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Beijing's bullying ways

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

The Chinese government is working itself up into a fury over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Aruchal Pradesh, using language unbecoming of a wanbe superpower. The Indian ambassador in Beijing has been hauled up for a dressing down while the Chinese embassy has lodged an official protest in New Delhi. Meanwhile, the state-run media in Chi has gone on an overdrive, calling for ‘blows if India plays dirty’, warning that Chi can interfere in Kashmir if it wants to do so and is militarily strong enough to reach the Indian Ocean. Accusing New Delhi of using the ‘Tibet card’ and ‘separatist’ Dalai Lama to score points against Chi for blocking UN sanctions against Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar and India’s bid to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), these official Chinese dailies are brazenly repudiating the McMahon line to overtly threaten India with force. They are raising allegations that India under the British ‘illegally occupied’ southern Tibet (to later me it Aruchal Pradesh) by ‘taking advantage of interl Chinese divisions at the time’. This has been an oft-repeated ploy by the Communist regime in Chi to lend legitimacy to its rule by referring to the ‘century of humiliation’ before it seized power. Last year in April, India had given in to Chinese pressure and cancelled the visa to Germany-based Uighur leader Dolkun Isa to visit Dharamsala, ostensibly because this country did not wish to be seen harbouring a leader labelled a ‘terrorist’ by Beijing. But in the case of Dalai Lama, a state guest in India for nearly six decades, New Delhi is thankfully taking a firm stand. It is high time India pushed back against such bullying tactics by Chi, which has riled other countries along South Chi Sea like Vietm, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and farther afield like Japan and Australia. For long, New Delhi has taken the line that economic engagement and the large Indian market will prompt responsible behaviour from Chi. But Beijing has pursued a single-minded course to convert its economic might into political and military clout. Union ministers Sushma Swaraj and Kiren Rijiju have now reminded Beijing that if India is to respect the ‘One Chi’ principle, it expects similar response to ‘One India’ principle too. However, Beijing is known to follow its policy of unrelenting pressure. It is upon New Delhi to follow up with diplomatic initiatives to bond closer with other countries in the region, while really focusing on developing the Northeast in the longer term.

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