Arunachal Pradesh and China’s ill motive
China has been one of the fastest growing economies and one of the most dynamic world powers. China has a strange relationship with much of the world. It has pursued a deeply aggressive expansionist policy both economically and through the reclamation of territory. In fact, china has made a habit to claim lands that are owned by others. First, china annexed Tibet in 1951. China is enmeshed in a territorial dispute with Taiwan. China is also claiming large swaths of land throughout the South China Sea namely, Spratly Islands – where it has been creating islands and building military bases. Farther afield, in Djibouti, a small country in Africa, China is at loggerheads with the US military after the leak out of the China’s plan to build its first offshore military base there. Since the mid-1980s, the government of China has been saying that India should concede Tawang to them and now, it has renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh. Necessarily,it is China’s ugly motive. China’s view is that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of Tibet and as Tibet is now a part of China and India should cede Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of China. As one knows, India has a border dispute with China and the India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covers Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war. India’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh rests on the Simla Convention of 1914 which it arrived at with the Tibetan authorities which marked the border through what was known as the McMahon Line. The great monastery of Tawang thus became a part of India, though it was administered by Tibetan monks till 1951 when an Indian patrol team led by Major R. Khating sent them away. China says that its representative had not agreed to the Simla Convention, though the record says that he initialled it. Further in ensuring years, the Chinese authorities did not raise any issue with regard to the McMahon Line.
China has long mastered the art of “lawfare”. For China, renaming places is not something new and in the past too, it renamed a number of places that it annexed or wanted to annex. So the Chinese call the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea as the Xisha and Nansha islands or the Senkaku islands which they dispute with Japan as the Diaoyu islands. Again,”Aksai Chin” which India claims as being part of Jammu & Kashmir is occupied by China and is said to be the southwestern part of the Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang.
China must drop its motive to claim lands that are owned by others. China is totally wrong when it lays a claim over India’s Arunachal Pradesh. All the border disputes between India and China need to be settled through discussions. Under no circumstances, China has justification to claim India’s Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and it will remain so in future too.