Amidst a series of foreign visits Prime Minister Modi is undertaking, a serious conflict is brewing between India and China. India’s claim that China is building roads in the tri-junction border between India, China and Bhutan is being rubbished by Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Gen Shuang,
“The Indian side is actually misleading the public by saying that the incident took place at the tri-junction point”, Geng said, defending China’s road building which India and Bhutan have objected to.
Although, it is not clear who is intruding whose territory that fact remain that India-China tension is rising.
The question remains, can India afford an enmity with China? The answer is an emphatic “no”. India already has border skirmishes with Pakistan. If, China is added to it, it can be quite dangerous for India. Not only China is much bigger and much more powerful country than India, China and Pakistan are all weather friends. If the two combined wage a war with India, can India withstand the attack? India, probably is banking on USA to help her, but it is unlikely that US will enter into war with China at the behest of India. The same mistake was committed by Pandit Nehru in the war with China in 1962. He banked on President Kennedy to help him in the war that never happened.
In any case, it is known to everybody that China is encircling India. They have the presence or influence over Nepal, have used the Sri Lankan water with their navy power, has military base in Myanmar and Pakistan is anyway under their thumb. They even have influence over Bangladesh, and if the Ganges water crisis is not solved quickly, Chinese influence over Bangladesh can increase. This essentially means that in the event of war with China, the entire war will be fought on Indian soil and it would be very difficult for India to enter Chinese territory.
India’s foreign policy with China over the past six decades has been meek and ineffective. The advantage India has with China compared to Pakistan, is that Indians do not have an inherent hatred against the Chinese and vice versa. India should have tried to exploit this to increase people to people contact to end the mistrust that has been imposed on both populations by their respective governments. It is still not too late yet, India should use its foreign policy to work more closely with China, much the way Chinese have solved their mistrust with the Russians.