by N.S. Venkataraman 24 August 2018
Like devil quoting scripture, China has said that it hopes that India and Pakistan can jointly stay committed to regional peace and development.
Many would wonder as to whether China has the credentials to make such statement and observation, since China disputes with several neighbouring countries like India, Philippines, Japan, Vietnam.
There is widespread apprehension amongst China’s neighbours that China has expansionist ambitions, which is evident from the fact that China forcefully occupied Tibet and is now controlling this nation for over sixty years. No one can forget the fact that the Chinese government mercilessly used force and carried out aggression in Tibet, making the Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with several Tibetans. Now, thousands of Tibetans are living as refugees and migrants in different countries in the world, longing for a day when Tibet would become a free country once again and they can go back to their motherland.
China is now claiming sizeable Indian territory and even says that Indian province Arunachal Pradesh should be part of China. China is also occupying a considerable part of Kashmir, which is the disputed territory between Pakistan and India and this area has been “gifted to China” by Pakistan.
It is well known that China is driving several Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal into a debt trap by extending the large loan and in the process, it is taking a stranglehold over the economy of these nations.
The fact that Sri Lanka has to hand over Hambantota port to a Chinese company as Sri Lanka has become a victim of debt trap with China indicates China’s intentions and an ambitious target to overpower the other Asian countries by using it’s economic and military power.
The Economic Corridor Project in Pakistan being executed by Chinese companies and the Chinese government has already driven Pakistan into a severe debt trap crisis with China. Now, many Pakistanis themselves have apprehension whether Pakistan can get itself relieved from such “China’s hug” in the foreseeable future.
China is now creating severe friction in its relations with India by entering the Doklam region, and India has vehemently protested and warned China against this move.
The question is whether China has the credentials to act as a mediator to foster a peaceful relationship with India and Pakistan.
China’s offer to mediate between India and Pakistan reminds one about the famous Panchatantra folktale ( an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables ) “Two cats and a monkey.”
The story of two cats and a monkey:
Once two cats were fighting over a slice of bread, and a smart monkey which was sitting on a tree nearby saw them. The monkey volunteered to help them by dividing the bread equally.
The monkey got a pair of scales and broke the slice of bread into two parts and weighed them. But one part of the slice was bigger. The monkey said it would make it equal, so it took a bite out of it. Now, this part became smaller.
Again, it took a bite of the bigger part, and that became smaller. It continued taking bites of the two parts until only a very small portion was left.
By the time the cats realized that the monkey had eaten the major portion of the bread slice, the shrewd and merciless monkey replied, “This is my fee for sorting out the problem.” Saying this, it gobbled up the remaining piece of bread.