China talks Money – only Money !

Speaking at the China-India Industrial Cooperation Seminar organized recently by FICCI, Le Yucheng, China’s ambassador to India spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to China, summarizing the visit with three supers: super high-level reception, super friendly atmosphere and super fruitful results; 26 business agreements were signed covering a wide range of areas involving US $22 billion.

He said that China’s newly released strategy of ‘Made in China 2025’, featuring innovation and high-end manufacturing among others, and Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ strategy are compatible and complementary. He outlined three keys to advance mutual industrial cooperation between the two countries: first, infrastructure and manufacturing, infrastructure being the very foundation of connectivity and manufacturing being another important area of cooperation for economic development. He cited railway cooperation wherein China has provided heavy haul transportation training to more than 100 Indian engineers, setting up a railway ministry jointly is under discussion, speed raising of Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore railway and redevelopment of railway stations are underway, feasibility study of the 1754 km high speed rail from Delhi to Chennai has commenced, besides joint work is also on for smart city projects; second, the key focus of China-India industrial cooperation is at the local level, as this is where the greatest potential lies; sub-national cooperation is an effective way to tap into the full potential of different regions.

Already there are eight sister cities and two sister states between China and India and a regional cooperation forum has been established. Already Indian and Chinese companies are investing in each other’s county, and; third, the key driver of China-India industrial cooperation is the business community a new a new wave of business cooperation between the two countries with many success stories is being witnessed. Among the many investments, Alibaba will invest US$500 million in Paytm. Yucheng referred to the Indian media catch words “Chindia” and “Made in Chindia”, saying this shows that China-India industrial cooperation is the trend of the times and the wish of the people, signaling the China-India industrial cooperation is not just a mere concept, but a reality now. There is no doubt that the China-India relationship has been developing it steadily, catching up pace since Prime Minister Modi took office albeit the bilateral trade balance continues to heavily favour China. But the worrying feature is that China wants to talk business and money – only money while refusing to address India’s strategic and national security concerns deliberately manner.

Le Yucheng spoke a lot about PM Modi’s visit to China but never spoke about PM Modi emphasizing that China should define the LAC and the border issue needs to be resolved in expeditious manner. Despite several rounds of boundary talks, China has shown no inclination she wants to resolve the border issue. The fact that China has not resolved her border only with two countries, India and Bhutan, coupled with her aggressive posture astride the Himalayas only indicates her nefarious designs. Then you have the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor coming through Indian Territory of POK that China cunningly justifies on pretext of “livelihood” for the region even while digging missile silos, mixed with hydel projects, to support her future operations in the IOR – all this while simultaneously warning India not to assist Vietnam in oil exploration because she has claims in South China Sea based on a sketch of the Kuomintang regime that the CCP overthrew in 1949 to seize power through a bloody revolution.

But what has been most distrustful and mischievous of China has been her support to Pakistan’s anti-India jihad, which now has taken the shape of a full blown sub-conventional China-Pakistan nexus to destabilize India. With her highly illegal and mischievous claim to Arunachal Pradesh sprung up as late as 2005, China has been stoking the internal fires in India by arming and assisting the ULFA, PLA of Manipur and the Maoists. The latest undercutting of India’s security interests has been the Chinese intelligence engineering the NSCN (K) abrogating its 14 year old ceasefire in March 2015(during PM Modi’s visit to China and orchestrating the United Liberation Front of WSEA in April 2015, latter undertaking the deadly ambush on an army convoy in Manipur on June 4 while PM Modi was visiting Bangladesh. But now with her action of blocking India’s move in the UN for action against Pakistan for the release of 26/11 mastermind Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi from jail last month, China has bared her fangs again. The UN Sanctions Committee, which met at India’s request, was to seek a clarification from Pakistan on Lakhvi’s release in the 26/11 trial but China blocked the move on grounds that India did not provide sufficient information. 

Lakhvi’s release was flashed over the international media and he was rearrested after vehement protests by India, so what proof is China talking about? In fact, Lakhvi’s release was viewed with concern in US, Russia, France and Germany. Washington has demanded his re-arrest. India’s permanent representative to the UN, Asoke Mukherjee, had written to the UN’s Sanctions’ Committee terming Lakhvi’s release a violation of a UN resolution on terrorist organizations and groups, including the al Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), wherever located. Lakhvi, close relative of LeT founder and Jamaat-Ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed , was arrested in December 2006 faces trial, along with six others, over the attack in 2008 in Mumbai, in which 166 people were killed.
However, the case has made little progress since 2006 because of soft-peddling by Pakistan despite India’s repeated reiteration that ample evidence has been provided to Pakistan to convict the accused. On the contrary, both Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed are heroes in Pakistan with the country reeking in radicalism and institutionalized policy of state terrorism. 

Though China’s ‘higher than the mountains, deeper than the seas’ friendship with Pakistan is well known, by her latest move to protect Lakhvi at the UN, China has blatantly indicated she has no compunctions in abetting terror. On balance, if China only wanted to talk money it was still OK, even as she is hardly addressing the gross imbalance of bilateral trade weighing heavily in China’s favour, but her support to Pakistani terrorism and herself waging sub-conventional war on India certainly bodes ill in the foreseeable future.  

Prakash Katoch is third generation army officer hailing from Himachal Pradesh. He is former Lieutenant General from Special Forces and post-retirement has published over 2100 articles on international affairs, geopolitics, military, security, technical and topical issues besides authoring two books. He is active in seminars at both national and international levels.

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