The International Herald Tribune offered a commentary yesterday castigated China for is hypocrisy on history:

The incident revealed how China contradictorily deals in history vis-a`-vis its neighbors to further its own foreign policy objectives: While it wants India to forget 1962, it misses no opportunity to bash Japan over the head with the history card. Its aim is not to extract more apologies from Tokyo for its World War II atrocities but to continually shame and tame Japan. (It is ironic that visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao used Indian soil last April to demand that Japan “face up to history squarely,” setting the stage for his country’s orchestrated anti-Japanese protests.)

Another way China manipulates history is by reconstructing the past to prepare for the future. This was illustrated by the Chinese foreign ministry’s posting on its Web site last year a revised historical claim that the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, founded in northern Korea, was Chinese. This was seen as an attempt to hedge China’s options with a potentially unified Korea.

Then there is China’s continued use of what it presents as history to advance extravagant territorial or maritime claims. Its maps show an entire Indian state - Arunachal Pradesh - as well as other Indian areas as part of China.

While the Chinese-Japanese rivalry has deep roots, dating back to the 16th century, the Chinese and Indian military frontiers met for the first time in history only in 1950, when China annexed (or as its history books say, “liberated”) Tibet, a buffer nearly the size of Western Europe. Within 12 years of becoming India’s neighbor, China invaded this country, with Mao Zedong cleverly timing the aggression with the Cuban missile crisis.

The writer, Brahma Chellaney, is a darling of the Indian right. What’s interesting about this piece is that there is no mention of Taiwan. Perhaps Mr. Chellaney realized that India was as vulnerable on Goa as China is on Taiwan, or perhaps it was just too complex to deal with. Or perhaps he was trying to limit the insults to Beijing.