“I am become China,
A land grabber at large,
A flouter of treaties,
Into your hut I’ll barge!
All Agreements are unequal,
I’m not bound by norms,
What laws shall you quote,
When the Commie predator storms (your land).”
The shadow of the large mango tree standing in the right corner of my courtyard falls upon a hut which is located on the other side of the stockade outside the line of my actual control.
Since the shade under my tree must considered as my area of influence, I have put forth my claim upon his hut. That whatever falls from my tree- fruits, branches and leaves- on either side of the LAC belongs to me is settled law. Since the tree’s shade is not specifically precluded from the ambit of this law, it must be understood that my claim is quite tenable. The continued occupation of the hut for gratis by the family living inside it must be construed as great injustice being meted out to me on a continual basis.
The hut is made of thatches, leaves and branches that grew on my land but fell outside the stockade. Hence I have a stake in the hut despite the small matter that I was paid the price of some of that material. By value addition, the hut has become a home and hence I don’t consider that my full dues are paid. Besides, I am not being paid for the use of the shaded area whose rent is also due to me.
Since I have become China, is my sworn duty and obligation to quote some Confucius’ and a lot of Sun Tzu’s . To prove my credentials, let me quote Confucius –
“One under your shade is in your refuge.
What is in your refuge is a part of you.”
These wise words bolster my claims. If Confucius was any clearer, the quote would have applied here as a case law itself.
The couple in in the hut got married under the shade of my tree. Light reflected by his wife enters my eyes. I feel a sense of longing and belonging over her. Since I let them marry and consummate without prior payment of my dues, I have some rights over them. As they are beholden to me, they should provide me, and only me, with labour, at whatever fair wages I offer them. Whatever goods I sell, they should buy only from me so that they can repay at least some of their debts. It is only fair that they should be ready and willing to provide whatever services I call upon them for.
Their children were conceived inside the hut, or outside it, but definitely under the shade of my tree, and as such I have certain rights over them. Their education is being financed by the dues that their father owes me. On this basis, I lay claim upon their youthful energy and the skills they have acquired. I am entitled to receive free labour from them in lieu of my unpaid, unacknowledged debts.
In view of my persistent demands and occasional shows of force, the family that lives inside the hut has approached me many a times to discuss the matter. They come with folded hands and profess good intentions, but indulge in cartographic sophistry.
“How are these maps, prepared as they are during the erstwhile Imperial administration, relevant to our present dispute resolution negotiations?” I ask them.
They keep threatening me that they shall approach the Local Council and the Courts. “Reactionary institutions shall get you nowhere. My power flows through the barrel of my gun, as Mao used to say, and my territorial claims through the greed of my tongue and depth of my pocket, as Mao should have added!”.
I despise such legal skulduggery. I no longer fear these biased authorities and their pronouncements. They can give rulings, but can they implement them? These running dogs of imperialism cannot weaken my resolve. Neither can they divest my claims. It is not just on one side or of a single tree’s shade that is being denied to me. Enemies have encroached upon China’s, id est mine, land on all sides. Even if they join forces against me, I shall fight and vanquish them.
I have now constructed tree-houses over their huts in which I aim to post my guards. I am constructing a huge ditch around my stockade to separate my land from theirs. They must pay half of the costs involved, or offer free labour. Some of them have problems with this arrangement as well. They argue they cannot afford this additional financial burden, which might even end up flooding their areas. Devious enemies is hell bent upon advancing specious arguments. In a bid to establish hegemony, I am also bribing and winning over vulnerable, greedy officials in counsils and courts. By forced labour, I have cut down input costs of my produce. I now flood markets with my cheap produce and generate surplus. My enemies are saddled with unsold stocks. The surplus generated has filled my treasury. I am so flush, oh, I am become China. I am so puffed up, oh, I am become China. If my neighbours do not satisfy my appetite for more land, I might commit ritual suicide (to seek rebirth) or transmogrify into China Virus which the world shall know as Corona. It would be a fitting retribution and a master move to realize my claims by infecting, weakening and killing my foes. Who shall stop me from taking over dead men’s lands?
To sum up, Sun Tzu’s words have become my guiding principle-
“A claim, howsoever preposterous, once advanced, becomes the foundation of future prosperity ”.
Confucius once(actually) said that if you transport a handful of earth everyday, you will make a mountain. My trees have grown surely, but surely, and their shades I shall hand over to my foes.
**Confucius and Sun Tzu’s quotes in inverted commas are fakes and are my creations.
*this is a satire upon China’s hunger for land.
#China #LandGrab #SpratleyIslands #ParacelIslands #ScarborouhShoal
#GalwanValley #ladakh #AksaiChin #PangongLake #HotSprings
#SenkakuIslands #Malacca #SunTzu #Confucius #Vladivostok