Successive Indian governments countenanced an aggressive China. But all this stopped when Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre in 2014

In his article in The Japan Times, Sujan R Chinoy, the director general of Delhi-based Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis peels off layer by layer, China’s expansionist-design since the 1950s and how it came to standstill when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India.

He said while uneasy relations between India and China are well recorded. But China tried to blur forever from the public memories of its military takeover of Xinjiang and Tibet in 1949 and 1950.

He said after China moved into Tibet, then Home Minister Sardar Vallabbhai Patel warned Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in his letter of November 7, 1950, of China’s vacuous “professions of peaceful intention.” It was a clear warning for India’s alertness from a neighbour whose intention was deceptive and filled with pretentions.

The former ambassador to Japan further said that late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then a young leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh had expressed unhappiness in a parliamentary debate on November 9, 1962 that even 15 years after independence, the nation’s soldiers had not been equipped with automatic rifles or proper uniforms.

India had reduced its defense budget even though it was staring an aggressive China in the face in the 1950s. It had a telling effect during the 1962 War.

This war, according to the MPIDSA director general, took place even as India had supported China at the United Nations when the latter was pilloried as the aggressor on the Korean Peninsula.

India had even lobbied for China’s UNSC membership.

“Preoccupied with global causes such as chairing the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in the Korean War and co-founding the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence at Bandung, India was blindsided by a militaristic China,” Sujan Chinoy said in his write up in the Japanese daily.

The former diplomat added that India was among the first to recognize Tibet as a part of China in 1954 through the short-lived “Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between the Tibet region of China and India.”

In 1965, when China created a Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by annexing Tibetan lands and published maps, claiming parts of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh as that of China, India didn’t object.

But China brazenly adopted double standards when India carried out internal constitutional changes in Jammu and Kashmir through the repeal of Article 370 in August 2019, itself a bold and unprecedented decision.

Successive Indian governments countenanced an aggressive China. But all this stopped when Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre in 2014. His thrust on development of its own infrastructure along the Indian side of the LAC appears to have rattled China. His resolve to strengthen its armed forces and empower them to deliver a robust military response has unnerved China.

Read this article in detail in The Japan Times: