FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Sitharaman greeting sends warm signal
Updated:Oct 9, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held friendly exchanges with Chinese soldiers at the Sino-Indian border in Nathula Saturday. An Indian soldier standing beside Sitharaman is seen holding a gift in the video released by the Indian Defense Ministry, probably the most warmhearted scene at the Sino-Indian border area since the Doklam standoff. 
 
 
Sitharaman's visit to the border regions as defense minister can be easily interpreted as New Delhi's push to intensify combat readiness against Beijing. 
 
 
But Sitharaman's traditional Namaste greeting to the Chinese soldiers sent another signal to the public that might not erase the first impression but may at least balance things out.
 
 
Being on guard against China is a widespread mind-set in Indian society. But confrontation with Beijing is also a radical idea beyond its national strength and contradicts its fundamental interests. Such an idea is only advocated by extreme nationalists. Indian public opinion is inquisitorial on any hard-line Beijing policy by the Indian government and foresees a "second round of Sino-Indian face-offs," constantly pressuring New Delhi's diplomacy after the Doklam standoff.
 
 
Sitharaman's greeting to the Chinese soldiers conveys her hope for peace on the Sino-Indian border and unwillingness to see a new standoff. This is commonly regarded as the attitude of the Narendra Modi government. 
 
 
This is a realistic and responsible attitude for the country and its people. Both before and after the Doklam crisis, the Chinese government hopes for border peace with the broad support of the Chinese people. But Indian society's understanding of their country's border policy seems ambiguous and chaotic. Some Indians believe New Delhi will take tough measures to crush Beijing's will.
 
 
New Delhi has been strengthening its military presence at the Sino-Indian border in recent years. Quite a few Indians believe the Indian military has already gained a certain advantage over the People's Liberation Army and they support bolder action by New Delhi. This mentality ignores the Sino-Indian gap in national strength and overlooks the historical experience. 
 
 
China welcomes Sitharaman's greeting and hopes this friendly gesture is also welcomed by Indians. Sitharaman's charm offensive might help break the ice between Chinese and Indian public opinion.
 
 
India isn't a major focus for China's international strategy. India's development lags behind China. Its modernization and development does not depend on winning the initiative in its relations with China. Friendly cooperation is the best option, strategic exhaustion the worst. Both countries should control the risks.
 
Indians must overcome the paranoia that suggests their country is strategically thwarted and threatened by Beijing. New Delhi also needs to give up its pursuit of Washington and Tokyo support to deploy as a bargaining chip against Beijing. As India gradually rises to become a major economy, being more diplomatically independent is a must. Confrontation with China will directly limit its international strategic space. 
 
Global Times, October 10, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
  Nearly 58 per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive