BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has an ‘obsession’ with China. To quote him from a media report, he said, “Rahul Gandhi has left for China via Nepal. Rahul ji has an obsession for China. Why is it that Mr. Gandhi always wants to get a Chinese view on everything but does not want to have an Indian perspective? Which politicians will he meet there?”
Is Rahul Gandhi really obsessed with China? Gandhi does seem to mention China a lot but is he building any serious narrative with his China’s reference? Is he informed enough to talk on the China-India dynamic? Read on to know.
Instance 1: Rahul Chose to Believe China than the Indian Government
When the Doklam conflict was on, Rahul Gandhi visited the Chinese embassy in India. The strange behavior of Congress party and its President Rahul Gandhi in this episode raised several questions.
- When the reports of Rahul’s meeting emerged in the media, Congress categorically denied itonly to accept it later. Chinese embassy’s website published information about the meeting but pulled it down later. It raised questions on why there was such a flip-flop from Congress side.
- Rahul Gandhi later replied by saying “it is my job to be informed on critical issues”. Then also a question lingered, does Mr. Rahul Gandhi prefer to meet the Chinese side secretly at the peak of conflict and choose to be ‘informed’ by them, instead of his own country’s government? Ideally, he should have sought information from the Ministry of External Affairs.
Instance 2: Frequent ‘China’ mentions in speeches, perhaps more than any other politician
In many previous assembly elections be it in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh or in Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi frequently spoke about China – almost in every single speech like he had rote learnt the facts. A funny moment ensued when he claimed that every time you click a selfie, a Chinese youth gets employment. He talked on a similar line in Mandsaur, MP, which can be seen in the video below.
Another favourite statistic that Gandhi keeps parroting, almost for 2-3 years now in many speeches is the number of jobs China creates per day. It is almost as if Gandhi has been given an advertising contract to propagate China’s achievements in India.
As far as mobile manufacturing is concerned, although China is a leader, in India things have radically changed after UPA demitted from office. From only 2 mobile phone manufacturing units in 2014, it increased to 120 units in 2017, a statistic Gandhi never mentions.
Read our earlier article Rinse Repeat Rahul – Repeats His Favorite Lies, Yet Again that rebutted Rahul’s Chinese statistics on jobs and growth.
Instance 3: Crediting China for Sardar Patel statue
Rahul Gandhi had claimed in 2017 in Gujarat that the proposed Sardar Patel statue is being made in China and termed it shameful. He also claimed that all the employment benefit from the project would go to China.
But this fake news was already busted back in 2015, when the contractors for the project, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) said, “The entire statue itself is being built in India at the site and only the bronze cladding in the form of bronze plates is being sourced from China, which constitutes a negligible amount of less than 9% of the total value of project.”
Instance 4: Rahul Gandhi’s recent gaffe on Doklam and what it reveals
When Rahul Gandhi was asked in his recent London interaction how he would handle Doklam if he were Prime Minister, his reply was “I can’t answer this question since I don’t know the details about Doklam”. It is in stark contradiction to his earlier stance that he visited the Chinese embassy because it was ‘his job to be informed on critical issues’.
Moreover, after admitting that he doesn’t know the details of Doklam, he said that the problem still persists in Doklam and criticized Modi government for not handling the situation properly. How can a person pass so many assumptions on an issue he doesn’t have the details of? Moreover, why did he say back then that he went to the Chinese embassy to stay informed while he now says he doesn’t have details? It is also clear that Rahul Gandhi doesn’t believe his own country’s Army Chief’s word where he asserted that the situation in Doklam is absolutely fine.
Instance 5: Playing down India’s capability against the Chinese
In the same London speech where he commented on Doklam, Rahul Gandhi also said: “If India was punching above its weight, Doklam wouldn’t have happened”.
It is a known fact that the Doklam conflict was resolved because of India’s mature response along the border. India was praised globally for looking a global superpower in the eye without flinching and resolving the situation. But it is interesting to evaluate in what proportion the previous UPA punched its weight when it comes to China policy. Official figures say that China’s transgression was higher under UPA-2. The same UPA government has failed to ensure infrastructure development in the Indo-China border. According to the plan laid in 2005, 73 strategic roads along the Chinese border should have been constructed by 2012. Not even half of the target was met when UPA completed its 10 years rule. Now NDA government put the project back on track.
Followed by the Mansarovar Yatra now, and the various other facts that Sambit Patra has brought to the fore, such as the inexplicable ceremonial farewell from the Chinese envoy at the airport in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi does seem to have a China problem – many would call it an obsession.