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Chinese President’s Visit To India: Trade, Border Incursion, Protests, And More

Posted on September 19, 2014 in Politics

By Rahul Maganti:

On Thursday, the second day of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping’s visit to India, markets rose the most in over 3 months with Sensex jumping 481 points to 27,112.21 and Nifty soaring over 139 points to 8,114.75. It isn’t difficult to understand why the Sensex is cheering the business community over renewed Indo-China ties which are expected to take off in this visit, where 12 pacts have already been signed between the Heads of both the countries, accounting to $20 Billion in the next 5 years.

Chinese president in India

China, which has huge foreign reserves, is keen to dump them in India because the growing ‘Indian Market’ is huge in-terms of demand, and it is bound to give them huge profits according to the economies of scale principle. India, on the other hand, is keen, or rather desperate, to convince China to invest in Indian infrastructure and a pact on Railways has been signed to that effect. The Modi Govt. has been very keen on FII and FDI in the country’s infrastructure, as his recent trip to Japan, which attracted $50 Billion in investment, also proves. All of this is happening when the Chinese are restricting Indian companies in their market, while we are opening up to them with the expectations of investment in Infrastructure, Railways and Manufacturing Sector.

This is precisely the reason why the Indian Govt. has gone out of its way to accord a red carpet to the Chinese President. On the other hand, China has always used the economic and trade leverage it has to accentuate its border policy, especially with India, and to crush human rights movements in its own country and also across its partner countries. Michael D Swaine, in a recent paper, explains, “As a way of handling these disputes at the broadest and indirect level, some analysts point to the above-outlined Chinese intent to create across the periphery a web of economic and political interests favouring China. According to such sources, these developments will reduce the incentives of other countries to continue to ‘make trouble for China over sensitive issues such as disputed territory’.” At a time when the Chinese President is here, the Chinese troops have made a half kilometre incursion into the Indian territory, taking advantage of the economic power, which India will have a tough time dealing with as it is desperate for their investments.

India has done exactly the same in the past few days. The BJP, which was very vocal about the border issues and the Free Tibet movement when it was in opposition, is playing a silent observer and denying the basic right to protest to the Tibetan activists. India has failed to safeguard the right to association and peaceful demonstration of its own citizens. In fact, it went to the extent of detaining over 50 Tibetan students in Ahmedabad on the pretext of attempts of self-immolation by the protesters. The next day, when both the Heads of the state met in Hyderabad House in New Delhi, democratic rights were violated again when the police lathicharged and clashed with the peaceful protesters. Some of them are still detained.

Another shameful controversy which marked the visit of Xi Jinping is that the North East Indians in the Hostel Hyatt and AlphaOne Mall, the place where he stayed in Ahmedabad, were asked by the police officials to keep away from the avenue. Sources say, rather obviously, that they don’t want any dissent from Tibetans at the last moment. What have north-East Indians got to do with Tibetans? That is the question which either the police or the management failed to answer. One probable reason might be that the police might have taken the steps to avoid mistaking north-easterners as Tibetans. If this is true, it is a shameful and outrageous act. This will amount to racial and regional discrimination at a time when the anti-racial law is doing rounds in the power corridors in New Delhi. India has reached a situation where its internal security inefficiency has to be covered up by dividing people and discriminating them on the basis of region. North-East Indians are as much Indian as each one of us is. If we continue discriminating them since they don’t look like an ‘Indian’ or look like ‘Tibetans’ and ‘Chinese’, it only means that we have spiralled into a more backward and primitive society than at the time of death of Nido Tania in New Delhi, who was beaten to death in a case of racial violence. When it comes to pleasing our foreign guests, we bend over backwards. Who cares about fundamental and human rights?