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Why China wants to dock submarines in Colombo and deploy fighter jets in Tibet?

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By Harshmeet Singh

Over the past couple of decades, China’s growing territorial aspirants in South East Asia have made as many global headlines as its swiftly growing economy. China’s frequent expeditions in the Western Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea have been a sore in the eye of a number of smaller nations in the region. While China’s naval adventures haven’t given too much headache to the Indian Government till now, China’s stand on Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh have ensured that Hindi-Chini bhai bhai slogan remains a distant realization. It is China’s growing threat that has forced India to become the world’s largest arms importer, with an expenditure of 2.6% (2014) of its entire GDP.

The border dilemma

For the two countries sharing the largest disputed border in the world, India and China have shown commendable restrain of violence since the 1962 war. Barring some random controversies erupting from erroneous maps and stapled visa issues, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has seen relative peace.

Tibet – core issue for China

In 1914, the representatives from Tibet, British India and China sat down to sign an agreement in order to mark clear boundaries distinguishing India, Tibet and China. According to the Simla Convention, China was to be given control over Inner part of Tibet, while the Outer Tibet was to be recognized as an autonomous area under the Dalai Lama.

Britain, on its part, pledged to restrain itself from any interference in Dalai Lama’s Tibet. But before the agreement was inked, Britain claimed Tawang (South Tibet – Now in Arunachal Pradesh), which irked China to such an extent that it boycotted the convention and the final agreement was signed only between Tibet and British India.

China, never a party to the final agreement, still claims rights over Tawang (which led to the 1962 war). After the Chinese army invaded Tibet in 1950, Dalai Lama was forced to take exile at Dharmshala, India. Due to China’s growing global stature, its atrocities in Tibet have always been given a blind eye by the world leaders.

Deployment of Su-27 fighters at Tibet

China’s move to station Su-27 fighters at its Tibet military base in 2013 raised quite a few eye-brows around the world. Many experts considered it as China’s response to India stationing its Su-30MKI fighters at Tezpur in Assam. With a combat radius of close to 1,000 km, India’s fighters were well equipped to strike the Mainland Chinese territories. With a growing firepower at its all weather military base in Tibet, China’s threat to Indian skies can’t be undermined anytime soon.

Growing bonhomie between China & Sri Lanka

A $ 1.5 billion project for the construction of the Colombo port city was awarded to the China Communications Construction Ltd. by the Rajapaksa Government before it was oust in the recent elections. With China’s growing influence in the island nation getting evident, India has a lot on its plate to worry about. China’s recent move to dock its nuclear submarine at the Colombo port didn’t help the already delicate Indo China relations either. Sri Lanka, on its part, reiterates its ‘No pro China. No pro India’ stand. Though the Lankan Government’s decision to halt the ongoing Colombo port city project would give some breathing space to India, a permanent solution to India’s fears still remains invisible.

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

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Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Donald Trump Planning to meet Putin during his Asia tour

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia is the longest international tour.

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. wikimedia commns
  • US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he expected to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Asia tour.

“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders,” Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One before landing at the Yokota Air Base in Japan, Efe reported.

Putin is scheduled to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which Trump will also attend as part of his long Asia tour.

The North Korean nuclear threat is expected to dominate Donald Trump’s meetings in Japan and the next two stages of his tour, South Korea and China, where he will have a highly anticipated sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The remainder of the tour will be more focused on economic issues, with Trump scheduled to take part in the APEC meeting in Da Nang and then in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is the longest international tour by a US head of state since the one then-President George H.W. Bush embarked on in 1992.

Bush became ill at the end of that trip, famously vomiting on the Japanese prime minister’s lap at a formal dinner before fainting.(IANS)

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‘Dalai Lama is a Political Figure under the cloak of Religion, Meeting or Hosting the Dalai Lama is a major offence’ Warns China

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing.

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Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama, Wikimedia

Beijing, October 21, 2017 : As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson prepares to visit India next week, China on Saturday warned that it will be deeply offended if any foreign leader meets with or any country invites the Dalai Lama.

On the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, a Chinese Minister dubbed the Tibetan spiritual leader as a “political figure under the cloak of religion”.

“Any country or any organisation or anyone accepting to meet with the Dalai Lama in our view is a major offence to the sentiment of the Chinese people,” said Zhang Yijiong, Executive Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

“Also, since they have committed to recognising China as a sole legitimate government representing China, it contravenes their attempt, because it is a serious commitment,” Zhang added.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of stoking unrest and secessionist activities in Tibet from where the spiritual leader fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.

The Dalai Lama has urged for more autonomy for Tibet.

Beijing opposes any country or leader keeping in touch with the Dalai Lama.

“I want to make it clear that the 14th Dalai Lama, the living Buddha handed down by history is a political figure under the cloak of religion,” said Zhang.

In February this year, Tillerson had told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama.

Top US Democrat Nancy Pelosi had visited the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, in May, and sought to draw the world’s attention to human rights in Tibet, triggering protests by China.

China resorts to different tactics if any country hosts the Dalai Lama. For instance, Beijing blocked a major highway leading to Mongolia, crippling the economy there after Ulan Bator hosted the leader late last year.

Mongolia later apologised and promised Beijing never to invite the Dalai Lama.

“Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments. So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration to their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty,” Zhang added.

The comments from the Chinese Minister also comes days after Tillersoon described India as a partner in a strategic relationship and said the US would “never have the same relationship with China, a non-democratic society”.

According to reports, last month China refused to fund travel for visiting scholars at University of California, San Diego, apparently in retaliation for inviting the Dalai Lama to be its 2017 commencement speaker.

In April this year, China had reacted violently to a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tawang, in India’s northeast border state of Arunachal Pradesh, large parts of which is claimed by Beijing. (IANS)