The resent imperil to India in a series of scurrilous editorials in Chinese official media have put Indian contrivers to work overtime. As they say that ďsmoke from the caves are not for no reasonsĒ. This rhetoric have came up with sinister acts like - China tried to barricad India to get 2.9B $ loan from Asian Development bank, as it contained some 70 million $ for Arunachal Pradesh. More over China didnít endorsed Indian presence in Country Partnership Strategy(CPS) for yr 2009-12. Issuing Visaís to Kashmiri separatist without Indian Passport, all this with backdrop of upsurge in Chinese incursion.
China have also reneged on Sikkim promise by recent incursions in Finger area of northern Sikkim. As it was caught constructing a new east-west road through the upper finger area Ė realising India that never trust the Chicom prevaricators. This act made India to put an extra 30,000 troops all across the Sikkim border with Suís in Tezpur, on which China fretted as calling the move ďIndiaís unwise military moveĒ - India counterparts choose to remain mum. The issue is not related to this year alone as in 2006 western satellites picked up an conniving land model of 151,500 square kilometres of territory in and around China's Aksai Chin. Itís the same time China have up the ante on Arunachal Pradesh.
While Indian politicians fails to come out of resister legacy, Indian backroomers are up to the task of military assertiveness, apart from surge in troops and Suís, T-72 have been moved to Assam with reactivation of old airstrips. A strong force of mountaineering troops on the line of famous ĎLadakh Snow Tigersí have been raised up Ė as large as 28 divisions. Recently India also carried out a precise war scenario exercise, codename ĎDivine Matrixí, on the very terrains of Indo-China border from where threat has been muted for a rapid high tech Chinese assault to ďteach India a lessonĒ.
What really China wants with this border status quo? As it keep harping its claims in Arunachal Pradesh. There are two broad reasons for this, first Ė its strategically important Xinjiang-Tibet highway which cut across the disputed Aksai Chin, is Ďchicken neckí equivalent to China, from where it connects all the Ali region of western Tibet and overlooks Xinjiang region of Uyghurs, Turkic and Hui ppls. All of them are now in a contravene state. If ever in near future with the facilitation of American pressure, India and Pakistan comes to a settlement of Kashmir dispute then China have to layoff its claws from the Aksai Chin, under UN convention Ė as itís a territory which have been gifted by Pakistan as an act of bootlick.
This region also have Karakoram Highway connecting Gilgit -Kashgar to the heart land of Uighur separatists. China obviously doesnít want this to happen hence this periodic hot air. This territory coming to India will spell deep worry for China.
Second reason is an out Ďníout Tibet freedom movement. Tawang as we all know is the second largest Buddhist monastery, gives the proud ppls of Tibet the only hope for a free and a self-rule life from the thralls of Red army. His holiness Dalai Lama with ageing and all health problems will one day have to go in the peace of Lord Buddha, his successor most likely will be born outside the oppressive Ďgreat walls of chinaí. And if the reincarnated living Buddha comes from India moreover Tawang, it will really put Chinese ill at ease. There is a strong school of thought in China that it must take Tawang by force and install a Chicom comrade at the helm of monastery, hence claim on all of Arunachal Pradesh is just a upper bargain position by the canny Chinese.
But in any future confrontation between India and China, its not the calm mountains but the rip-roaring Oceans which gonna decide who rules the realms Ė Indian Ocean, thatís where the real great power competition is being played. The Ďstring of pearlsí as we all are hearing about it, from Laem Chabang in Thailand to Gwadar in Pakistan, China is aggressively pursuing its footing on Indian Ocean. Recently it has also re-visited its most ambitious Kra Canal Project, which would link the South China Sea directly to the Indian Ocean. A resolute China wants its hegemony on Oil and trade routes in Indian Ocean.
Moreover India also have a monitoring station in Mongolia to listen on Chinese installations on eastern side, most of there space activities are going on there.
