Is India bending over backwards to please China?

June 3, 2008

India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the government of a “craven” and “slavish” attitude to China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (L) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee before their meeting in New Delhi February 13, 2007. REUTERS/B Mathur (INDIA) The BJP and others argue that the coalition government has failed to prevent repeated Chinese incursions along the disputed border, from Ladakh in the northwest to Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast.

And by trying to muzzle the Dalai Lama and close down Delhi during the Olympic torch relay, it has shown weakness, which will only encourage China to throw its weight around more.

There is also concern about the modernisation of the Chinese army, and the steady improvement of road and rail links in Tibet which are altering the military balance of power. Then there is talk of fresh Chinese claims to the northern tip of Sikkim.

“Given the growing perception that the UPA government lacks resolve… it is no surprise that Beijing has put the historically undisputed border with Sikkim back into
contestation,” the Indian Express wrote in an editorial.

Bharat Bhushan in the Mail Today said India had bent over backwards to China without any apparent dividend, while Brahma Chellaney argues China is trying to tie India down in the Himalayas “in order to avert the rise of a peer rival in Asia”.

But does India have any choice but quiet diplomacy? Should India swallow its pride and keep China happy over the Tibet question, even put up with a bit of border wrangling, and concentrate on the bigger picture?

Trade ties are booming and India stands to gain from a closer relationship with China, after all.

Or are the critics right?

What message should Pranab Mukherjee be taking to Beijing this week? Hindi-Chini bhai, bhai (Indians and Chinese are brothers)? Or India is not to be messed with?


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This is so true. India is being bullied by China but does nothing. India needs to stand up or she will continue to be taken advantage of, and lose land. India should align itself with the Dalai Lama, India’s biggest ally or democracy might be doomed in the region.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

India must stand up and be counted.Otherwise we will see in India what we are seeing in Tibet now- the true intentions of China. Forget about bhai-bhai; that hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work now.
INDIA MUST PUT IT’S FOOT DOWN.If it’s a skirmish or a full-blown confrontation that China wants, then so be it. And China must make up it’s mind-it must re-evaluate it’s relationship with Pakistan.
We’ve seen it before, China with a slanted smile here, and behind India’s back trying to tie it down in all kinds of devious ways.

Posted by Patel | Report as abusive

Hand in hand, we are friends. To be friends are better to be something else.

Posted by Phil and Pate | Report as abusive

Trade, India supplying raw material and importing finished good.. 19th century british being replaced with 21 century china.
God give Indian politicians some back bone and brain.

Posted by Kalai | Report as abusive

Do not put up with this Chinese B.S. Stand up to them and let them know we will take none of their communist crap.

Posted by Dev Sitaram | Report as abusive

It is true that the UPA govt kowtows to PRC bullies whose main aim, stemming from Mao, is destabilise and hold down the rival giant in Asia. Hence PRC gave nuclear blueprint and, via N.Korea, missiles to Pakistan and supported Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 wars. UPA relies on support of pro-China CPI(M)who still hold to Marxist/Maoist delusions. My CPI(M) relative has books by ex-East German dictator Eric Honecker. They stay in power with ‘votes’ from illegal Bangladeshi muslims hence they expelled writer Taslima Nasreen. Historically, as ex-Chinese ambassador to USA Hu Shih stated, India conquered China culturally, 35,000 Chinese words are of Sanskrit/pali origin, Kung Fu, Feng Shui, Herbal Medicine etc. are actually Indian in origin. S.E. Asia was known as Greater India as Indians started the first civilisations. Even Korea remembers the Indo-Aryan queen who married their first Karak king. The UPA and CPI(M) are like Kiplings inferiority complex ‘bandor lok’ aping the white man and ashamed on India’s proud history and indigenous culture. Nonetheless, Indian metaphysics, as the likes of Arnold Toynbee, Willis Harman,Shiuji Inomata etc. have noted will gradually dominate the world in the 21st Century.

Posted by Sutapas Bhattacharya | Report as abusive

Western commentators deciding how India should reject Chinese influence? More hypocrisy BS? Is US or UK angry that India breaks free of their directives?

Posted by nishant | Report as abusive

Successive Indian Governments, be it UPA or NDA have been afraid of upsetting the Chinese applecart. Adding to the fear complex is the role of the Left parties. I doubt whether the Left parties have the interests of India in their mind or not when Sitaram and Bardhan make such statements against USA but not a single word against Sino- Russian nuclear deal.

The Governemnt should know that there should be a limit to Chinese bullying, trade considerations apart.

Posted by Dr.T.R.Lakshminarayanan | Report as abusive

Did not mean to give the impression I was deciding for India nishant. Was just putting the views of the BJP and others out there, and inviting some comment/opinions from readers!

Posted by Simon Denyer | Report as abusive

China needs India too for steel and other services its not only India which will gain from china and Chinese leaders do not allow thier own public to speak freely how will they allow other if we are not trying put our point with force

Posted by Varun Gautam | Report as abusive

Whether Tibet should become independent is no longer an issue to be decided just by the Tibetans succumbing under inter alia duress and coercion alone. India is historically entitled to have Tibet as an independent Country and India will sooner or later declare her recognition of Tibet as an independent Nation under Chinese Illegal brutal military occupation. If China claims Aksai Chin and other areas on the Indian side of the Kuen Lun range in Kashmir on the edge of the highlands of Kashmir wherein are situate the Kukalang, Yangi, Kilian, Sanju, and Hindutash pass in India, thus claiming a boundary along the Karakoram range in the interior of Kashmir, then India will claim the Nyenchen Thanglha range in the interior of the Tibetan Plateau as the border of India and If China claims the area of Arunachal Pradesh beyond the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, then India will reiterate that Khotan beyond the edge of the highlands of Kashmir on the other side of the Hindutash border of Kashmir is a part of India. If China recognises Sikkim beyond the edge of the Tibetan Plateau as a part of India, India also reciprocates and recognises Gansu similarly placed beyond the edge of the Tibetan Plateau beyond the Sino-Tibetan Inter-national border, as Part of China!

Posted by P.V.Ravi Chandran | Report as abusive

India should work with China. We have a lot to learn about how to produce cheap goods and how to conduct global trade from the Chinese. This cooperation is more important to the Indian people than some border issues.

Posted by Rajesh | Report as abusive

As far as the trade is concerned i personally feel that China will continue its relation the way it is now. When it comes to the border issue the Indian Govt should not step back. This can be solved with diplomats having more talks with the Chinese Govt regarding the border issue.Making the Chinese understand that we are not very pleased with the incursion in the East of Ladakh regions and the demand of areas in Arunachal Pradesh should serve the purpose.

Posted by Vinod Sridhar | Report as abusive