Global Views
   Middle East & Africa
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
South Asia Monitor
A New Irritant in India-China Ties
By Gautaman Bhaskaran
South Asia Editor
14th Dalai Lama —Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (6 July 1935 in Taktser, northeastern Tibet) is the 14th Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader revered among the people of Tibet. He is the head of the government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India.Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

At the best of times, India and China have a relationship that is fraught with open suspicion and hidden animosity. As luck would have it, there are any number of factors to keep the two Asian giants in a state of perpetual but covert hostility. The latest provocation comes from Tibet’s spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, who has been running his administration-in-exile at India’s Dharamshala since his escape from his homeland in the late 1950s. The Dalai Lama plans to visit the north-eastern Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh in November.

Though the trip may appear innocuous, it is really not so. For, Beijing says that a part of Arunachal Pradesh is its own territory. The Tibetan leader would, therefore, need China’s permission to go there. With New Delhi alleging Chinese incursions into India over the years, the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit could further strain relations between the two neighbours. "We firmly oppose Dalai visiting the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh'," Jiang Yu, the spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, told Reuters last week.

China claims around 90,000 square kilometres of Arunachal Pradesh. It describes the area as "disputed” and brazenly calls it "Southern Tibet". India has been rubbishing this claim, and the country’s Minister for External Affairs, S. M. Krishna, quipped the other day that "Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and the Dalai Lama is free to go anywhere in India.”

The row over Arunachal goes back to 1962. During a border war between the two nations that year which shocked New Delhi, Chinese forces advanced deep into Arunachal Pradesh, occupied it for a short while and then – surprisingly — withdrew. However, in the following decades, Beijing showed increasing belligerency towards India over Arunachal. Also, China made several raids into India.

The rift between the two countries widened in 1986, when Arunachal Pradesh became a separate State, and at one point it seemed that a war would break out. Recently, China sought to block India's application for a USD-2.9-billion loan from the Asian Development Bank, which included funding for a $60 million water management project in Arunachal Pradesh. Beijing argued that it was a "disputed territory”. What is more, Beijing made its displeasure known every time an Indian Prime Minister or President visited Arunachal.

Obviously, the Dalai Lama’s November plans have angered China, all the more so because he would not only visit Itanagar (the State capital), but also Tawang. It is located on the eastern Himalayas and is the home to the 328-year-old Galden Namgey Lhatse Monastery. This is Tibetan Buddhism's biggest monastery after the Potala Palace in Lhasa. The Galden Monastery is "a virtual treasure trove of Tibetan Buddhism and culture and is seen by Tibetans as the repository of perhaps the last remnants of a Tibet that was later affected by an influx of Han Chinese tradition”. And it was through Tawang that Dalai Lama came into India in 1959. He hid in the monastery there for a week.

Tawang is also strategically important. It offers the shortest route between Tibet and India‘s Brahmaputra Valley. There is a fear that Beijing’s control over Arunachal and Tawang in particular would make it extremely easy for Chinese forces to overrun India. In fact, the fiercest battle in the 1962 war was fought at Tawang, a conflict that devastated New Delhi’s trust in Beijing. Merely a few months before this, the two had agreed on peaceful coexistence. In fact, India’s then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was so disappointed that he fell ill and died soon after.

New Delhi’s concern is not confined to Arunachal alone. Chinese forces have been making frequent forays into other areas of Indian territory. Kashmir and Sikkim (which became part of the Indian Union in 1975) have been witnessing Chinese adventurism. Sikkim is another irritant: Beijing has refused to acknowledge this State as Indian. Admittedly, in 2003 China did agree to India’s sovereignty over Sikkim, but this appears to be more in letter than in spirit, given the latest incursions. Unfortunately, Beijing is reopening issues that New Delhi thought were closed.

Obviously, China has its own agenda: its designs on Indian territory are well known, and Beijing hopes that by pressuring New Delhi it can be arm twisted to part with some land. China certainly wants Arunachal, most certainly Tawang. And the Dalai Lama’s coming visit is but one of China’s ploy to push New Delhi into a corner. Sadly, India did buckle under China’s pressure last year when the spiritual leader’s trip to Arunachal was cancelled. Also last year, India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, went to Arunachal and called it an integral part of India, but gave Tawang a miss!

It is clear that India needs to reinforce its defence preparedness on its borders with China. In the early 1960s, Nehru’s idealism and adamancy caused pain and shame. He was sure that his ties with the then Chinese leaders were so strong that an attack was unthinkable. His Ministerial colleagues disagreed with him. But Nehru remained steadfast in his notion of goodness till the Chinese soldiers walked into India in what looked like an exciting picnic. Only India did not enjoy that. One hopes that New Delhi pays equal attention to China and Pakistan.

