The BJP’s indoctrination document for party workers refers to China as “external challenge” to India’s interests, putting it in the same league as Pakistan at a time when PM Modi has been publicly pitching for development ties with the neighbour.
“We have border disputes with Pakistan and China, both these neighbouring countries create trouble on the border as well as domestic fronts,” says the document prepared by the central BJP to indoctrinate 1.5 million cadres from among the over 100 million members the party has enrolled. The document alleges that both countries “have established closed diplomatic ties to harm India, which is emerging as a global power” and highlights how “China lent support to Pakistan in the UN over a proposal against (26/11 mastermind) Lakhvi”.
It further alleges China supports Maoists rebels in Indian forests. “In receipt of continuous support from Pakistan and China, the Maoists have become an internal security threat,” the document says.
While the document blames Pakistan for state-sponsored terrorism against India, it alleges “China does not even seem interested to resolve the border dispute that has continued for several years”. The document raises alarm bells over a Chinese military build-up along the border with India, its maritime prowess and posing threat to Indian interests in the Indian Ocean.
The document points out that “though no shots have been fired along the border since 1962, and there has been no specific tension along the border, China has still been piling ammunitions along the border and maintaining competing pressure against India”.
It says that “although India has always maintained a spirit of economic cooperation with China, the Chinese side has consistently ignored our economic interests at diplomatic level as well as a country of Indian Ocean”.
“China has consistently been strengthening its naval power and posing danger to Indian maritime interests. This is another reason for serious worry”, the document says, adding that “China has been helping Pakistan and Sri Lanka by laying a web of road along the border. This is posing challenge to Indian dominance in Indian Ocean”.
The document, however, seeks to impress upon party cadres that the BJP government has sought to tackle this challenge by engaging with Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. “India has undertaken necessary effective steps to strengthen our security and intelligence sources to deal with the potential threats from China and Pakistan,” the document says, laying out the efforts being made by the Narendra Modi government to deal with this challenge.
The document, which has been circulated to party cadres across the country for its ongoing nationwide training camp, reflects a sentiment that runs contrary to the public display of bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chinese leadership since the BJP’s return to power last summer.
The joint statement issued during Modi’s visit to China early this summer said, “The leaders agreed that the process of the two countries pursuing their respective national developmental goals and security interests must unfold in a mutually supportive manner, with both sides showing mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s concerns, interests and aspirations.”