Congress slams BJP for not confronting China over Doklam; top developments

FILE PHOTO: Photo: Twitter: @narendramodi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s informal summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27-28 in Wuhan may lead to an easing of their strained ties, which deteriorated after last year's 73-day military standoff at Doklam. The meeting marks an effort on both sides to reset the India-China relations and find solutions to a host of contentious disputes and differences.

Ahead of the talks, the Congress party, sitting in the Opposition, has targeted the Narendra Modi government for not confronting Beijing during the visits of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to China for meeting their respective counterparts. The Congress has alleged that the two Union ministers did not censure China for constructing a "full-fledged military complex" in Doklam and a new road to the south of the plateau. The Rahul Gandhi-led party also accused the Narendra Modi government of "compromising" the country's national security and strategic interests with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government ministers maintaining a "conspiratorial silence" on crucial issues during their China visit.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala slammed the central government for avoiding a confrontation with China over the building of a new road south of Doklam to provide easy access to China to Jhamperi Ridge overlooking the Siliguri Corridor, a gateway to Northeastern states. Surjewala wondered whether PM Narendra Modi would take up the issue in the informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27-28 and also asked how the Modi government would settle the issue of tri-junction at Doklam, a significant concern for Bhutan and India's strategic interests.

Reacting to the Centre’s policies on job creation and the nation’s potential as a technology powerhouse, Surjewala said the Modi government had miserably failed to save Indian jobs and compromised the country’s position as a technology giant.

The Congress party still hopes that the Narendra Modi government would protect national security and strategic interests of the country when he meets Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan, he said.

Here are the top 10 developments on PM Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to China and the political scenario surrounding the summit: 

1. Congress wants BJP to confront China over Doklam: Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and Saturday to exchange views on bilateral and international matters and enhance mutual communication, the Congress party came down heavily on the BJP for not confronting Beijing over Chinese activities at Doklam site and cross-border disputes when the two Union ministers paid a visit to China to meet their counterparts.

India’s National Security & Strategic Interests compromised in Doklam as Def Min & EAM maintain a conspiratorial silence on it during their China visit on 23rd-24th April, 2018?

Modi ji is now slated to visit China on 27th -28th April, for a ‘Summit’. Will he raise Doklam?

— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) 25 April 2018

But as the informal summit is yet to take place, the Opposition party has pinned its hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for protecting national security and strategic interests of the country when he meets Xi Jinping. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the meetings of the defence and foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Beijing on April 24. Surjewala expressed that NDA ministers omission of a confrontation with China reflected a consistent "conspiratorial silence" on crucial Sino-Indian issues.

2. Congress accuses Modi government of compromising India’s position as "tech giant": Surjewala censured the BJP government for failing to help out Indian immigrants when the United States clamped down on H-4, H1-B and L1 visas. He alleged that the government stood as a mute spectator to the crackdown which affected Indian IT professionals and companies in scores and the overseas jobs were in peril. "India's growth story on the world stage as a technology power is under threat as the BJP government flounders and failed India's young population, standing as a mute spectator to the clampdown by the US on H4, H1B and L1 Visas for Indians," he said. 

Modiji’s floundering ‘Foreign Policy’ costs India & Indians dearly.

BJP fails Indian IT professionals.

BJP compromises India’s ‘National Security’.

Startling revelations coming.

Pl wait for Press Conf at @INCKarnataka, Bengaluru at 4 PM today!

— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) 25 April 2018

Surjewala further added that the Congress govermment in Karnataka had created 1.5 million jobs in five years, while Modi government had snatched jobs of IT professionals. In order to take a dig at the Centre, Surjewala tweeted, saying that “Modi and BJP must answer to India, especially Karnataka IT industry, IT professionals and the young, the reason for "bartering India's interests and compromising country’s position as a technology giant”. 

"Hugplomacy, trumpeting rhetoric and beating drums, while staying mum is the only delivery by PM Modi in the last year," Surjewala said.

The Congress leader also explained that Bengaluru emerged as the 'IT hub' of the world and Karnataka pegs India as the top state in 'Software and Services Exports', generating $40 billion revenue.