India must also work with southeastern asian countries as they also have major maritime disputes with China. A close maritime co-operation with asian countries like leasing Indian Airforce base to Singapore for five yrs, training Malaysian pilots, can make a collective effort to stop Chinese aggressive designs. Japanís pressing for a Ďquadrilateral grouping of democraciesí is such a alliance which it is trying to initiate without the influence of unkil sam, and is more than willing to co-operate with India in every field. Winds from recent close Indo-Japanese talks suggest that India and japan can develop an Aegis like system. A jittery china is now trying to arm twist Australia and wants to be a party to 33-member Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Ė to which India abrasively refused.
It is not that both India and china only have enemocity to offer, recent Copenhagen unwritten alliance shows that an Indo-Sino confederation can save the interests of a billion poor ppls. Both India and China have to struggle to save guard there century old technics and practices from western patents. These patents are at the heart of western economy surge after the second world war. India with just more than 2% and china just more than 5%, canít even make 10% of world trade but half the world population. Indian and Chinese share of world trade have grown only 1% in all these yrs as compared to 5% bilaterally. No doubt that an Indo-Sino economic alliance will beat the world, if only Red Army generals are listening and stops contriving to Ďteach its competitors a lessoní.
Till then the answer by an Indian soldier to the Chinese graffiti of 'MiddleYellow River' inside Indian borders is a good old Indian graffiti on there side, reads Ė ĎíYahan @#%&$# karna mana haiĒ
The Strings of Pearls are nothing but a way to break any choke India might apply to Chinese supply in the events of hostility. The Chinese navy is not that powerful enough to use these pearls as bases against India. All the stated pearls are in easy range of Indian fighter bombers and missiles.
To every pearl that China has in the Indian ocean, there is a string that encircles it:
For example, India's intent and SriLanka's invitation to develop the strategic Kankasanthurai port, as a counterweight to the Chinese-developed Service and Industrial port of Hambantotta.
From a strategic viewpoint, the location is beautiful!:
To China's $167 million highway project in Bangladesh, there is the Asian Highway (AH) network agreement, already accepted by the government of Bangladesh in principle under ESCAP-crafted laws, the proposed Siddhirganj gas project in Bangladesh to be O&M'ed by the NTPC and the very likely interconnection of the power gird with Bangladesh that is in the offing, the import of 400-500MW of power from India under an MoU to be signed in two days , and ofcourse, the Bangladesh government itself.
To China's attempts at ties with the Maldives, there is the historic agreement to bring Maldives under our security net, the agreement to set up radars on all 26 of its atolls, networked with the Indian coastal radar system, the agreement to carry out regular Dornier sorties over the island nation to look out for suspicious movements or vessels, and the supervision of the Southern Naval Command, which will overlook the inclusion of the Maldives into the Indian security grid.
There is also the Free Trade Agreement, and the deal to supply coastal security equipment to Mauritius.
I don't want to go too far, but there is also the deal with Madagascar to lease and operate a "sophisticated" monitoring station for anti-piracy operations off the coast of Africa and the gulf of Aden, activated in 2007.
One of the least understood and less scrutinised facets of India‚Äôs diplomacy is perhaps New Delhi‚Äôs ‚ÄėLook East‚Äô policy, now nearly two decades old.
Launched during Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao‚Äôs regime primarily to try and integrate India‚Äôs newly liberalising economy with that of the Asian ‚Äėtigers‚Äô, that policy is now quietly evolving into a more robust military-to-military partnership with important nations in that region.
Over the past three months alone, top Indian military leadership has made important trips to key nations in South-East and East Asia ‚ÄĒ Vietnam, South Korea, Japan Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
Indian Army chief General V K Singh was in Vietnam in July, furthering an already strong strategic relationship. General Singh‚Äôs visit was the first in a decade by an Indian army chief.
Apart from meeting his Vietnamese counterpart, Deputy Chief of General Staff Pham Hong Loi, the Indian army chief discussed with Vietnam‚Äôs National Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh, the road map to implement the 2009 memorandum of understanding between the two ministries of defence.
