Events of previous months insinuate that currently India is reintroducing Tibet in its China policy. This seems to be an outcome of persistent denial of India’s core concerns by China. There are signs that the Modi government is perhaps reevaluating India’s Tibet Policy.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama met the president of India in December. It was first meeting of its kind in a very long time. Though the event was not political but the Chinese got furious. China reacted strongly to this meeting stating that India was ‘disrespecting’ one of its core interests. India brushed aside Chinese objections stating that the Dalai Lama is a world wide revered leader and it should not be a concern at all as the event was not political. The development shows that Tibet is still very much alive in India-China relationship calculus.
China’s constant and blatant refusal to acknowledge Indian prime security concerns has resulted in a calculated but significant reaction. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be visiting Arunachal Pradesh and as expected this has made the Chinese angry again. The Chinese state media has warned India and said that this will have ‘consequences’. But India doesn’t seem bothered. This event will be attended by India’s political leadership as well. It is home state of Kiren Rijiju who is a leading political personality.
Indian government, deeply concerned by agonizing and blatant refusal by the Chinese on several issues of India’s national security, will care less about the Chinese sensitivity on Tibet
Rattled by the continuous Chinese support to Pakistan, the Indians are now more open to the ‘possibilities’ in its available pool of cards against China.
Tibet has long been out of picture but it appears that it will stage a comeback. It makes sense as appeasing China by sacrificing the interests of the Tibetan people has not worked and China has continuously irked India by its open anti-India policies.
India has been very cautious on Tibet and has been following a very pacifist approach on the matter. But now, it appears that there is gradual change in India and Chinese reaction reaffirms it. China has been ignoring India’s concerns for a long time now and perhaps India will now begin to do the same.
It will be interesting to see that how far the Modi government can go in this direction. At a time when even USA said that it respects One China policy, India will certainly move very carefully. But it is safe to say that Tibet issue is back again in India-China dynamics.