BJP plays up China threat, accuses government of appeasement

June 2nd, 2008 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) In a hawkish document on foreign policy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday attacked the “slavish attitude” of the government in appeasing Beijing that was reflected in its stance on Tibet and asked it to take a tougher stand on terrorism and the LoC ceasefire violations by Pakistan. The BJP, at the end of its two-day national executive meeting here, underlined its commitment to “cooperative and beneficial and progressively evolving relations with China” and the peaceful resolution of the border dispute with Beijing.

But in the same breath, the party played up the China threat and expressed concern about reports of the recent upgradation of China’s military base in Qinghai - barely 1,900 km northeast of New Delhi, the development of new solid-fuelled missiles, the establishment of sixty missile launch bases in Tibet and China’s new nuclear submarine base on Hainan island.

The party demanded that the government explain the details of the recent claims of Beijing on Finger Point in Sikkim and the “continuing incursions” of Chinese troops into Indian territory in Ladakh and the Northeast.

The BJP’s attempt to underline the China threat is significant coming as it does at a time when the two countries have forged strategic partnership and are multiplying bilateral trade with every passing day.

The then BJP-led NDA government had cited the threat from China as one of the major factors behind India’s decision to conduct nuclear tests in 1998.

In a document highlighting the failures of the government in different areas of foreign policy, the BJP sought to expose the government’s allegedly craven response to “the audacity of China’s claims” over the Indian territory of Arunachal Pradesh. The government has time and again rejected such claims by China.

The resolution also accused the government of reacting “cravenly to “extreme diplomatic snubs” such as the summoning of Indian envoy to Beijing Nirupama Rao by the Chinese foreign office “past midnight” a few months ago to express Beijing’s concerns about the infiltration of Tibetan protesters inside the Chinese embassy here.

“The government’s craven response to all these - it endangers India,” the party’s resolution said while asking the government to desist from “heaping further humiliations” on the country.

“The temptation is compounded by the slavish attitude that the UPA government has repeatedly demonstrated to China in handling the Olympic torch and by the way it is trying to muzzle Tibetan leader Dalai Lama’s voice,” the resolution said while exhorting the government to come out clearly on the side of the people of Tibet.

The party also voiced concern at certain statements emanating from the new civilian leadership in Pakistan that, according to the party, displayed “an inflexible approach” on Jammu and Kashmir.

The party’s resolution, that underlined the BJP’s hawkish attitude on national security and foreign policy issues, also expressed concern at cross-LoC firing in Samba and Tangdhar regions of Jammu and Kashmir last month and underlined that the November 2003 ceasefire, initiated by the NDA government, must be maintained.

Alluding to the growing menace of terrorism in the region, the party emphasised that Pakistan must honour its commitment given to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Jan 6, 2004 not to allow its territory to be used for any violence against India. Cross-border terror, the party stressed, was “the principal deterrent to normalcy and accord.”

The party was again characteristically tough on illegal infiltration of immigrants from Bangladesh into the Indian territory and asked the government to remind Dhaka that it can’t go on sheltering terrorists/insurgents from India.

Such activities are “unfriendly acts” on the part of Bangladesh, it said.

“The UPA must make this absolutely clear to the regime in Dhaka,” the resolution said.

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