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‘China is not a hostile power’: Former advisor to PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee downplays Chinese aggression, calls campaign to boycott Chinese products ‘stupid’

In a desperate attempt to sound like a 'pacifist', Kulkarni forgot to mention that the conflict began after Chinese troops intruded into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control on May 6 under the pretext of a military exercise.

In a shocking development, Sudheendra Kulkarni, the former adviser to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, appeared on Chinese state-owned news network, Global Times, and downplayed Chinese aggression against India.

At the very onset, he said, “In case of a military conflict, both countries will suffer. This is not in our interest… A military conflict is disastrous for our two countries.” In a desperate attempt to sound like a ‘pacifist’, Kulkarni forgot to mention that the conflict began after Chinese troops intruded into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control on May 6 under the pretext of a military exercise. The current border standoff is thus the result of one-sided aggression by the Chinese forces and not the other way around. At a time when a neighbouring nation is belligerent on occupying our territory, the Indian government is bound to defend its integrity irrespective of the consequences.

At about 2 minutes in the video, Kulkarni highlighted, “There have been consistent efforts by the United States of America to somehow have a grand strategy to contain China… The United States is becoming weaker and weaker and therefore they want to have an alliance with other countries to together contain China… Unfortunately, even in India, there are some people who believe that by joining hands with the United States, we can contain China. This is wrong and dangerous thinking.” Reeking of a ‘Chinese apologist’, Kulkarni’s statement seems to reiterate the myth of ‘Chinese invincibility.’ The myth, as peddled by the Communist Party of China (CCP) and its propaganda machinery, is premised on the belief that China is invincible even in the face of a grand alliance against it.

It is also notable here that the alleged collusion between USA and India to counter China and USA ‘instigating’ India to position itself against China was the exact narrative that the communist parties have been peddling in India. In the all-party meeting convened by PM Modi, the communist parties had parroted the same narrative.

Parrots the Chinese narrative

Sudheendra Kulkarni also peddled the Chinese narrative against the United States. “The United States is not going to stand with India during any military conflict. It is going to go against the interests of the US itself. The country has a lot of problems to deal. It is time for the United States to review the militarist mindset which is hurting it and causing its decline,” he claimed.

Downplays Chinese aggression

While Kulkarni conveniently pointed out the ‘militarist mindset’ of the US, he deliberately overlooked the militarist mindset of China that has led to territorial conflicts not just with India but with 21 other countries. And despite the unprovoked Chinese aggression, Kulkarni insisted on resolving issues bilaterally. It must be pointed out that three high-level meetings took place between the Indian and Chinese sides for de-escalation by June 15 and yet the Chinese troops attacked the Indian forces at Galwan Valley in Ladakh.

Calls ‘#BoycottChinese Products’ campaign stupid, jingoistic

Kulkarni claimed that there was a rise of ‘jingoism’ and ‘ultra-nationalism’ in India and emphasised on how it was bad for the country. In a bid to monkey-balance his claims, he evoked China and claimed that jingoism was bad for the Communist-ruled country too. Peddling the Chinese narrative, he said, “In India, we are seeing this stupid idea/ campaign about boycotting Chinese products as if it would make China surrender…. It’s wrong thinking.”

Interestingly, a blanket ban on one Chinese app, TikTok in this case, can result in a loss of $6 billion for the parent company. Earlier, Indian railways also terminated a contract with a Chinese firm worth ₹471 crores. The trader’s body CAIT has also urged the government to not allow Huwaei and ZTE to participate in auctions for the 5G network. All of these measures may not necessarily make China surrender but will make the country rethink its aggressive stance against India. These steps taken in Indian interest indicate that a boycott of China on the economic front is feasible in the long run.

‘China is not a hostile power’, certifies Kulkarni

Sudheendra Kulkarni makes a shocking claim that China is not a ‘hostile’ power. He then tried to balance it out by claiming that India too is not a hostile nation. As per reports, China has been in territorial conflicts with over a dozen countries. Even though the International Court of Justice has rejected its dubious claims, China continues to subvert the territorial rights of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, and had occupied Tibet, parts of Mongolia and regularly claims territories in Bhutan, India, Japan and even Russia as its own.

Communist-run country has claimed fishing rights in the water near islands in Indonesian territory. Besides, China has disputes with Laos, Cambodia on ‘historical precedents and with Thailand over the Mekong river since 2001. China has disputes with Japan over Senkaku and Ryu Kya islands. Moreover, the expansionist country has staked claim to the whole of South Korea on some occasions. Besides, the Communist-controlled country also has disputes with North Korea over Mount Pek-tu and the Tuman river. Earlier, it was reported that China had occupied the Rui village in the Gorkha district of Nepal. Towards the end of the video, Kulkarni even encourages Indians to seek inspiration from China’s achievements, amidst the border standoff at the Line of Actual Control.

It is notable here that Kulkarni has long been a China apologist. In 2017, then the Modi government had publicly shunned China’s Belt and Road Forum organised in Beijing to promote the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, raising concerns over the CPEC. However, Kulkarni had attended the event and had even criticised the Modi government there before Chinese and Indian media. “Whosoever has advised the PM, has given a piece of very, very bad advice”, Kulkarni had stated.

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