China Bares Fangs
By blocking the move by the United Nations to act against Masood Azhar, JeM chief, for his terrorist activities and masterminding the terrorist attack on the IAF base at Patahnkot on January 2, China has unambiguously declared that it sides with Pakistan in latter’s anti-India terrorist activities. Not that it was not known but removing any ambiguity on the issue has released massive stink from behind the Chinese façade, much more than the revelation that President Xi Jinping while trumpeting his anti-corruption drive, himself has been cheating on the Chinese people by stashing money abroad, as disclosed through the Panama firm.
This, despite the fact that India had forwarded strong evidence of JeM’s terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian military personnel, which ostensibly Pakistan’s Joint Interrogation Team (JIT) presently in India, that also has a member from the ISI, has not refuted the JeM connection, as per media reports. China reportedly consulted Pakistan, which is not on the said UN Committee.
Ironically, while the UN banned JeM in 2001, China has been using her veto to let Masood Azhar promote terror openly. China has been providing tacit approval to Pakistan’s proxy wars in India and Afghanistan, primarily because Pakistan support helps China in keeping the Uighur insurgency in Xinjiang under control. Besides, while China had established links with Taliban even before the US invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s ISI-linked Taliban-Haqqanis do not attack Chinese assets and economic interests in Afghanistan. On the contrary, Indian assets being repeatedly attacked in Afghanistan is in synch with Chinese designs of keeping India under check.
The PLA having been provided strategic lodgment in Gilgit-Baltistan by the Pakistani military has cemented the China-Pakistan unholy nexus further. As per ground reports, PLA troops in civilian trucks are guarding the main motorway in Gilgit-Baltistan; performing duties of road opening parties, even as local dissent has been building up in the region because of the genocide unleashed by the Pakistani military and now what is being referred to Chinese “occupation”.
Ironically, the US and the West have remained silent to the genocide both in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan over the years, the Shia population in latter having already been reduced from 70% to 50%. Presence of PLA troops on forward Pakistani posts along the Line of Control (LoC) with India in J&K is another flagrant bullying posture of China though she denies it like all her other aggressive acts. After all if China intrudes into Indian Territory 19 kms deep in Depsang plains of Ladakh and says there is no intrusion, what else can be said about such habitual lying?
Significantly, China has gone ahead and established the United Liberation Front of West, South, East Asia (ULFWSEA) in Myanmar last year, coinciding with the call of the ‘Act East’ policy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ULFWSEA is a conglomerate of nine major insurgent groups of north-east India, top two being the NSCN (K) who abrogated the 13 year old ceasefire with Government of India last year courtesy Chinese intelligence, and ULFA whose militant leader Paresh Barua has been based in Ruli, China past several months. Through ULFWSEA, China has created the trigger to create instability in India’s northeast, including to support China’s fallacious claims to entire state of Arunachal Pradesh raised as late as 2005. Chinese intelligence officers are in constant touch with the ULFWSEA. The fact that ULFWSEA comprises insurgent organizations of India, not even Myanmar’s Kachin rebels (Chinese favourites) indicates China’s blatant interference in India’s internal affairs.
With the establishment of ULFWSEA and veto now on Masood Azhar, China has declared open irregular war on India. In response to the Indian trader’s union call to avoid Chinese goods and indications that India may review the security clearance of Chinese firms in India, China’s arrogant response is that this would hurt India more. Incidentally under the erstwhile UPA regime, the NSCS had put an advisory against Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE because of their links with the PLA and China’s cyber warfare program, but within months the Sushil Shinde led MHA opened the floodgates for these firms into India.
India needs to review her policies vis-à-vis China – trade, irregular warfare and cyber security included. Best way to deal with the bully is to take the bull by its horns. Defence Minister Mohan Parrikar needs to give an appropriate message to China during his forthcoming visit to Beijing.