A Historic Perspective of Chinese Strategy

Kashmir is reeling under terrorism. Terrorism had raised its ugly head in Punjab demanding Kalisthan. Insurgency is still rampant in the northeast. China is consolidating her iron grip on Tibet. Communist parties routed for China during the war of 1962. China is emerging as the leading economy in the world. Vietnam, Myanmar and North Korea are all but satellite nations to China. Nepal has gone Maoist. Sri Lanka is leaning towards China under Rajapakse. Chinese is censoring internet content. Pakistan has tested nuclear weapons strongly suspected to have been built with Chinese help. Chinese are strengthening naval presence in India Ocean. Are these all just unrelated events or is there a pattern?

While we are pondering, let us go back 1000 years in time to ancient China. It was a large country like that of the present age. It was ruled by a supreme emperor, who was supposed to be the representative of God on Earth. The kingdom was known as the middle empire, with the heaven above and rest of the world below it. Many of the kingdoms in South East Asia were vassal states paying tribute to the Chinese emperor. In fact that was the only kind of diplomatic relation the Chinese monarchy recognized. When European emissaries had first landed in the Chinese shores, the Chinese emperor had offered to accept the European countries as tributaries. The state was completely self sufficient and the only thing they required from any outside state was acceptance of Chinese sovereignty. But then this complacence had proved to be their undoing. Having had to not fight wars for many years, they failed to develop advanced military technology leading to their humiliation by the Europeans and later by Japan.

Let us now move on to another nation, another time. Consider communist Russia under Stalin 50 years back. They had formed the USSR absorbing all the small nations in the neighborhood and formed satellite nations of countries that could not be absorbed. Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, East Germany were all under the Russian hegemony. Communism as an ideal itself is hegemonic in nature. Marx had envisaged communism breaking all national barriers and uniting workers under a common banner. Of course Lenin and Mao had improvised it by adding ‘common banner under the ruling communist party’. Russia however failed in its attempt because it failed to build a strong economic base. Secondly it had not homogenized the country through ethnic cleansing and resettlement.

So now what do we have here. Current day China is not repeating the mistakes of imperial China. They have developed advanced military technology and are now one of the 5 elite nations having nuclear weapons. Nor have then repeated Russia’s mistake. They have kept the expansionist tendencies on the backburner and have been building a strong economic base. Now they are having one of the strongest economies in the world, what next?

Vietnam, North Korea, Myanmar are already more or less Chinese vassal states. Sri Lanka and Nepal are falling under its influence. China is having an increasing influence with the ASEAN countries. Now comes the roadblock– two troublesome nations to the west - India and Pakistan, both too big and ethnically and ideologically too different to absorb or convert into the Chinese’ commonwealth’. If you are getting where I am leading to, you might think I am crazy and paranoid. Frankly I myself thought so too till I read the below article.

It is a master stroke, isn’t it? Play Pakistan against India. Get Kashmir out. Then Punjab and Assam will follow. Then snatch Arunachal, Sikkim and rest of the north eastern states. Comrades will bring people’s republics of Bengal and Kerala to the fold. It would only be a matter of time before the rest of them come apart. Meanwhile Pakistan’s internal contradictions would pull it apart. So there we have around 30 odd small nations waiting to be harvested into the fold.

Now one may argue if this is the only way ahead for China. So let us consider the alternative. So far the people had willingly given over the decision taking authority to the communist party leaders to get the country back on its feet. Now country is an economic superpower. Isn’t it time people got their right to self determination and start enjoying life like their neighbors? Once democracy sweeps in, multiple parties will come. Tibetans, Manchurians and Uyghur will start demanding autonomy. Slowly the power of the communist party would begin to decline till they will be no better than their comrades in India. What a fall it would be, my friends? Would anyone ruling in their right mind want this to happen? Temporarily you can avert the disaster by screening the internet and not letting people see what people in other nations are upto. But in the long run, way to go is to motivate people and keep them going by raising the bar for national achievment. Having achieved economic supremacy, follow with political triumph and then world conquest to re-establish the middle kingdom. Isn’t freedom a small price to pay for such a lofty goal? Find below an article that reaches a similar conclusion http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/jul/12/nervous-china-may-attack-india-in-2012-defence-expert.htm

Am I missing something in my analysis or is India and the rest of the world just waiting for the much cherished goal of world peace to be established under the suzerainty of the Middle kingdom?

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