Two areas where India and Vietnam will focus their immediate attention were training of military personnel and dialogue between experts on strategic affairs on both sides.
General Singh‚Äôs visit will be followed by Defence Minister A K Antony‚Äôs mid-October trip to Hanoi when he will participate in the first-ever regional meeting of political leaders in the defence field.
As the current chair of ASEAN, Vietnam has invited India to the ASEAN+8 defence ministers meeting. The 10-member ASEAN will be joined by Australia , China, India, Japan, New Zealand , Russia , South Korea, and the United States at that important conclave.
Although Indo-Vietnam political and diplomatic ties can be traced back to Jawaharlal Nehru‚Äôs time, it was only in the post 1990s that the two nations decided to build and strengthen military-to-military relationship.
This development was a result of two main reasons ‚ÄĒ one historical, the other contemporary.
To begin with, both India and Vietnam had borne the brunt of Chinese aggression ‚ÄĒ India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979.
And two, the collapse of the Soviet Union, for long a security guarantor for both India and Vietnam in Asia, left New Delhi and Hanoi without an all-weather, all-powerful friend.
Both India and Vietnam, who have long-pending territorial disputes with China thus decided to unite against their common adversary. Located on the edges of South-East Asia, Vietnam is ideally placed to prevent China‚Äôs expansion into the South China Sea.
So, for over a decade now, India has been providing Vietnam with assistance in beefing up its naval and air capabilities in an attempt to deny China total supremacy in the South China Sea.
Both New Delhi and Hanoi traditionally sourced majority of their military hardware from the erstwhile Soviet Union. That commonality has meant that both can share expertise and resources available with their respective armed forces in terms of handling and maintaining the Soviet-era weaponry.
India, for instance, has repaired and upgraded over 100 MiG 21 planes of the Vietnamese Air Force and supplied them with enhanced avionics and radar systems. Indian Air Force pilots have also been training their Vietnamese counterparts.
The Indian Navy, by far larger than the Vietnamese navy, has been supplying critical spares to Hanoi for its Russian origin ships and missile boats.
After Antony‚Äôs 2007 visit to Vietnam, the Indian and Vietnamese coast guards have engaged in joint patrols, and both navies participated in a joint exercise in 2007.
But Vietnam is not the only nation India is inching closer to in China‚Äôs immediate neighbourhood.
Antony, who is fast emerging as a quiet but effective player in India‚Äôs military diplomacy, in early September became the first Indian defence minister ever to visit South Korea, a pro-US, anti-China nation in the vicinity.
He led a top-notch team of military and civil officials like Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Vice-Admiral RK Dhowan, Lieutenant General K T Parnaik, DRDA Chief Controller C K Prahlada, and Sundaram Krishna, special adviser to the defence minister.
The visit was a follow-up on the declaration issued by both countries during President Lee Myung-bak‚Äôs state visit to New Delhi in January, when it was decided to elevate bilateral relationship to a ‚Äėstrategic partnership‚Äô.
Although nowhere near the level of Indo-Vietnam defence cooperation, the newly evolving India-South Korea partnership is being seen as a vital component of India‚Äôs game plan to counter China‚Äôs increasing footprint in the subcontinent.
Seoul is a perfect counter balance to the China-North Korea-Myanmar-Pakistan axis that New Delhi and US regard as a major irritant in the Asia-Pacific region.
Moving eastward, India is actively pursuing deeper defence cooperation with Japan. Last week, for the first time, India is expanding its defence ties with Japan, a newfound strategic partner in the region.
Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, chairman of India‚Äôs Chiefs of Staff Committee, the senior-most Indian military officer, led an Indian delegation to Japan on September 28 to participate in the first military-to-military talks between the two countries.
Naik‚Äôs visit comes just weeks ahead of a trip by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Tokyo in late October.
Naik‚Äôs visit is a follow-up to Antony‚Äôs discussions in Japan last year, when the two countries expressed their commitment to contribute to bilateral and regional cooperation, which in other words is an effort to build regional partnerships to counter the growing influence of China.
