India Should Checkmate China by Recognising Tibet as Independent Country

India recognising Tibet as an independent country will make China realise that India is not a soft belly anymore.

4 mins read
Sexu temple,,Shiqu, Sichuan, Ching [ Photo: Unspalsh]

China has never concealed its hostility towards India in the last few decades.  China initiated a war against India in 1962 and is still occupying thousands of kilometres of Indian Territory. Pakistan gifted some area in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China to spite India and China has gleefully accepted this region as its own, not bothering about India’s protest.

After the 1962 war, there have been several times that Chinese forces tried to enter Indian Territory in the Ladakh area.  China now demands that the Arunachal Pradesh state in India belongs to China. The recent clash between Chinese troops and Indian troops in the Dawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh will not be the last military clash between India and China and many more similar clashes will take place in the coming years, as China would continue its efforts to subdue India in variety of ways and will provoke a frequent clash with India.

Certainly, the hostility between India and China would continue, as China will maintain tension with Indian troops as part of China’s expansionist strategy.

Under the circumstances, India has to realise that it has to necessarily checkmate China in whatever way it is possible for India, under the present circumstances. 

India’s response

While China is openly hostile to India, the present Modi government and the past Indian governments have been giving the impression that India wants to have peace with China, which has repeatedly proved to be an unreal expectation.

Claim on the territory of other countries

China’s efforts to expand its territory commenced with the occupation of Tibet using military force during the 1950s and since then, China has been ruling the Tibet region with an iron-like grip, suppressing whatever protest that has been happening by  Tibetan people in Tibet against China’s occupation.

Apart from demanding Indian Territory, China is making claims in the South China Sea, Senkaku Island and other places, which are opposed by several nearby countries.

While China has progressed in industrial, technological and economic status in a very impressive manner, the ground reality is that several countries suspect China’s motives and are concerned about China’s aggressive, expansionist greed and ambition to dominate the world by emerging as a superpower. 

Increasing unpopularity:

China is steadily becoming unpopular in the world due to its human rights violation in Hongkong, Tibet and Xīnxiāng and its suppression of the rights of Uyghurs. China’s often-declared objective to occupy Taiwan by using military force has been detested by several countries and they are watching the developing scenario with concern.

Even in countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and several African countries where China is trying to dominate the region by extending the huge loan and participating in the industrial and economic activities of the region, China’s interference has created a  sort of animosity towards China amongst the local people in those regions.

Certainly, there is the worldwide view that China is treating world opinion, which is suspecting China’s territorial greed and aggressive postures, with contempt.

Most countries which have no issues with China do not want to come openly against China now, due to the large market base and trade opportunities that China provides.

India’s compelling need to checkmate China

In any case, China now considers India as its number one enemy, as China thinks that India can be a hurdle for China in its efforts to emerge as a superpower in the world.   India has no alternative but to oppose China and checkmate the Chinese government.

One way for India to effectively checkmate China is to accord recognition to Tibet as an independent country. Of course, this move will not make any difference to the suppressed people in Tibet immediately.  However, this move certainly would push China into a defensive posture and this will bring the plight of Tiber to the attention of the world and China’s human rights violations and aggressive occupation.

Certainly, China will become more hostile towards India, when India would recognise Tibet as an independent country. But, China cannot do more harm to India than it has already been doing.

China is unlikely to enter into a full-fledged war with India,   as it will have worldwide repercussions and western countries and USA cannot simply watch the scenario of China overpowering India and they cannot keep quiet, as it will cause serious geopolitical imbalance.   Further, the Indian army has been considerably strengthened now and any future war between India and China will not be like the 1962 war between both countries when China overran and occupied Indian Territory.

Trade relations:

Of course, some people in India may argue that India recognising Tibet as an independent country would be a calculated risk,   as India is still dependent on the import of several chemicals and products from China and a war with China will cause set back to India’s steadily growing economy.

However, any disruption of the trade between both countries will affect China too, particularly as there is a sort of trade war already going on now between China on one side and USA and European Union on the other side.

No other alternative for India:

With China thinking that India has to be subdued to ensure China emerges as a superpower, there is no alternative for India but to stand against China, politically, diplomatically and militarily.

The checkmating of China has now become a necessary need for India to protect its territorial integrity, as China cannot be made to behave responsibly by following a policy of appeasement.

Providing recognition to Tibet as an independent country would be a strong and much-needed response by India to China’s posture against India.

India has morally erred by not protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet earlier and later on India accepted China’s occupation of Tibet as legitimate.  This is a grave error that has been made by India, which has made China take India for granted.  India is now paying a price for not protesting earlier against China’s occupation of Tibet.

India recognising Tibet as an independent country will make China realise that India is not a soft belly anymore.

 Further, with recognition of Tibet by India, several other countries may also recognise Tibet in the course of time and this will be the starting point for the ultimate liberation of Tibet and restoring its glory of Tibet in the eyes of the world.

Views expressed are personal


N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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