Sikkim stand off and the China Pakistan Axis

Lalit Shastri

The China-Pakistan Axis is trying to squeeze India by denying it its true place in the international arena. China is looking at India as only a dumping ground for its cheap goods and there is no stratetigc advantage India is deriving from supporting China blindly on all forums including their permananet membership of the security council which we support.

On the trade relations front, India is obviously the loser as against the total India-China bilateral trade which touched $70.8 billion,  India was left with a mounting $ 46.56 billion trade deficit with China last year.

It is high-time India reviews its foreign policy with relation to China. India will be justified in raising straight barriers and responding appropriately whenever China crosses India’s path and acts contrary to the sovereign interests of India. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is a case in point.

China recently vetoed a resolution to designate Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group chief as a terrorist by the United Nations (UN). He is among India’s most wanted terrorists and is accused of plotting and executing several terror attacks in India, including the attack on the Air Force station at Pathankot last year in January.

ChinaMilitary, the official English-language website for China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) and a mouthpiece sponsored by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army today published a story with the heading “China slams Indian troops’ provocation on border” which goes on to allege that Indian troops had recently crossed the border with China in an attempt to “block a road construction in Donglang (Doklam) area by the Chinese side”.

China’s defense ministry also confirmed the news about the “China-Indian border confrontation”.

Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND), late on 26 June said: “Indian troops’ unilateral provocation has violated the consensus and relevant agreements on border issues between the Chinese and Indian governments, seriously endangering the peace and stability of the border areas.” There are treaties to recognise the China-Indian boundary line at the Sikkim section, Ren said adding the construction of the roads in Donglang (Doklam) area is entirely a sovereign act by China in its own territory, and the Indian side has no rights to interfere.

The construction of roads in a sensitive area bordering Sikkim is a sensitive matter and the move by China to build roads in that area is serious provocation.

Mansarovar yatra

China on Monday also confirmed that its decision to suspend the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via Nathu La was based on the border standoff on the Sikkim section of the China-India border.

The controversy raised by China at a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being received by the US President Donald Trump in the White House with open arms and the two leaders were pledging support and cooperation to fight terrorism and attain the objectives for peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the Indo-Pacific region, cannot be just a coincidence.

India launches New Air Corridor With Afghanistan

Two days ago, Global Times, a State run Chinese newspaper also went all out against India’s New Air Corridor With Afghanistan launched on June 19. It also expressed concern regarding another initiative by India to develop the Iranian port of Chabahar, which would open direct transport route to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. Speaking obviously on behalf of Pakistan regarding this project, the Chinese State run newspaper said India “should not bypass Pakistan” and that “it would still be better for India to develop economic and trade relations with Pakistan.”

PM Narendra Modi welcomes the first Air Freight Corridor flight from Kabul to India- thanks President Ghani for the initiative

The newspaper in question asked: Will India bypass Pakistan to develop trade with Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries?

Earlier in May this year India chose to skip the One Belt and One Road Summit organised by China treating it as a “Sovereignty Issue” especially with relation to India as CPEC is passing through the Indian Territory (Pak occupied Kashmir). OBOR is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature project.

Skipping OBOR Summit was like a one-off stand taken by India. What is expected of the mandarins in the South Block in New Delhi (where the Indian Ministry of External Affairs is largely located) is a more pro-active policy vis-a-vis China.

 

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