High level visits apart, the Indian Navy has been quite active in its friendly forays into the Pacific. A flotilla of Indian warships is about to complete a month-long deployment to the Pacific that included visits to Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.
So while Indian strategic thinkers have been busy sounding frequent alarms over China‚Äôs increasing forays into the Indian Ocean and have often overstated the fears of Beijing‚Äôs ‚ÄėString of Pearls‚Äô around India, New Delhi‚Äôs defence establishment has quietly put in place India‚Äôs own counter measures to woo and bolster China‚Äôs neighbours as a long-term strategy.
Whatever the consequences of this strategy and counter-strategy, one thing is sure: The Indian Ocean and its periphery are poised to become the new playground for the 21st century version of the Great Game in the years to come.
New Delhi, Oct. 5 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is likely to inaugurate two Indian consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna during his four-day visit to Sri Lanka in the last week of October.
The opening of the consulate office in Hambantota is significant in the wake of the Chinese having already established a strategic presence there through the construction of a harbour. The proposed Indian consulate will cover activities in the districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota and Moneragala.
India has maintained that the Chinese-aided Hambantota project, which opens in November, does not pose any security threat. However, there are concerns in New Delhi over the rising Chinese influence in Sri Lanka.
India has only one consulate in Kandy and the opening of consulates in Jaffna and Hambantotta is an attempt to reach out and spread its sphere of influence to counterweigh China, according to analysts.
Sections of India's strategic community believes Hambantota is part of a Chinese policy to throw a "string of pearls" geographical circle of influence around India and is aimed at counterbalancing and undermining India's natural influence in Sri Lanka.
The port project, which will give alternate access to Chinese goods through the Indian Ocean, was earlier offered to India according to Lankan officials.
China is also developing port facilities in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan, and has plans for constructing railway projects in Nepal.
China is pumping nearly six billion dollars in the form of grants and funding of projects in Sri Lanka.
To check Beijing's rising influence, New Delhi has also accelerated its aid programme and has offered concessionary credit facilities amounting to about 800 million dollars for the railway projects in Sri Lanka.
The proposed consulate in Jaffna will cover the five districts of the war-ravaged northern province - Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya and Mannar.
The consulate will help rehabilitate and streamline the humanitarian assistance to the displaced Tamils.
India had pledged to build 50,000 houses in the northern and eastern provinces, the Jaffna Cultural Center, the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and the Duraiappah Stadium.
During his expected visit, Krishna will reportedly review progress of Indian-aided projects and is likely to reassure New Delhi's commitment to rebuilding infrastructure in the war-ravaged nation.
He is also expected to call on Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)
India‚Äôs Tri-Service Command is gradually increasing its assets in order to monitor Chinese strategy in the region.
The command is situated in Andaman and Car Nicobar Islands with Port Blair as its headquarters. Officials from the Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC), confirmed that India is keeping a close watch on the activities of China and other countries in the region.
Though the officials stuck to a pre-planned brief on the sensitive China queries, it was clear the strategically located ANC keeps its antennas up round-the-clock to ensure that the region is well-guarded against external challenges.
‚ÄĚWe are looking at developing assets along the islands in the next five years,‚ÄĚ ANC chief Adm. D.K. Joshi told AVIATION WEEK. ‚ÄúWe are at handshaking distance from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. No other region has such a contiguous borderline.‚ÄĚ
Through its ‚ÄúString of Pearls‚ÄĚ strategy, China has signaled its intentions in the Malacca Strait by boosting its efforts to build ports in Hambantota (Sri Lanka) and Gwadar (Pakistan). ‚ÄúThe Malacca Strait in the Indian Ocean is pivotal for uninterrupted oil and power supplies from the Gulf to China. We are gearing up to modernize our installations and infrastructure in Andaman,‚ÄĚ Joshi said.
