At the outset, I salute to our valiant and courageous soldiers who have sacrificed their lives against aggressive Chinese force. Our soldiers sacrificed in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh region to protect the country. In spite of worst climatic condition, they were guarding our border to protect Indians. It has to be admitted that no one is more selfless and brave than a soldier.
India, from ancient period, have good relation with China as many travellers visited India and appreciated Indians, our culture, hospitality, food, etc. One famous traveller was Fa-hien a Chinese Buddhist monk visited on foot from China to India. He visited many sacred Buddhist sites to acquire Buddhist texts and had jotted down his impressions about India. Another Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited India during the period of emperor Harsha also known as Harshavardhana. When he went back to China, he wrote impressively about India in his book ‘Si-yu-ki’ means ‘Record of the Western Countries’. Third Chinese traveller is I-tsing, a Seventh century Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, was highly impressed after visiting India. Three names have been mentioned here.
Thus from ancient period onwards we have good relation with China but problem started after the Chinese Communist Revolution. It is observed that they have developed ‘expansionist attitude’. It may be mentioned that during the early 1950s – the period marked by an increasing Chinese military superiority over India – both countries were friendly and cordial to each other and the Chinese did not want to disturb this because ‘they found in Nehru an important champion of their case in international forums and thus a great help in their control of Tibet’. “In the year 1955 the euphoria of “Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai” continued unabated. After his return from China in November, 1954, Nehru started making preparations for the forthcoming Bandung Conference to be held in Bandung, Indonesia. This first large-scale Afro-Asian Conference was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent. It was sponsored by India Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and took place during the week of April 18-24, 1955. Having just returned from his China visit, Nehru’s enthusiasm for China was again exhibited at this Conference when he became the main sponsorer of Chou En-Lai to this conference in spite of reservations from some countries” (new.resurgentindia.org/the-history-of-sino-indian-relations-and-the-border-dispute-between-the-two-countrie). Further, it is pertinent to mention that “India actually helped China consolidate its control over Tibet. In October 1950 India refused to sponsor a Tibetan appeal to the United Nations. When El Salvador sponsored such an appeal, India played a key role in squashing it” (www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~johnston/garver.pdf).
So the present leaders of China should not forget India’s massive friendly and generous contribution towards China. Unfortunately, in present days we have been observing different China, now international community blaming China because of COVID-19, economy of China is in recession stage, unemployment has been scaling up etc. To justify the same, few lines from the newspaper, South China Morning Post (SCMP, 20/2/2020) are presented here, “Coronavirus costs keep mounting for manufacturers, who are facing huge losses in sales and struggling to ramp up production. If such losses take place then there will be negative effect in the economy and poor Multiplier Effect meaning more unemployment, less purchasing power of the people, and finally a sort of “Vicious Circle of Poverty” qualitatively may operate”. With all these issues faced by the leaders of China may be they have adopted tactics of conflict with India. China’s aggression vis-à-vis conflicting attitude is observed not only with India but Hong Kong protest, South China Sea conflicts are few among many where China is involved. Hope good sense will prevail among the Communist leaders of China and they will discard transgression attitude.
Dr. Shankar Chatterjee
Former Professor& Head (CPME)