Weighing in on the China-India border standoff in Doklam, the Dalai Lama on Wednesday sided with India with ostensibly impartial remarks. He said two big nations don’t have the ability to eliminate or defeat the other, so they have to live side by side. He also said: “This century should be a century of dialogue. One-side victory, one-side defeat is old thinking. Destruction of your neighbor is destruction of yourself. The only way is through talks.”
The Dalai Lama should hold these seemingly peace-loving and universally applicable words until the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) kick Indian troops out of Chinese territory, or even when the PLA hits back and steps on Indian soil. He will be better placed then to call for India to have dialogue and maintain peace with China.
The political exile lives at the mercy of India and has become spineless. New Delhi now stresses the importance of dialogue because its troops on Chinese soil risk being dealt with by the PLA at any time. China is still pursuing the unconditional full pullout of India’s troops, which is internationally acceptable, so the Dalai Lama siding with India is to no avail. Yet India has to use the Dalai Lama card as it has no others in hand. India hopes to use the Dalai Lama to boost morale in the face of China’s punishment that looms large.
Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley underlined Wednesday that lessons have been learned from the 1962 war and that Indian armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge to the country’s security, in a bid to lift up his people. He leaves unspoken the belief that the Indian army can sustain a prolonged standoff with the Chinese army. Since India is so confident, it can remain in Chinese territory and wait and see what action the PLA will take.
But if they were truly bold enough, they would not have asked China to withdraw its troops simultaneously with India’s.
China cherishes peace and has more than enough strength, but it has exercised the utmost restraint. India had better gear up for a fight, as China won’t accept any precondition for withdrawal. The standoff will end up either with India pulling out or by military means. Before that happens, we are willing to give our neighbor a chance to fully realize the extent of China’s strength.
The PLA is capable of routing the Indian troops any time it wants. It hasn’t taken action, not because it is frightened by the Indian army, but because of China’s sincerity in seeking peace and its will to maintain regional stability.
Today’s India is a young country that bears little semblance to the ancient civilization. It was subject to colonization for a long time, and intimidated its smaller neighbors after independence, except for the defeat China handed to it in 1962. In this sense, this country indeed needs to learn some lessons before it grows mature, and the Indian troops illegally occupying Doklam will be the example in the learning process.
It must be pointed out that there are outcomes for wars. India seems to be ignorant about diplomacy and war. It acts like an illiterate tumbling out in the international community and will have to face grave consequences.