- 18 Oct 2020
The Chinese communist party was staring at a mighty debt bubble and ghost cities for quite long. And was able to curb down the people’s unrest till then. But then came bigger problems of the food crisis, scarcity of adult women of marriage age for the young men in millions and lack of economic opportunities. And Beijing put forth the Tibet capture formula as the Belt & Road Initiative for the World.
The Chinese say that the ‘Belt is the Road and Road is the Sea’ in the BRI. Well, the noose of the belt is on the geographies of the nations and demolition of navigation rights is in the seas. The BRI is well-known for importing women illegally to China from across the poverty-stricken, debt-trapped and cash-starving nations. It is easier to get women from poor geographies showing them a glint of a better life. Africa is one of the geographies where there are more women than men. So, it wasn’t a surprise that the choicest, non-economic potential projects of these nations were picked up. Where the local women refuse to marry the Chinese, most of whom are criminals released as workers in BRI nations, the party releases funds for mandarin schools, newspapers and Chinese restaurants to make them adapt to Chinese culture.
About 70% of the people’s savings is in the real-estate and infrastructure ventures. So, the foreign BRI projects offer jobs and investment vehicles to the party to employ the disgruntled investors and jobless citizens. The exclusive residential colonies, debt-to-equity takeover of assets, natural resources and a loud say in the foreign-defence policies of the host nations are extra brownies. The Tibet takeover model of bribing and purchasing the elites, creeping through the pockets of the lawmakers, government officers and corrupt institutions, came handy. The CCP has successfully hedged domestic political risks outside China through BRI for the time being.
Post-Corona Chinese behaviour for strengthening Xi Jinping’s position further is to cut off from the World to conduct a so-called “rectification campaign” for effective communism. The cutting off from the World is best achieved by belligerence with all countries. This ensures least interference in China's internal matters when the extensive violent purge takes place. Ladakh standoff is only one such attempt of belligerent attitude and keeping the powerful generals of the PLA busy in border tasks for working out his personal power capture. Also, the “clean plate” campaign for food crisis cannot go on for eternity. A recent economic plan discussed by Jinping with a mention of the year 2035 caused waves of shock among the party elites. The year marks the hint of Jinping’s rule till the age of 82, matching the age of Mao Zedong.
India’s checkmate at the Ladakh standoff -
It was India which officially and categorically refused to join the BRI citing sovereignty concerns as the CPEC project passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The current standoff is an attempt by China to save the CPEC project which is endangered with India's plans to take back POK. Also, the fall of Tibet is not yet signed and sealed as long as the Tibetan traditions are alive. No war is ever about some territory alone. A nation hardly breaks at its borders. Nations fall when the civilisation identity is struck from inside. Luckily, Delhi has preserved the Tibetan identity and values by giving them refuge in India. The historical context of how powerful Indian extension of culture and civilisational values are, can be inferred from the statement of Hu Shih, the former Ambassador of China to the USA. And I quote -
“India conquered and dominated China "culturally" for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border”.
Around 24 years after this statement, Mao Zedong initiated brutal massacre and killings throughout China in the name of the "Cultural" Revolution. The decision of which was taken in 1962 at the 10th Plenary of the CCP. This year of war between India and China brought Mao Zedong to prominence within the party. From 1962 to 1966, he prepared grounds for reforming the PLA by replacing the professionalism and oath of the security of the state with the allegiance of the party. The cleansing initiated by Mao saw a complete wipe-out of all religious practices and traditions which had its origin and connection dated back to centuries of relations with ancient India, including Buddhism. India's peaceful nature threatens the rogue elements who are in control of the neighbourhood for decades now. The Pakistan army or the Chinese Communist Party have to be the enemies of India for their own survival and corruption even if they don’t want to be.
It is worth nothing that it was China which first played with the public sentiments of India by placing surface-to-air missiles (SAM) at Man Sarovar. The Defence doctrine of “Safe Places” assumes that India won’t attack a revered, religious place in an event of war. In response, India too played with the public sentiments in China by deploying the Special Frontier Forces. It comprises heavily trained Tibetans who came to India with His Holiness Dalai Lama for refuge. While most experts believe that the Tibetans’ acclimatisation with the geography is the reason for deployment, I disagree. To my understanding it was a symbolic signal to the Tibetans living inside China. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the regular Indian armed forces would not have been able to take the control of the tops secured by the special forces.
A final farewell to SFF Commando Nyima Tenzin in Leh with full military honours who made supreme sacrifice during a landmine blast at LAC
So, without officially taking up the Tibetan cause, Delhi successfully launched the matter by showcasing videos of people waving a farewell to the soldiers with Tibetan flags and a martyr being given full honours in the presence of a top leader of the ruling party. The objective clearly is to incite the Tibetans living in China against the party with every single Tibetan killed fighting at the Indian border. In wars, those who don't want war, lose and in talks, those who want talks, lose.
The PLA eventually stands to lose whatever little support the local Tibetans give them in terms of helping with the supply or movement towards the borders. To the utter dismay of the CCP, the civilisational identity of Tibet is still alive and kicking within India. Hence, the Tibetan nation stands a chance to struggle and relive its glory with the declaration of a new Dalai Lama in a few years. Xi Jinping’s attempts to set himself as a ‘Chairman for life’ by hedging domestic political risks outside China by using the Tibet formula faces a reverse onslaught at Ladakh with Operation Snow Leopard.
Ankit Shah. A South-Asia Security & Foreign Policy Observer, PhD scholar and Past Academic & Research Associate of IIM Ahmedabad. Follow his twitter handle @ankitatIIMA for China-Pak predictions.
The views, information, or opinions expressed in the article by the authors are solely their own and do not represent the views of any organisation or entity the author have been, is now or will be affliated. The Present Mirror is an open platform and gives freedom to express all kinds of views and doesn't necessarily represent them. Present Mirror or its author will not be responsible for any errors that may have crept in inadvertently and do not accept any liability whatsoever, for any direct or consequential loss howsoever arising from any use of this publication or its contents or otherwise arising in connection herewith.