I write this article on China because China is back to its games. As a student of China, with two books to my credit, I have an obligation to inform my compatriots the true nature of China. We should not be sleeping in a fool’s paradise again.
No country in the world has enjoyed such reputation for being so peaceful as China. The fact is: Chinese history is a record of aggressions against its neighbours. Sixty per cent of China belonged to its neighbours.
It was the Jesuit Fathers (missionaries), who spread the myth about China being peaceful. The Chinese mandarins encouraged this belief, for they wanted to project the image of a peaceful people being subjected to foreign tyranny. In the event, there were fierce protests from the intellectual class of France against European interference in China. In India, Tagore fell for the myth and influenced Nehru in turn.
More facts on China: If there was a Confucius with his moral doctrines, there was Shang Yang, the militarist (4thc BC), who exercised a powerful influence on China. He was a philosopher and statesman and advocated any and every means in the struggle for power at home and abroad. Shang Yang believed that men are born evil. He advocated a military state. Mao was a keen student of Shang Yang. The Shang Yang legacy has continued in China to this day.
India’s relations with China go back to the 2ndc BC when Buddhism entered China. It fulfilled certain needs. For example, curiosity to know more on death and the life after death, which explains why the old in China still turn to Buddhism.
We thought that our borders were secure and peaceful. We were wrong. Nehru writes: “It was naïve to think that the trouble with China was essentially due to the dispute over some territories.” In fact, there were deeper causes. Nehru writes: “Two of the largest countries of Asia (China and India) confronted each other…The test was as to whether any one of them would have a more dominating position than the other.”
True, India was never after power or dominace. That is not India’s tradition. But it could not have allowed the dominance of a foreign power over itself.
India-China relations continue to be in a state of a flux. But one thing is clear; there never will be real friendship between the two in the future. They will always suspect each other and prepare for war against each other.
But neither will they start a war against each other, for they know that the response will be unimaginably terrible. In the meantime, China’s policy will be to weaken India.
It is true India cannot take on China militarily. So it must concert with other like-minded nations to deter China. But the only country which can deter China militarily is America. So, willy-nilly, we have to work with America. And America needs India. But, above all, India should cultivate its relations with the Buddhist countries.
The Chinese mind is not used to logical reasoning. In other words, reasoning does not come easily to the Chinese. We must not forget this.
China has a long memory for its claims, however ancient it may be. And for injustices done to it, too. But it has a short memory for gratitude. Thus, had it not been for the Soviet assistance the communists would not be in power today. But China turned against Moscow and joined hands with America. Similarly, India went out of its way, even incurring the enmity of America, to make Red China acceptable to a hostile world. How did China pay back? It invaded India “to teach it a lesson”.
China has been keeping its neighbours in a state of crisis and tension for millennia. It conquered Burma twice. It kept the Vietnamese in a state of crisis for a thousand years. It brought Cambodia under its subjection. If it did not attack India, it was because of the Buddhist factor. But the Buddhist factor did not work in Tibet. China conquered Tibet twice. And once Tibet brought China under its heels. Today China is engaged in making the Tibetans a minority in their own state. As for Nepal, China has been wooing Nepal to wean it away from India. Today China can push Nepal in any direction it chooses.
In the final analysis, we must have an alert and well informed citizenry. But that depends on a well motivated media. Unfortunately, the Indian media has failed us.
The final truth about China is this: it has no love for the humanity. India does. “Service to humanity”-this was the slogan of Ashoka. Every neighbour of China lives in fear of China. No country was ever in fear of India. Which is why we became complacent. We cannot live in a fool’s paradise again.