The ‚ÄúString of Pearls‚ÄĚ term was coined in a 2003 Booz Allen consultancy report to the Pentagon elaborating China‚Äôs designs to gain command in the Indian Ocean. The ANC, set-up in 2001, has had its share of teething problems. It marked the first time that such a unique experiment was undertaken by India. An official close to the situation notes that because the three services have their own distinct way of doing things it took some time for all pieces to fall in place.
India must not permit China to misread the CWG disaster and shame for strategic unpreparedness, says N.V.Subramanian.
27 September 2010: China's contempt for India's strategic capabilities and resilience would have doubtless risen after the huge ratty publicity attending the disastrous and shameful Commonwealth Games' organization. Whether or not such a link exists is besides the point (it does not), but there is danger that China will misinterpret such a connection, because it scarcely understands India, Indians, Indian democracy or Indian society.
And when China understands or misunderstands any rival power to be weak, the consequences could be harsh. So it is up to the Manmohan Singh government immediately to correct the picture with China, which is nearly regularly now showing one or the other signs of aggressiveness. The latest according to the wire services today is the doubling of hostile PLA border patrolling in parts of Ladakh where it is embarked upon illegal military infrastructure buildup. In the short- and medium-term too, India has to integrate itself to face China, because it is also undergoing political, military and politico-military transformations of its own that will hugely impact South Asia besides the rest of the world.
China will get a new leadership in twenty-twelve with vice-president Xi Jinping likely succeeding president Hu Jintao and vice-premier Li Keqiang perhaps premier Wen Jiabao. This is the succession picture as it looks now which could alter but seems unlikely. Xi does not fit any of the traditional slots of "populist" or "elitist" although he is both plus a "princeling" and part of the Shanghai faction. Li is more robustly "populist". But both suffer from the handicap of limited international exposure as do others of their generation particularly at a time when China, as the number two economy and a rising superpower, needs a markedly worldly-wise leadership.
This is not to suggest China is entering a phase where it may politically flounder but it certainly increases the responsibility on the existing leadership of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to stabilize the country and contain its international concerns before handing over charge. At least some portions of China's current aggressiveness in India's northern and north-eastern borders, in the Indian Ocean, and in the South and East China Sea, may arise from anxieties of the current Chinese leadership seeing the future uncertainties.
China's present aggressiveness also relates to the growing nationalism of the PLA and with the rising profile of the PLA Navy (PLAN), Air Force (PLAAF) and the Second Artillery Corps cutting into the historical pre-eminence of the land army. Because the army increasingly has been deployed in aid to civil authority (in flood and earthquake relief) and in suppressing uprisings in Tibet and Xinjiang, it has gained a considerable upper hand in the political calculus. And since China's economic and strategic security critically depends on free and unimpeded access to international waters, the other non-army PLA forces have shot up the hierarchy of the Central Military Commission.
In a nutshell, the military has become dominant in a logical and organic manner. But at the same time, the Chinese political leadership transformations have been opaque, hard to explain or understand, and the particular transition to Xi-Jinping-Li Keqiang, if it happens, is saturated with imponderables. It is of course dangerous to exaggerate the coming political shakeup in China. But it is also true that the country has to do considerable additional balancing now than ever before to stay on course, which may demand more from the next generation of Chinese leaders than they are capable of delivering. In other words, China has entered a period of flux, where the military while not anywhere close to seizing power is becoming dominant and nationally assertive.
Consequently, countries sharing land borders and seas with China growingly will feel its heat and be singed if they do not foresee and understand the dangers and take robust countermeasures. Specific to India, it would be perilous to let slip an impression abroad -- and especially to China -- that the CWG disaster reveals a lack of political will and somehow profoundly reflects India's strategic unpreparedness. It would not be an overstatement that China will misread a nineteen-sixty-two moment in this.
N.V.Subramanian is Editor, The Public Affairs Magazine- Newsinsight.net, and writes internationally on strategic affairs. He has authored two novels, University of Love (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) and Courtesan of Storms (Har-Anand, Delhi). Email: [email protected].
