It appears that India and China are testing the waters with each other. Tibet is once again back in the chessboard game between the two giant Asian neighbours. No matter what the Chinese may say, there is still a ‘Tibet’ card in the game. While His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits northeast India, it does exactly the same. This has certainly brought ‘Tibet’ back into the headlines all over the world once again.
This is what China fears the most. They have shown time and again that they can suppress any opposition with their iron clad fist in the disputed regions like Tibet and Xinjiang. But all their might goes up in the thin air when faced with an idea that threatens their world view.
Their nervousness was very visible when they went overboard with an innocuous joke of The Dalai Lama. Recently His Holiness, in a moment of light humor said jokingly said that Chinese authorities have a very important part of their brain missing on TV show ‘Tonight with John Oliver’.
China has been averse to anything that says Tibet or Taiwan. They demand that other countries should accept ‘One China’ policy before they can think of any diplomatic and political engagement with China. Recently China cautioned USA that distancing from the aforesaid policy would have consequences.
Tibet is still a key factor in Indo-China relations. Even during the 1962 war Chinese authorities, including Mao Zedong, acknowledged that the conflict was not about the boundary or territory but Tibet. Before Tibet’s annexation the two countries didn’t share a border. What could have led China to forcefully occupy Tibet is the fact that Tibet is geographically located in a strategically important position. Control over Tibet gives China leverage against India and all the South Asian countries.
China is insecure that the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Diaspora population in India and the world will create ‘issues’ for China in Tibet. Dalai Lama and Tibetan people in India keep ‘Tibetan Cause’ alive.