Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy has asked China to accept the McMahon Line as the border with India just as it did in the case of Myanmar to resolve the vexed dispute. China should accept McMahon Line since it had accepted the same line drawn at the same time in 1912 with Myanmar,Swamy said while speaking on “China’s relations with its neighbours” at the 2013 World Peace Forum organised by China’s Tsinghua University in association with Chinese Foreign Ministry. “Such an acceptance will vastly improve India-China relations,” Swamy argued in a lengthy paper presented at the meeting attended by strategic think-tanks from China and a number of other countries.
Coincidentally his comments were timed along with the two-day 16th round of border talks held here since yesterday between National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Swamy said unlike Japan,there is no historical legacy in India-China ties that hurts Chinese sensibilities.
“On the contrary for more than two-and-a-half thousand years,India and China,two large neighbours and economic superpowers by the then prevailing standards,have had good and peaceful relations based on mutual respect and cultural exchanges,and in fact never had a single military clash till 1962,” he said. “Chinese grievance is that the border delineated by British imperialists and colonialists and called the Sir Henry McMahon Line was unfair to China,taking advantage of China’s then weak position,” he said.
“Of course this is a contestable view,” Swamy said. “The key question is what prompts today’s China in regard to Japan and India,to make a grievance of a long past historical injustice and unequal treaties enforced by imperialists on a weak China,versus what makes China of today to ignore such injustices in case of others such as in the now settled China-Myanmar border dispute accepting the same McMahon Line” he said.
“Again,why China reached a ‘standstill’ agreement on the disputes with India and Japan,but on an insubstantial provocation abrogates the agreement and resumes aggressive posturing unilaterally,puzzling the best of China’s admirers?” he asked. All this does not answer the question as why China,a country three times the size of India,and having obtained willingly India’s concurrence for Tibet’s assimilation into it chose to make the Sino-Indian border an issue of such serious contention and distrust?,he asked.
He said,time has come therefore for Indians too to bring some fresh air to re-assess and formulate India’s China policy. India has to find an accommodation with China without letting its guard down “As we did in the 1950s”,he said adding,”I would say that when the risk has been properly factored in,India and China should be strategic partners,not adversaries.”