Pakistan had generously gifted 5180 sq.km. of land in POK [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir] to China in 1963. Now it seems to be gifting away Gilgit-Baltistan, another part of POK, to China.
Pakistan is unable to manage its natural disasters or control its own terrorists and hence it needs China’s help. China is more than ready to help because, under the guise of helping Pakistan, it can establish military bases close to India.
Both Pakistan and China have denied vehemently the New York Times report about the Chinese military take-over of Gilgit-Baltistan. But history tells many stories about Chinese betrayals of India. Pakistan is another neighbour that can never be trusted. As Atal Bihari Vajpayee said famously, “A country cannot choose its neighbours.” India is ill-fated to have these two sinister neighbours.
When Chou En-lai was on a visit to India in 1956, his countrymen were constructing a road across Aksai Chin in India without India’s knowledge. Though both Jawaharlal Nehru and his sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit were in awe of Chou En-lai as well as Mao Zedong, China betrayed India and captured Aksai Chin in 1962.
India has always tried to build up friendly relationships with China right from the time of Nehru. In Dec 2007, there was a combined military exercise in Yunnan, south-west of China, in which about 200 Indian soldiers and military officers took part. A year later India hosted a similar exercise in Belgaum (Karnataka) which brought 130 Chinese soldiers into Indian soil. Subsequently Gen. J. J. Singh visited China.
In spite of such exercises, recently China refused to let Lt. Gen. B. S. Jaswal visit the country on official duty. The reason for China’s objection to his visit is that he is in-charge of Kashmir. China does not see Kashmir as part of India. The maps given by China to the journalists from the Western countries show Kashmir lying outside India’s borders. The Kashmiris visiting China are not given the usual visa; there’s a separate visa specially made for them. China has offered time and again to mediate between India and Pakistan vis-a-vis Kashmir, an interference that’s totally unwarranted. And now come the Jaswal issue and the Gilgit-Baltistan issue.
The Karakoram highway linking China with Islamabad passes through POK. There is always the Chinese military presence along the highway in the name of maintaining it. The Gwadar port in Pakistan was constructed by China. Chinese products can be brought to the port by the Karakoram highway and then exported to the West by ships. In return for constructing the port, Pakistan allows Chinese naval ships to anchor in Gwadar. Both the Karakoram highway and the Gwadar port pose serious security threats to India.
In 2009 China conducted a military exercise called Strides in Tibet. 50,000 soldiers were brought by planes for this. What China proved was what is known in military terms as ‘strategic air-lift capability.’ China showed that it could rush tens of thousands of soldiers by air to Tibet in case of a war with neighbours (read India). There are 9 Chinese military bases in Tibet where a variety of non-nuclear missiles stand poised to take off at any time.
The Arunachal border is also under siege. The Qinghai-Tibet railway line that became operational in 2009 can bring large numbers of soldiers and their arsenal quickly to the Indo-China border. China has claimed more than once that Arunachal was its part. In 2007, when 107 civil service officers were to visit China on an official delegation, China provided visa to 106 of them saying that the remaining one, being an Arunachali, did not require a visa to visit China. Just before President Hu Jintao visited India in Nov 2006, China’s ambassador to India declared that Arunachal was a part of China. Later when Dr Manmohan Singh and the Dalai Lama visited Arunachal, China mouthed protests.
For a few years before the 2008 Olympics China had successfully resisted its expansionist temptations. It did not want to attract adverse international attention until the Olympics was over. Now the vicious fangs and claws of the dragon are showing themselves, it seems.
Related post of mine: Imperialism Made in China