Resolutely oppose US interference
On May 27, US President Trump publicly declared: “We have informed both India and China that the US is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute”.
The declaration of the US President signals the intent of the US to try to utilize the ongoing border clashes between India and China to advance its own interests in this region. This poses great danger to both India and China, and to peace in Asia. It must be resolutely opposed by the people of India, China, and all other countries of this region.
The situation on the Indo-China border is no doubt tense. Scuffles between the two armies have been reported from at least four different places along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries. In particular, the clash on May 5 in the Ladakh sector took a serious turn with over a hundred soldiers of the two armies suffering injuries. Thousands of troops of both armies have been mobilized along the border.
There have been increasing border clashes between India and China over the past seven years. They are directly related to two factors. On one hand, both China and India have been building heavy roads along the border, in order to be able to rapidly deploy soldiers and heavy equipment. Both are trying to establish their claims along the disputed border through their military presence on the ground. The second factor is the role of the US and the growing Indo US strategic military alliance. The US has been systematically working to instigate India against China, and trying to prevent India and China from resolving their differences, including over the border, peacefully and bilaterally.
This month’s clashes are a result of China’s opposition to India’s building of strategic border roads in the Ladakh sector. The immediate factor behind the border clash in Doklam in 2017 was India’s opposition to the building of a strategic border road by China near the trijunction of Bhutan, China and India. The ongoing dispute between India and Nepal over Kalapani, which both India and Nepal claim, is also linked with the recent opening of a border road by India to this trijunction of India, China and Nepal. There have been mass protests in Nepal against what is considered India’s unilateral takeover of Nepalese territory, and the Nepal government has published a map depicting this area as belonging to Nepal.
The border dispute between India and China is a legacy of the colonial period. So is the border dispute between India and Nepal. The British colonialist rulers of India took over territories belonging to Tibet, by declaring that the so called McMohan line was the border between Tibet and India. With British support, the Maharaja of Kashmir took over territories of China in the Ladakh region. Through wars and unequal treaties, the British colonialists incorporated territories of Nepal into India.
When India became independent in 1947, and China achieved its liberation in 1949, people of India hoped that the two countries would overcome the problems created by the British colonialists. However, this was not to be. India and China went to war with each other in 1962, because they could not agree to what constituted their border.
Since that war ended, the border dispute remains. However, the two countries agreed at the highest levels to try to settle the dispute through talks, and to ensure that clashes over the border did not escalate into a war. It is a fact that since 1975 not a single soldier of either country has died in border clashes. The two armies had tacitly agreed to build no permanent constructions within a certain distance of the Line of Actual Control. That situation has been changing rapidly in recent years, with both countries building strategic roads right upto the border challenging each other’s claims about the LAC.
The present tense situation in the border is not in the interests of either India or China. Neither India nor China will benefit if the border clashes escalate into a full-fledged war. At the same time, this situation is being exploited by the US to advance its aim of domination of the entire region. A week before US President Trump offered to “mediate”, the US point person for South Asia, Alice Wells condemned China for the clashes. Coming out in “support of India”, she called upon India to “resist” the Chinese. This amounts to instigating India against China.
It is important to understand the US strategy with respect to Asia. The US sees in China, the main roadblock to its aim of dominating Asia and the world. It is trying to isolate China and encircle it militarily. To achieve this goal, the US has been steadily building a military strategic partnership with India. It has been pushing India to join the QUAD military alliance in which the other members are the US, Japan and Australia. The US wants India to put pressure on China on the land border, while simultaneously joining in a sea blockade of China in the South China Sea. It is deliberately fomenting unrest in Hongkong and Xinjiang provinces. It is using the Coronavirus pandemic to carry out a worldwide campaign to isolate and attack China by blaming it for allegedly spreading the virus.
This is the reason that the US is coming out in “support” of India at the present time.
People must not forget the lessons of history.
The US has a history of inciting other countries to go to war with one another so that they weaken each other. Through such wars, it ensures its own dominance.
The Anglo American imperialists divided India and established Pakistan as a base to encircle the Soviet Union, and weaken India. During the Cold War period, the US worked to exacerbate differences between China and the Soviet Union, in order to weaken both of them.
The US has worked systematically to ensure that India and Pakistan are always at loggerheads, in order to ensure its domination over South Asia. It has used the dispute over Kashmir for this purpose.
The US has always worked to create mistrust between India and China over Tibet and the border issue, in order to weaken both countries. It used India as a base to instigate an uprising in Tibet in 1958. It egged on the Indian ruling class to take a strident position on the border dispute with China, promising support with sophisticated arms. The 1962 war between India and China led to a great setback in relations between these two major countries of Asia. It enabled the US to increase its intervention in Asia.
Over the past decade, the US has been promoting India as its major ally in the Indo Pacific region. The armed forces of the two countries are being integrated under a common command. The military strategic agreements signed between US and India hold the danger of our country being embroiled in a war with other countries to serve US strategic interests. China, Pakistan, Russia and other countries of this region all feel threatened by the Indo-US strategic alliance. Far from being a source of security for India, the alliance with the US has led to growing distrust about India amongst other countries.
The peoples of India and China, as well as the peoples of all countries of Asia, must resolutely oppose US imperialist intervention in the region, whether it takes the form of military strategic alliances and military encirclement, or the form of “mediation”. The US has simply no business to interfere in the affairs of the countries of our region.
US imperialism, Get out of Asia!