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India-Chi stand-off: Dragon's comedy of errors

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  20 Aug 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By Anushree Dutta

As we are very much aware of the Chinese and Indian soldiers stand-off in the Doklam area of Sikkim sector which has continued for two months after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area. New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its Northeastern states. Again we get to see another incident which took place on 15th August; where stone pelting occurred between Indian and Chinese soldiers along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh.

With such incidents in a row, we are quite well addressed to the border dispute issues between India and Chi which is yet to be solved. The root of this problem dates back to 1890 treaty between then Great Britain and Chi. The media played an important role in addressing these issues to both the country’s population. Both the tion’s media covered the issue in their own perceptions. But the way Chinese media is being used by the government to cover the issue put a question forward for us “Is Chi is playing 'Three Warfares' strategy against India?” In 2003, the Central Military Commission approved the guiding concepts for “information operations for the PLA, also known as 'Three Warfares' (san zhong zhanfa) and reinforced in 2010. The 'Three Warfares' comprises of media/public warfare, psychological warfare and legal warfare. Chi has applied 'three warfare' strategy towards South Chi issue. And it is now trying to apply the same against India. What image of India is Chi trying to give to the world? An image which is “black”, where both India and Chi are rising powers in a multipower world.

Looking at the Chinese media coverage to the stand-off, a very definite “mocking game” is also being seen. This mocking games starts with statements made to the Chief of Army Staff , on “Hindu ideology”, on Kashmir ( Kashmir is a very sensitive issue for India) and not leaving out India’s Exterl Minister Sushma Swaraj. The end point of this mocking game is the video released by the state-owned media Xinhua News Agency on Youtube where it is pointing to 'India’s time to confess its seven sins'. It seems Chinese is still stuck with the idea that belongs to “Century of Humiliation”. To give a justification to such videos the South Chi Morning Post comes up with statements like- “This video is mainly and only for the Chinese people who do not know what the real world looks like, due to the censored social media and government-controlled media.”Along with media, think tanks, academic researchers, semirs are also the main player in this mocking game. The language used by them is acidic in ture. What are you trying to play, Chi? Such mocking games only show that Chi is a “frustrated child”, who is just taking up steps to fulfill its demands in a comic way. The reasons for this frustration can be attributed to unsuccessful agreements in diplomatic levels. Some of the basic demands of Chi is 1. Stop being friendly to USA 2. Don’t try to get close to Japan 3. Chi wants India’s participation on One Belt One Road Initiative. Since, Chi is not able to convey such message in diplomatic way; they seemed to be behaving like this.

The whole episode is like a standoff comedy by Chi. And the stand-off comedy is all about “comedy of errors”. The very first error is Chi’s coming to Doklam and taking up of road building exercise. Second error is India going to Doklam and supporting Bhutan. The third and the major error are the use of media in addressing this issue and using of racist comments.

When both India and Chi are rising, such issues should not come up. Going back to the past when Xuan Zang visited India, a deep sense of cooperation and maturity was seen between India and Chi. Though there were different interests shown, still a sense of cooperation existed, rather than competition. We are in 21st century; this is not the way a rising power should be behaving. Where is this sense of maturity with Chi which was showcased during its glorious civilization in earlier times? As a mature tion, the way to deal such issue is to be mature, peaceful and conducive in ture. India should not be part of the comedy game that Chi is up to. And so far India has been mature and ratiol enough to give Chi a befitting reply to all the mocking game and comedies. This is not the right approach that both the tions should be taking up. If this problem is not solved, a continuation is seen whose end result is very much unknown and ucceptable. As we know, Chi is an unpredictable country no conclusion can be drawn. The only question we can put forward for Chi is “Why are you doing this?” Let us behave like mature tions.

(The writer is Research Assistant, Center for Land Warfare studies, Delhi Cant. New Delhi, India.)

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