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China appears a giant as India is on its knees: Shourie

Author: Express News Service
Publication: The New Indian Express
Date: October 16, 2013
URL: http://newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/China-appears-a-giant-as-India-is-on-its-knees-Shourie/2013/10/03/article1815775.ece1

Former Union minister Arun Shourie was at his wittiest and animated best on Wednesday when he spoke on the subject, What will it take to face up to China?.

Delivering a lecture at the Manthan Samvaad here, Shourie cited illustrations from his latest book, ‘Self-deception: India’s China policies - origins, premises, lessons’, to explain how the Chinese perceive India and how India is making a mockery of itself with its dreadful and timid approach.

The book’s title is aptly explained with a series of photographs of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh walking up to the then Chinese president Hu Jintao and bowing to him while the latter stood still. Shourie laughed and said the cover page explains India’s policy towards China. Taking several illustrations from his book that describe the situation pre-1962 Chinese aggression, when the then premier Nehru had ignored all warnings despite knowing China’s moves and motives, Shourie pointed out it was high time India tried to understand China.

He said China’s skill of playing politics of hegemony had been acquired from several civilisations and mastered over centuries.

“They have a definite view about themselves in the world. They have pride in themselves, contempt for others and have benchmarked themselves against the US, which they have achieved to some extent,” he explained.

Quoting Karl Marx, he remarked, “They appear as giants because we are on our knees.” According to him, Chinese perceive India as a “potential nuisance which must be kept confined to South Asia”. Chinese believe Indians are congenitally devious, so accustomed to serving someone or the other and are the only people in the world who do not mind losing territory. “China first claims our territory, repeats the claim again and again, and, finally, grabs it knowing that we will get used to it. That is what happened with Aksai Chin,” he said.

But, according to him, the threat remains in the cyber warfare of the future for which China has acquired much better facilities. “Many of our defence computers are being monitored by the People’s Liberation Army against which the NDA government had started taking precautionary measures which have not progressed after the change of government,” he said.

However, China too has its own set of problems while pursuing its interests. “We have to see what we can do but, at the same time, understand that the gap between us is already so large that their problems are not going to solve ours,” he said and pointed to the growing backlash against the Chinese overt aggression across the globe.

“We have to first learn to face the facts and then share them. We are so used to denying facts and looking the other way around. In fact, the then prime minister Nehru responded to a letter from the then president Rajendra Prasad on Chinese issue asking him not to put anything in writing,” Shourie disclosed.

According to him, it was time India sought new alliances by understanding that every nation pursues its own national interests. “How can you fight the Chinese when the system itself is wrong?” he asked and cited road construction at India’s strategic point along the border at Daulat Oldi Baig which has been stalled for years after transfer of the then chief of Border Roads Organisation.

Asked about India’s China policy, he remarked that the toughest mystery to solve is the fact that there isn’t one.
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