Spotlight: What's behind India's illegal trespassing into China?
by Xia Yuanyi
BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — Chinese border troops have alwaysbeen committed to upholding peace and tranquility of theChina-India border areas, said a Chinese foreign ministryspokesperson Wednesday in response to India’s trespassing into theDong Lang (Doklam) region on June 18.
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying also urged India to abide by currentagreements and treaties.
However, up until now, India has not withdrawn its troops andequipment that have encroached into Chinese territory.
OLD BAG OF TRICKS
Doklam is described as a disputed territory by New Delhi, whichis simply untrue.
The Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating toSikkim and Tibet signed by both countries in 1890 delimited theboundary between the Tibet region of China and the Indian state ofSikkim, which confirmed Doklam is Chinese territory. SuccessiveIndian governments have acknowledged the demarcation.
However, it is not really hard to understand why India hasabandoned its previous position. India is again using its old bagof tricks.
“Indians have convinced themselves that if they declare a tractof territory to be Indian, it becomes Indian, which is nonsense,”said Neville Maxwell, an Australian journalist who was on theground for the British Daily The Times at the time of theSino-Indian border conflict in 1962.
Maxwell, in an interview with Xinhua, said India hasunilaterally claimed sovereignty over pieces of land along itsnortheastern borders, and now Doklam is next.
India has attempted to justify its incursion on the pretext of”protecting Bhutan,” arguing that Doklam is Bhutaneseterritory.
The fact is that the Bhutanese authorities have clearly toldChinese officials that Doklam is not Bhutan’s territory andexpressed confusion by India’s actions.
As a third party, India has no right to interfere in or impedeboundary talks between China and Bhutan, nor does it have the rightto make territorial claims on Bhutan’s behalf.
India’s intrusion into Chinese territory under the pretext ofprotecting Bhutan has not only violated China’s territorialsovereignty, but also challenged Bhutan’s independence.
Obviously, India is not only trying to change the status quo butalso misrepresent the truth for its own unspoken intentions.
Wang Jiangyu, an associate professor of law at NationalUniversity of Singapore, said India is pursuing a hegemony strategyin the region, provoking complaints from smaller countries in SouthAsia, which won’t dare voice their anger, fearing retaliation fromIndia.
According to Vassily Kashin, a senior research fellow atRussia’s National Research University, India’s illegal trespassinginto Chinese territory serves two purposes.
First, India is struggling to emerge from the shadow of China, arising power to its north. The professor said the rapid pace ofmany Chinese projects throughout Asia, in particular the Belt andRoad Initiative, has triggered concern of China’s regional andglobal influence. India wrongly believes China has invaded itstraditional region of influence.
Second, India hopes to maintain its stronghold in the region,Kashin said. Therefore, it needs to hide its anxiety in the face ofChina’s rise and prove itself with resolute action. That partlyexplains why Indian troops recklessly trespassed into Doklam.
The aim of concocting territorial disputes is to flex itsmuscles against its smaller neighbors, including Bhutan, Nepal, SriLanka and Bangladesh, countries where China’s presence has grown inrecent years.
The Chinese have long abided by the wisdom of the ancientphilosopher Confucius, who said that anyone looking to help himselfshall also help others. Unfortunately, India has chosen instead tohurt, not help, its neighbors. Enditem