Geopolitics

What will happen if India recognizes Tibet?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 17 Jul , 2020

It has been mentioned abundantly by others and me that India should derecognize Tibet as part of China[1].  But, Indian politicians have perpetually been scared or hesitant to do so.  While Nehru was alive, there is some evidence that they did their best to advance the Chinese agenda as a counter-weight to colonialism.  Thus, India was one of the first countries to recognize Mao’s China, and vocally conceded the permanent seat on the Security Council to China. 

There is further circumstantial reasoning that Krishna Menon was a communist, and inasmuch as he was singlehandedly held responsible for India’s debacle in 1962, could have been the high-profile secret mole of China[2],[3].  Thus, Krishna Menon probably did all he could – and succeeded — to advance the agenda of China against India.  It is absolutely shameful that there still is a Krishna Menon Marg in New Delhi, and even more so that the present defense minister lives on that road. A further insult to the nation is to have his statue outside the hallowed South Block!! Recently people toppled the statue of a notorious slave trader, Edward Colston in Bristol, England.

Hindi-Chini Bhai Nahi

China is already inimical to India in every way possible.  Specifically, China has betrayed India on the following:

•  Obstructed India from a permanent seat on the UN Security Council

•  Obstructed India from the Nuclear Supplier’s Group

•  Obstructed putting Pakistan on the FATF black list

•  Armed and funded various internal insurgencies in India, especially the Naxalite movement.

•  Frequently creates an incident on the border during high-profile visits between leaders of India and China.

•  Illegally occupied Tibet and calls the Indo-Tibetan border as the legal border between India and China.

Friends don’t behave like that with each other.  Hence, it is most difficult to trust a China that has overt expansionist designs. 

Benefits to India of Recognizing Tibet

What would India lose by derecognizing Tibet as part of China? The answer: “nothing significant”. To answer this question in greater detail, let’s see what could stop as a result, and what the consequences could be:

•  China could decide to stop trade between the countries.  While that may hurt businessmen who spend on imports from China, the overall trade deficit for India would reduce by about $60 billion, which is huge.  Hence, the stoppage of trade will make India come out on top.  In fact, this would give an opportunity to India to make hundreds of small things, such as pharmaceutical ingredients. 

•  India may lose on importing rare earths, but India has sufficient supplies of its own for now.  India would cease exports to Japan.

•  India would stop giving away its precious coal to China.  It is strange that while India exports coal to China, India imports coal from Australia.  I can’t understand the math here, and find it quite unbelievable that India entered into such contracts.  It can straight away be suspected that some government branch could be making money here, unscrupulously.  An investigation is warranted.  We all know the problems India has had with coal concessions.

•  India will be unable to import solar panels from China.  This is just as well, because India should make its own and stimulate its economy, even if more expensive.

•  China will be unable to dump cheap steel on India.

•  Children’s toys, handicrafts, cheap textiles will cease to be imported from China.  This would be a boon to local handicraft industries, handlooms, and textiles.  In fact, the small business sectors here are crying out to stop this trade with China.

•  China will fail to receive vital food products from India.  This will be no loss to the Indian food industry that will simply sell to the local industry and step up exports to Myanmar and Thailand.  The local food prices will come down, thereby assisting to curb deflation, especially for the poor people of India.

•  The border would be sealed tighter.  This will eliminate or reduce suspected corruption among the customs and excise tax department, whose officers commonly have a reputation for corruption.  Furthermore, a sealed border will reduce the number of Chinese spies who enter India openly and without check.

•  Chinese investments in Indian stock market and economy would reduce.  This would be great for India because China is hoping to influence India by seeking to make deep inroads into India’s economy.  What they may not be able to win by war, they’d win by turning the screws on the Indian economy.  Look how China has managed to capture Greece, Italy, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Zimbabwe, Angola, and many other countries by their debt and economic traps.

I think these are enough points raised for the argument.  Others may find additional arguments for why closing business with China would actually be a blessing for India.

Why not Recognize Taiwan, as Well?