China tells defence forum its military growth is no threat
HANOI (AFP): China insisted Tuesday its military growth was no threat as Asian and US defence ministers met in Hanoi for their first top-level regional security forum amid concern over Beijing's might.
"China's defence development is not aimed to challenge or threaten anyone, but to ensure its security and promote international and regional peace and stability," China's Defence Minister Liang Guanglie told his counterparts.
He said China, which has the largest military force in the world has made a "strategic decision" for long-term peaceful development.
"China pursues a defence policy that is defensive in nature," Liang said, endorsing the aims of the new defence ministers' forum led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"China is positive and open to regional security cooperation and supports ASEAN centrality" in the new forum.
Beijing's increased assertiveness, particularly in the South China Sea, has caused jitters among neighbouring nations as well as the United States, which is also at odds with China over trade and currency issues.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates held talks with Liang Monday in a bid to improve their military ties after China broke off defence contacts in January over Washington's arms deals with Taipei.
"This meeting is a new and important step forward in ASEAN's defence cooperation," said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, whose country holds the current ASEAN chairmanship.
The Australian, November 18, 2005
President Bush hopes the Asian giant will be a friendly one, but John
Mearsheimer is a pessimist
THE question at hand is simple and profound: will China rise peacefully?
My answer is no.
If China continues its impressive economic growth over the next few
decades, the US and China are likely to engage in an intense security
competition with considerable potential for war. Most of China's
neighbours, to include India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Russia and
Vietnam, will join with the US to contain China's power.
To predict the future in Asia, one needs a theory that explains how rising
powers are likely to act and how other states will react to them.
My theory of international politics says that the mightiest states attempt
to establish hegemony in their own region while making sure that no rival
great power dominates another region. The ultimate goal of every great
power is to maximise its share of world power and eventually dominate
The international system has several defining characteristics. The main
actors are states that operate in anarchy which simply means that there is
no higher authority above them. All great powers have some offensive
military capability, which means that they can hurt each other. Finally, no
state can know the future intentions of other states with certainty. The
best way to survive in such a system is to be as powerful as possible,
relative to potential rivals. The mightier a state is, the less likely it is that
another state will attack it.
The great powers do not merely strive to be the strongest great power,
although that is a welcome outcome. Their ultimate aim is to be the
hegemon, the only great power in the system. But it is almost impossible
for any state to achieve global hegemony in the modern world, because it
is too hard to project and sustain power around the globe. Even the US is
a regional but not a global hegemon. The best that a state can hope for is
to dominate its own back yard.
States that gain regional hegemony have a further aim: to prevent other
geographical areas from being dominated by other great powers.
Regional hegemons, in other words, do not want peer competitors.
Instead, they want to keep other regions divided among several great
powers so that these states will compete with each other. In 1991, shortly
after the Cold War ended, the first Bush administration boldly stated that
the US was now the most powerful state in the world and planned to
remain so. That same message appeared in the famous National Security
Strategy issued by the second Bush administration in September 2002.
This document's stance on pre-emptive war generated harsh criticism,
but hardly a word of protest greeted the assertion that the US should
check rising powers and maintain its commanding position in the global
balance of power.
China -- whether it remains authoritarian or becomes democratic -- is
likely to try to dominate Asia the way the US dominates the Western
Specifically, China will seek to maximise the power gap between itself and
its neighbours, especially Japan and Russia. China will want to make sure
that it is so powerful that no state in Asia has the wherewithal to threaten
it. It is unlikely that China will pursue military superiority so that it can go
on a rampage and conquer other Asian countries, although that is always
Instead, it is more likely that it will want to dictate the boundaries of
acceptable behaviour to neighbouring countries, much the way the US
makes it clear to other states in the Americas that it is the boss. Gaining
regional hegemony, I might add, is probably the only way that China will
get Taiwan back.
An increasingly powerful China is also likely to try to push the US out of
Asia, much the way the US pushed the European great powers out of the
Western hemisphere. We should expect China to come up with its own
version of the Monroe Doctrine, as Japan did in the 1930s.
