India-China seems very similar in many trajectories like both countries had faced monarchy and later western imperial pressure in the past but surprisingly they emerged with entirely distinct ethos. China opted for socialism along with classical way of statecraft and diplomacy where words used to obfuscate the real intention; like its projected insistence on border issues which creates complexities in relationship with India.
Most strikingly China didn’t recognize the Mack Mohan line (Excerpted from its official minutes) and further kept denouncing the promises made by their statesmen like Zhou Enlai and others on strategic mutual agreements with Indian authority.
Consequently there never formed a unified perception on India-China relationship either in India or China. So, at least initial years showed very gloomious outcomes for both the country just after successful experiments with their respective mode of political system in late nineteen forties. Its matter of fact that apart from its dubious standing on foreign policy China has been showing a deliberate progressive development in their internal governance under visionary leaderships that stimulated the growth pattern of its economy.
Albeit these not remained consistent in equitable manner following an institutionalized pattern of corruption and denial of basic rights like freedom of expression and independence of press or fourth estate as it is called usually.
Unfortunate Tienmen square incident was much at par with such repressive state policy; China’s internal conditions are very different and fragile from an outsider’s perceptions of its might and prosperity. Today China facing huge resentment of its civil society and media over the atrocities they impose on rudimentary natural rights; an alluring example being vivid in my mind how peoples acted differently from Chinese government.
Recently China’s Central TV (CCTV) came under the fire and very outlandishly there was huge joy among the media persons including staffers of this state owned Tele Vision since they became overloaded with its biased view with the government authorities.
Chinese authorities out rightly denied such basic rights and any other similar claims like introduction of multi party democracy in socialistic pattern; a senior party leader had recently refuted such any propositions in near future.
So, China have very stringent consideration on its own insistence both at home and the world; such impatient with others view presents major hurdles for any constructive maneuvering.
Case is somehow very different in Indian side where its immaculate ethos has very strong constitutional backups with absolute democratic formulation which radically marked its difference with dogmas of Chinese system.
In its part India have been sharing very patient relationship with China though always gained complex and improper reply in their deal, so it’s remain a daunting task for even an expert to completely comprehend the transcendences of China’s world view. Explicitly Chinese authorities on many instances shown its uneasiness over India’s emergence in recent decades as they respectively supposed themselves more developed in economic and strategic terms, so never want any comparisons with India since they found only U.S.A, Japan and erstwhile U.S.S.R as their optimum comparable force.
China performs dubious role in foreign policy not only with India but its acknowledged partners like U.S.A as sometimes its called for G2 (China and U.S.A) as drive of aggressive foreign policy but also soonly refuted it.
Even despite being too much integrated with American economy China could visualize the fall of Wall Street as great news and see all such troublesome outcomes as an opportunity and a shift of Geo-economic scenario , so dealing with China indeed requires a cautious approach to handle such fluctuating policy. It’s completely outrageous policy of China where they wish to rise albeit refusing to trust others standing at their feet.
At every level of diplomatic move its foremost challenge before India to constructively engage China in their relationships that may be possible through harmonization of nationalism in both the country. Also both country needs to comprehend their power since conditions are now more balanced as a feeble India and mighty China like of ground realities are no longer exists. So China couldn’t undermine India now and think for India to breakup as they think in 1960’s as many complexities of power equations are becomes historical now.
China-Pakistan equations are another issue that bears great implications for India-China relationship because India seen at center locus by the Chinese government during framing its propensity of strategic ties with Pakistan. China puts their best commitment for Pakistan and India remains the strategic determinant for this albeit it’s also a counter reality that despite such efforts Pakistan is more dominated by the U.S.A than China since their Arm forces sustain on U.S dollars instead of Chinese Yuan.
On the issue of border problem with India, it would be quite asymmetric to conceive that it’s an outcome of India’s position on Tibet instead these policies started long before the Tibetan stalemate. Indeed Tibet should be a matter of concern more for China than India because of historical and geographical similarity but India let continue playing their humanitarian role with the sufferers of Tibet.
China recently professed that Dalai Lama has no role to play in peace negotiation which means now he ceased to be the representative of Tibetan peoples that is in itself a showpiece of China’s fragile and confused policy on such crucial matters. India has firm standing on its foreign policy which allowed it’s to show genuine concern to strife ridden peoples besides it’s also striking co-incidence that historically Tibetans has always showing their faiths in outsiders, so Indian role on Tibet must not acknowledged and confused as an act of intrusion.
Internal scenario of China presents confused and fudged picture for outsiders since hardly it’s provide impartial circumstances of introspection; noted author and journalist Prem Shankar Jha’s book on China “Managed Chaos” vehemently unleash such fabricated trends of Chinese development.
Despite all such odds India and China can strive for good deals on economic co-operation, it’s evident from historical enquiry that economic co-operation has reversed the chronic political stalemate between many countries. Besides both has superb presence at world politics and facing many common challenges like terrorism, economic slowdown, communalism etc, so at numerous level both countries has options for better co-operation that must finally up heal the Asian growth.
India’s bid for permanent seat in United Nations Security Council is a crucial issue where China’s constructive intention could boost the Indian claim which may ushered into a new paradigm of relations.
Both countries are highly integrated to world economy and can move for great symbiotic ties by manipulating Indian software expertise with Chinese hardware edge. India must keep availing the mid path theory of Confusias and Buddha…. Consensus is possible even between the stark divergent sides.
Like India’s first Prime Minister Mr. J.L.Nehru who once gifted with a Panda from Chinese president Zhou Enlai in his China’s visit, some months later Zhou Enlai visited India than he got a healthy dog from Mr. Nehru; but real story is ahead when Mr. Nehru visited next time to China he asked for well being of his gifted dog… reply of Zhou Enlai was it was quite tasty. These means diversions can make things more interesting like these unusual incidences.
Atul Kumar Thakur
September 8th2009, New Delhi