China alarmed over risng support

In India though, China plays a unique “divide” card — wooing Congress, while treating the UPA government with thinly veiled contempt. A delegation from the Communist Party of China’s international cell visited Congress headquarters here to propose a seminar in Beijing at the end of 2008 to commemorate 20 years of Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in 1988. The leader of the delegation, Li Jinjun, also formally proposed that Rahul Gandhi head the Indian delegation. While there was little mention of Manmohan Singh’s visit to China, there were glowing references to Sonia Gandhi’s trip.

Recently, the EU parliament made its first call for a limited boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Its president, Hans-Gert Pottering, told a German daily, “If there continues to be no signals of compromise, I consider boycott measures to be justified.” The only other European leader to endorse this has been French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, but this call has received little traction from around the world. Back home, MEA’s silence on China’s arrogant behaviour with Indian diplomats is attributed to India’s traditional diffidence towards the Chinese. This is the second diplomatic aggression by the Chinese towards India in the last few months after China protested against the PM’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in February.

Last time, India stuck to an anodyne statement about Arunachal being an integral part of India. MEA, caught off balance by China yet again, will wait for the foreign minister and the foreign secretary to return from Washington before taking a position.

EP Desk adds – The recent resurgence of protests against China’s policy on Tibet has raised mixed reactions both globally and in India itself. Using the publicity that accompanies the Olympics as a means of reaching out to the global community has undoubtedly worked wonders as there has been a very significant rise in the number of supporters of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his efforts to bring about changes in China’s policies regarding Tibet.

Though protests were numerous in many parts of the country especially in the capital New Delhi, the Indian leg of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay came to a conclusion without any untoward incidents.

We at Eastern Panorama extend our heartfelt solidarity to the people of Tibet and those in exile and sincerely hope that with the renewed interest in this much debated subject, an amicable resolution to this age old conflict can be arrived at soon.