The inexplicable Indian habit of giving the benefit of doubt to China emerges every now and then despite hard evidence to the contrary. Recently, when Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee referred to the ’62 border conflict as a war with China, a lowly vice-consul in the Chinese Embassy pounced on him. The vice-consul changed tack the next day and declared that his admonition was a remark from a friendly country. Amazingly, he got away with it!
That the ongoing negotiations between India and China provide the most propitious opportunity in decades to move forward on the border dispute is true. India should do all that is possible”and a bit more”to end quickly this lurking threat. But things are not exactly in our hands. China effectively occupies almost all of the difficult terrain in dispute.