Skip to main content

India 'fails' to see: Occupying Tibet, China controls geopolitics of 10 Asian countries

By Badri Narayanan S*

It has been over 70 years since one of the most beautiful and peaceful world nations was calm for the last time. In 1950, Communist China, in a violent show of force, invaded and conquered Tibet. From then to till now, Tibetans living in Tibet and in-exile are trying to free their home. But unfortunately, the rest of the world has moved on without batting an eye. Even India, Tibet's neighbour, did not do much, other than providing shelter, to help the Tibetan cause.
It never fails to amaze how the world has never given the due consideration that Tibetans needed. In a matter of a few months, a country about one-third of India's size ceased to exist. The international community proceeded as if nothing happened.
When the world recognizes the plight of the Palestinians but turns a deaf ear to the Tibetans' cries, given the loss of life is many times over? Also, unlike Palestinians, they inflict violence upon themselves by indulging in self-immolation acts. It is high time that India and the rest of the world pay heed to the cries coming from the world's rooftop.
The current People's Republic of China (PRC) consists of occupied territories such as Manchuria and inner Mongolia in the North East and Tibet and East Turkistan in the West. India was very quick and eager to adopt the One-China Policy (OCP). But China has never fully acknowledged the sovereignty of India over Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its own and supports Pakistan's claim over Kashmir. So, is it time that India discards the OCP?
Recently, China's transgressions across the Indo-Tibetan border have risen sharply. These skirmishes led to the Galwan valley fight, where the standoff persists. China is also very ambitiously claiming the Tawang region as part of south Tibet. When Tibet itself has not been China's historically, how valid is its claim for Tawang? It also sided with Pakistan plebiscite in Kashmir. In essence, India recognizes OCP without any reciprocation from China.
Tibet is known as the 'Water Tower of Asia' as it is the origin of major river systems that nourish ten countries. China continues to build a large number of dams across these rivers to generate hydroelectric power. So, technically by occupying Tibet, China can control the geopolitics of 10 downstream Asian countries.
For instance, China has built three dams across the river Brahmaputra whose delta serves about 130 million Indians and Bangladeshi. China is also dumping the toxins from its Lithium mines into the Tibetan rivers. A 2019 study by a group of Chinese scientists reveals the extensive microplastics contents in the rivers.
Besides having a political upper hand, China also exercises significant economic dominance over India. India is highly dependent on China for the imports of Telecom, Electronics, machinery, fertilisers, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). In contrast, India represents a mere 3% of China's exports. 
This trade imbalance makes India's stance against China costlier to itself than to China. When NDA came to power in 2014, the Prime Minister (PM) was very keen on developing India's relationship with its neighbours. With China, the government's expectation was on two fronts: Improved relations and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). 
But, trusting China was a naïve move. Chinese soldiers transgressed the Indian borders even as the Chinese premier Xi Jinping was meeting Modi. India never saw that coming. Next came the economic renege. China did not honour its promise to invest USD 20 Billion in India. The FDIs, which equaled USD 505 Million in FY2015, have reduced to about USD 162 Million in FY2020. This twin- blow jolted India back to the reality that India and China are not friends.
But India is not entirely doing nothing to release itself from the claws of the Chinese dragon. India's trade deficit with China has been steadily declining. The trade balance, which was USD 63 Billion in FY2018, had gone down to USD 48.66 Billion in FY2020. A decline in imports from China accompanied India's growth in exports to China.
India was very quick and eager to adopt the One-China Policy. But China has never fully acknowledged the sovereignty of India over Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh
The government's push towards self-reliance through the Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign and the rekindled Nationalist spirits after the Galwan valley fight played a key role. Besides this, the government is increasingly making it challenging for Chinese imports goods by putting tight Technical regulations and quality requirements. But what more can India do?
India should take a lesson or two from the European Union (EU) for taking a strong stand. India has never made a strong condemnation of China's gross Human rights violations. Despite being the major importer of Chinese goods, the EU did not refrain from speaking against China's violations in Uighur and Hong Kong.
The EU threatened to reconsider its economic partnership with China. France and Germany openly condemned China over its poor handling of the Covid crisis that led to this ongoing Pandemic. With many countries openly condemning China for Covid, the time is ripe for India to make its move and review its OCP.
To have a peaceful border, India needs to have Tibet as its buffer between China and herself. This buffer should be both geographical and economical. "India should recognize that its borders are with Tibet and not with China," says Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan poet and activist.
When India recognises that its neighbour is not China but Tibet, it weakens China's claims over Tawang, Aksai Chin, and minor portions alongside the five border states. India's spend on the roads along LAC increased from Rs 4,600 crore in FY 2016 to Rs 11,800 crore in FY 2021. This jump in the budget is primarily due to the need for quickly mobilising the forces should the need arise.
A significant portion of India's defence spending, which is 15.5% of its budget, is dedicated to its northern and north-eastern border. Imagine if it was peaceful? India could spend on other essential aspects, such as education and healthcare.
In essence, Tibetan liberation is dearer and more beneficial to India than it realises. It makes strategic, political, and economic sense to support the Tibetan cause and recognise its borders with Tibet. These are the exact reasons that India helped liberate Bangladesh.
As Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Being the professor of peace and Gandhian ideology, India should leave its innocent bystander approach when its neighbour is burning.
---
*Second year MBA student, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad

Comments

Unknown said…
Good article. India should declare its support for Tibet at the earliest.
Anonymous said…
Your emotions are understandable. However, most of your views contradict with historical facts. Readers are not ignorant. It is better to write something based on facts. Otherwise you will not be taken seriously no matter how strong your feeling is.
Author said…
Thank you for the Feedback. I Would appreciate it if you would throw some light on what you found to be factually inaccurate.
Anonymous said…
Very good Article, but too little too late.
India indeed missed the golden eggs of Tibet.
Now, it must defend to the fullest as the good old days never repeats.
When the sweetest fruit was there, one did not care
When the urges comes to taste it, no teeth lefts.

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Govt of India 'compromising' on mandate to regulate gene technologies, protect nature

Counterview Desk  In a letter sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and other related ministries and departments, the Coalition for a GM-Free India has raised "serious concern" over the guidelines notified for Genome Edited Organisms, in which major exemptions from regulations have been offered to certain categories of Genome Edited Organisms/Plants and products. A letter signed by Sridhar Radhakrishnan and Kapil Shah, co-convenors of the NGO network, addressed to Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, said, the Office Memorandum, dated May 17, 2022 of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology about Safety Assessment Guidelines, which follows the Office Memorandum dated March 30, 2022 of the MoEFCC, said, the move "essentially amounts to entry of risky GMOs through the backdoor. Text : Coalition for a  GM-Free India is a national volunteer-driven platform of hundre

A Marxian trend that queries undemocratic customs and traditions of capitalism

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  A very well-meaning comrade called me a pluriversal Marxist with a wild smile full of English irony, while chairing my book release function in the Marx Memorial Library, London. I dedicate this piece to her… There is no other philosopher who is more abused and misunderstood like Marx. There is no other philosophy like Marxism which is more demonised on a regular basis. The mindless vilification campaign against Marx and Marxism continues without any form of reason. The propaganda and portrayal of Marxism as a devilish doctrine signify its importance as a philosophy of human emancipation from the very forces who demonise it. Marxism is a philosophy of praxis which helps us to understand the centrality of creative power of labour in producing socially meaningful value. It helps us to analyse the laws governing production, distribution, consumption, exchange, market, profit, pricing and private property in the development of class-based society. As a humanist p