Where has Qin Gang vanished?

   By Vijay Darda | 31-07-2023

China has become a scourge for the entire world, causing numerous challenges which India is firmly dealing with


The latest news from China is that the country’s foreign minister Qin Gang, who was gaining popularity throughout the world, has mysteriously vanished. He has been missing for more than a month now. Wang Yi, the Communist Party’s head of foreign affairs, has been reappointed as the foreign minister. But the silence of the Chinese government on his disappearance is surprising given that Qin Gang was considered close to President Xi Jinping. However, such a development is not uncommon in China. Ministers and officials have gone missing in the past too, with the majority of them never being discovered.

Before discussing Gang, let me remind you of China’s biggest industrialist Jack Ma. In October 2020, Jack said in a financial conference that banks have the mentality of becoming pawns of the government. Jack Ma suddenly disappeared after this one statement. His companies suffered losses of more than $850 billion. Now after three years, he was reportedly spotted again in China. This demonstrates that no matter how powerful someone is in China, if he criticises the government’s policies even slightly, he will suffer the consequences! No one has any information if Gang has made such criticism, so why did he vanish? His relationship with a TV presenter is being explored on social media but this type of love affair is not a criminal offence in China and therefore, it cannot be the sole reason for Gang’s disappearance! China is keeping something hidden somewhere. In any case, it does not let the world see what is going on within because the Communist Party there functions like a tyrant. This tyranny has only grown since Xi Jinping became President.

On one hand, Xi Jinping conceals his country’s situation, while on the other, he continues to plot in various ways to influence other countries. While on one hand, China is challenging America’s supremacy, on the other, it is attempting to swallow its nearby country, Taiwan. Its morale has risen further after Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine. It is currently silent, but this is because it is afraid that if America comes to help Taiwan, the entire scenario will change. China threatens but does not want to go to war since it would cause its economy to collapse. It is now using money to entrap more than 60 countries throughout the world. The Hambantota port in Sri Lanka is one such example. When Sri Lanka was unable to repay the loan, the Hambantota port was handed over to China for 99 years. The Chinese takeover of this port has sounded an alarm bell for India.

China continues to indulge in activities which keep India engaged and concerned. I had written in this column that whatever is going on in Manipur today is being orchestrated by China. It is a major player behind the violence in Manipur, thanks to narcotics smugglers and a large number of terrorists living in Myanmar. Former Army Chief General Manoj Naravane expressed similar concerns last week. In the middle of its intervention in Manipur, China has committed another similar move to create pressure on India. It provided stapled visas to three Indian Wushu team members for the competition in China. Stapled visa is a piece of paper that China staples to the passport, and the visa stamp is placed on that paper rather than the passport! This act has been repeated for residents of Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. Naturally, India complained and cancelled the entire team’s tour. You may recall that China protested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh’s 2019 visit to Arunachal Pradesh, as well as home minister Amit Shah’s 2020 visit. It has also recently modified the names of many Arunachal Pradesh cities and towns on its map. China claims ownership of 90,000 square kilometres of land, but in reality, it has encroached upon 38,000 square kilometres of our territory in Aksai Chin. It sometimes indulges in misadventure  in Doklam, sometimes in Tawang and sometimes in other border areas! It has constructed military bases within 3,500 kilometres of the frontier. It repeatedly attempts to demonstrate military power, but it also recognises that this is not the India of 1962!

China has entrapped India in yet another major manoeuvre. I’m not sure why India has got into the trap. Looking at the figures for 2021-22, China had the greatest share of 15.42 per cent of the total amount India spent on imports. India has become heavily reliant on China for everything from nuclear reactors to chemicals, fertilisers, plastic items, car parts, iron, steel and aluminium. Consider what would happen to our agriculture if China’s fertiliser imports ceased today. There is an ancient phrase in diplomacy that a government should wean itself off of the country from whom it perceives danger, but it is unfortunate that, on one hand, tensions with China are rising and, on the other, trade with it is also rising. Last year, trade between the two countries grew by 8.4 per cent. China’s imports into India have climbed by 21.7 per cent, while India’s exports to China have decreased by 37.9 per cent. The trade imbalance in India has surpassed $100 billion. The situation is quite serious. India must reply to China in the same manner. Only by ending our reliance on China will we be able to deal with it. The treatment of this country, which has become a cancer for the rest of the world, is critical. For, cancer causes a lot of trouble if not treated!

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