In his recent visit to Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an obvious reference to China (though without naming it) said :
“The age of expansionism is over. In the centuries gone by it was expansionism which hurt humanity the most, and sought to destroy it. Those who are driven by expansionism have always proved a danger to the world. History bears testimony to the fact that expansionist forces have either been destroyed or forced to turn back. It is due to this experience that the world is coming together against expansionist forces “.
Soon after this speech, the spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in India, Ji Rong, denied that China is expansionist, and said that the claim was “exaggerated and fabricated.”
But is the Prime Minister’s statement untrue ?
In my earlier article I have given details of Chinese expansionism. Ji Rong and the Chinese Foreign Ministry should reply to these details, instead of giving a generalised response that the Prime Minister’s statement is “exaggerated and fabricated.”
As pointed out in my earlier article, today China has penetrated deeply into the economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as of the developed countries. China is today undoubtedly an imperialistic and expansionist force. Its Belt and Road Initiative is directed towards such goals too.
Like imperialists, the Chinese are seeking to capture the markets and raw materials of all countries.
Mountainous areas like Tibet and Ladakh may appear barren, much like Siberia. But just like Siberia, they are full of valuable minerals and other natural wealth. That is the real reason why Chinese troops intruded into the Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Hot Springs, Demchok, Five Fingers etc and will undoubtedly seek to penetrate further into Ladakh, unless stopped.
For instance, China has penetrated deeply into the Pakistan economy, and is using the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC ) for this purpose. Balochistan’s huge natural resources of gas, gold, coal, copper, sulphur etc have been handed over to the Chinese by Pakistan authorities, causing deep resentment among local populations that remain poor and marginalised. Meanwhile, the Pakistani markets are flooded with Chinese goods.
A Pakistani journalist told me recently that the country’s media has been told by the authorities not to publish or say anything on TV against China. This shows the influence of the Chinese on the Pakistani authorities.
Prime Minister Modi’s speech condemning Chinese expansionism should open the eyes of the whole world, which should unite against Chinese expansionism. Though one may disapprove of many other things that Modi said or did, on this issue all must unite. By speaking against Chinese expansionism, Modi has spoken like Churchill did against German expansionism in his time.
Markandey Katju is a former judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was also the Chairman of the Press Council of India.