There is considerable enthusiasm over the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the informal BRICS meeting on the sidelines of the recent G-20 summit. Earlier the Chinese media had said that there would be no meeting and talks between the two. The Chinese foreign ministry also ruled out a meeting between the two leaders, saying that the “atmosphere” was not conducive for such talks, even as our MEA clarified no meeting had been sought.
Obviously these Chinese announcements of no meeting and no discussion was for consumption of the Chinese public in creating an impression that India requested for such meeting, which was rejected by China, what to talk of the threat that China could support Sikkim independence – obvious distraction from the suppression of Tibetans in Tibet and Uighurs in Xinjiang.
There was no logic of such blabber with China knowing full well Modi and Xi would have to meet at the China hosted BRICS informal meeting at Hamburg, which is in the run up to the 9th BRICS Summit to be hosted by China from September 3-5 at Xiamen City.
But eventually the website of China’s People’s Daily displayed the photograph of a smiling Modi and Xi holding hands and standing alongside the Presidents of Brazil, Russia and South Africa at Hamburg. In fact, Modi and Jinping held an informal meeting and had a conversation on a range of issues, as intimated by the MEA spokesperson. Whether the Sikkim Standoff came up during the discussion is not known but most likely it would have not been mentioned by either of the two leaders.
At the BRICS informal meet, Xi Jinping called for “peaceful settlement of regional conflicts and disputes”, expressed appreciation for India’s strong resolve against terrorism as well India’s success in economic and social development, while also calling for consolidation of the G-20 as the premier platform for international economic cooperation. Xi also expressed appreciation of progress made by BRIC when earlier chaired by India under PM Modi.
PM Modi too praised the progress made by BRICS under President Xi, while emphasizing the need for cooperation aimed at global economic recovery. He called for G-20 to collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors. Referring to the introduction of GST in India, Modi advocated collective stand against the practice of protectionism, specifically in spheres of trade and movement of knowledge and professionals, also reiterating India’s commitment in implementing the Paris Agreement for combating climate change. While Xi had mentioned the significance of the Paris agreement and need for it to be implemented, his alluding to terrorism was limited to India’s strong resolve against terrorism.
Utopians in India appear upbeat with Xi Jinping mentioning that “peaceful settlement of regional conflicts and disputes”, not knowing what lies behind the mask and the fake smiles. It may be recalled that Modi and Xi had earlier met on June 9 on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit at Astana, Kazakhstan where both leaders had concurred that bilateral differences should not lead to disputes. But even as Xi shook hands with Modi and smiled away (as in Hamburg during the informal BRICS meet), it has now emerged that during the night June 8-9 PLA troops were breaking bunkers of the Royal Bhutan Army on the Doklam Plateau, in clear violation of the written Bhutan-China agreements that pending final boundary settlement, peace and tranquility be maintained along the boundary and both sides refrain from unilaterally altering the status on ground.
So, there is no cause for optimism. Besides, China will continue to maintain, as she is doing now that there is no dispute because the Doklam Property is Chinese territory, even as ‘another blatant lie’ of China has been exposed by Claude Arpi in exposing that the Tibet was NOT signatory to the Sikkim-Tibet Treaty of 1890 that China has been flouting to claim the Doklam Plateau as Chinese Territory. Arpi also highlights that leave aside 1890, China did not agree to a treaty on the Bhutan-Tibet and Sikkim-Tibet borders until as late as 1960. This was another fact that China did not mention when it went about using the 1890 document as the basis of its claim over Doklam.
China pretends there was no need to get the treaty approved by the Tibetan government but China had no control over Tibet in 1890, and was merely represented by a Resident, which means zilch. China’s move to illegally occupy the Doklam Plateau is based on the three principles of ambiguity, deception and deceit she has been using since time immemorial. Xi Jinping may be endeavouring to imitate the composure of Buddha but behind this mask is China’s genocide in Tibet.
Subsequently, the joint statement of the G-20 stated, “We, the Leaders of the G20, strongly condemn all terrorist attacks worldwide and stand united and firm in the fight against terrorism and its financing. These atrocious acts have strengthened our resolve to cooperate to enhance our security and protect our citizens. Terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens eliminated in every part of the world.”
At the G-20 meeting, PM Modi named Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Modi equated Lashkar-e- Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohamamd with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, saying their names may be different but their ideology was the same, and that some countries were using terror as a tool to achieve political objectives as he pressed for “deterrent” action collectively by the G-20 members.
Modi presented an 11-point “Action Agenda”, which included suggestions for exchange of lists of terrorists among G-20 nations, easing and expediting of legal processes like extradition and concrete steps to choke the supply of funds and weapons to the terrorists. This may well be the narrative in the forthcoming 9th BRICS Summit too, but will it stop China backing Pakistani terrorism and terrorist leaders? Would it stop China threatening she can destabilize northeast India, if required?
The world witnessed anti-capitalist protesters setting fire to cars, barricades, rubbish bins and wooden pallets outside the venue of the G-20 summit at Hamburg. These poor souls apparently have no idea what type capitalist ‘scorched earth’ policy China is unleashing through its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative covering over 60 countries comprising 30 percent of global GDP and 60 percent of world population.
Many are yet to realize that it will bury many countries in debt, especially in the developing world, ushering the worst kind of capitalism – both economically and physically, a sample of which can be gauged from listening to Dr Umar Johnson describing how the Caribbean and Africa are being colonized by China (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlLdSNckbFc). The astute Chinese plan to will give the lion’s share to Chinese companies and Chinese colonizers, while throwing some bones towards the country that the OBOR passes through.
As to the Sikkim Standoff, it will last, even expand, with China hoping India will blink. Issuing an advisory to Chinese nationals in India for their safety is laughable as if they will get lynched; part of China’s psychological tactics unless she is catering for the contingency before upping the scales. However, by now it should be well known that China is a geopolitical bully who will only respect if it is stood up to, not offered the other cheek. So, the writing on the wall is pretty simple.
If India de-escalates Sikkim Standoff, China will occupy Doklam Plateau and continue its policy of pig-headed intrusions all over. If China escalates based on the belief that no one would assist India in conflict, price for China will be equally high not only at the point (s) of clash but by way of global response to OBOR – China’s future lifeline. The best option of course is that India holds steadfast till China agrees to mutual de-escalation, it stoutly discards presently.