Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A commentary on Indo-China relations and Dhola-Sadiya bridge ..

Will India's Dhola-Sadiya bridge fuel peace or confrontation between India and China ?

India's 9.15 km longest Dhola-Sadiya bridge acros the Lohit river, a tributary of the mighty Bhramaputra river, from Dhola in Assam to Sadiya in Arunachal Pradesh, was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the last week of January 2017. The bridge building has caused some displeasure in China. 

Even though construction started in 2010 it took 7 long years to complete after spending more than two thousand crores of rupees, though the initial estimate was about one third that amount. Besides poor project management skills exhibited on the bridge construction, it is also poised to ruffle a few feathers in the political tussle between India and China.   

Looking from the Indian standpoint, the issue is different as when looking from the Chinese viewpoint. Arunachal Pradesh has been a disputed territory between India and China for the past seventy years ever since the British left India. We call Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India, the Chinese call it Eastern Tibet, and that is where the dispute still exists.

China does not show any consideration or respect to global opinion while expanding its territorial claims in the South China sea. Despite global protests, China unilaterally bulldozed all protests and built airstrips on the Spratley Islands and in slowly arming it with fighter planes and naval ships. 

Nobody has any objection to China improving its physical infrastructure within its borders neighbouring India. But this has caused natural discomfort on the Indian side, whether this is going to be a repeat of the 1962 incident when despite pretensions of comraderie and friendship, slogans of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai between Indian and China, it invaded parts of India and annexed it to its side.
China with a known history of looking only at personal interests over its neighbours, thus is a great threat to global peace and harmony. Throughout history if we look carefully, except for the past 300 years China has never had made a larger contribution than India to humanity in terms of culture, economic growth and the like.

China on the other hand behind India in economic and cultural growth, even in terms of education, had a growth of its economy from 1700 AD to 1820, when it became larger than India and then started fading out. 

Under the single party Communist rule, China has had great progress economically making it the largest and most powerful economy of the world. But is it long lived ? Can the interests and aspirations of its citizens for freedom of speech and action be subjugated for long ? It is not long time before its citizens would rebel against the state and try to reaffirm their personal freedom and liberties.

The other view point in this episode, is one whether US is playing behind the scenes to keep India and China apart, they do not have an economic or military alliance that can challenge US hegemony over the world. 

If there is a repeat dispute between India and China over Arunachal Pradesh in the near future, the world can take it for granted that US will keep off the dispute and let the two super powers of the world fight it out between themselves. India and China being aware of this ditching efforts by US, is playing safe. India's foreign policy strategy has been despite US high handed behaviour across the world. 

The next two years for the world and especially for India would be very crucial in that there would be a reassessment of global power equations

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