There is nothing certain in the world except two things?China'snefarious designs against India and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government'sobtuseness in combating, even recognising the existence of, such designs.
For the nth time, China accused India of not addressing the ?boundary issue, particularly the Sikkim area,? which, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi claimed, his country had been administering the area under contention since the 1890s. He made all sorts of claims and statements in his meeting with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee'svisit to China. In a case of ulta chor kotwal ko daante (the thief rebuking the police chief), Yang is said to have told Mukherjee that the Indian government was not getting accurate reports. According to him, there was a ?difference? in the reports being sent by Indian ?border patrol? and what was finally reaching the government.
And what does Mukherjee do? According to a news report in The Indian Express, ?For his part, Mukherjee chose not to counter it.? This is typical of a UPA minister: the territorial integrity of his country is questioned, but he does not react; during his visit, he is not properly treated and attempts are made to slight him, but he does not retaliate. Lest the commies back at home take offence.
It is now a well-established fact to all but the gullible that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is Beijing'smost effective public relations manager in our country. As former diplomat G. Parthasarthy wrote in The Times Of India (June 9), ?In its 2004 election manifesto, the CPM has advocated talks between India and Pakistan for a ?denuclearised environment? in South Asia. This CPM formulation would result in India acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by the back door and in China to becoming the only nuclear weapons power in Asia. Interestingly, this formulation coincides with what China has constantly advocated since 1998? The communists alone continue to waffle on Chinese border claims and maintain that it was India and not China that was guilty of aggression in the 1962 conflict!?
This is not the fulmination of a retired diplomat; all over the world, experts are veering towards the view that Beijing is ardently working to undermine India'sinterests. As Lisa Curtis of the US-based Heritage Foundation wrote recently, ?China'spolicies toward South Asia revolve around its desire to manage India'semergence in a way that protects its positions on the Tibet and Taiwan issues and ensures its continued access to critical energy assets.? Beijing'sshenanigans against India are quite obvious. Further, the shenanigans are part of a pattern.
Michael A. Ledeen, Freedom Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, speculated in 2002 that ?China may be something we have never seen before: a mature fascist state.? This is the most appropriate description of the Asian giant.
Three months ago, he wrote, ?Recent events there, especially the mass rage in response to Western criticism, seem to confirm that theory. More significantly, over the intervening six years China'sleaders have consolidated their hold on the organs of control?political, economic and cultural. Instead of gradually embracing pluralism as many expected, China'scorporatist elite has become even more entrenched.?
China as a mature fascist state is indeed something unprecedented. It is different from fascist Italy and Nazi Germany as its hegemonistic ambitions are not driven by frenzied emotions and fervent rhetoric; nor is Chinese imperialism dependent on the megalomanias of any Mussolini and Hitler. Dictators have changed: communist Mao was replaced by Deng, and now we have Hu. Ideologies have changed from extreme agrarian Marxism to ?pragmatic? cohabitation with capitalism. But the goals have remained unchanged: to grow as a major global power.
One of the natural corollaries of Chinese imperialism is: keep India down militarily, politically, and economically. Notice the pattern: it has helped Islamabad build nuclear weapons; it supplies arms to Pakistan. For instance, in 1992, China supplied Pakistan with 34 short-range ballistic M-11 missiles.
Significantly, Pakistan is not the only South Asian nation that Beijing uses against us; it wants to encircle us, in every sense of the term; it wants to keep India entangled in its own neighbourhood. According to Lisa Curtis, ?China uses military and other kinds of assistance to court these [i.e., South Asian] nations, especially when India and other Western states try to leverage their assistance programs to encourage respect for human rights and democracy.?
As emerging economies, the energy needs of both India and China are increasing. Both countries are also competing in the international market to get hold of hydrocarbon reserves. ?Energy competition between India and China is also reflected in their assertions of naval power. As India reaches into the Malacca Straits, Beijing is creating a ?string of pearls? surrounding India by developing strategic port facilities in Sittwe, Burma; Chittagong, Bangladesh; and Gwadar, Pakistan to protect sea lanes and ensure uninterrupted energy supplies,? wrote Curtis.
While China is busy in all sorts of odious activities, the UPA regime is trying to make it sure that the traitorous CPM'ssensibilities are not hurt. So Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on June 10, ?There is enough space for the two countries to mutually cooperate and develop, while remaining sensitive to each other'sconcerns.?
Such are the inglorious certainties of life during UPA rule.
(The author works with The Political and Business Daily)