On behalf of all members young and old and the dynamic team of C3S, I would like to extend warm greetings and good wishes on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day. This year has been indeed the most difficult one with COVID that has upset all calculations of countries who were building a prosperous future for their citizens. Regrettably, the adventurism of China and the hiding of the COVID until it spread across the world has seriously undermined trust and has upset bilateral and international equations. While India was busy fighting the COVID menace within its border, China indulged in cross border transgressions with the intention of deriving geographical strategic dividends during the pandemic in a most irresponsible manner.
Successive governments in India have tried sincerely to have a mutually beneficial relationship with China. Regrettably, despite the best efforts on the part of India which has gone out of its way to shape the future of prosperity, security, stability and peace in the region have been met with obstacles more so since April when China unilaterally tried to change the LAC. The clashes along the LAC led to the death of twenty brave hearts from India who were only trying by peaceful means to ensure that the agreements of June 06 were implemented. Despite such agreements, the official statements from China that the onus for de-escalation and normalisation is on India despite being the one to start this misadventure is indeed serious and has bared the true intentions of China. That medieval weapons was used by PLA soldiers is a blot on the credentials of a nation which wants to assume global leadership roles.
All these actions of China have dented the prospects of good neighbourly relations There has been a paradigm shift in international relations and the fragile global order which will now change equations across the board. The recalibration and realignments are taking place much to the detriment of China which perhaps did not expect this kind of backlash from the world.
Chennai Centre for China Studies since its inception in 2008 has worked assiduously to promote healthy bilateral relations and also encourage people to people connections by investing in cultural linkages and historical relations between two great civilisations. Considerable progress was achieved due to many innovative programmes undertaken by C3S. With the recent development, C3S is sad to acknowledge that there has been a serious set back on all aspects of India China relations and it will take years to mend the relations. It is with profound sadness that C3S acknowledges that all the hard work of the previous years has been derailed by the unilateral actions of China.
On all counts, it is clear that this Independence Day and the year 2020 will be etched in our memory as the most difficult and challenging one. But it is also an opportunity to create independent options in the new post-COVID world.
On this independence day, We in C3S salute the brave hearts who lost their lives defending the borders. May there sacrifices not be in vain. We stand solidly with the COVID warriors and the defence forces who are a shining example of sacrifice, perseverance, professionalism, bravery and commitment. The Nation has full faith in the armed forces ability to give a fitting reply to the adversaries.
Director and Team C3S