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Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

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Rolling over? India should conduct ties with China from a position of strength

In a turn of events that portrays government as the opposite of the tough image it has been projecting in the international arena, the Tibetan government-in-exile has called off two of its programmes in Delhi marking 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama. While an interfaith prayer at Rajghat has been cancelled, a ‘Thank You India’ event has been shifted to Dharamsala. This comes after reports emerged that foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale had sent a note to cabinet secretary PK Sinha to discourage senior leaders and government officials from attending Tibet-related activities as India-China relations were going through a sensitive phase. Sinha had subsequently sent a directive to this effect to the Centre and states.

 

While it’s true that New Delhi-Beijing ties are in a delicate position after the 73 day Doklam standoff last year and China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean region – an upcoming Chinese base in the Maldives being the latest point of concern – it does India no good to be seen bending to Chinese pressure. Government can argue that its position on the Dalai Lama hasn’t changed. But the cancellation of the Delhi events to avoid Beijing’s displeasure signals weakness on New Delhi’s part.

China, after all, does India no favours. It regularly shields anti-Indian terrorists and thwarts New Delhi in multiple other ways at international fora. It provides limited market access to India while making the most of the Indian market. The only way India can secure its own interests is by standing up to Chinese pressure. Rolling over and restricting Tibetan activities to please Beijing is a recipe for disaster. If this is allowed to become a habit, China will continually play the displeasure card to strategically restrain India.

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