Saturday, June 15, 2024

Muscle flexing in mind, India deputes old hand Rawat as envoy to China

PK Rawat

Nirendra Dev
New Delhi, December 20: Pradeep Kumar Rawat, IFS 1990 batch, who is now Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China.
A source on the condition of anonymity said, New Delhi also needs to keep in mind ‘possible’ China hands in certain other developments in north east India.
Rawat is expected to take up the assignment shortly, an MEA announcement said here on Monday.
Rawat’s posting comes at a time when India and China have issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The India-China relationship also has assumed a special significance in the contexts of Russia, India and China (RIC), and BRICS engagements along with two important global partners South Africa and Brazil.
Beijing has an added importance of its own aftermath Taliban takeover of reins in Afghanistan and also developments related to Taiwan and strong bonding between New Delhi and Washington.
Rawat was appointed as ambassador to the Netherlands in January 2021.
Rawat is considered a ‘China expert’ and was once head of the East Asia division in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
In the eastern sector too, New Delhi understands the importance of China vis-a-via geo-political importance of Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.
The coup in February this year in Myanmar has a significance of its own.
The success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Act East Policy’ has a special significance to the northeastern region, the related developments of peace, tranquility in the region and the success of nearing 25-year-old Naga peace talks.
A source in the know of things said, “While it may not be advisable to trigger some unwarranted anxious moments, to be cautious is the golden rule of diplomacy.”
In the context of the coup in Myanmar, New Delhi is making a tightrope walk.
India has said it is disturbed at the developments in Myanmar under which Aung Sang Suu Kyi could be sent behind bars.
In response to media queries about the proceedings against Aung Sang Suu Kyi, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Dec 7, “We are disturbed at the recent verdicts. As a neighbouring democracy, India has been consistently supportive of the democratic transition in Myanmar.”
Some Naga groups may still have nexus in Myanmar and China, observers say.
In November, the government of India appointed Vinay Kumar as India’s next ambassador to Myanmar.
The Mizoram government has officially informed the centre that by mid-September over 20,000
Myanmar refugees have been ‘residing’ in the state which neighbours Myanmar’s Chin province.
The centre has, however, not given the incoming Myanmar people the status of ‘refugees’. The state governments cannot declare them as refugees officially.
On December 18, Indian Air Force Chief, V R Chaudhari said, “The stand-off with China does continue, disengagement has taken place in certain areas in Ladakh but complete disengagement has not taken place.
The Air Force will continue to maintain deployment”.