There is no precise equivalent for the word ‘law’ in Mandarin which is spoken by 85 per cent of Han Chinese to which President Xi Jinping belongs. The Chinese never have, nor have they ever respected the law, which as an independent judiciary, are totally alien concepts in China. The only equivalent word for what we call law in English would be method in Mandarin. And that method is used as a means to an end which is decided by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This includes using deception, false promises and holding out a feigned hand of friendship. That is what successive Indian Prime Ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi failed to realise.
In a Freemason-like charade, the CCP uses stealth and deception to further its goals which are to project China as a status-quo global power for investment. It never has nor ever will tolerate rival nations to emerge as military or economic equals or so-called friends while allowing countries like India to delude themselves into thinking China is a friend.
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In 2014, the central committee of the CCP for the first time in its history made legal reforms the subject of its plenary meet. It announced far-reaching reforms to set up circuit courts, or what we loosely know as magistrate’s courts. This was done to deprive local party-state officials of their right to appoint subordinate magistrates or judges. This step was meant to severely weaken local CCP officials’ influence over their court system.
Hence, judicial reform is a tool to control the “top-down hold of the CCP’s national leadership over the local cadres. Whereas, the CCP itself remains above the law,” more accurately understood as “method” by the Chinese people. This statement was culled from a leaked document of the CCP during the 2014 symposium.
What we in India do not understand is the Chinese do not have a system of the “rule of law” or “right to life” on par with India or the civilised world. The Chinese are taught from infancy to respect the CCP, which has the power of life and death over the entire country. The concept of an independent judiciary is as alien to Chinese thought as chalk to cheese. The concept of an independent judiciary is thought of as a decadent Western concept which is banned from Chinese universities.
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This is why General Zhou Zongqi planned the brutal murder of our braveheart soldiers to “teach India a lesson” and to get himself elevated to the central committee of the CCP by proving his being indispensable to President Xi Jinping.
This is why Jawaharlal Nehru blundered into proclaiming his HINDI-CHINI BHAI BHAI model while Mao Tse Tung was preparing to attack India.
And even after 1962, Rajiv Gandhi failed to learn from his own grandfather 27 years earlier and allowed the Chinese to inveigle him into accepting the Chinese line to put the simmering border disputes on the backburner in 1988, even as the Chinese occupied Aksai Chin which is nearly the size of Bhutan. The PLA now occupies Aksai Chin, and Gilgit-Baltistan illegally ceded to them by Pakistan. India is living in a fool’s paradise to believe the Chinese will ever return these Indian territories.
China then does not respect the rule of law - an expression not easily translatable into Mandarin spoken by the majority of Han Chinese, including President Xi Jinping.
The only way out for India is to raise this issue in the UN’s Security Council where China is a permanent member. India can also take China to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague. But the ICJ cannot force China to take part in its proceedings. And it is unlikely that China will agree to allow the ICJ to adjudicate on whether Aksai Chin and Gilgit-Baltistan and also a part of Arunachal Pradesh belong to India or China. China will claim this as an affront to its sovereignty.
But in a democracy where the right to life under Article 21 is almost sacred, incompetent defence ministers like Krishna Menon thrived. At the same time, generals like Thimayya and Chaudhri also got away.
The toughest question is whether the right to life of over 1.3 billion Indian citizens under Article 21 overrides the right to protect our borders against a wily China? Or vice -versa. For the CCS cannot divert funds from other sectors to our armed forces without the Opposition raising a ruckus. The right to defend our borders against an aggressive China appears to override other rights. This is why a large slice of our GDP should go to our armed forces.
Although he was a great general whom Nehru allegedly rebuffed, General Kodendru Subayya Thimayya allegedly used to reveal his thoughts of being badly treated by Krishna Menon to the then British high commissioner Malcolm MacDonald who would send despatches to Britain. MacDonald sent a despatch to Britain that Gen Thimayya was thinking of resigning before the General actually resigned.
