Border disputes with one country or two or even a few is understandable. But Peking/ Beijing has (created) border disputes with 21 other nations. Mr Narendra Modi’s caution against expansionism were not far fetched. This refers not just to lands where it continues its methods of salami slicing. Even in the South China Sea, with sea lane grabbing actions, China is pushing the envelope beyond acceptable lines. China has also claimed islands that other nations have long held as theirs.
Real Estate Roulette
The latest in the series of real estate poaching by the dragon is its claim on Vlodivostok. Vlodivostok was ceded to Russia by China in a treaty. While the background to this treaty may not be very fair, claiming the land now is a little funny. Funny not because of the treaty. One believes basis circumstances and genuine need, past treaties could be re-visited. A little funny because it is the Chinese playing this border disputes card .
The Bully plays the victim card, as they often do
China is not the nice little school kid that is complaining of violence against it. China is the active bully on the global scene now. Hence the only reaction the Vlodivostok claim may elicit is one of humour. Very few are really moved by any bully’s show of pain. Most know it for what it is. Just a ruse to appear to be a victim and not the perpetrator of abuse. Some may humour the bully for some time for some reasons. Never everyone for all time.
Modi Surrenders Kid-gloves. Punches Above His Weight
With Mr Modi’s statesman-like address, he has awakened everyone to the danger that China poses as its pokes its nose in the neighbourhood . China may already be smarting under the scorn that the world has been heaping on it for some time now. Accusing China of cultivating the Corona pandemic if not creating the virus itself. India naming and shaming it as a expansionist bully may not be a easy dumpling to digest. The term ‘expansionist’ itself is a well crafted one. Border disputes with 21 nations cannot be ignored easily. But then, no country or Head of State would wish to be called out as an expansionist in today’s age of political correctness.
Small Sino Steps To Size-able Change – Salami Slicing
Some readers may point out that the Chinese ‘claim’ over Vlodivostok is made only by junior officials. But this is the way China is known to manoeuvre. The CCP uses a process known as Salami Slicing, that undertakes deceptively small steps to achieve large (typically illegal) goals. It is not just about physically cornering land by small intrusions. It is also about cornering more mind share. The seeds that Beijing slowly sows for the audience to do the Peking.
It is basic decency to wish well and do good for your neighbours. Of course there may be some level of envy and/ or competition to maximize economic investments/ score better on socio-economic indicators etc. But diplomacy and decency of the Beijing kind, inimical to peaceful, equitable and thereby sustainable relationships should hopefully be a thing of the past. Hopefully the dragon will mend its ways. But it has to first realize the futility of its actions.
Peking’s Pitiful Pinocchio Position
One is reminded of the story of Pinocchio. A wooden toy created by its carpenter father finds its nose growing each time its utters a lie. Drawing parallels, maybe the CCP led China finds itself Pinocchio-ed. It pokes its nose, lies and usurps the land of one neighbour. Soon the lengthening nose leads it to other neighbours and their lands and seas. But the Sino strain of the Pinocchio syndrome means it is now led by the nose of its own making into uncharted waters. The sooner the nose gets normal, the better for China and the world. Getting one’s nose cut to size is no laughing matter. Xi Jinping with pain, no pleasant sight either.