Expansionist China a threat to India: BJP leader

June 28th, 2008 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 28 (IANS) Underlining solidarity with the Tibetan people, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha Saturday warned that China was emerging as a “threat” to India and the world and asked the government to check Beijing’s activities that went against New Delhi’s interests. “China is an expansionist power which only believes in the policy of swallowing weaker countries and smaller islands,” Sinha told reporters here after addressing a conference on Tibet.

“China is growing manifold in both economic and military front and this is a threat to all of us,” stressed Sinha, who was the external affairs minister in the previous BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) dispensation.

“The message is loud and clear. If we immediately do not check China’s activities then India is destined to suffer China’s atrocities in the coming years as Tibet is suffering for the last 50 years,” he said.

“We ourselves have not enjoyed a happy history with China, so we cannot blindly believe their present policies. Right now China is soft on the Tibet issue just because of the Beijing Olympics,” Sinha pointed out.

He was echoing his party’s larger critique of the government’s policy on China.

Earlier this month, the BJP, at its national executive meeting, played up the 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 and the development of new solid-fuelled missiles.

The party also pointed to the establishment of 60 missile launch bases in Tibet and China’s new nuclear submarine base on Hainan island to underline the emerging threat from China to India’s vital national interests.

Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, drew India’s attention to China’s larger design by building a railway network in Tibet that may work against New Delhi’s interests in the long run.

“They are planning to build more railway networks in Tibet so that they come closer to places like Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim (in India), thereby posing threat to them,” Rinpoche said.

Deflating China’s claims of pushing development in Tibet, Rinpoche alleged that construction activities being undertaken in the region were meant to promote Beijing’s vested interests and not those of the Tibetan people.

Rinpoche, however, lauded the Indian government for its support for the Tibetan cause.

“The government of India is always supportive to the Tibetan cause and has shown keen interest in our talks with China. The dialogue is on with China for the last five years and we are still optimistic, ” Rinpoche told IANS.

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