3. Sushma, Sitharaman did not confront China on Doklam, says Congress: Surjewala, Priyanka Chaturvedi and Rajeev Gowda of the Congress, in a statement expressed their annoyance over the avoidance of confrontation on critical issues with China when Cabinet ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Sushma Swaraj went to China for bilateral meetings but did not raise the concerns over the construction of a "full-fledged Chinese military complex” in Doklam right up to 10 metres from an Indian Army post and building of a new road to the south of the plateau to provide easy access to China to Jhamperi Ridge overlooking the Siliguri Corridor i.e strategic Chicken's Neck, which is India's gateway to the northeastern states".

“Every patriotic Indian was deeply distressed and surprised by the complete omission of the two cabinet ministers to confront China over these issues”, said the Congress ministers.

The statement by the Congress leaders also informed that according to the media reports and satellite imagery from Google Earth, the Chinese Army has not only constructed a full-fledged military complex in Doklam but also occupied the entire plateau right up to a short distance from an Indian Army post, said an IANS report.

4. Indian troops capable of keeping Chinese at bay, says Arunachal Governor: As the Chinese troops continue to trespass the border security quite often, Arunachal Pradesh governor BD Mishra contended that the troops from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) often come close to the Indian territory, but the Indian troops have the capability to challenge the Chinese troops to retreat. "Chinese troops come near Indian territory and retreat when challenged by Indian troops. This has always been their (Chinese) tactics. I can say it with surety that Indian troops are so capable that the Chinese cannot enter our territory even by an inch," the governor said.

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) that demarcates the Indian and Chinese territory traverses five Indian states, including Arunachal Pradesh.

5. China agrees to share Brahmaputra river data with India: Ahead of the informal summit talks between PM Modi and Xi Jinping, Chinese Foreign Ministry said that it has agreed to share the Brahmaputra river water data with New Delhi, which it had withheld last year after the Doklam military stand-off. The decision by the Beijing came a day after India and China held talks over the trans-border rivers in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, said an IANS report.

"The two sides agreed to continue with such cooperation on the grounds of humanitarian principles, and on the basis of bilateral relations, China will continue with its cooperation with the Indian side on the provision of hydrological information and emergency response cooperation," informed the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

6. Ready to deal with any 'unforeseen situation', says Sitharaman on Doklam: Earlier to her visit to China this month, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that India was "alert" and ready to deal with any "unforeseen situation" in Doklam. She also stressed that the government is constantly working towards modernisation of defence forces to tackle the Chinese military troops.

7. PM Modi to visit China from April 27-28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold an informal summit in China's Wuhan city from April 27 to 28 to exchange views on bilateral and international matters and to enhance mutual communication between the two leaders, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced in Beijing on Sunday. This was stated by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj after their bilateral talks in Beijing. This will be the first meeting between Modi and Xi after the BRICS Summit and will come ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting at Qingdao in June.

8. PM Modi-Jinping informal summit 'very bold step', says Jaishankar: According to ANI, former Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has dubbed the upcoming informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping as a 'very bold step'. “As both the leaders have agreed on an informal summit, it reflects that both the countries realise the significance of this relationship. They have taken on the responsibility themselves on putting it on a better course”, Jaishankar added.

9. Dalai Lama hails Modi-Jinping summit: Dalai Lama has welcomed the Modi-Xi summit and said that India and China can collectively make huge contributions in different fields. He also said that the two countries should live as friendly neighbours. "We have to live side by side, then much better live friendly. If combined, India and China, can make contribution in many fields besides economy," the Tibetan spiritual leader said.

10. India may discuss Nirav Modi’s extradition during the summit: India, during the upcoming informal summit talk with China, is likely to push for the extradition of the absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi who is suspected to be hiding in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's Department of Justice (DoJ) on Monday refused to share information on Nirav Modi. Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs had requested Hong Kong authorities to surrender Nirav Modi. Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank (PNB) last week had moved the Hong Kong High Court against Nirav Modi.

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