24 November, 2020

On The Li-Ward Side

It may not be a return to 'Hindi-Chini bhai bhai', but Li Peng's visit could ease strained relations

On The Li-Ward Side
"The Chinese strategic culture remains what it has always been: wedded to domination, not so much through occupation of the (real or potential) adversary's territory as through a psychological subjugation of mind, an emasculation of the adversary's response options. India, therefore, needs to pose to itself some unsettling questions."

Jaswant Singh in Defending India, 1999

IN June 1999, the same year he was so openly suspicious of the Chinese, the foreign minister was in Beijing, declaring repeatedly that India and China were not a threat to each other. What the "unsettling questions" India needed to pose to itself remained conjectures. Singh's appeasement of the Chinese amounted to an extraordinary diplomatic U-turn.

His contrition paved the way for extending an invitation to Li Peng, chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress of China, to visit India this week, when he will call, among others, on the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice-President and Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Li's seemingly innocuous-sounding designation...


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