Geopolitics

India-China-Pak Trilateral – mischievous trap sprung by Luo Zhaouhi
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 22 Jun , 2018

Luo Zhaohui during his recent visit to India

Luo Zhaohui, China’s crafty ambassador to India sprang a surprise on June 18 by proposing an India-China-Pakistan trilateral summit on the lines of China-Russia-Mongolia meet.. Luo was delivering the keynote address at the Chinese embassy, New Delhi at an event titled ‘Beyond Wuhan: How Far and Fast can China-India Relations Go’. Without naming anyone, Luo claimed this was a proposal suggested by some “Indian friends”, adding that the New Delhi-Beijing relations have gone beyond the bilateral scope. With reference to the proposed trilateral summit, he mentioned “Maybe not now, but in the future”; did he imply persuading the government / after change of government?

Luo has also been talking of: controlling, managing, narrow differences through expanding cooperation; find mutual acceptable solution to boundary issue through Special Representatives’ Meeting; we cannot stand another Doklam; India-China should Sign a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, negotiate a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, enhance connectivity and work for early harvest on boundary issues. Unfortunately, Luo believes that China’s consistent history of ambiguity and deceit can be whitewashed by such pep-talks. Treaties and accords have no meaning for China. Talks for boundary resolutions have gone on without any forward movement.

China continues with her illegal claims on Arunachal Pradesh, continues occupying Doklam and keeps inching forward on Indian territory, besides extensive mining close to Arunachal Pradesh. In January, China was found developing a road 1.5 km on the Indian side of the LAC in three feet of snow in Tuting area of Arunachal Pradesh. Bilateral trade imbalance continues to weigh heavily in China’s favour. Even the river-water data of River Brahmaputra being shared is unlikely to have details of waters diverted internally by China.

Significantly, this is the same Luo Zhaohui, who along with his deputy Liu Jinsong dropping all diplomatic norms, had the gumption of threatening India not to interfere in Doklam during the standoff – an act for which he deserved to be booted out of India. Luo also had meetings with several Indian Opposition leaders and visited West Bengal. Liu Jinsong made an air dash to Thimpu to meet the King and political leadership. In April 2017, Luo went to Darjeeling and met the district magistrate, perhaps to gain firsthand knowledge of the Gorkha agitation, and making recommendations to Beijing how the situation could be exploited. With respect to Doklam standoff, Chinese media even mentioned that a ‘Third Country” (read China) could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request.

Luo Zhaohui’s call for India-China-Pakistan trilateral summit is a mischievous trap for mediating on Kashmir, knowing that the entire state of J&K is Indian Territory and no third party mediation is acceptable to India. Besides, Pakistan has already become de-facto province of China, with CPEC-initiated Chinaization of Pakistan running full steam. His statement that the proposal was suggested by some “Indian friends” indicates either he is lying or indeed he has had discussions on the issue with some Indian Opposition leaders who have no compunctions about such a summit, even India joining CPEC ignoring its sovereignty, if China can help them get back into power. Already, the spectacle of a diplomat turned politician from an opposition party begging Pakistan to bring his party back into power is on video. So why not China, which is bigger power, and aims of both China and Pakistan coalesce in restrict India’s strategic space?

China is in illegal occupation of some 43,135 sq km of territory of J&K: 37,555 sq km (Aksai Chin); 5,180 sq km (Shaksgam Valley), and; 400 sq km through salami slicing. Gilgit-Baltistan (72,971 sq km) leased to China for 50 years by Pakistan also is Indian Territory. China has also indulged in nibbling some 245 sq km of Indian Territory in areas other than J&K and yet claims more areas including 90,000 sq km of entire Arunachal Pradesh. China has brazenly gone about the CPEC and other projects in POK impinging on India’s sovereignty without reference whatsoever to India. China backs Pakistani terror, protecting rabid mullah like Masood Azhar at the UN, and refuses to acknowledge Pakistan exports terror. In fact, China and Pakistan have joined hands in waging irregular war against India, including destabilizing India’s northeast region.

The recent UNHRC Report on Kashmir, that mentions Pakistan in passing but lambasts India for human rights violation in J&K may well have been cooked up with China-Pakistan backing since both these countries are members of the UN Human Rights Council. The fact that UNHRC has become an organization that encourages terrorism was highlighted by India at the UN on June 18, in its response to the UNHRC Report on Kashmir. Biased and warped reporting by the UNHRC is also the reason US recently pulled out from the UN Human Rights Council citing biased allegations against Israel. Chinese meddling in Kashmir can be seen by PLA appearances on Pakistani posts along the LoC, PLA helping Pakistan construct bunkers, supply of weapons and ammunition for cross-border firing and arming terrorists including bunker piercing ammunition, Chinese flags and literature recovered in J&K, digging of tunnels in Gilgit-Baltistan under pretext hydel projects for deploying weapon systems, and establishment of a PLA Brigade Base proximate to Skardu.

