No wonder Chinese state media has only words of praise for Modi: Congress

Jairam Ramesh alleges “the Prime Minister stuck his neck in the sand as a response to China’s intrusions, cooperated with its military, allowed it to gain influence in India’s neighbourhood”

Updated - January 05, 2024 09:53 pm IST

Published - January 05, 2024 08:43 pm IST - New Delhi: 

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh. File

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh. File | Photo Credit: ANI

Reacting to China’s Global Times article lauding the Narendra Modi government, the Congress said it was no wonder that the Chinese state media has praised him since “the Prime Minister stuck his neck in the sand as a response to China’s intrusions” and has been accommodative of interests of India’s neighbour. 

An article in China’s Global Times has said that India has become more strategically confident and proactive in creating and developing a “Bharat narrative”. It praised India’s significant strides in the spheres of economic, social governance and foreign policy under Prime Minister Modi. 

In a statement, Congress general secretary in-charge communications, Jairam Ramesh, said, “The Prime Minister’s cheerleaders and drum-beaters are ecstatic on the official Chinese media’s praise for him. And why shouldn’t he get praise from China? After all it was he, and he alone, who — gave a clean chit to the Chinese on 19 June, 2020 with his public statement ‘Na koi hamari seema mein ghus aaya hai, na hi koi ghusa hua hai, na hi hamari koi post kisi dusre ke kabze mein hain’.” 

The comment, he said, was a “grave insult” to our soldiers and the Prime Minister’s remarks greatly damaged our stance in 18 rounds of Corps Commander-level negotiations and has contributed to continuing Chinese control of 2,000 square km of fresh Indian territory since May 2020. The Prime Minister’s remarks, Mr. Ramesh pointed out, has been contradicted by Leh’s Superintendent of Police, who during a conference presented a paper stating that India can no longer access 26 out of the 65 patrolling points that it patrolled prior to 2020. Strategically, important points such as Depsang and Demchok remain off limits to Indian troops, Mr. Ramesh noted. 

“Where the talks have led to disengagement e.g. Gogra Post and Hot Springs, India has ceded buffer zones to the advantage of the aggressor. Access from India to the spot where a memorial to Paramvir Chakra winner Major Shaitan Singh had been put up is no longer available following the ‘disengagement’. No wonder the Chinese are praising the Prime Minister,” the Congress leader said in his statement.

Various concessions

Mr. Ramesh listed out the various concessions made in the Indo-China engagement. He cited the September 1-7 joint military exercise in Russia’s Vostok 2022, where India’s 7/8 Gorkha Rifles contingent went. China too participated in the exercise. In and around the Indian subcontinent, too, Mr. Ramesh said, India has ceded to China. “The new Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu’s request for India to withdraw its troops from the Maldives is a major setback to Indian national security. A major Chinese buildup in Doklam area that overlooks India’s strategic Siliguri Corridor continues despite claims of ‘victory’ in 2017,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bhutan’s Prime Minister stated that “there is no intrusion” by China into Bhutan despite continuing Indian concerns, Mr. Ramesh added.

“And, in Sri Lanka, where the Prime Minister has been mostly focused on securing contracts for his cronies, China has cemented its hold on critical national assets with a 99-year lease on the strategic Hambantota Port. Chinese intelligence-gathering ships have periodically docked at the port. These are all reasons for China to be satisfied,” Mr. Ramesh said.

He alleged that the Prime Minister facilitated rapid imports from China despite promises of “Make in India” that have led to record trade deficits in excess of $200 billion in 2022 and 2023.

“The Prime Minister stuck his neck in the sand as a response to China’s intrusions, cooperated with its military, allowed it to gain influence in India’s neighbourhood, increased India’s economic dependence on China and permitted the RSS to felicitate its diplomats,” Mr. Ramesh alleged.

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