Regarding Dipak Basu’s Dec. 16 letter, “China doesn’t respect diplomacy“: Basu’s analysis of China smacks of a prejudice all too common in India. Rightwing Hindu nationalists, in particular, tend to hold a grudge against China. This usually has a lot less to do with territorial squabbles (in which China and India have behaved equally badly) than with two issues:

● China’s support for Pakistan. Without China’s help over the years, belligerent Hindu nationalists might well have gotten their way and successfully invaded at least part of Pakistan.

● The legacy of support for Japanese World War II militarism by many Indian nationalists as a knee-jerk anti-British reaction.

Contrary to Basu’s assertion, a case can be made for the Senkaku Islands having belonged to China and having been taken by Japan as part of the spoils of the first Sino-Japanese war, along with Taiwan. The only reason the Japanese were allowed by the Americans to keep them after World War II was that the Americans wanted to use Japan as a Cold War base.

Keeping the Emperor on the throne and encouraging a virtual one-party state under “Liberal Democratic” former militarists were part of the same strategy.

There is good and bad in every country. Not all Japanese come off like warmongering racists. Equally, not all Chinese are implacably anti-Japanese; not all Pakistanis and Muslims are terrorists; and not all British are vile imperialists.

The emotional mentality of those who think the Japanese militarists were right to brutalize China because “anyone who’s against the British can’t be all bad” is extremely shortsighted as well as totally lacking in empathy.

Indians who were oppressed by the British should be able to understand some of the feelings of Chinese who received the same treatment at the hands of the Japanese.

vimal malik
kerala, india

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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