India plans to play the “Tibet card” as the forefront of US containment

Huang Dekai, Zhu DeTao & Huang Kan

Recently, a senior diplomat in charge of handling India-US relations will be appointed as the new “representative in Taiwan” in India, with the intention of strengthening India-Taiwan relations and promoting the substantial improvement of bilateral relations. This is not only a challenge to China’s core interests of safeguarding national reunification, but also a deep docking of the Indo-Pacific strategies of India and the United States, ending the “non-aligned” strategy upheld by India, and being willing to serve as the front saddle of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region. At the same time, senior Indian officials and media are also building momentum for India to prepare to play the “Tibet card”. This echoes the announcement by US Secretary of State Pompeo on July 7 of imposing visa restrictions on relevant Chinese officials under the guise of “respecting human rights and supporting the autonomy of Tibet.” Speaking at a military conference at a border post in Arunachal Pradesh, India’s national ruling party, Pemakandu (Pema Khandu), said ten days after the Sino-Indian border conflict that the line of actual control in the China-India border area was called the “India-Tibet border”. This is consistent with the “Tibetan border, not the Chinese border” advocated by Tibetan writer and activist Tenzin Tsundue. Hindustan, India’s national newspaper, published an editorial saying it would reconsider India’s policy on Tibet. This is a continuation of India’s Tibet policy proposed by Hindu nationalist organizations in 2018.

The purposes of India’s plan to play the “Tibet card” are: first, to save the face of defeat on the Sino-Indian border; second, to shift domestic nationalist sentiment; third, to challenge China’s core interests; and finally, to be consistent with the containment of China adopted by the United States. As a matter of fact, since Modi came to power, the position of the “Tibet issue” in Sino-Indian bilateral relations has been gradually weakened, which has not only squeezed the space for the activities of the “Tibetan government in exile” in India, especially when Xi Jinping visited India. The Indian government has increased its control over people related to Tibetans in exile; moreover, the Modi government has not sent people to participate in Dalai’s related activities. But why is the sound of playing the “Tibet card” in India recently?

This is because there is a gap between India’s pursuit of the dominant force in the Indo-Pacific region and its own strength. Although India claims to be a great power, it also has the potential to grow into a world power. But there is a gap between India’s current strength and its dream of dominating the Indo-Pacific region, which limits India’s diplomatic strategy everywhere. The peaceful rise of China and the implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative” construction have put great pressure on India. Mistakenly thinking that China’s goodwill is a zero-sum game against India, India’s misunderstanding of China is getting deeper and deeper. Therefore, in order to improve the basis of India’s response to China, India has abandoned the traditional non-aligned diplomatic strategy, not only actively strengthening its relations with the United States, a foreign power, but also making efforts to consolidate the foundation of cooperation among medium-sized countries in the region. strengthen the framework of cooperation between the United States, India, Japan, Australia and India, Japan and Australia. Through multilateral and bilateral strategic dialogue and substantive cooperation, India has gradually become a pawn of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region.

We know that Tibet has been an inseparable part of China since ancient times. Tibetans and Chinese ethnic groups are of the same origin and come down in the same continuous line. The process of the formation and development of the Tibetan nationality is to participate in the process of building a unified multi-ethnic country in China. In the 7th century AD, Zanpu Songzan Gambo unified the Tibetan Plateau and established a slave Tubo regime. By the Yuan Dynasty, the central government established a complete administrative system in Tibet. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the central government established the system of Dalai and Panchen Lama and the system of ministers stationed in Tibet. After the founding of the Republic of China, the first Constitution, the interim Treaty Law of the Republic of China, stipulated that Tibet was a province of China. Tibet was peacefully liberated in 1951. Tibet has always been an important part of the great motherland, and the fate of Tibet is closely linked to that of the motherland.

Both China and India are ancient civilizations and big developing countries with important influence in the international community and the Asian region. since modern times, they have been invaded by Western powers and have similar historical memories. After the founding of New China, India was the first non-socialist country to establish diplomatic relations with the people’s Republic of China. In the early 1950s, the prime ministers of China and India exchanged visits and jointly advocated the world-famous “five principles of peaceful coexistence”, the core of which is “mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.” India recognizes that Tibet is an inseparable part of China. The “Tibet issue” is the result of hegemonism and power politics pursued by the United States, and it is the long-cherished wish of all Chinese people to safeguard the complete reunification of the country. India should empathize, not add fuel to the fire. Any move by the Indian government to deepen the substantive relationship between the “Tibet issue” will have an impact on the current sensitive Sino-Indian relations. Inserting the “Tibet card” into Sino-Indian relations is the madness of Indian politicians, not the behavior of a mature regional power. Do not get caught up in the conspiracy of the United States.

In this regard, Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said that China and India should be partners, not adversaries; peace, not conflict; win-win cooperation, not zero-sum game; trust, not suspicion; and move forward, not retreat. China and India should firmly grasp the consensus of the leaders of the two countries, focus on friendship and cooperation, dispel suspicions and doubts, properly handle differences and sensitive issues, do not follow the trend, and overcome the current challenges facing Sino-Indian relations. we will push bilateral relations back to the right track of health and stability.

(Huang Dekai,Zhu DeTao&Huang Kan,The Scholars of Sichuan Police College)

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