Good sign

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jan 2018 11:26:56

THE fact that China conceded that some of its workers had crossed into the Indian territory along the International Border in Arunachal Pradesh by mistake and were constructing a road, should be considered a sign for India. When the Indian troops noticed that some Chinese workers had crossed into the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh with road construction equipment and were about to begin operations, they swooped down on them and confiscated their material. They also drove out the Chinese workers, and informed the authorities. When India took up the issue with the Chinese authorities, they agreed that the whole thing was a mistake, thus bringing to end a possible flash-point that could have led to some unnecessary trouble. 

This could be possible because India showed certain firmness and a no-nonsense attitude towards the Chinese transgression. The Indian Army stepped in at the right time and did just the right thing -- of first confiscating the Chinese equipment and material and then to send the Chinese workers off post-haste. The subsequent contact with the Chinese authorities at higher level also did the trick and the Chinese did not seem to have any other route than to accept the mistake. This swift episode should be marked as a smart action by India without allowing any escalation of trouble.

Arunachal Pradesh has been a reason of disturbance between India and China. For reasons that the world fails to understand, China has often claimed that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of its territory. Whenever an Indian official or dignitary or even the Dalai Lama wishes to visit Arunachal Pradesh, China raises its strong objection which is often accompanied with a veiled threat of certain action. Of course, India pays no attention to such overtures and continues its activity in Arunachal Pradesh. However, the Chinese intention has been to keep trouble brewing about Arunachal Pradesh and keep India mentally disturbed.

By now, India has understood the Chinese method and manner and carried on with regular affairs in the North-Eastern State. However, given the Chinese style of keeping the trouble on, India has often kept itself on a high alert militarily and diplomatically. The Chinese also realise that they would always have to face a tough stance by India in Arunachal Pradesh or elsewhere. In the recent times, particularly around the Doka La incident, China has understood the no-nonsense attitude of India.

Around that time, China had stated officially that it would not get engaged in any talks with India on the Doka La issue. However, at a global leaders’ meet, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi sought a meeting with Chinese supremo Mr. Xi Jin Ping and succeeded in engaging him, though for a while. This assertive diplomacy by Mr. Modi at the height of the Doka La face off sent the right signal to the Chinese leadership.

It is obvious that all these events did weigh heavy on the Chinese mind as the latest Arunachal Pradesh overture took place. Obviously, the Chinese did not expect a tough Indian response. They expected that their workers might even begin the work and carry it on swiftly to a sizeable volume. And in that case, India would have found itself rather in a difficult-to-wriggle-out-from condition. The swift and tough Indian response was beyond the Chinese expectation, as a result of which they agreed that the Chinese workers had entered the Indian territory by mistake.

The simply-worded statement by Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat that the “Tuting incident has been resolved” says it all. It is a statement of India’s confidence in its own abilities and also its willingness to go full distance to sort out things. This is no mean an achievement particularly against China.