These policy goals make good strategic sense for China. Beijing should
want a militarily weak Japan and Russia as its neighbours, just as the US
prefers a militarily weak Canada and Mexico on its borders.
What state in its right mind would want other powerful states located in
its region? All Chinese surely remember what happened in the 20th
century when Japan was powerful and China was weak. In the anarchic
world of international politics, it is better to be Godzilla than Bambi.
Furthermore, why would a powerful China accept US military forces
operating in its back yard? American policy-makers, after all, go ballistic
when other great powers send military forces into the Western
hemisphere. Those foreign forces are invariably seen as a potential threat
to American security. The same logic should apply to China.
Why would China feel safe with US forces deployed on its doorstep?
Following the logic of the Monroe Doctrine, would not China's security be
better served by pushing the American military out of Asia?
Why should we expect the Chinese to act any differently than the US did?
Are they more principled than the Americans are? More ethical? Less
nationalistic? Less concerned about their survival? They are none of these
things, of course, which is why China is likely to imitate the US and
attempt to become a regional hegemon.
It is clear from the historical record how American policy-makers will
react if China attempts to dominate Asia. The US does not tolerate peer
competitors. As it demonstrated in the 20th century, it is determined to
remain the world's only regional hegemon. Therefore, the US can be
expected to go to great lengths to contain China and ultimately weaken it
to the point where it is no longer capable of ruling the roost in Asia. In
essence, the US is likely to behave towards China much the way it
behaved towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
China's neighbours are certain to fear its rise as well, and they too will do
whatever they can to prevent it from achieving regional hegemony.
Indeed, there is already substantial evidence that countries such as India,
Japan, and Russia, as well as smaller powers such as Singapore, South
Korea and Vietnam, are worried about China's ascendancy and are looking
for ways to contain it. In the end, they will join an American-led balancing
coalition to check China's rise, much the way Britain, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan, and even China, joined forces with the US to contain the
Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Finally, given Taiwan's strategic importance for controlling the sea lanes
in East Asia, it is hard to imagine the US, as well as Japan, allowing China
to control that large island. In fact, Taiwan is likely to be an important
player in the anti-China balancing coalition, which is sure to infuriate
China and fuel the security competition between Beijing and Washington.
The picture I have painted of what is likely to happen if China continues
its rise is not a pretty one. I actually find it categorically depressing and
wish that I could tell a more optimistic story about the future.
But the fact is that international politics is a nasty and dangerous
business and no amount of goodwill can ameliorate the intense security
competition that sets in when an aspiring hegemon appears in Eurasia.
That is the tragedy of great power politics.
John Mearsheimer is professor of political science at the University of
Chicago and the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (W.W.
(CNN) -- China isn't a military threat to its neighbors, the nation's defense minister told his counterparts at a security forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates tread lightly at the same gathering Tuesday in Vietnam, referring to territorial disputes and aggressiveness, but avoiding direct criticism of China.
"The United States does not take sides on competing territorial claims, such as those in the South China Sea," he said. "Competing claims should be settled peacefully, without force or coercion, through collaborative diplomatic processes, and in keeping with customary international law."
Beijing says most of the South China Sea belongs to China, disputing neighboring countries' claims. The clash over territorial waters and islands -- and the natural resources that go with them -- is a flash point in the Asia-Pacific region.
"China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature," Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said. "China's defense development is not aimed to challenge or threaten anyone, but to ensure its security and promote international and regional peace and stability."
Liang's statements came on the heels of a diplomatic clash with Japan over the arrest of a Chinese fishing captain in September. He was detained off the disputed Diaoyu Islands, in the East China Sea, touching off a battle that escalated into diplomatic threats by Beijing, the suspension of diplomatic talks and canceled trips between the nations. In Japan, the islands are known as the Senkaku.
Japan late last month freed the fishing captain, who returned to a hero's welcome in China.
In the aftermath of that clash, China's and Japan's top leaders signaled a thaw in relations by meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting last week in Belgium.
