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China Spins Jingoistic Narrative

Bharat hits back on Chinese Communist Party’s false claims on Arunachal Pradesh. Global community including US recognize the dragon ploy.

Rohan Giri

There’s something innate in China that cannot change. It’s in its DNA to encroach on others. As part of its grand plan to usurp others land, properties and expand its hegemony, China and its ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) have tasted success in few areas while they eagerly look at grabbing neighbours’ territories.

Tibet is one area where Chinese Communist Party has had large success in altering names of places, assert control on large swaps of land and change, culture, languages and life of ordinary citizens. Through coercion, China constructed certain structures to also advance on its border regions through coercive means.

Similar attempts have been made with Bharat’s territories especially Arunachal Pradesh to assert its dominance in the region. Communist Party of China and its life time General Secretary Xi Jingping announced Chinese names to places in and around Arunachal Pradesh.

Latest in the Chinese ploy of old and deceitful rhetoric is evidenced by statements made by People’s Liberation Army’s Senior Colonel Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for Chinese Defense Ministry.

By intention, he claimed that southern region of Xizang, the Chinese nomenclature for Tibet, was integral component of China’s territory.  This was obvious reference to Arunachal Pradesh which China thinks is its own territory.

Chinese Defense Ministry raked up the bogey on Bharat’s north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh after Sela Tunnel was constructed to enhance civic and military connectivity and capabilities in the state.

The latest overtures by China expose the Chinese Communist Party ploy to initially seize Tibet and subsequently move in on Arunachal Pradesh. Bharat along with 17 other countries, mostly neighbours, has experienced adverse consequences of persistently making unsubstantiated claims by Chinese Communist Party.

Henry McMahon, then foreign secretary of Britain drew an 890-km border between Bharat and Tibet in 1914. Arunachal Pradesh was formerly referred to as North Eastern Frontier Agency before the establishment of the McMahon Line. On one side of McMahon, Tibet existed as an autonomous region while on the other Arunachal Pradesh was an Indian state. Chinese communist party falsely maintains that Tibet is one component of China and refuses to acknowledge this demarcation.

China’s aspirations for territorial expansion had begun to gain momentum at this point. The act of manipulating maps to include some regions of Bharat has been observed since ancient times, hence its innate to its nature.

Bogus claims of Chinese communists were undermined when Japanese forces launched an invasion of Arunachal Pradesh, north-eastern state of Bharat during Second World War. Additionally, emergence of Chinese expansionism posed an enormous threat to Bharat’s territorial integrity. During that period, the British-led Indian Army provided protection to Tawang of Arunachal Pradesh.

Bharat has had consistently maintained a firm stance against China’s claims and Arunachal Pradesh residents have historically rejected  China’s expansionist aspirations and unsubstantiated assertions.

Latest PLA statements on Arunachal Pradesh have come after Chinese Communist Party misleading names of 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh. In addition to expressing their outrage, local populace actively engaged in peace marches on the roads, demonstrating their opposition to China. The protesting people were holding placards that read, “We stand by India” and “Arunachal is not part of China.”

The posters in their possession had the message, “Don’t we know… How China is oppressing the people of Tibet and is always engaged in looting it? At any cost, we would not like the condition of Arunachal Pradesh to become like that of Tibet…”

Individuals hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, holding tricolor flags, asserted that similar demonstration were held when China changed the names of six locations in 2017 and 15 locations in 2021. The misleading names were in the Chinese and Tibetan languages.

In 2023, the controversy over stapled visas gained attention as Indian Wushu players were granted such visas by China. New Delhi-based think tank Center for Integrated and Holistic Studies, at that time, had reported that the “Stapled visas incident is seen more as one step further in China’s grand expansionist plan and communist vision to occupy others’ land disregarding international treaties, pacts and ‘gentlemen’ agreements to not change on-the-ground goal posts.

Only way to put an end to this psycho-warfare like stapled visas is to firmly retake ‘Aksai Chin’ under its ‘illegal’ occupation since 1950s and held after the 1962 war.”

Bharat and its government always said that Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will remain integral to the country. China’s illegal expansionist strategy extended much beyond Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet, or Nepal. Countries and international communities need to be alert to such machinations and not succumb to mechanisms like debt trap, infrastructure development or other forms of avarice.

(Author: Rohan Giri is a journalism graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) New Delhi, and Manager Operations at CIHS.)

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