Jaishankar's remarks over China's Zangnan disregard common sense, a vicious attempt to win votes, say analysts
Published: Mar 24, 2024 07:35 PM
The US attempts to hypnotize India into confrontation with China.Cartoon:Carlos Latuff

The US attempts to hypnotize India into confrontation with China. Cartoon:Carlos Latuff

The claims made by India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar over the Chinese territory of Zangnan in Singapore on Saturday were slammed by Chinese analysts on Sunday as a brutal disregard of historic common sense, and the recent acts and remarks by the Indian government are viewed as merely a vicious attempt to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party to win reelection, by establishing a hawkish image to court domestic nationalist voters. 

Responding to a question after delivering a lecture at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of National University in Singapore on Saturday, Jaishankar called China's claims on the so-called Arunachal Pradesh "ludicrous" while asserting that the region is "a natural part of India,"  India's NDTV reported. 

According to the reports, the Saturday event marked Jaishankar's first public comment on the issue after the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese Ministry of National Defense came out in opposition to Indian leaders' visit to the Zangnan region earlier in March. 

Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense, said at a routine monthly press conference that the area of Zangnan is Chinese territory and the Chinese government has never recognized the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and strongly opposes the so-called Arunachal Pradesh illegally established by India, demanding India to stop taking any actions that complicate border issues and to effectively maintain peace and stability in border areas.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a routine daily press conference on March 11 that "The area of Zangnan is Chinese territory. The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' illegally set up by India and firmly opposes it. The China-India boundary question has yet to be solved. India has no right to arbitrarily develop the area of Zangnan in China." 

"India's relevant moves will only complicate the boundary question and disrupt the situation in the border areas between the two countries. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes the Indian leader's visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary. We have made solemn representations to India," Wang noted.

It is a show of total disregard of the most basic historic common sense and a move to use territorial issue to court domestic voters, Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow with the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday, refuting Jaishankar's provocations. 

The Modi administration has always tried to use the issue of Zangnan to bargain with China. "Militarily, China needs to keep on high-alert and be prepared for any provocation and present effective determination. Only by doing so can we make sure India will not be arrogant enough to do anything unwise," Hu noted.

Jaishankar's erroneous claims came after a US State Department spokesperson said on March 20 that the US recognizes Arunachal Pradesh (namely Zangnan of China) as Indian territory, which China immediately strongly deplores and firmly opposes. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian told a routine press conference on Thursday that the China-India boundary has never been delimited. Zangnan has always been China's territory, a basic fact that is undeniable. "The China-India boundary question is a matter between the two countries and has nothing to do with the US side. It is known to all that the US has consistently spared no efforts to provoke and take advantage of other countries' conflicts to serve its selfish geopolitical interests." 

Due to the US' pushing India over its "Indo-Pacific Strategy" and supporting India's position on the Xizang issue, it further exposes the US' strategic intention of forming an anti-China coalition with India, Chinese analysts pointed out.  

This action by the US stimulates and encourages India's anti-China behavior, making the China-India border issue more complex and detrimental to the peaceful resolution of border disputes between the two countries, Hu remarked. 

Speaking at the same event on Saturday, Jaishankar, while stressing the need for peace and tranquility between borders, smearing that it was China that disrupted the "equilibrium" at the border with the 2020 border standoff.

Slamming such remarks, Hu said that it was a deliberate attempt by the Indian government to confuse public opinion, garner sympathy and attention both domestically and internationally, while seizing the opportunity to suppress China and enhance India's international influence.