Nancy Pelosi Goes Ballistic On Tibet: Set-Up Or Coordinated Blows At China?

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jun 19, 2024, 05:30 PM | Updated 05:30 PM IST

Nancy Pelosi with the Dalai Lama.
Nancy Pelosi with the Dalai Lama.

A high-level delegation of the US Congress led by Republican Michael McCaul and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh meeting with the Dalai Lama.

The delegation landed late on Tuesday (18 June) and met the Dalai Lama and Tibet's government-in-exile officials on Wednesday (19 June).

In the meeting with the Dalai Lama, Nancy Pelosi, in a hard-worded statement, accused China of "trying to erase" Tibetan culture claiming that "change is on the way".

She attacked Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying “his Holiness Dalai Lama, with his message of knowledge, tradition, compassion, purity of soul, and love, will live a long time, and his legacy will live forever. But you, the President of China, you’ll be gone, and nobody will give you credit for anything.”

Pelosi's scathing remarks on China are being viewed by some in Indian strategic circles as unnecessary.

Given that many in India believe that the US should not give such provocative statements against China from Indian territory since tensions between India and China are already sky-high due to the four-year-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops following deadly clashes in Galwan Valley in June 2020, this could be viewed as a set-up.

This reluctance to directly criticise China in Indian strategic circles was on display when in 2018, after the 2017 Doklam standoff, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha wrote to senior political leaders and government circles to avoid India-Tibet events.

Following this, the celebration for the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's arrival in India, which was to take place in Delhi, was cancelled and shifted to Dharamshala, and India toned down its engagement with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile.

However, this verbal offensive can also be a part of a well thought-out strategy of launching coordinated blows by India and the US.

There are reports that India is planning to rename 30 locations in Tibet, which is likely to irk China massively. PM Modi's acknowledgment of congratulations from Taiwanese President Lai Ching Te has already received an angry response from China, to which India has taken an indifferent attitude.

Although India follows the "One-China Policy" where it does not maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it has not reiterated this policy for well over a decade.

This is all but a death knell to India's "One-China policy" in as few words as possible.

With the four-year-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control showing no signs of easing and China's rapid build-up of military infrastructure in the disputed areas, India has also stepped up its efforts to match China.

These diplomatic steps, which look more like a coordinated one-two punch with its construction efforts in border areas, suggest that the heightened diplomatic temperatures with China are set to rise even further.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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