Beijing won’t make concessions to India in border dispute: Chinese expert
Renaming of six places by China in Arunachal Pradesh was not in retaliation for the Dalai Lama’s visit to the state, but a way to convey Beijing’s resoluteness in not making any concessions to New Delhi in border talks, a Chinese expert has said.
Long Xingchun, Director at the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, said Beijing was magnanimous in not retaliating against New Delhi’s provocations by arranging the Tibetan spiritual leader’s repeated visits to Arunachal Pradesh.
He also said some “radical” Indians were naive in thinking that New Delhi could out-do Beijing in armed clashes.
In fact, Long said, India, which had more advantages in the 1962 war with China, should learn from its “erroneous strategic judgements”.
“Indian media outlets believe the move (renaming of six towns in Arunachal Pradesh) is China’s revenge against the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed region on the China-India border. The standardisation of names demonstrates China is less likely to make concessions in border negotiations with India.” Long wrote in the state-run Global Times daily.
“New Delhi has arranged the Dalai Lama to visit the disputed area several times, attempting to strengthen control over South Tibet. Beijing, for the sake of friendly ties with New Delhi, only lodged diplomatic representations rather than taking retaliatory measures against India’s provocations.”
Beijing calls the spiritual leader as a secessionist and claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet.
China and India fought a brief war in 1962 over the region in which the latter was defeated.
“Border disputes are core conflicts between Beijing and New Delhi. The 1962 Sino-Indian border clashes turned the friendly bilateral relationship into a confrontation.”
“Since the mechanism of the Special Representatives’ Meeting for the China-India Boundary Question was established in 2003, China and India have held 19 rounds of border talks. Both sides have kept border disputes under control and prevented them from impacting their diplomatic bilateral ties.
“The two countries should exercise restraint on border disputes so as to maintain peace and tranquility, and in the meantime, create favourable conditions for negotiations.”
“Some radical Indians believe India’s military strength has seen rapid growth and are eager to triumph over China in potential armed clashes. In fact, India had more advantages in 1962, and it should learn from its erroneous strategic judgments and carefully evaluate the current international situation.” Long added.
Long admitted the issues of India’s clamouring for a berth in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and branding Pakistani militant Masood Azhar as an international terrorist were two “friction points” between New Delhi and Beijing.
Last year, China rejected New Delhi’s application to enter the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group and put a technical hold on its resolution against Azhar, who India calls a chief plotter of attack on its army base.
“The two events have triggered anti-China protests in India. The Indian government allowed and even encouraged its public to boycott Chinese goods, and has arranged the Dalai Lama’s visit to South Tibet as a reprisal against Beijing.”
“In fact, the Chinese government attaches great importance to its relationship with India. Beijing wants to work together with New Delhi to keep the conflicts under control, stabilise the bilateral relations, enhance economic cooperation and encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in India.”
“These are beneficial to Modi’s ‘Made in India’ ambition and the country’s economic development,” Long added.