Wednesday, April 21, 2021

British Think Tank Highlights India’s ‘Silence’ Over Xinjiang & Hong Kong, But Ignores Indian Envoy’s UN Talk

A British think tank has published a report accusing India of keeping mum over alleged Chinese excesses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong even as many countries have criticized Beijing’s actions.

The report, ‘Global Britain, Global Broker’, by Chatham House largely warns the government that like Saudi Arabia, China, and Turkey, India might be valuable to the UK’s commercial interest but “they will be rivals or, at best, awkward counterparts on many of its global goals”.

It states that despite border clashes with China, “India did not join the group of countries that criticized China at the UN in July 2019 over human rights violations in Xinjiang. India has also been muted in its criticism of the passage of the new national security law in Hong Kong”.

The report also slams India’s diplomatic behavior with regard to China, in spite of a months-long border stand-off between the two countries.

Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute and has cautioned the British government against India, as the two reset their ties post Brexit.

However, contrary to such claims, New Delhi did raise the Hong Kong issue. India had in June 2020 asked China to address concerns around Hong Kong’s security law. India’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Rajiv Chander, had said:

“Given the large Indian community that makes the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China its home, India has been keeping a close watch on recent developments.”

He noted “several statements expressing concern on these developments” and said, “We hope the relevant parties will take into account these views and address them properly, seriously and objectively”.

While China has gone all out criticizing India on Kashmir and raising the same issue at the United Nations Security Council on behalf of its “all-weather ally” Pakistan, India has maintained a deafening silence over the treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

China, on the other hand, has undertaken a $42-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which passes through Gilgit Baltistan that India claims as part of its territory. It has violated the ‘One India Policy’ by refusing to recognize Arunachal Pradesh as part of India.

Beijing considers Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet. Amid the border stand-off with China, India has partnered with the West, especially the US, to counter expansionist China. Countries like the US and the US have bashed China over alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong along with raising voices over Tibet and Taiwan.

Indian policy experts have long suggested countering China by raising Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, or the Hong Kong issue.

Notwithstanding the UK think tank’s criticism, India has not remained completely silent on Tibet either. In a message to China, India performed the last rites of special forces soldier, Nyima Tenzin, with full state honors in the Choglamsar Tibetan refugee settlement outside Leh.

The participation of the ruling party’s leader in the funeral of the Indian Army soldier, who had died in an accidental mine blast, indicated that India had not forgotten the Tibetan issue, the experts said.

In addition, hundreds of posters wishing Taiwan a happy National Day were displayed outside the Embassy of China in New Delhi on October 10.

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