Foreign minister S Jaishankar reiterated the Indian position – that the LAC standoff cast a negative light on the entire India-China relationship and that improvement in the latter depended on the standoff being resolved soon – at an SCO meet in Dushanbe on Wednesday. Should we hold our breath for peace and tranquillity to be restored in border areas, and for India-China relations to return to an even keel soon?
For an answer, one could do worse than turn to the keynote speech delivered by President Xi Jinping on July 1, marking the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) this month. Xi admonished foreigners that they would have their “heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people” if they attempted to “bully” China.
Since no one can remember who has tried to bully China in recent times, a great deal hinges on what Xi and the CCP interpret as “bullying” or even “China”. The same speech also warned Taiwan and its “foreign” friends of “resolute actions” against “Taiwan independence”, as reunifying it with China was the Party’s “historic mission and unshakable commitment”. Likewise, the CCP considers Arunachal Pradesh to be part of China, as the southern part of its Tibetan province.
The Party is marking its centenary with a great deal of pomp and pageantry, and indeed it has much to celebrate. China was a poor country when the Party was born; now it’s a $16 trillion behemoth, on course to become the largest economy in the world. About 800 million Chinese have come out of poverty over the last four decades. At a time when communist parties are dying or dead across the world the CCP has 95 million members, a number higher than Germany’s total population. To all appearances the CCP today is indeed a glittering, awesome machine.
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