Peaceniks toe Chinese line

How does Bharat deal with a country that is consistently blocking it’s entry in the NSG group, a country which has a farcical belief that Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are not terrorists, a country whose official mouthpiece Global Times rants anti-Bharat rhetoric and calls our foreign minister names thus stooping to a new low in international diplomacy, a country which believes that Syed Salaaudin is a saint and JEM (Jaish-e-Muhammad) is not a terror outfit, a country which is nursing hegemonistic designs against its neighbors and eyes their territory as a part of its expansionist policy, a country which is in illegal occupation of a peaceful Buddhist Tibet and has changed the demography of this plateau by reducing the Tibetans to a minority in their own homeland, a country which wants to establish its command from South China Sea to the Bay of Bengal to Sri Lanka and across the Indian Ocean to Gwadar in Baluchistan?

If the peaceniks have their way then Bharat should withdraw its forces from Doklam and follow a policy of appeasement towards China letting it ride roughshod over us as it has done with countries like Mongolia, Philippines and Japan to name a few.

The Bharatiya government’s firm stand on Doklam and its ‘no budging’ attitude has rattled China to such an extent that its official mouthpiece Global Times has gone on a war rant, hurling invective at our foreign minister and NSA which was ignominious and needs strong condemnation.

Therefore it was surprising to see an eminent journalist on a news channel advising Bharat to exercise restraint and not show its 56-inch chest (a crude jibe at PM Modi) lest it  gets  another slap from China like in 1962. These words epitomised Bharat’s China policy for the past  5 decades which has been one of pacifying, appeasing and buying peace at the cost of national interest.

Thus any change in the status quo has not only upset China but also the the peaceniks at home to the extent that they indulged in parallel diplomacy with the Chinese envoy throwing protocol to the winds amidst the border stand off.

Amidst the war mongering and the rhetoric resorted to by China through its government mouthpiece Global Times, Bharat has maintained remarkable restraint and calm refusing to be drawn into a verbal brawl, unlike the so-called superpower and thus upholding its credentials as the world’s largest democracy.

Perhaps the Modi bashers and the peaceniks have forgotten that Bharat is in Doklam at the call of friendly Bhutan whose borders were threatened by a marauding China. Bhutan does not have diplomatic relations with China and deals with the latter through its Consulate in New Delhi which is also an irritant for China.

The Anglo-Bhutan treaty of 1910 set the tone for Bharat-Bhutan relations with the 1949 & 2007 treaties of friendship. The Sino-Bharat border agreement of 2013 article 8 elucidates that “if the border defence forces of the two sides come to a face to face situation in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control both sides shall exercise maximum restraint, refrain from any provocative actions, not use force or threaten to use force against each other and prevent exchange of fire or armed  conflict”. This along with  the 1988 & 1998  Sino-Bhutan treaties which emphasize on maintaining tranquility till the border disputes are settled should be the guiding point for resolving the tri-junction impasse.

Even the British government has spanked the Chinese for their policy of frequent incursions into the territory of its neighbours with the malafide intention of slow annexation. They have since dispatched a warship to the South China Sea as a protest against the Chinese hegemony.

The Chinese president Xi Jinping  is seeking a second five year term and has upped the ante against Bharat on Doklam, raking up anti-Bharat sentiment to pander to  his domestic audience . However the peaceniks in our country have no such compulsions to toe the Chinese line and advocate unilateral withdrawal by Bharat from Doklam.

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About the Author

Aman Gupta
Political Editor, Samast Bharat magazine