On the other hand, we have the 6th Chief of Army Staff from 1962 to 1966, General Jayanto Nath Chaudhri who was moonlighting for the British-owned “The Statesman” under an assumed name when he was deputy chief of Army Staff under General Thimayya. This is a grave offence because this implied he held two jobs and kept the second hidden from the government as revealed by Jairam Ramesh in his book. And if that was not enough, we have General Thimayya himself who admitted to a British diplomat how he was being tortured by the then defence minister Krishna Menon.
We cannot dispute that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has the last word on who will head the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, the budgetary allocation for buying weapons and modernisation of our armed forces. But the armed forces should have a say on their dire need for modern weapons systems like the S-400 missile systems from Russia. It is the Prime Minister who heads the CCS. And this is where tough questions must be asked and answered.
The point here is that Mao Tse Tung would have ordered that defence ministers like the late Krishna Menon should have been shot by a firing squad. Generals like Thimayya or Chaudhri would not have been spared for spilling state secrets contravening the Official Secrets Act, 1927 and the Army Act.
Jairam Ramesh had divulged it is believed lieutenant-general Chaudhri was behind the leak to “The Statesman” of Gen Thimayya’s resignation which splashed it on the front page when Parliament was in session - just before the resignation was actually received.
But in Indian democracy, Krishna Menon was only shifted to another ministry after India’s debacle with China while Jawaharlal Nehru continued as the Prime Minister.
There is no doubt that the British-educated triumvirate of Nehru- Krishna Menon-Gen Thimayya (who was in the British Army in the 1930s)-Lt Gen Jayanto Nath Chaudhri is the exact opposite of Narendra Modi-Amit Shah-Rajnath Singh who have had their entire education from their primary schooling to post-graduation in the RSS ideology devoid of Western niceties and language. The Modi-Amit Shah-Rajnath Singh triumvirate with other members of the CCS do not speak English but Hindi. Their ideology would be the exact opposite of Nehruvian socialism.
But for them to understand the crafty Chinese mentality would be hoping for too much. This is because the Chinese have always been crafty and deceptive, so they never mean what they say nor say what they mean. PM Modi has repeated what his bête noire, Jawaharlal Nehru, did in the 1960s. He thought Pakistan was Enemy No.1, believing China would never attack India.
But China has attacked India - as it did in 1962, crossing the LAC. According to media reports, Chinese troops blocked the Indian Army patrols between Fingers 4 and 8 in the Galwan Valley. They have reportedly encroached in the lake area and in some other pockets of Ladakh. Of course, the massive tract of Aksai Chin is under Chinese occupation.
So, by declaiming to the Indian public that nobody has encroached on Indian territory nor have we encroached on the territory of others is far from the truth. When confronted with an intimidating Chinese military, the best way out appears to be appeasement. But appeasement of a bully is not a sensible reply because the Chinese Army will gradually encroach on more Indian territory.
The fact is our braveheart soldiers of the Indian Army are more than a match for the Chinese. So, our bid to acquire the S-400 missile systems from Russia should go ahead at breakneck speed. We can then threaten the Chinese as they threaten us.
Academicians from the United States have predicted the rivalry between the USA and China will only end in war. China has shown it wants to gobble up Taiwan, Hong Kong, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Bhutan and parts of Ladakh.
So, we have no choice but to align with the anti-Chinese forces of Taiwan-Japan-Hong Kong-Australia-USA if we want to preserve our territorial sovereignty.
And before we do that, we have to jettison all those bureaucrats, ministers and corrupt politicians who counsel us to extend the hand of friendship to China.
They are the invidious enemy within our country - in the garb of doves advocating peace with China. China will never let India co-exist with it in peace. Unless of course, India is ready to abjectly surrender some of its large tracts of land to China.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author’s.
(Dr Olav Albuquerque is a senior journalist-cum-lawyer of the Bombay High Court. He holds MSc., LLM and PhD in Law.)