A weekend with positive tiding in India-China relationship is a rare happening. Especially in the chilly period that inexplicably followed a seemingly cordial meeting in November in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the East Asia summit meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao.
Suffice to say, the decision to depute a military delegation to China is a proper one, no matter how an official from Arunachal Pradesh would have invidiously crept into the Indian list for visa in the first instance. India-China military exchanges shouldn’t have been reduced to poker game.
Especially when things are getting to be serious. The United States is hustling India.The defence strategy document released in Washington last week cites India as a security provider for Indian Ocean. Arguably, the rhetoric is all Washington’s.
Maybe, the inexplicably strident speech on China’s militarism by Governor M.K.Narayanan recently in Bangalore describing China as an “aggressive” and expansionist power inspired Barack Obama to insert a provocative statement on India in his document. (According to reports, Obama personally worked on the document.) After all, MKN is President Pratibha Patel’s representative and she is our commander-in-chief, and when he raises the petard of an imminent yellow peril about to swarm India, how can it be pooh-poohed as neocon shibboleth?
Beijing too noted MKN’s speech. At any rate, the statement by Chinese Assistant FM Liu Zhenmin in Beijing yesterday completely neutralises the “MKN effect”.
Now, what do we do? Tricky times lie ahead. How do we vitiate the atmosphere before Chinese president Hu Jintao arrives on Indian soil to attend the BRIC summit? Roll out MKN like a retreaded tyre?
But then, Mamata didi may not allow MKN spare time to venture out of Raj Bhavan — especially if we are going back to old-style politics of the 1970s engineering splits in political parties.
For a moment, though, even if didi allows some respite, China is sure to retaliate against MKN with yet another goodwill statement. And it will then be deuce again. The best thing would be to scuttle the BRIC summit.
– January 9, 2012