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'India should rethink One China policy, exploit faultlines'

India should rethink and revise its 'One China' policy and exploit the geographic, ethnic, and economic faultlines within the Asian giant, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, former Deputy National Security Adviser of India Arvind Gupta said.

Updated Jun 15, 2020 08:30 AM

'India should rethink One China policy, exploit faultlines'

He said, 'One China' policy was considered as a reciprocity to the 'One India' policy. However, India gave up its influence on Tibet in the 1950s and accepted its annexation by China. This situation as far as Tibet is concerned continued till date.

"However, India has taken a flexible approach in the past few years on Tibet," Gupta, during a webinar function in Delhi organized by Law and Society Alliance on Saturday, said.

He pointed to the 2010 India-China joint statement that didn't mention the 'One China' policy, then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's statement in 2014 on the reciprocity on the unity and sovereignties of each other, and the invite to the Taiwanese representative to join the 2014 Narendra Modi's oath taking ceremony.

He expressed concerns about not taking a dynamic approach and said that we have not moved very much in revisiting policy and taking forward what was said in the statements.

On Tibet, Gupta suggested that India should be supporting the effort of the Tibetans to have self-rule and should give the Dalai Lama more recognition and position in diplomatic engagements, apart from visibility in India's political circles.

Along with this, India must begin economic and technological engagements with Taiwan, besides supporting it politically.

He also recommended garnering India's support to the democratic movement in Hong Kong, even if we do not join the western countries' joint efforts at isolating China in geopolitics. He also recommended Indian support to the voices against human rights violations in Xinjiang at global fora.

Gupta also stressed the need to build India's capacity on dealing with China and be ready to anticipate the Chinese intentions when we begin to revise our 'One China' policy.

Former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat Jayadeva Ranade stressed the need to build India's own capabilities in countering China -- not only on the border, but on all fronts. He predicted that the tensions between the US and China will either put India in a sweet spot or in a delicate position in the days to come.

He said that the government should provide scholarships to those wanting to learn Madarin from Taiwan instead of China, where the visitors are brain-washed into becoming slaves of Chinese supremacy.

On Hong Kong, Ranade favoured greater engagement by India on democratic issues and human rights. On Taiwan, he wanted India to provide equal stature and opportunities to their businesses like it is currently being done for China.

"Why should we deny the same opportunities to and from Taiwan as compared to China? We can benefit from Taiwan by shifting their chip building and shipping companies here in India. It will tackle unemployment in India and help businesses to grow."

On Tibet, Ranade noted that the Dalai Lama's old age meant India needed to expand its Buddhist links with the Tibetans and strengthen the relationship.

"China does not have a good track record on Buddhism. We need to build up our own Buddhist religious sites as it is one of the fastest-growing religions of the world, thereby, bringing all the Asian countries to India. We should also try to link Lumbini with Gaya and Sarnath, and other Buddhist sites in India. We need to prevent China from building the Buddhist circuit connecting Lumbini with China through aerial connectivity," he said.

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