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    OpinionsIndia's ‘Tibet card’ against China is stronger and going well

    India’s ‘Tibet card’ against China is stronger and going well


    By Madhur Sharma

    In a rare visit, a delegation of American lawmakers visited Pradesh's Dharamshala this week to meet the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

    In a well-orchestrated convergence of mutual interests, the United States, the Tibetans in exile, and Indians with their nod to the visit came together to send a message to China. The message found its mark.

    Shortly after the US delegation comprising House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi began their engagements with Tibet's Government-in-Exile, the Embassy of China in India warned the United States to not “send the wrong signal”.

    “We urge the US side to fully recognise the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai group, honour the commitments the US has made to China on issues related to Xizang, stop sending the wrong signal to the ,” said the Chinese mission in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

    The post used the Bejing-imposed name Xizang for Tibet as part of its practice of renaming minority-populated regions in China to undermine their history identity and .

    The Dalai Lama arrived in India in 1959 along with a large number of his followers. He had fled for his life from Tibet's capital Lhasa following the failure of an uprising against the Chinese repression in the region. The Communist Party of China's (CPC) forces had invaded and captured Tibet in 1949-50. Since the Dalai Lama's arrival, China has denounced his presence and has consistently sought to undermine the movement he and his fellow exiles have waged.

    Following the engagements in Dharamshala, the US delegation led by McCaul met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, and Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday. It rested all doubts as to whether the visit had New Delhi's approval.

    The convergence of India and the United States is part of the message to China that if you do not respect our sensibilities, we would not respect yours. It is not sudden but in the making since 2020 when China inexplicably plunged the bilateral relationship to its lowest since 1962 with a confrontation in Ladakh. For a long time before that, sections in the government and outside tracking China had questioned the rationale of respecting China's red lines with no reciprocity.

    The India-China relationship has lacked mutual respect from the onset, says Tej Pratap Singh, a scholar of China at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

    “In 1954, India and China signed the Panchsheel treaty. China still attacked India in 1962. Then, India unilaterally revived the relationship in 1976 by restoring ambassador-level ties and then Rajiv Gandhi made a historic visit to China in 1988. In 2003, Atal Bihari Vajpayee formalised the acceptance of the One China Policy. In all these years, China never offered any reciprocity despite all the concessions from India. China neither settled the border nor acknowledged historical agreements. Instead, it opened a new front in Sikkim and waded into the Kashmir issue,” says Singh, Professor, Department of Political Science, BHU.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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