Not just defence modernisation, India needs to step up economic development

There are no permanent friends or enemies in international relations, only self-interest determines the scope of relationships. History is witness to numerous instances when countries ignored this dictum and were shocked beyond belief to find their best friends betraying their trust to further their own self-interest. It is China today but there was another country yesterday. This is how it goes. It is not a surprise that they betrayed, the surprise is that they were trusted. So every country should keep their eyes and ears open, remain vigilant, watch closely actions of others, look at their-self interest, assess their own actions and policies as perceived by others and then determine the depth or otherwise of a relationship.

The annexation of Tibet, asylum to Dalai Lama, establishment of Tibet’s government-in-exile in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, then the 1962 war and consequential loss of India’s territory are still fresh in our nation’s mind . Further, China has been periodically raising disputes along the Line of Actual Control, which still remains largely unmarked, leading to several skirmishes in the past. Only three years back, the Doklam stand-off lasted for more than 70 days and a lot of energy, time and effort was expended by the Indian side to bring the issue to a close

China has been consistently opposing India’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, tried to raise the Kashmir issue repeatedly at the UN and openly helped Pakistan block the UN Security Council from classifying terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar for as long as it could. Not only that , construction of road in Aksai Chin area, which passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir, was carried out despite strong opposition by India.

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