A corollary to the question of the title is “what would happen if India recognized Taiwan?”  After all, Indian merchants have long done business in Taiwan, largely in textiles.  The answer is nothing more than what would happen if India derecognized Tibet as part of China.  Moreover, India’s lead on these two items – recognizing Tibet as independent and recognizing Taiwan – will likely spur other countries to do likewise.  It would spell the beginning of cutting China down to size, and bringing it back to reality.  Moreover, some of the trade lost with China would be picked up by other, new friends that India would gain.

Be Afraid only of Fear

There is nothing to be scared of.   For instance, China is unlikely to launch a war against India for these steps, though it will definitely threaten India.  However, the dog that barks the most often feels weak.  China may use all rhetoric and innuendo to frighten India, but India needn’t budge.  After a bit, China will get used to the new reality, especially when other countries follow in India’s footsteps.

However, if China does start a war, India can hold its own.  This is not to mention that major countries will come to back India in material, military, and economic ways.  China will never launch a nuclear war against India because it goes against their rational nuclear policy.

The Dalai Lama

A part of the problem for recognition of Tibet as independent is the Dalai Lama himself.  He is himself scared that upsetting China will make China come down harder on Tibetans.  This sounds quite fearful, though it may be an acquired fear.  Which leader would leave his own country at the mercy of the enemies just for the sake of learning more about mechanical gadgets from the rest of the world?[4]  He could have learned of them by bringing technology to his country.  But, he never appealed for help and never sought to arm his country.  But, the Dalai Lama, as a so-known divine personality, could have known better.  Regrettably, he did not turn out to be an astute politician, but led his people to poverty. This is quite difficult to respect.[5]  All said, his actions and lack of actions resulted in a big problem for India. 

Of course, there are others to blame as well, such as Nehru who ignored Sardar Patel’s plea of intervening in Tibet, but that does not mean that the Dalai Lama can be exempt from the blame.

But the Indian Politicians are Scared

As much as we should only fear fear itself, our Indian politicians tremble with fear for the most part at the thought of a vengeful China. The Indian politicians have themselves a bad reputation on this count.  Imagine how Vajpayee signed away Tibet for a Sikkim.  Did he never see a map to compare sizes?  Manmohan Singh repeated the same.  And remember, fear causes half the battle to be lost, for it takes away reasoned thinking, for one.Why would successive Indian PMs capitulate if not for fear?  I also regret to say that many Indian Generals are against getting tough on China because they fear the results, though fear is unfounded for anyone who wishes to look deeply into the problem, while a war is even less likely, though I read with admiration Gen Padmanabhan’s book on a possible war and victory over China[6].  To hold oneself sovereign, one has to be brave: the recreants fall and die before their death and take their country with them. 

With bravery comes a renewed psychology; with a renewed psychology comes a productive country.

Closure

We’ve said this time and time again: the main problem with China is its communist and expansionist ideology.  Without the threat that China is to its neighbors or other countries in the world via its aggressive posturing, economy capture, and debt traps, China would be quite a nice country.

Reference:

[1]Singh, A., To Derecognize Tibet as Part of China,CLAWS website, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi, Article No. 2004, 19 November 2011.

[2] Rashmee Roshan Lal, “’VK Menon: A Commie, druggie and lover’” Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/VK-Menon-A-Commie-druggie-and-lover/articleshow/1716428.cms, Mar 3, 2007.

[3] Somak Ghoshal,“ VK Krishna Menon: Nehru’s comrade and confidant,” Live Mint,https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/features/vk-krishna-menon-nehru-s-comrade-and-confidant-11578493854584.html, 09 Jan 2020.

[4] See the movie, “Seven Years in Tibet.”

[5] See the movie, “The Sun Behind the Clouds; Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom”, where voices ask for a revision in the Dalai Lama’s policy.

[6] Gen S. Padmanabhan, “Next India-China War – World’s First Water War – 2029” Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2014.

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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.

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Dr Amarjit Singh

is an independent security analyst.

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33 thoughts on “What will happen if India recognizes Tibet?

  1. I wish to add to my article that the recognition of Taiwan must come with some reciprocity. After all, Taiwan did not condemn the Chinese invasion of 1962; they have still not vocally accepted India’s hegemony over Arunachal and Ladakh; and they also have not vocally supported India’s entry to the UN Security Council. All of the above must change if Taiwan wants to reap benefits from India.

