I found this very nice article by Juj Suraiya who is famous for his witty and satirical wrirings. This reflects nicely the state of affairs between India & China over last few decades. This is relevant because in future there will be many ocassions where India and China need to work together to maintain their economies and global presence.
Happy reading ...
Hindi-Chini, hai-ha by Jug Suraiya
The Indian elephant has a deep-seated and chronic inferiority complex vis-a-vis the Chinese dragon. Way back in 1950, after the Chinese communist revolution, the US offered China's UN Security Council seat to India. Jawaharlal Nehru turned down the offer, apparently on Soviet advice, for fear that accepting the American invitation would offend China.
China has always been grateful to India for this generous gesture, though it might have displayed its gratitude with an inscrutability that is truly oriental. In 1962 China invaded India, an exercise facilitated by the then defense minister, Krishna Menon (a Nehru protege), under whose stewardship India's ordnance factories had stopped making arms and ammunition (which might have offended the sensibilities of our big neighbour in the east) in favour of coffee percolators, among other widgets.
Nehru ordered the Indian army to 'throw out' the Chinese; instead the invaders threw out our valiant but tragically ill-equipped soldiers. The Chinese withdrew, but to this day Beijing lays claim to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh (though it has, graciously, allowed India to keep Sikkim).
To foster cordial relations in South Asia, China helped Pakistan achieve full nuclear status in the early 1990s, a favour which Islamabad has returned by acknowledging Chinese suzerainty over Aksai Chin, the high-altitude desert which India claims as its own. Among other tokens of its friendship, Beijing has stoutly and steadfastly resisted India's inclusion in the same Security Council which Nehru's 'pehle aap' politesse ushered China into.
And of course in the recent nail-biting Vienna meet of the NSG, Beijing did its best to play last-minute spoiler for India's hopes (now realised) of ending 34 years of nuclear apartheid.
That seems to have been the dragon-sized straw that finally broke the Indian elephant's back. During Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi's visit to India, New Delhi voiced "strong" disapproval of Beijing's obstructionism in Vienna. It was pointed out that India had bent over backwards — with a nimbleness that might have won it a gold if performed in the gymnastic rather than the political arena — in ensuring that the passage of the Beijing Olympics torch through New Delhi wasn't compromised by Free Tibet protesters.
Despite this, China had done its damnedest to shaft India in Vienna, helped not a little by the customarily submissive posture adopted by New Delhi in its relations with Beijing. Unfazed by such accusations, Yang urbanely replied that on the contrary Beijing had in fact played a very "constructive" role in Vienna on behalf of New Delhi. However, Yang's meeting with his Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, was reportedly "interrupted by Tibetan protesters who were taken into custody", as reported in the TOI. In Indo-Chinese relations, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Why is it that New Delhi is so sensitive about stepping on Beijing's toes, when China has no compunction about stomping on Indian toes, and with hobnailed boots at that? Is it because China demonstrably has far more nukes, foreign investment inflows, exports, Olympic golds, mobile phones, millionaires, skyscrapers than India does, not to mention a civilisational pedigree at least as old as that of our own Indus Valley?
All true. But is that reason enough for New Delhi's doormat attitude when confronted by Beijing: please come and wipe your feet on us, helped by Comrades Karat and Yechury?
The real reason, the real threat we face from China, is far more insidious than that represented by nuclear weapons, or FDI figures, or global market shares. It is that — with its monolithic, single-minded pursuit of success at all costs, human or material — China makes us apologetic and ashamed of what is, and ought to be, our most prized advantage over the Middle Kingdom: our democracy. Ragged, half-starved, flood-battered, riot-scarred but nonetheless democracy, not the jackboot of dictatorship. Our democracy ought to be our biggest pride. China threatens to make it our shame. That — and not nuclear deals or Security Council seats — is the real challenge of the Chinese dragon. How ready are we to face it?
You can read Jug Suraiya columns at this link