In view of the current situation between India and China, President of the Tibetan government in exile Lobsang Sangay has said that the Indian government should make Tibet one of the core issues in its policies due to its “historical, geopolitical, cultural and ecological” significance.
“The issue of Tibet is at the core of ongoing India’s border tensions with China. It was only after Chinese illegal occupation of Tibet in 1959 that India and China came to share the now-disputed border,” said Sangay while explaining the significance of Tibet in the Sino-Indian boundary dispute.
He further explained Chairman Mao Zedong’s expansionist strategy from the 1950s and said that China’s aggression along the border in 2020 “is the continuation of its strategy from Mao Zedong’s time to occupy Tibet and annex the five fingers of Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh”.
“What we saw in Dokalam in 2017 and now at Ladakh is the unravelling of that strategy,” he added.
The tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) started in early May when India accused China of sending thousands of troops into Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. And tensions escalated when Indian and Chinese troops clashed along in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on the night of June 15, leading to the death of 20 Indian army personnel.
“The violence and the death of Indian jawans (soldiers) were unfortunate,” said Sangay.
“India never shared a border with China; it’s the Indo-Tibetan border. Tibet served as a zone of peace in the form of a buffer between India and China for more than a thousand years. It is no longer the case since China’s invasion of Tibet in the 1950s. For decades, we have been saying Tibet’s narrative should be a lesson. This is not the first military aggression by China and sadly it won’t be the last,” he added.
Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said that China already warned India that it will open new fronts across the Himalayan borders, which stretches 3,488 km from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
“China’s shifting military aggressions in the Indo-Tibet borders from Sikkim to Ladakh is to put pressure on India from different fronts in the Himalayas,” he said.
While all the countries are fighting their inside battles and handling the covid-19 pandemic, China is incessantly making its move to challenge territorial claims in the South China Sea, the Himalayan region, in the Indo-Pacific region with a new security law in Hong Kong and by sending Chinese fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace.
Without mincing any words, Sangay said that it was due to “China’s initial cover-up” and downplay of the Wuhan-originated Covid-19 that delayed the response of the nations and led to the widespread infection outside China.
“When China was rising as a global power, there was a growing discourse directed at interpreting China’s rise. I think China has once again shown what kind of global standing and image in the world it is planning for,” he said.