Mongolia and China tussle after Dalai Lama’s visit to the nation prompted the former to seek India more religiously as a defence partner.
A delegation of General Authority for Border Protection (GABP) of Mongolia a few days back met Kiren Rijiju, MOS (Home). The Indian Minister described the meeting with GABP delegation as ‘extremely fruitful.’
GABP & Border Security Force (BSF) of India have signed an agreement for joint working on various fronts and the India-Mongolia friendship has been upgraded to a strategic level under PM Narendra Modi.
India and Mongolia have been steadily increasing their cooperation and in 2014 the two had agreed to increase cooperation in the realm of special operations, cyber security, bomb disposal, and tactics etc.
In 20014 itself, another of the GABP delegation had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh where the two nations had discussed a wide range of issues. However, it is disheartening that Mongolia reached out to India after falling out with China over the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. The nation later said that it won’t invite him after China took umbrage over it. Later, Tsend Munkh-Orgil, Mongolian Foreign Affairs Minister, even told the Onoodor newspaper that the government felt sorry after allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Mongolia in November.
Further, it was said that Dalai Lama may not visit the nation anytime soon during the current Mongolian government. In short, this nation surrendered without even a proper diplomatic fight. Why adopt this approach when Buddhism is the thread that has tied it with Dalia Lama? So deep are the ties that in Mongolian language Dalai means ‘Ocean.’
China punches into Mongolia’s integrity, while Mongolia cowers in fear
China is no friend; it is a Goliath which believes in attacking incessantly to make nations submit to its whims. Vietnam is the only nation in the South China Sea that has refused to budge against the Chinese hegemony, but Mongolia is dependent on the dragon. Much like Pakistan, to run its economy, Mongolia, too, depends on China. After Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia, China reacted the way it was expected to; it slapped the tiny nation by punitively charging all the trucks crossing into the China’s autonomous province of the Inner Mongolia. Further, it canceled all official interactions till the time it does not obey its whims.
It is then, that this nation sought India’s help and the latter also stood by it, stating that it is ‘ready to work with Mongolian people in this time of their difficulty’. India had promised a credit line of USD 1 billion financial assistance during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit and yet it took almost no time for Mongolia to surrender in front of China.
Dalai Lama and Tibet lost another nation to crass Chinese imperialism and now only India stands for the Tibetan leader. West, with all the noise, has actually done nothing for Tibetans while India gave refuge to Dalai Lama and the Tibetans for decades trashing Chinese imperialism all alone.
The November 18, 2016, visit of the supreme Tibetan Buddhist leader saw Mongolia crawl before China shunning its own ancient ties that date back to the 1500s.
With the Chinese threat in mind, India and Mongolia must work harder than ever to ensure that the hegemony of one nation does not lead to volatile situations in Asia. One can argue that India can stand up to China while Mongolia cannot, but then how does one explain the strong stand of Vietnam, again a small nation geographically but giving such a spirited response on the South China Sea?
Therefore, India must understand that while it must help the nations in need, yet, it must not go out of the way to help those who cannot stand on their own feet. It must seek partners like Vietnam.