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More Chinese sabre rattling

Or perhaps that should be 'Dao' rattling.

As I've noted before, Beijing has territorial claims all over the place, ranging from bits of Siberia to islands in the South China Sea. This time it is with India over Arunachal Pradesh. The state's government has a rather eye-watering website which rather patronisingly refers to the natives as 'simple, friendly and hospitable people'... The area is in the far North East of India, and as with all of the Chinese irridentist claims, dates to the 'Unequal Treaties' of the 19th Century. As with most of the Chinese claims, this is to an area of comparatively sparse population, and the reason why borders were not delineated a lot earlier is because there was limited point in clearly extending the powers of either the Emperor or the Raj to somewhere of doubtful value for tax farming.

In the words of the somewhat undiplomatic Chinese Ambassador to New Delhi,"In our position, the whole of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory and Tawang is only one place in it...We are claiming whole of that (Arunachal Pradesh). That is our position". The Chinese Foreign Ministry has outwardly rowed back, claiming "the "strategic goal" of the two countries to find an early, fair and rational solution to the vexed boundary issue". (Source). Knowing how the Chinese interpret 'early, fair and rational' when it comes to their national interests, the retraction is really nothing of the sort..

Furthermore, the claim to the entire state is actually an extension from prior Chinese claims which had been to the McMahon line. The new claim adds in the three 'counties' on the Indian / Burmese border.
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Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:22 pm

How important are all these territorial claims do you think?

There's something similar going on in the Senkaku islands, which Japan currently controls.

Population = 0.

Over a century on, and Asia is still coming to terms with imperialism. Nobody knows where one country's borders should historically begin and end, but the mutual hostility that still exists in the region means that nobody will admit it.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:35 pm

BB - Yup, I wrote about the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands a while back.

The Chinese mean it, of that we can be sure, and as their military and confidence grows, I think we can expect a lot more of this.  

Anonymous newmania said... 2:01 pm

Chance to say hurrah for India . Worlds largest democracy and getting on very nicely with the Golbal economy. Also lovely people with much to add. Hinduism is itself most atractive to me and I may go to the Vand A to worship.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:09 pm

Amen brother, although I'm not that well informed on Hinduism. However, any religion that follows the Golden Rule and does not engage in aggressive proselytising is fine by me.  

Anonymous newmania said... 2:18 pm

Its a subtle religion in which you choose a god of three .The others are to you manifestations of the first one. It can be approached at very diferent levels from deist to superstitious. It is also very lovely to behold and preferable to all the monotheist religions for me . Judaism has an appeal but sky gods are a cruel lot.  

Anonymous newmania said... 2:23 pm

No PHITCH ? Oh dear. I find his contributions lovely to behold in a funny way ?  

Anonymous Pete said... 2:28 pm

C. Am I to assume you failed to note my few well-chosen and informative observations on the Senkaku Is in your blog of that title? Heavens.

I also commented on the pic you gave us of the Yellow River but, I admit, I had 'had a drink' when I wrote so I may have cancelled it. I am 'having a drink' now. Just cancel this if it goes on too long...

I flew over the Yellow River two years ago last Feb. It was, curiously, yellow, that day, with a strong silvery glint from the sun which made it look even more metallic than its content warrants. The Chinks seriously consider diverting the Upper Mekong into it so that it will reach nearer to the sea as they dry it up mainly using it to irrigate cotton plantations. Cotton is very thirsty. Bugger the poor sods of the Lower Mekong, then. I flew to Dun Huang in the Gobi Desert. It was one of those rare experiences of my much-travelled life I can truly describe as 'rapturous'. The desert changed slowly in many inviting ways. It was forty below down there at night and (Feb) quite cold, even in the sun. Wondering dreamily I thought - 'Oh, how did that happen?' - I thought of flat plateaux above many-streamed, striated foot-hills. (Work that out!) I saw semi-luna dunes marching down-wind, just as I had been taught about at the age of fifteen, forty-five years before at school by Mr Cook. Two had been arrested at one point by, say, a dead camel/person/boulder and had been rendered very assymetric - until they got past it and caught up over the years. It was wonderful in the truest sense.

My hosts in Dun Huang were also wonderful. So polite and hospitable. I taught thirteen-year-olds. Now it is very difficult to BE thirteen. But these little buggers were truly charming. And I speak as one who neither overflows with the milk of human kindness nor am I overly blown about youngsters. The adults I met were also uniformly charming. I came out because bits started to fall off the contract until I decided enuf was enuf and a large point of this post is to point up that the Chinese need to learn what a contract is.

So, what is the other point of all this?

In China I mostly met very pleasant people. (The teachers were really lovely - and VERY good teachers). Their government and certain arms of their admin. is awful (while others, at our/base level, can be - charming). eg: I would not want to find myself in the hands of the Chinese police or prison service but the Customs Officer in Dun Huang was really helpful - & so was a policeman in Xian airport????? Work that out. The Chinese people are NOT well served by their government (no, same UK) and UK people should understand that same-ness. People good - Govt shite - they behave worse to their own than to us.

Example - housing - Chinese people get a bloody raw deal from their over-centralised, incompetent and arrogant administration.

Could we but meet we would have so much common ground. One problem would be the strength and flavour? of their local hooch. Truly appalling. Personally, and from direct experience, I love them - the people - but I can only drink a few glasses of the hooch and the women knock it back toast for toast at a table of fifteen!!!

China is the country of C21, like it or not. We should make links with ordinary Chinese as soon and as much as possible and we would be so much better off for it.

Muslims - They don't dislike people just for being Muslim in their west but they do have some similar problems, more easily resolved because they are pretty straight about it, which is something we can learn from them quite quick.

Well-travelled, I don't have much trouble with Muslims myself, really like some friends, but the lunatic fringe needs to be sorted to the advantage of all. The Chinese would be valuable assets in that endeavour. We can learn - and we can drink together to our mutual advantage - oh my head in the morning and the women are so - enchanting.


Blogger Croydonian said... 3:24 pm

Thanks for the insights. I imagine they deal with the 'toasting' issue by drinking / eating yoghurt or similar beforehand, a la Russe.  

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