The boundary of China, as conceived by its ancient Han race, was the Great Wall of China. It was built by the emperor Chin Shih Huang-ti, a tyrant of Chinese history, to prevent the invasion of China by the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. Today, beyond the Great Wall lies more than 60 per cent of ?Chinese? territory. And the nomads have disappeared in the vast sea of the Han race. Such has been China'sexpansion.
What is the logic of China'sexpansion? Very simple: To eat the neighbour'sland as the silk worm eats the mulberry leaf. This policy came to be called tsan shih.
Our own Chanakya had a similar doctrine. But his doctrine fell on deaf ears. Remember, we produced no Alexanders, Genghis Khans or Napoleons. And yet we had a hoary tradition of aswamedha (world conquest).
Naturally, Indians were not aware of China'sexpansionist strategies. We were living in a fool'sparadise according to Nehru. And our academics? They were under the spell of Rabindranath Tagore. To Tagore, China was an idylic place, a fairy kingdom. The Chinese could even fool the early Christian missionaries to believe that they (Chinese) were a peaceful people!
So we lost part of Jammu and Kashmir, most of Aksai Chin. And now China is demanding Arunachal Pradesh and threatening to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra.
Can we trust our present leaders to stop China'sadventures? We cannot and should not, for they are trained only in appeasement.
China has been an expansionist power throughout its history. But we knew nothing of China'shistory till the 1962 Chinese aggression. So when I wrote the book Dragon Changes its Skin (published in 1974) it was almost like a pioneering work.
The Hans, Tangs, Mongols and Manchus?all were conquering dynasties. The Mongols and Manchus were foreigners, but they contributed the maximum to China'sexpansion. (In contrast, the Mughals were parasities ?locusts? on India.)
?The unity of the barbarians (all neighbours of China were treated as barbarians) is harmful to China; stir up feuds by alienating them and let them fight against each other,? says a Chinese strategist, who was a contemporary of Chanakya. To weaken its neighbours. China set one tribe against another. And the emperor himself took a hand at this by bribing one tribe against another.
Comparing the Indian and Chinese traditional foreign policy, Chousei Suzuki says in a Harvard study that while India absorbed its conquerors and not their home territory, China absorbed both. Thus China absorbed both the Mongols and Manchus, as well as their vast territories. Today China tries to suppress the word ?Manchuria?!
China could resort to any means to grab neighbouring territories. Thus, though it had no claim on Korea, it contested Japan'sclaim and thus provoked the Sino-Japan war. When the French occupied Indo-China, China staked a claim saying that Kublai Khan once conquered Indo-China. China conveniently forget that it could not subdue the Vietnamese after a thousand year war of attrition. Similarly, when Britain conquered Burma, China staked a claim to Burma saying that Burma was once defeated by China. In fact, China could never defeat Burma. In short, China'sconceit and claims are laughable.
Do you know that the great Kushan emperor Kanishka is in Chinese records a vassal of the Chinese emperor? You may want to know how. Because Kanishka sent an embassy to China with some gifts for the emperor!
Similarly, all the kings and potentates of South East Asia are listed in Chinese records as vassals of the emperor because they happened to receive a Chinese flotilla passing through South East Asian waters!
China never gives up its claims, real or imagined, once it is on its records. China has no direct claims for an inch of Indian territory. But creating tensions by advancing imagined claims has become part of its strategy to disorient India.