Geopolitics

Avoidable Unpleasantness in India-China Relations
Star Rating Loader Please wait...
By B Raman
Issue Net Edition | Date : 25 Nov , 2011

While one could argue with some reason that Chinese sensitivities could have been kept in mind while fixing the dates for the two events so that they did not clash, one would have equal reason not to appreciate the avoidable drama created by the Chinese which has not only come in the way of the 15th round of the border talks, but has also cast a shadow over the current state of the Sino-Indian relations.

Editor’s Pick

While continuing to be sensitive to Chinese interests and concerns wherever possible and necessary, India has in recent months started slowly asserting its own interests and concerns without surrendering totally to those of China.

The increasing assertion of the Indian will to defend and promote its interests without impinging on those of China has been particularly evident in our relations with Vietnam and Myanmar and in our refusal to intervene in matters concerning His Holiness Dalai Lama provided those matters are purely of a religious nature without any political significance.

We should continue to assert our core interests and concerns in a carefully calibrated manner without letting our assertion become disproportionate to our present capacity to counter any adventurist impulses of China directed at us”¦

This assertion of the Indian will has had two aspects—in relation to our developing relations with Myanmar and Vietnam, and in developing our co-operation with the US, Japan and Australia in matters relating to maritime security and maritime counter-terrorism.

While the Chinese have not so far openly come out with any objection to our developing relations with Myanmar, their officially-controlled media has been increasingly irritable with regard to our developing relations with Vietnam and the US. The Dalai Lama issue is showing signs of becoming an additional source of irritation.

If the Chinese really value their relations with India as they claim to be, it is important for them to pay as much attention to India’s interests and concerns as we have always paid to theirs. Mutual respect of each other’s core interests and concerns has to be a two-way traffic. The Chinese, who lose no opportunity of asserting their core interests and concerns, cannot object to India doing likewise.

It is hoped that the current unpleasantness in the bilateral relations would be ephemeral and would dissipate in the days to come thereby enabling the two countries to resume their forward movement in their search for a mutually satisfactory solution to the border problem.

However, India should be prepared for the possibility that it may not be ephemeral and it may have to live for some years with the shadow cast on the bilateral relations. We should continue to assert our core interests and concerns in a carefully calibrated manner without letting our assertion become disproportionate to our present capacity to counter any adventurist impulses of China directed at us—-whether across the border or in the South China Sea.

1 2
Rate this Article
Star Rating Loader Please wait...
The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

B Raman

Former, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai & Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. He is the author of The Kaoboys of R&AW, A Terrorist State as a Frontline Ally,  INTELLIGENCE, PAST, PRESENT & FUTUREMumbai 26/11: A Day of Infamy and Terrorism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

More by the same author

Post your Comment

2000characters left