Related Articles
    Tiger Man Mike Pandey
    Egypt's First Edition of El Gouna Film ...
    El Gouna Film Festival Opens with Sheikh ...
    New Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival to Add ...
    India Stands Shamed after Racial Attacks near ...
    The Dashing Pedro Almodovar to Chair Cannes ...
    Korean Cinema Comes to Chennai in India
    The Horror of Custodial Death
    Modi Is the Man We Need in India
    Mumbai’s Child King
    The Cocktail at Cannes
    Cannes Film Fest Begins on a Hollywood Note
    Mumbai Terrorized Again
    Venice Lines Up Impressive Jury
    Cannes Film Fest Begins on a Delightful Note
    No Indian Movie at the Festival
    Meaningless Film Censorship
    This Bloody Life!
    Mumbai and Pusan Film Fest Establish Ties
    On Road, in Rage
    India Picks Wrong Films for Oscars
    Robert De Niro to Head Cannes Film Fest Jury
    Someone Killed Jessica, But of Course!
    Middle Eastern Cinema Hits Hard
    Dubai Film Fest Opener
    Dubai Film Fest to Unravel Diverse Selection
    Indian Police Cut Corners to Tackle Crime
    Goa Festival Not God's Own
    "West Is West" Sets IFFI Sailing
    Fine Cinema at the Coming Dubai Film Festival
    "The King's Speech" to Set the Fest Rolling
    Abu Dhabi Film Festival a Fantastic Mix of ...
    "Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema" ...
    The Venetian Storm
    Frieda's Venice
    Jafar Panahi's Music Soothes Souls
    "Black Swan" Opens Venice Festival
    Festival to Bounce with Youthful Energy
    Shame and Scandal Plague Commonwealth Games
    Child Needs Compassion, Not Cane
    A Beast Called Beauty
    Adoor Gopalakrishnan: A Life in Cinema
    Bhopal Gas Tragedy: A Crime Called Bhopal
    Honour Killings Are India's Shame
    Cannes Film Festival And Poetry
    Cannes More Art Than Glamour This Time
    An Indian Pilgrimage to Cannes
    Maoist Rebellion in India
    Asians to Carry the Torch at Cannes
    Cannes Film Festival and Probables
    "Robin Hood" to Open Cannes Film Festival
    Persecution of Artists
    The Only Two Real Races This Year
    Curry Bashing in Australia
    US Director Tim Burton to Lead Cannes Jury
    India's Car Boom Creates Its Own Chaos
    Making Idiots Out of Men
    Indian Girls Find Paris Hilton’s Shoes Too Hot
    Mexican Film Wins Top Prize at Marrakech
    Ben Kingsley Hopes to Be an Envoy for Cinema
    Movie Director Hopes Obama Would Solve the ...
    Nandita Das on Marrakech Jury
    A Decaying Film Festival
    Marrakech Festival a Boon for Local Cinema
    Panorama Selection Questionable
    IFFI to Open on a Note of Visual Lyricism
    South Korea to Be Focus at the Film Fest
    Dalai Lama’s Tawang Visit Vexes Beijing
    Why Mumbai Film Fest Scores over Goa
    Mumbai’s Young Movie Critics Ready to Tear ...
    India Is Still Hungry for Food
    Honor Killing through Lens at Mumbai Festival
    11th Mumbai Film Festival to Open with Matt ...
    Film Festival to Showcase Some Gems
    Can India Host 2010 Commonwealth Games?
    The Venetian Sorrow
    The Tiger War
    Israeli War Film Wins Venice’s Top Golden Lion
    Politicians Livid over Festival Movie
    "Bad Lieutenant" Creates Bad Blood between Two ...
    Clooney and Damon Star Attractions at Venice
    Muslim Bashing Must End
    Mumbai Film Festival Prizes to Be among the ...
    An Indian Juror in De Sica Land
    India's Gays Can Now Love without Fear
    Moore's "Capitalism," 70 Other Films to ...
    An Indian Summer at the Lagoon City
    Festival May Be Strong on European Fare
    A Tamil Film with a Difference
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: But ...
    India Is Racist Too
    Hollywood Bungles in Bollywood
    The Tragic Tale of the Indian Tiger
    Cannes Jury Honors Chilling Tales
    Lars Von Trier’s Sex and Horror
    Gems and the Cannes Film Festival
    Market and the Cannes Film Festival
    Keats Poetry, Campion’s Reading
    Lou Ye’s Controversial Disaster
    Clash of Titans on the Croisette
    Sexy Sirens and Political Propagandists
    Is Sharmila Tagore the Right Choice for Cannes ...
    The Stars in Cannes’ Dark Skies
    Cannes Courts Controversy
    Indian Elections: A Circus of Villains
    Festival Unveils Lineup of Masters
    Beyond Bollywood’s Melodramatic Mishmash
    India's Infrastructure at Breaking Point
    Guessing the Festival Goodies
    Kate Winslet the New Face of Brilliance
    Tarantino’s ‘Basterds’ to Spit Fire at Fest
    Animated Film, Up, to Open Festival
    Smoking Screen
    Oscar-Rich Penelope Set to Master English
    Cannes Honours Clint Eastwood
    Renowned French Star to Chair Cannes Jury
