Let China change approach to India if it wants us to accept Chinese products

Dogs, wolves, jackals, coyotes all bark usually because of excitement, fear or in frustration. But when China’s Xinhua says that India generally “barks” about trade imbalance, it actually amounts to China barking in frustration. Since all media in China is state controlled and state directed, the arrogance and conceit displayed in their media reflects the bigoted stance of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Government. During Prime Minister Modi’s last visit to China, an oped in China’s Global Times (CCP’s official mouthpiece) stated, "Due to the Indian elite's confidence in their democracy, and the inferiority of its ordinary people, few Indians are able to treat Sino-Indian ties accurately, objectively and rationally."

Notice the idiotic reference to Indians as “inferiority of its ordinary people” as if the Chinese were fathered by some superlative aliens — which may well be the misconception considering President Xi Jinping’s recent statement that the moon has proved to be an “inescapable part of China” due to an ancient marriage between Chinese Princess Wen Cheng and an ancient ruler based on the moon during the 7th Century, albeit Jinping didn’t elaborate which moon considering scientists have discovered 1500 galaxies or whether Wen Cheng betrothed alien kings of all the moons.

 Let China change approach to India if it wants us to accept Chinese products

Representational image. AFP

But getting back to the “bark” of Xinhua, the frustration is writ large because the same Indian population referred to as “inferiority of its ordinary people” has delivered a solid kick to China from totally unexpected quarters – shunning Chinese goods, and this is just the beginning. There is no government directive to not buy Chinese goods but the Indian population is wise enough to understand that by abetting Pakistani terrorism, China herself has become a terrorist state. Indian businessmen see no reason to stock Chinese products even if they are cheaper and one ignores the low grade stuff dumped in India. Signs of shops displaying “we don’t sell Chinese products” are on social media. As per some estimates, sale of Chinese products in last quarter in India have gone down by up to 20 percent. Chinese firecrackers during the festival of Diwali during 2015 were shunned anyway because of their highly toxic emissions, which should be the norm this year too. In fact, the government should consider releasing a white paper giving details of Indian small-scale industries that have been forced to shut down over the years on account of Chinese goods dumped in India.

India has no issue with the Chinese population but why should we buy Chinese products when China is abetting Pakistan’s proxy war on India and in fact uses Pakistani proxies to hurt India in accordance with her ancient strategy to 'kill with a borrowed knife”; the knife being Pakistan. It is not the recent discovery of Chinese and Pakistani flags in Baramula alone but the China-Pakistan sub-conventional nexus dates back to 1960s when Chou-en-Lai advised Ayub Khan that Pakistan should prepare for prolonged conflict with India instead of short-term wars. He advised Pakistan to raise a Militia Force to act behind enemy (Indian) lines. In 1966, when a Pakistani delegation went to Beijing and was met by Chou en Lai, latter while discussing India raised his clenched fist and said, “This is capable of delivering a forceful blow, but if you cut off one finger, the fist loses its power, not by one-fifth, but by fifty percent. If you wipe out a couple of hundred thousand of the enemy spread over a long front, its impact is not as great as wiping out an entire battalion or a brigade – the enemy’s morale is dealt a devastating blow. We know this from practical experience.” Witness the shamelessness with which China is protecting JeM chief Azhar Masood at the UN despite his role in numerous terrorist attacks in India. Besides, the United Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) report released in July 2016 has specifically highlighted both JeM and LeT involved in terrorist acts in Afghanistan.

Review recent Pakistan sponsored terror attacks in India and Afghanistan and it can easily be concluded that their intensity and periodicity have gone up with Chinese entry into POK and commencement of development of the CPEC. Intelligence reports have been indicating that China is funding terrorists in J&K. And, why would China not be coordinating terrorist attacks in India and Afghanistan in conjunction Pakistan? Earlier British sources had contended Chinese specialists were training Taliban fighters in the use of infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles, which was supported by a 13 May, 2008 classified US document released by WikiLeaks. Also, Aviation Week of 23 December 2010 reported Chinese military personnel were advising Pakistani Taliban how to fight the NATO led ISAF. The China-Pakistan sub-conventional nexus keeps Kashmir Valley on the boil and advances Pakistan’s strategic depth in Afghanistan. Pakistani Generals have bartered their country’s sovereignty to China by permitting China develop her Super Strategic Highway to the Indian Ocean under the euphuism of CPEC, the adverse effects of which will be felt by the Pakistani public in years to follow. Already rumblings in Pakistan refer to the CPEC as another ‘East India Company’ but more is to follow with China bidding to buy 40% stakes in Pakistan’s stock exchange. It appears the 2012 prophesy by former Pakistani officer and defence analyst Agha H Amin was bang on wherein he said, “There is no doubt that Pakistan will be a semi autonomous Chinese province by 2030 or so… Pakistani Baluchistan by 2030 would be a completely Chinese run show”.

China is the largest economy in terms of PPP, second largest GDP and third largest investor in the world. She has reserves of over $3 trillion and contributes to some 30% plus of world trade. But at the same time China’s debt in 2015 was 254 percent of her GDP, there was 30% increase in protests by workers across China last year, and unemployment rate amongst graduates in China too is 30%. That is why the efforts of OBOR, CPEC, MST etc for which ready governmental finances are hard to find. China’s comprehensive national power (CNP) but 54% of her defence budget dedicated to internal threats is part of her infirmities. Ironically, increase in CNP has revived China’s ancient mindset rooted in her historical ‘Tian Xia’ (under the Heaven) concept which traditionally views “all territories” as belonging to the Chinese and due to which, they attach no sense to territory. That is why they have no compunctions about claiming 90,000 sq kms of Arunachal Pradesh on sudden impulse, arbitrarily extend her EEZ with no regard to her neigbours or print new world map showing Hawaii and most Micronesia as Chinese territory.

To bring China to her senses the only way is what the Indian public has begun to do — stop buying Chinese products. The effect is more since China is fully aware that the Indian middle class is heading towards the greatest expansion in the world, with attenuated purchasing power, while the Chinese population grows old. Sure we need about $2 trillion investment to expand our economy and China is welcome to invest, and it will, considering the impediments she will face in OBOR, CPEC, MST because of the geopolitical competition. Indians should desist buying Chinese products with alternative availability of products that are indigenous, Japanese, South Korean, Taiwanese etc. Let China change her stance towards India if she wants the Indian population to accept Chinese products. The world could take a cue from the Indian population.

The author is veteran Lt General of the Indian Army.

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Updated Date: Oct 21, 2016 12:47:55 IST