Forthcoming visit of Mr Narendra Modi in May 2015compels us to think about various aspects of our relations with China and their response.
Ahead of the visit, there appears to be an accelerated effort to sort the border issues to ultimately project the visit as successful. What has been a contentious issue since more than half a century should not be rushed through just for PR . The mutual mistrust has its roots in the opium wars – a legacy of British days.
The posture adopted by the Chinese does not raise confidence regarding possibility of a lasting solution in the immediate future. Chinese officials are frequently claiming Arunchal Pradesh as theirs. Is this negotiable ?
Is any government authorized to negotiate and give away a part of the nation ? After all, any government is elected only for a period of five years.
Artificial islands are being created by the Chinese in South China Sea by dumping sand on coral reefs. Reclamation of land in area being claimed by different countries does not help raise confidence in the Chinese when it comes to negotiation on the contentious Indo-China border demarcation.
China is now third largest exporter of Arms after USA and Russia. Their market share has risen from 3% to 5% in the period 2009-2014.
It is reported that Pakistan is in the process to close a deal of US$ 5 billion to buy eight submarines from China. This is going to be China's largest overseas arms sale.
Activity in Nepal
The Chinese have announced intentions of making tunnels through the Himalyas to establish railway link with Nepal. They have every intention of doing this. Strategically, this would be a disaster for India.
They have already built railway line upto Xigaze- barely 200 kms from Sikkim. Construction on another railway line is being established from Lhasa to Nyingchi- 170 kms from Arunachal. This is a seven year project over inhospitable territory costing US $ 6 billions.
Considering above we need to ask- is it required of PM Narendra Modi to visit China ? What do we stand to gain or lose ?
If yes, this author would once again repeat- fly from Arunachal to Beijing, Mr Modi !