    Taiwan has also not played its cards right in the world, otherwise it would have had many more countries recognize it. Taiwan must also drop its delusion of claiming mainland China for itself, and come to grips with the reality that the CPC is controlling the PRC.

    Next, if Taiwan wants help and assistance from ‘partners’ against China, it should drop its ridiculous claim to the Senkaku Islands. Refer to http://capsindia.org/files/documents/APJ-Apr-Jun-2015-09-06-15-Inside.pdf that I wrote in Summer 2015. No court of international justice can reasonably support the territorial claim of either China or Taiwan over Senkaku, so it is appropriate for Taiwan to stop being unreasonable and delusional.

  2. Very well written. China had never been a martial race. Since the ancient time it was not an aggressor too. Only after the formation of a communist government, it has started posturing as an aggressor. I read a piece of an article where Chinese have been portrayed in a very bad light in the 19th century in America and Canada. It says ” … said many citizens [Canadian] demanded the government to limit Chinese immigration and settlements as they were considered a danger to people security. Complaints became so extended that government created in 1884 a commission to verify what Canadians thought about this community. Workers, police agents, judges, lawyers, clerics and businessmen testified before the commission and all of them were unanimous in qualifying Chinese as dirty, prone to diseases, immoral, dishonest and unable to assimilate and their women were all called prostitutes.” Considering this background of Chinese and their war style based on Sun Tzu’s Art of War which is full of deception, India always need to be cautious and well prepared. Most of Chinese soldiers are conscripted, unlike Indian soldiers and do not have good fighting capability. So, whenever misadventure is there from Chinese side crushing reply needs to be given immediately with full force. Of course india should recognize Tibet as separate country, and give moral support to Hong Kong and Taiwan etc in maintaining/ gaining independence and boycott China economically. I am sure many other nations will also follow the suit.

  3. Very well written article. China had never been a martial race. Since the ancient time it was not an aggressor too. Only after the formation of a communist government, it has started posturing as an aggressor. I read a piece of an article where Chinese have been portrayed in a very bad light in the 19th century in America and Canada. It says ” … said many citizens [Canadian] demanded the government to limit Chinese immigration and settlements as they were considered a danger to people security. Complaints became so extended that government created in 1884 a commission to verify what Canadians thought about this community. Workers, police agents, judges, lawyers, clerics and businessmen testified before the commission and all of them were unanimous in qualifying Chinese as dirty, prone to diseases, immoral, dishonest and unable to assimilate and their women were all called prostitutes.” Considering this background of Chinese and their war style based on Sun Tzu’s Art of War which is full of deception, India always need to be cautious and well prepared. Most of Chinese soldiers are conscripted, unlike Indian soldiers and do not have good fighting capability. So, whenever misadventure is there from Chinese side crushing reply needs to be given immediately with full force. Of course india should recognize Tibet as separate country, and give moral support to Hong Kong and Taiwan etc in maintaining/ gaining independence and boycott China economically. I am sure many other nations will also follow the suit.

  4. The question is why have countries like UK, USA, India, etc. not recognized Tibet or are openly able to speak for it or similar countries. It is obvious most of the countries in world are full of coward politicians who for what ever reason have their lips sealed.

  5. Absolutely great idea. India should have thr guts to stand fo rd the weak. The only major impact is that India has to make it’s own toothbrushes, which its surely capable of and about time it does so.

  6. Great article…..if india recognize Tibet,Hingkong n Taiwan as indendent country, other small country nepal, bhutan would b freed from samsaric world. Moreover india should think abt giving independent to sikim, ladhak n taiwan tooo…..than only india n china tension will disapear.