China and the United States have done likewise this week at ASEAN in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The U.S. defense secretary also has accepted an invitation to visit Beijing next year, to further rebuild military ties.
Beijing had cut off military dialog with the United States after the Obama administration announced a planned sale of arms to Taiwan earlier this year.
ASEAN is a political and economic organization consisting of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The talks in Vietnam also include Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.
Reacting to the total dominance of China in and around Africa, Delhi has begun to writhe in agony. Edgy analysts in Delhi are contemplating how to stop the onslaught of Anti-Indian presence all around the borders of Bharat. The Sri Lankan conflict had less to do with Tamil nationalism, and a lot more to do with the port of Lankan port of Hambantota. During the cold war Sri Lanka had allowed Israel, and the US access to the port and was contemplating setting up a VOA tower in Lanka to broadcast American propaganda to a Soviet satellite‚ÄďIndia. These were the good old days of very powerful Radio Ceylon which was listened to in all parts of South Asia. Bharat created the LTTE to pressure Lanka to backing off its US drift. After the Cold War, the Indians continued to support the LTTE terrorists and the Tamil Tigers continued their battle. Lanka paid a heavy price for its defiance. Now the tables have turned, Delhi is no longer averse to US bases, but doesn‚Äôt want any Chinese ones in Lanka. The case is different for Maldives. Former President Mamoon Abdul Gayoom had wanted to keep away Bharatiya intrusion into the Maldives. However this has been overturned with the arrival of the new regime in the Maldives. Delhi has tried to monopolize international oceans and prevent China and Pakistan to participate in regimes that would monitor and keep them open for word wide travel. Bharat aimed to create a regional grouping stretching from the eastern coast of Africa to Australia. The US and China were specifically excluded on the ground they were not Indian Ocean littoral states. Bharat‚Äôs efforts in attempting to create the ‚ÄúIndian Ocean Naval Seminar (IONS) last year have faltered. Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony, while visiting Maldives, has declared that India and the Maldives have agreed on a series of measures to step up defense cooperation between the two countries. Officials have said that regular Dornier surveillance flights and an air force station, as well as military helicopters and 26 coastal radars, are part of the security plan. A 25-bed military hospital in Male has also been pledged by India. India may also set up a network of ground radars on major atolls of the Maldives. linking them with the Indian Coastal Command. This would bring the Maldives into the eye of India‚Äôs coastal security setup and within the security network of its armed forces.
A clear disconnect has emerged in the military views of India and the US, with a top American military commander saying Washington is comfortable with the increased presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean, a suggestion that New Delhi bristles at. In floating the Indian Ocean Naval Seminar (IONS) last year, India aimed to create a regional grouping stretching from the eastern coast of Africa to Australia. The US and China were specifically excluded on the ground they were not Indian Ocean littoral states. Admiral Timothy J. Keating, who heads the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command, who was on a two-day visit to Bharat, while talking to reporters said he would like China to come aboard ‚Äď as an observer and later as a participant ‚Äď in the annual India-US Malabar naval war games that occasionally take on a trilateral hue. Bharat is hardly expected to root for this; and, the US would be comfortable with the Chinese Navy acquiring berthing facilities in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a move that Bharat has been vehemently opposing. Keating also welcomed the increased participation of the Chinese Navy in the anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden at a time when India has been expressing growing concern over this, viewing it as Beijing‚Äôs muscling into New Delhi‚Äôs backyard. During his visit to New Delhi, Keating held discussions with his Indian counterpart, Admiral Suresh Mehta, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon. Bharat claim that Chinese intrusion extends beyond Lanka and the Maldives. It extends to the Sea of Aden where the Chinese have been asked to monitor the sea off the coast of Somalia. However, Keating declared that there is lots of room in the Indian Ocean for various players. He stressed that the US is not in favour of splitting the Indian Ocean into sphere but is talking in terms of cooperating and collaborating and sharing best practices. Bharat needs to be reined in if it thinks it is the sole custodian of the Indian Ocean.