SHEEMA ZEHRA: The Himalayas have suffered great loss over the last few months with blood from both countries, India and China shattered all over it. On 15 June, 2020 diplomatic talks were held between the two nations but ended up with the killing of 20 Indian soldiers the very next day, i.e., June 16. 10 arrests were also made of those who were freed after a few days. On the other hand, India claims 40 deaths of soldiers from PLA but no confirmation has been made from the China side. Different opinions on concealing the truth from China have been laid down and one of them is the degradation of Chinese image, the obvious one.
China India relations are counted from the year 1947 when India became a new nation with a longing for development and China was opposite to it, a strong and powerful communist nation. This indifference and a new start of India as a nation gave rise to the Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. 1954 was the year of Panchsheel agreement between the both countries but all didn’t end up well. In October 1950, China backstabbed India, crossed Sino-Tibetan border and marched towards Lhasa claiming 40000 sq kilometers of Indian Territory in Ladakh and north east including Arunachal Pradesh to be their part. In April 2013 China intruded the Depsang bulge in Ladakh and entered 19km inside the LAC, in September 2014 China invaded Chumar sector of Ladakh while entering 2km inside the LAC and in Jan 2015 major standoff took place.
According to studies, Ladakh, also known as little Tibet, was the trading route to Tibet but was never a part of it and the Galwan valley who has been captured by China this month was named after Rasul Galwan, a Kashmiri who explored it in 1895. However, China claims for Ladakh to be a part of it and thus has been worried over it since the changes in the constitution and bifurcation of J&K China in August last year.
Later in 1959, Dalai Lama escaped Lhasa, Tibet and took asylum in Uttarakhand of India. The topic of Lammas has always provoked China and thus became one of the reasons for the war of 1962. Another main reason, the claim of China over Aksai Chin led to the war of which October and November were witnessed as critical time periods in the Himalayas. In 2000, Karmapa lama also fled to china and joined Dalai Lama at Dharamshala resulting in the violation at the border since China already mentions that those of the friends of Lammas are the enemies of China.
In January 2009, Manmohan visited China as bilateral trade of $50 billion and China became the largest trading partner of India. The trade no doubt is going well as China accounts for 5% of India’s exports and 14% of India’s imports and the hashtag boycott China goods may thus go completely wrong. Over the growing tension at border visuals from different parts of the country crossed through the social media where people were seen smashing and breaking the Chinese products knowing less about its effect on the economy.
Nevertheless, the government of India has banned 59 Chinese applications earlier this week under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 read with the Blocking Rules, 2009. The Press India Bureau has called those apps “malicious” and charged them for transmission of information outside the country. However, the owners have rejected the claim. 58 Chinese apps have now been removed from Play store as well as App store including SHAREit, UC Browser, Mi Community and others. Mi community is an app for the Mi phone which is used by 400 million people in India. TikTok app has gone offline and stopped working completely for users in India.
According to the reports India accounts for 0.03% of TikTok’s global revenue which means no impact of ban on the economy of China. Also the time of banning the app proves something else other than the security; the timing judges the action on political bases taking the clashes between India and China in account.
Recently, the China-made Vivo phone got sold within minutes of its availability on the market. This clearly shows how the trade of equivalents is being continued on huge grounds. This puts a question on the government of using ban as a tool of political win.
On the other side China exempted 97% tax to Bangladesh which makes it more closer to China than its strong ally, India. Also the NRC (National Register of Citizens and CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) last year has proven fatal for the relations between India and Bangladesh.
Recent report of The Hindu shows that the continuous efforts of India to isolate Pakistan from the rest of the world are of no avail but in contrast India is not able to gain its leading position in SAARC and the present situation may make it more difficult for India. The rioting relations with Bangladesh due to the issue of refugees, the anti-Pakistani claims of India and the wide spread Islamophobia is influencing the foreign policies in undesirable ways.
The Prime Minister and his Ministers are signally for an independent India where they state to end India’s dependence on imports. But deep down the already decaying economy cannot tolerate the cut off of trade from the rest of the world which can also pull down the integration of the South Asian economy with India. Despite the improvisation of the economy our Prime Minister is worried about being “Aadmi Nirbhar”, self sufficient.
On July 3, Prime Minister Nadendra Modi took off for Nimu, Ladakh to examine the situation. He addressed the soldiers about the issue and boosted their morale while uplifting them towards the “Aatmi Nirbhar Bharat”. The visit of Modi to soldiers and the whole reaction of Modi government against the intrusion seem to be unlike its surgical strikes to Pakistan at Uri or in case of Pulwama Attack.
Nonetheless, the visit of Modi was seen as an important step to crush the spirits of china but later the photographs of the hospital explored to be the auditorium and the criticism about it has left many to doubt the security and safety of the nation.