Pragmatism, not jingoism will help India deal with China

News: The Ladakh conflict opened up the discussion on India China border issue. The government maintains that ‘no Indian territory has been occupied by China’. But the satellite imagery, expert views suggest Chinese encroachment on Indian land.

Read here: Infrastructure power play at the India China border

India’s defeat in the Sino-India war of 1962 and later skirmishes between India and China led to huge mistrust. Yet, the disputed boundary remains undemarcated and unmarked for 60 long years.

What are the concerns for India?

Efforts by politicians and diplomats to de-link the border issue from the rest of the Sino-Indian relationship appear to be a negligent attitude to resolve LAC.
Freshly built Chinese enclaves and renamed towns located in Arunachal is a matter of concern. Indian troops are unable to access previously patrolling points in Ladakh.

Read here: Possible evidence of China’s “Cyber Warfare” against India

Chinese old tactics of salami-slicing territory and disdain for International laws should be taken as matters of serious concern, and India shouldn’t be complacent in hoping to resolve the dispute with time.

What should be the way forward?

First, India can learn from the past and follow the “quid pro quo” proposed by Zhou Enlai. He proposed China would recognise the McMahon Line in exchange for India making certain adjustments in the west.

Second, India can put sustained pressure on China on diplomatic, trade, and psychological fronts and awaits results.

Read here: Go cold on China: India right to diplomatically boycott Winter Games

Third, India could threaten China’s Indian Ocean sea lanes via trade war. India’s strategic presence near the Strait of Malacca could be utilized in this regard. The last way out could be to maintain the status quo and engage in sustained military/diplomatic parleys for a positive outcome.

A pragmatic stand to settle international borders peacefully could make India focus further on its nation-building and socio-economic development.

Source: This source is based on the article “Pragmatism, not jingoism will help India deal with China” published in the Indian Express on 14th February 2022.

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