Dragon worries over the possibility of India’s changed Tibet policy: Pragmatism underlines its urgency

By Times Of India

In the backdrop of US President signing into law the measures to support the Tibetans to choose the next Dalai Lama and recognising their political rights, the Chinese embassy spokesperson in New Delhi Ji Rong issued on the 30th December 2020 a blunt statement not only against the US Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020, but also advising the Indian media to take “an objective and fair stance” on the “highly sensitive nature” of Tibet-related issues and China’s territorial integrity “instead of advocating playing ‘Tibet card’ to meddle in China’s internal affairs and further damage the bilateral relations.”

An article in the official mouth-piece of the Chinese Communist Party- the Global Times- expressed its apprehensions over the possible change in India’s policy as recommended by an Indian strategic analyst Brahma Chellaney, who cogently argued in his article that India should at least stop endorsing China’s stance on Tibet. These reflect the Chinese nervousness over the possibility of India’s changed approach on Tibet where its vulnerabilities are increasing with the growing Tibetan movement to assert their rights.

India’s strategic community both in the government and outside is convinced over the need for changing India’s approach towards China, particularly over Tibet since April 2020. A survey of articles in the media and webinars after April 2020 clearly reveals this trend. On the 9th December 2020, Jaishankar India’s External Affairs Minister in an online interaction with Australia’s Lowy Institute had summed up four important dimensions of India’s current thinking on its relations with China.

First, the bilateral relationship between India and China has been significantly damaged this year (2020). Second, China has no intention of withdrawing as it has brought tens of thousands of soldiers right up to the LAC in Ladakh that has ‘profoundly disturbed the relationship’.

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