  7. Thanks for your attempt to write down this article. First tell me, is it posible to derecognize Tibbet when once AP Bajpayee and previously other leaders and subsequently ManMohan Singh as PM have recognised Tibbet as part of China? Is any instance in the world where a country has derecognised after recognising a track of land to any country? Is internation Law justifies it. It is another thing that first to refuse to recognize or be silent and thereafter to recognize is possible as we did with Israel. please give reference of law. However I do support derecognising of Tibbet but do not find how . It is possible to instigate other countries who have not recognised Tibbet as part of China. It is also possible to support Tibbetans to raise voice against china. it is also possible to support Turkmenistan, Mangoliya, etc to regain their territories from china. it is also possible to raise voice against action of China in Hongkong. It is also possible to instigate UN to take action even militarily against china for Human Right voilation against Uigur muslims.
    I am waiting for reply.
    S.C.JHA

  8. Vajpayee was a very weak prime minister as he was depending also on leftist parties to rule. Cant blame him much. Congress known fact, they never had India’s interest in their heart. But Modi, I could’t believe that he could be naive to trust Chinese when they said India has altered Ladakh map when it repealed Article 370 and without having permanent bases in border areas in Ladakh. He has a strong mandate from people and he he should take on the Chinese now coz sooner or later, india has to go to war with China. Let it be now!

  9. If we want to weak china by stopping import needle to elephant, this is only way to stop china, and make strong bonding with neighbors by investment like China module. And help Tibet, Bangladesh by investment.

  10. DEAR SIR,
    AS A LONGTIME PRIVATE ANALYST OF THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE CONCERNED AREA, AS A REAL LOVER OF TIBETS STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDANCE AND TRUE FOUNDER AND ALSO LEADER OF A REGIONAL SECTION OF STFO, I’D TRANSMIT YOU HERE ALL MY CONGRATULATIONS AND HIGH APRECIATION FOR THE PRESENT ARTICLE…!
    PLEASE CONTINUE PUBLISHING, DON’T STOP IT…!

  11. Dear Mr. Singh,
    Thank you for your article on the independence of Tibet and its recognized position among the whole world.
    Apart from your views, which I will not enter to discuss, whar I would like to make the point is: the problem are not comunist in China, Rusia, Cuba or wherever you want to call. The problem is the dictatorship, from whichever political side you want to install it, they are making.
    I believe in democracy, be it whichever polític, but no dictatorship. That is against absolutely any form of democracy.

  12. I think you are missing one point here. The moment we derecognize Tibet, the Chinese will declare that they recognize Kashmir as part of Pakistan and India is occupying our part of Kashmir. They will play with that in a big way. Though we can tackle it though. we can bring in their Uighur problem etc etc.

  13. Thank you sir for this Write up. It’s well known fact that China, the only communist country, is trying to grab more land wherever there is an opportunity. All counties need to stop China. There are some intellectuals in India who try their best to portray Nehru as the best PM, however he did a lot of blunders and we are suffering because of that.
    I believe India should recognise Tibet as separete entity / country, we already have some collaboration with them through ITBP.

    • Hey, you hybrid cowards..Even my Muslim friends support India against Pakistan and you are what? A worm in the ass of Pakistan ??
      If only Abhinandan could do so much, think what a regiment of pilots can do…Your whole military will just disappear like poof!!!!

  14. On annexation of TAR by China, a disturbed Nehru rang up UK
    PM Richard Atlee for advice on future course of action .

    Based on his advice of peacefully acknowledging the fait accompli , India recogised Tibet as part of China in 1953.

  15. Pakistan is the reason why Muslims are divided. If Pakistan is removed, the Muslim population of India will rise to 550 million. It will be equal to Hindu’s and thus they will demand equal rights. The creation of Pakistan enabled the permanent Hindu majority over India. Pakistan is the reason the Muslim is divided in two different countries. What happens without Pakistan the Muslim will be united across Pakistan to Bangladesh. This is a sure way to lose majority to collapse into a religious civil war. Can we Hindus rule over 550 million Muslims?

  16. You touched a subject which very much comes to mind these days to many Indians. We need to state the truth and then prepare to face the outcome. Tibet was a sovereign state and so is Taiwan so why not state it openly. China will be rattled and threaten us from all possible quarters, but then let it face it once for all. I would add here that let us help Baluchistan gain independence which too will hurt China and their future expansion towards IOR will be marred badly. The straight economic gain is 60 billions + revival of own small and medium industry giving push to ‘ vocal for local’. Hope the politicians in power show their resolve and move ahead in larger national interest.

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