Playing Tibet card will incur damage to New Delhi
Published: Sep 03, 2020 10:08 PM

China India Photo: GT

Some Indian media recently said India's "Special Frontier Force" (SFF), a force recruited mostly from exiled Tibetans, has "thwarted" the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s actions along the China-India border area. A Tibetan member died and another was critically wounded during the SFF's illegal crossing of the Line of Actual (LAC) near the south bank of the Pangong Lake on Monday. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June declared that Indian deaths in the Galwan Valley clash "will not be in vain." And now, India is letting these exiled Tibetans rush to the forefront. It seems that New Delhi may try to play the Tibet card. 

These exiled Tibetans only act as cannon fodder in India's attempt to nibble into China's interests on the border issue. "These exiled Tibetans' status is very low in the Indian army. They can only use the opportunity to vent their dissatisfaction against the Chinese government," Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times in an interview on Thursday. 

After India once again unilaterally provoked the border issue, a video has been circulating on social media depicting Indian soldiers dancing with flags that show a separatist symbol adopted by the so-called "Tibetan government in exile." 

The authenticity of the video is unproven, but the Indian administration, kidnapped by soaring nationalism, may be enticed to play with fire on the Tibet question. Does India dare to openly recognize "Tibet secessionism," and deny that Tibet is an inalienable part of China? If New Delhi is bold enough to openly oppose this fact, it is clearly aware of the consequences and shooting itself in the foot.

"If India openly supports 'Tibet secessionism' on border issues, does it mean that China can also support the insurgencies in Northeast India?" Qian said in the interview. India must realize that no country would allow another to wantonly violate its national sovereignty.

After illegally crossing the LAC on Monday, India on Wednesday banned another 118 Chinese mobile apps. It seems New Delhi has lost its rationality. India's national strength does not allow it to start an all-out war on China, nor allows India to play the Tibet card on the border issue. 

India should stop immersing itself in extreme nationalism. If India openly plays the card of "Tibet secessionism" and launches an all-round confrontation with China, China has many countermeasures to make India feel the pain. After all, China is protecting its legitimate sovereign interests, which all countries would strive to protect at any cost. 

India has seriously overestimated itself by unilaterally provoking China and trying to change the status quo. If New Delhi wants to play the card of "Tibet secessionism," it will only make its own situation worse. Considering India's grim COVID-19 situation, the country would only be trapped in a quagmire domestically and externally. Respecting China's sovereignty and taking the initiative to withdraw its troops as soon as possible is India's only rational choice.