China’s loss, India’s advantage?

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It’s not only the seas that China claims to be as part of its integral territory, but also Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang, a disputed land, considered as southern Tibet by the Chinese.

Srikanth Kondapalli, professor, Chinese Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, said India has never favoured one-China policy since 2010. China’s claims do not apply to Arunachal Pradesh.

India has never bought this historical argument on Tibet, he added.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague’s decision to smash China’s historical nine-dash line claims in the South China Sea can, in fact, turn out to be a sweetener for India in Arunachal Pradesh’s case. This is for the first time that an international verdict has rejected one of China’s numerous claims, as told by TOI.

Continuing, Kondapalli said, “In 1914, the Shimla Conference resulting in the MacMahon Line, was initialled by Chen Yifan from the nationalist government. While the document was not expanded into a treaty, as per international law, he said, initialling implies freezing of negotiations. So, the historical argument can’t be extended to cover Arunachal Pradesh, which can, at best be described as a semi-legal case. This could give India more leverage to fight the stapled visa issue with China.”

Meanwhile, the China has initiated a war against the Philippines by asking Chinese people to boycott products made in Philippines. Some users have even created racist cartoons to mock the Filipinos. More than 20,000 internet users in China have signed an open letter against the International Tribunal’s ruling.

This disbelief and anger among the Chinese is due to the fact that since their school-time they have been taught that the sea is a territory of China and not controlled by any global law. As per a Chinese school textbook, the southern-most point in the Chinese territory is 1,100 miles away from the mainland and 50 miles from the Malaysian coast.

Witnessing such massive support from the Chinese, experts believe that while China won’t back down from its claim, other nations could interpret this as support for their claims too.