Under the circumstances, Luo Zhaohui’s call for India-China-Pakistan trilateral summit is clear mischief; it should not be considered an innocuous statement but directed by Beijing. No Chinese diplomat or even journalist can make any statement without approval of the CCP in Beijing, least of all ambassadors – no matter what cat’s whiskers Luo may have grown after Doklam. He deserves to be given a shut up call and told in similar innocuous manner that an India-China-Tibet trilateral summit would be better option to discuss the unresolved India-China border. There is need to keep the Tibet question open, Wuhan notwithstanding. There cannot be ‘One China’ policy without quid pro quo of ‘One India’. There are many ways to convey this even as the foreign ministry may not want to do it officially.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

is a former Lt Gen Special Forces, Indian Army

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3 thoughts on “India-China-Pak Trilateral – mischievous trap sprung by Luo Zhaouhi

  1. The article and the comment below sum up the situation very well. Problem is that as usual we have no cards left to play. The world is pumping trillions of dollars into China while the US is declining rapidly and more so under morons such as Trump. Only way to control China is to restart manufacturing around the world starting with India and its cheap labor. Until that happens, no surprise that Chinese arrogance will continue to increase. The only silver lining was the Doklam crisis.Until now the Chinese thought they could bully India. Now they have to stop and think. In spite of a military and the budget 4 times the size of India, China cannot defeat India along the border and in the Indian Ocean. Therefore a window of opportunity might be opening where India can try and negotiate with China from a position of some equality. No way we are getting back all our land but with a little give and take the Chinese might realize that a bird in hand is better than two in the bush so take what you can get because India will only continue to get stronger with time. They must also be realizing that with all the weaknesses related to its democracy, a defeatist Hindu heritage and past baggage, its mostly corrupt, shortsighted and incompetent leaders who are nothing short of traitors in most cases, India has now experienced a strong leader like Modi and the next generation will expect nothing less from its future leader. Any more Indian land is therefore strictly off limits to China and I believe they know it now. This is a good time to try and make a deal with them and fix the border issue to some form of acceptability.

  2. General, thanks to your valid critique!

    Let me kindly add few constructive para-perceptions.

    a) China playing negotiator/harmoniser for India (vis-a-vis Pakistan), with which it had border war and has border disputes continuing for over half a century, on an India-Pak venomous sub-cultural conflict outed in three wars, is impertinence at it zenith. China deliberates it because of its new-fond wealth and military strength, superior to India’s. Much worse it enhances the strength of India’s No.1 enemy in league. This is communism in practice. Unless India can equalise China on all military fronts, India can expect China’s Leninist intrigues clawing on India. (Readers are asked to read Lenin.) China respects only strength.

    b) Second, China has always been double-faced as much as Pakistan military junta. Chin PM after visiting India few years ago, where he said, China will never do anything to hurt India’s security, only to land in Pakistan next day to say in the very next breath, Pakistan is China’s old best trusted friend (of the region).

    c) The psycho-logic strategy played out by Chin-Pak combi psych-power waves contra India is: taking 2 opposing positions you confuse your opponent and finally extract dominance on a card of compromise sharp-feigned in your favour. Ground realities however and actions there-upon are what count; neither China nor Pakistan can fool India. Mere ridiculous infantilism cannot match India’s silent soft-power around Globe.

    The Henderson report on India- China border war has not been made public. Hence, it seems advisable to suspend judgement on territories officially captured by the Chinese.

    Although I recommended a ‘no-war pact’ with China in my comment in Global Times during Modi visit, my current advice would be, trust not a word of China, unless it genuinely embarks on a positive action towards India, politically, socially and economically and remains stay-put at that containing Pak designs. It is time China consciously accepts what its authentic roots are, that are not Marxism-Leninism borrowed from Russia, which in the meantime has disowned it!
    George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
    Vienna, 21/ 06/ 2018 23:53 hrs CET

    • No one asked you for your recommendation about a NO-WAR-PACT with China or the Penderson pre-port on India-China border. India had on border with China & the Tibetan people have not voted.
      We are aware of the UK, US, China, racial conspiracy to divide, rule and use world land, resources and other people.
      Anyone lusts for our land or resources is asking for and will get WAR whether it is China or anyone else.
      Democracy has take roots in India and other places you will not be able to fool all the people all the time

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