one-way trade because it gives China a devastating advantage. CPC-PLA earns billions of dollars from Indian traders. Compare that $100,000 billion-plus loss on the earnings of, say, a million individual traders to the $100,000 billion-plus remittances of 10 million NRI workers. As traders bleed India, depressing foreign exchange, millions of Indian workers are replenishing their foreign exchange kitty, thereby helping India reduce its annual fiscal deficit.

India needs to understand that there are many ways that China is eating into the Indian economy. The dragon swears by profit and self-interest, despite the dream of “collective prosperity”.

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