July 7, Beijing (Global Times)–India has startling control and oppression over Bhutan, and as a result, Bhutan has not established diplomatic ties with its neighbor China or any other permanent member of the UN Security Council. Through unequal treaties, India has severely jeopardized Bhutan’s diplomatic sovereignty and controls its national defense.
India imposed a similar coercive policy on Sikkim before. The small neighbor’s revolts over sovereignty in the 1960s and 1970s were brutally cracked down on by the Indian military. New Delhi deposed the king of Sikkim in 1975 and manipulated the country’s parliament into a referendum to make Sikkim a state of India. The annexation of Sikkim is like a nightmare haunting Bhutan, and the small kingdom is forced to be submissive to India’s bullying.
After independence, New Delhi inherited the brutal colonial policies of Britain and pursues regional hegemony at the sacrifice of tiny Himalayan nations.
New Delhi’s regional hegemony is boldly shown by the border face-off this time. Using the excuse of “helping Bhutan protect its sovereignty,” India brazenly obstructs China’s road construction in Chinese territory.
China’s construction site is near India’s Siliguri Corridor, a vital path to the country’s turbulent northeast area. Suspicious of the potential threats the road construction poses to the corridor, Indian troops crossed the border to the China side and obstructed our road construction.
New Delhi’s regional hegemony is swelling to a tipping point. The country has to pay for its provocations.
The world should pay attention to New Delhi’s bullying of tiny Himalayan countries. The international community must be aware of Bhutan’s dilemma and prevent India from oppressing this small kingdom.
China should lead the international community in restoring Bhutan’s diplomatic and defense sovereignty. Unfair treaties between India and Bhutan that severely violate the will of the Bhutanese people should be abolished. China needs to put more efforts into establishing diplomatic ties with Bhutan at an earlier date as well.
Meanwhile, Beijing should reconsider its stance over the Sikkim issue. Although China recognized India’s annexation of Sikkim in 2003, it can readjust its stance on the matter. There are those in Sikkim that cherish its history as a separate state, and they are sensitive to how the outside world views the Sikkim issue. As long as there are voices in Chinese society supporting Sikkim’s independence, the voices will spread and fuel pro-independence appeals in Sikkim.
In the past, China was wary of India playing the Dalai Lama card, but this card is already overplayed and will exert no additional effect on the Tibet question. But if Beijing adjusts its stance on India-sensitive issues, it could be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi.
With certain conditions, Bhutan and Sikkim will see strong anti-India movements, which will negatively affect India’s already turbulent northeast area and rewrite southern Himalayan geopolitics.
The Sino-Indian relationship is complicated. Beijing is more powerful yet unwilling to face a confrontation with New Delhi. But meanwhile, we must have enough tools to deter India from provocations.
Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/5 23:38:40
Nepal Foreign Affairs
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