    Fable of Mr Benjamin Button: Riveting Cinema
    The Mangalore Molest
    Aamir Khan Film Is a Bad Copy
    It May Well Be the End of Agony in Sri Lanka
    Woody Allen’s "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
    International Film Festival of India
    Mumbai Terror
    Marrakech Int'l Film Festival Has Grown
    Marrakech Int'l Film Festival
    Marrakech International Film Festival
    Shambled Secularism
    Benegal’s Sajjanpur
    Venice Festival Blues
    Venice under the Hollywood Spell ?
    A Riveting Movie on Islam's Crisis
    Venice Festival a Haven for World Premieres
    Pakistani Films Come to India, at Last!
    Tamil Super Hero Rises Again
    The Comic Fantasy
    The Smoking Screen!
    Bollywood and Beyond at Stuttgart
    New Film May Spell Hope for Bollywood
    Indian Cinema Feeds Deceit
    An Indian Film on an American Power Plant
    India Not At Cannes
    Cannes Line-Up
    Writer Taslima Nasreen Forced Out of India
    India Inspires World Fashion
    Mills & Boon
    "Jodhaa Akbar" Creates Controversy in India
    Sania Mirza Subject to Ridicule in Native India
    Sarkozy and Bruni Love Causes Moral Outrage
    India and the Oscars
    Marrakech International Film Festival Reviewed
    Paranoid Park
    Cannes 2007: Killings
    The Spy Case
    The Good and the Not So Good
    Bollywood Superman
    First Kashmiri Film in 20 Years
    Chinese Influence Seems Unstoppable
    Cannes Film Festival 2006: Minimalism, Too
    Cannes Fest Prizes
    Cannes Film Festival 2006: Great Delights
    The Da Vinci Code
    Missing Tigers
    The Despair of Tibetans
    Trilateral Stratagem To Slow China's Growth
    Sri Lanka Crisis
    Hollywood Movies Doing Well In India
    Peace Pipe
    Mangal Pandey: The Rising
    Honda Clash
    Bush-Manmohan Singh Pact
    Satyajit Ray, Still India's Most Noted Movie ...
    Ban on Cigarettes in India
    "Match Point" Excoriated by Britons
    Crisis In India’s Hindu Nationalist Party
    Manmohan Singh’s One Year
    58th Cannes International Film Festival Begins
    Indo-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy
    U.S. Visa Refusal
    The 7th Deauville Asian Film Festival Closes
    Seedy Film Journalism
    Indian Tigers Butchered in Broad Daylight
    No Oscar for Scorsese, Yet Again
    Nepal in Turmoil As King Sacks PM Deuba
    History Repeats in Struggle for Free Press
    India Could Have Prevented Tsunami Deaths
    Argue over Freedom on Internet
    "City of Gold" Dubai Stands like Oasis in ...
    Towards a Solution to the Kashmir Problem
    India & China Rising
    Bush Victory and India
    Indian Robinhood
    After 9/11, World Links Muslim with Violence
    India's Great Heritage Taj Mahal in Danger
    "Kashmir": A Never Ending Thorny Issue
    The Village -- A Silly Joke
    Jakarta Bombing Aimed at Aussie ...
    Millions of Indians Go to Bed Hungry
    Sri Lanka's Ethnic War Knows No End
    Over 600 Tibetan Monks, Nuns Should Be Freed
    India's Schoolgirl Killer Hanged in Controversy
    3 Kidnapped Indians Endure Agonizing Torture
    Musharraf's Sets Deadline on Kashmir
    Usefulness of Nepalese Monarchy in Question
    Temple of Learning Turns into Grave of Death
    AIDS Keeps Threatening the Poor in Asia, Africa
    Fearful of Dowry Parents Kill Newborn Girls
    Hot Discussion on Death Penalty in India
    India's Flag of Democracy Kept Unfurled
    Politics Dominates Cannes Int'l Film Festival
    Intolerance Grows before India General Election
    Fears of Strife Continue in Sri Lanka
    Torture, Rape Occur in Indian Classroom
    World Leaders Must Take Stand against Nukes
    India's Cities Prosper as Country Folk Starve
    India, Pakistan Form Friendly Ties
    Cell Phones Bring Joy, Sorrow World Over

Other Articles by Gautaman Bhaskaran
Tiger Man Mike Pandey
Egypt's First Edition of El Gouna Film ...
El Gouna Film Festival Opens with Sheikh ...
New Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival to Add ...
India Stands Shamed after Racial Attacks ...

Gautaman Bhaskaran is a veteran film critic and writer who has covered Cannes and other major international festivals, like Venice, Berlin, Montreal, Melbourne, and Fukuoka over the past two decades. He has been to Cannes alone for 15 years. He has worked in two of India’s leading English newspapers, The Hindu and The Statesman, and is now completing an authorized biography of India’s auteur-director, Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Penguin International will publish the book, whose research was funded by Ford Foundation.






The Seoul Times, Shinheung-ro 36ga-gil 24-4, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange