Editor, National Defence,
New Delhi, 28 July 2017
China’s rise is not going to be peaceful. Former Foreign Secretary Ambassador Kanwal Sibal said, “China is now becoming so arrogant, so self-centered, so determined for its interest that the huge economic and financial resources they have accumulated to advance their geopolitical goals including in our own area, in our neighborhood”. Speaking in view of the developments happening in Doklam, ambassador Kanwal Sibal call upon the nations including United States watching Chinese aggression to get together in order to contain China’s destabilization policies.
“Therefore, there is great need for the countries that are watching this and would feel concerned about consequences of China’s destabilization policies to get together and see what can be done to put a barrier to upon this and United States will be a pivotal figure”. Ambassador Kanbal Sibal was speaking at Vivekanand International Foundation (VIF) where Minister of Indian Railways, Suresh Prabhu, released a book, “”Securing India: VIF Perspective, Issues & Trends 2017” to which he contributed a chapter.
He also cautioned India not to completely rely on US while pursuing their foreign policies vis-à-vis China. “But then it is very difficult situation for us because we cannot totally rely on the United States because United States will pursue its own interest and it’s interest with China are far greater than it’s interest with India”. “Therefore, we should see and try if we can be benefitted with this relationship with US. We should not put ourself in a position where our foreign policy gets shackled by huge interests and that will happen if we put more and more EXIM in US basket”.
Speaking after releasing the book, Suresh Prabhu without naming China said, “How the relationship between US and Russia develops is something of great interests to us. If it impress upon, then its good. If not then we have to revisit some of our strategies”.
“India passing through a very sensitive time. Today our NSA is in China. Tomorrow, he will along with other BRICS NSAs going to call on the president of China. We are already seeing and watching what is happening in our great friend Pakistan and how these things are going to unfold. We are also watching and waiting what is going to happen in White House because that is something of great interest”, he added.
Ambassador Kanbal Sibal highlighted that US under President Trump questioned existing ‘One China Policy’ and threated to impose 40 per cent tariff on Chinese imports besides denying military access to China in South China Sea but actually later US did nothing. “In many of the areas we could see community of interest betwen India and the United States whether combat against terrorism and Islamic radicalisation; and potential on some pressure on Pakistan on this account more important by the position he took on china where he began deviating from one china policy and threatened to impose 40 per cent tariffs on Chinese exports to United States, even talked denying access to China to the island they have militarized in the South China Sea. But after the visit of President Xi Jinping to Florida to his private residence, the atmosphere completely changed and he has been speaking so well personally. And the talk of imposing tariff has been forgotten likewise in terms of trying to check Chinese expansion in the South China Sea, there is no more robust talks that we heard”.
“The reality is financial and economic relationship between US and china is so huge, so deep that White House itself cannot take these decisions because there is huge financial and industrial interest that will not give that kind of freedom to the Whitehouse. This is important for us where United States stands on these issues because the china is becoming a problematic country”.
“I mean it is very clear. I really don’t have current incident in mind where we are confronting them in the Dokam plateau. China’s rise is not going to be peaceful. China is now becoming so arrogant, so self-centered, so determined for its interest that the huge economic and financial resources they have accumulated to advance their geopolitical goals including in our own area, in our neighborhood. Therefore, there is great need for the countries that are watching this and would feel concerned about consequences of China’s destabilization policies to get together and see what can be done to put a barrier to upon this and United States will be a pivotal figure”.
“But then it is very difficult situation for us because we cannot totally rely on the United States because United States will pursue its own interest and it’s interest with China are far greater than its interest with India. Therefore, we should see and try if we can be benefitted with this relationship with US. We should not put our-self in a position where our foreign policy gets shackled by huge interests and that will happen if we put more and more EXIM in US basket”.
Ambassador Kanwal Sibal brought to the fore the point to substantiate his claims that despite China being the biggest challenge to United States, America still maintains Russia as it’s biggest enemy. “Contrary to the common logic where China is biggest challenge to the United States, they are treating Russia with 145 million people with declining demography with the week industrial base as biggest challenge. And if you look what happening in US, they do treat Russia as biggest geopolitical enemy of the US”.
Because of India getting closer to US, Russia is moving closer to China. “Russia is moving more and more into arms of China and this has consequences for us because earlier Russia was promoting better understanding between Russia, India and China in the context of multi polarity in terms of check mating US tendency to act militarily to solve political issues and hold business and regime change and crusade of democracy as what come out in middle east. In our context, Russia, India and China at BRICS or SCO, the lead becomes now China, not Russia”.
“And because of pressure which Russia is getting from US and European Union, they have started getting closer and closer to China than the Russia with military supplies to China. In the geopolitical context where China is rising and we are having problem with the China, how much we can rely on Russia to give us political support in the United Nations as we have been habituated to having. And as a result of our increasing ties with US, Russia is becoming more and more suspicious of us in terms of our geopolitical thinking and views. And this is being reflected in parts by going closer to Pakistan and taking independent line on Taliban contrary to our interests etc”.
In case of any difference between US and European Union, EU will look for other countries including India and China. But they (EU) also have concern of China’s interference in Eastern Europe. However, US will remain a dominating global power and despite decline, China is nowhere seen to become a global superpower in near future.
“It is premature to talk that decline or even relative decline because the gap between US and anybody is so large that even if this decline itself becomes to manifest itself it will take many years for anybody to reach close to global power that US exert itself”.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.