View: China renaming 30 places in Arunachal shows Xi Jinping's ‘great unifier’ ambitions

Author:Shishir Gupta 2024-04-04 23:50 18

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 12 kilometres long tunnel under 13,700 feet high Se La on March 9 from Itanagar, the Xi Jinping regime has gone berserk.

A file photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.(ANI file)

First, they publicly protested against PM Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh stating that the state belonged to them and then on March 30 decided to give Mandarin names to 30 places in Arunachal.

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External affairs minister S Jaishankar called the first move ‘ludicrous’ and the MEA spokesperson called the second move senseless. This is the fourth list of names of places in Arunachal Pradesh released by the Xi Jinping regime since 2017, a move that was then triggered by the visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Tawang.

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While Jaishankar has dismissed the exercise by saying that you cannot own my house just by giving it a new name, the Chinese aggressive moves against India, Taiwan and in South China are designed to project Jinping as the ‘great unifier’ before his domestic audience.

Just as Mao Zedong gave the Chinese respect, Deng Xiaoping economic empowerment, Xi wants to go down in history as the man who unified China with dreams of militarily conquering Taiwan, lording over the South China Sea and occupying Tawang, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. This may be the sound mind game in theory but is delusional in reality.

Why did China rename 30 places in Arunachal?

The real reason behind the latest round of renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by China is really to finger the Narendra Modi government and instigate the Opposition on the eve of the 2024 elections.

It is also a reaction to the Modi government taking decisive steps in integrating the border state with the mainland through better air and land connectivity and military upgradation of infrastructure from Tawang to Kibuthoo. The new international airport at Itanagar will lead to economic development of the state through tourist arrivals from all over the country.

Before Narendra Modi was sworn as the prime minister in May 2014, the upgradation of roads and military infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh existed on paper and plans.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) defence minister A K Antony is on record in Parliament stating that his government was not keen on developing border infrastructure all along the 3488 km Line of Actual Control as they feared the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) would use the roads to come into Indian hinterland. Even the Indian Army suffered from the 1962 hangover and efforts were made to pacify the Chinese dragon lest it breathed fire.

The renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh by China is part of the Middle Kingdom mindset of the Xi Jinping regime. It believes that China is at the center of the world and all others are tributary states. This has given rise to the Chinese military and cultural expansion in the present decade with routine violations of Taiwan air corridors, coercion of Philippines, Indonesia through aggressive PLA Navy and efforts to block Indian patrols along the Ladakh LAC.

Chinese spokespersons should do research before they swear in the name of Arunachal Pradesh as the position of the Chinese Communist Party has changed over the past decades. In 1960, the then Chinese premier Chou En Lai told his Indian counterpart that China would give up claims on the eastern sector if India accepted the 1959 line on the western sector through Kongka La. The same position was reiterated by Deng Xiaoping in 1984. But in 1987 during a vice minister dialogue, it was communicated that China will stake claim on both sectors.

While the PLA continued military nibbling at the LAC in both the sectors, the Modi government decided to give it back to them when the Chinese army transgressed into the Chumar area in September 2014 while President Xi Jinping was hosted by PM Modi in Ahmedabad.

PM Modi told President Xi bluntly that either he tells the PLA to withdraw from Chumar or he will assume that the transgression has the approval of the Chinese president.

That Arunachal Pradesh was totally off the Special Representative dialogue on boundary resolution was made clear by NSA Ajit Doval to his current counterpart Wang Yi. When Wang Yi mentioned the word Tawang during an SR dialogue, NSA Doval told him that the dialogue needs to be stopped immediately and henceforth as Tawang is not on agenda under any circumstance.

The NSA made it clear that just because his grandfather used to go for pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet without a passport, should India lay a territorial claim to Tibet. So what will India do after the fresh round of renaming?

The Modi government is currently in the election mode and hence the matter currently stands dismissed as senseless. However, the Chinese aggravation will not go unanswered as India also has the option of revisiting the strong influence of Indian civilization in Tibet with Sanskritised names of places and the foundation of Sanskrit Sutras in Tibetan Buddhism like Om Mani Padme Hum.

It will further integrate Arunachalis into mainstream to the first village in Kibuthoo with advanced military capabilities and capacities along the eastern sector for faster deployment of troops, mountain guns and BrahMos missiles. President Xi Jinping should realize that he is not dealing with India of 1962 and Narendra Modi is not Jawaharlal Nehru, who went to attend a non-aligned summit in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the midst of the 1962 war.

Title:View: China renaming 30 places in Arunachal shows Xi Jinping's ‘great unifier’ ambitions