Japan-China dispute: India should follow middle path

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Japan-China dispute: Why India should follow middle path - The Times of India

    As Chinese and Japanese surveillance ships and aircrafts shadow each other around Senkaku/Diaoyu islands tension is rising. But both the powers are also engaged in smile diplomacy to woo India, creating diplomatic openings for the country. Preoccupied with territorial disputes with Japan and its Southeast Asian neighbours, and concerned about the US pivot China is showing unusual warmth towards India. Coincidentally, the newly-elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a long-time friend of India, has issued a thinly veiled call for an anti-China alliance. By steering a prudent course between competing suitors India could significantly improve its position in the region. Any misstep, however, could hurt India`s economic progress and endanger its long-term security.

    In December, Liberal Democratic Party under Abe won a landslide victory fighting on a nationalist platform. Within weeks of becoming prime minister he published an unusually blunt editorial in which he charged that the South China Sea seems set to become "Lake Beijing", where "the People's Liberation Army's navy [could] base their nuclear-powered attack submarines". This development, he wrote, surpassed what he imagined in 2007 when he sought India`s friendship. "Anxious that such a development could arise, I spoke in India of the need for the Indian and Japanese governments to join together to shoulder more responsibility as guardians of navigational freedom across the Pacific and Indian oceans." Abe now wants to put "greater emphasis" on India developing regular bilateral service-to-service military dialogues and start official trilateral talks that include the US. He praised India for signing an agreement to provide Japan with rare earth minerals — a key component of which China holds near monopoly, and stopped exporting to Japan following a marine incident.

    China's newly-elected party secretary general Xi Jinping, meanwhile, has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that China will "pay great importance to developing relations with India". He said China "expects to carry out close cooperation with India to create a brighter future of their bilateral relations". At the end of the recent defence dialogue in Beijing deputy chief of general staff of PLA Lt Gen Qi Jianguo was quoted as saying that "China sincerely hopes to become a strategic partner of India based on equality, mutual trust, mutual learning and cooperation. "There are indications that this is not just polite noise by a new leadership in China. Indian diplomatic sources say that in recent months China has been all sweet and honey, relieved that India has not joined American-led efforts against China. Despite entreaties by some Asean countries to step up its presence in the region India has been cautious, letting the countries know to not count on India to fight China. By publicly supporting Asean, India wants to give the grouping a margin of manoeuvre without provoking China. The diplomats say that China is wary of Pakistan`s instability and its role in training Uighur militants. While Beijing would not change the low-cost policy of supporting Pakistan as a proxy to curb India`s regional power, China may be more appreciative of India`s stabilising role in Afghanistan. Though a border agreement with China is not for tomorrow, the fact of working towards the goal gives India breathing room.

    The possibility of cooperation with China on international forums from Brics to climate change talks — and expanding economic ties could proceed while India strengthens cooperation with US and Japan. India`s growing military cooperation with the US and joint exercises with Japan, not to mention expanding economic ties with Japan, which is making significant investments, is as much for India`s growth as it is a hedge against China. But India would calibrate carefully its embrace of Japan so as to not fall into a de facto alliance against China.

    The fact is that despite tough talk by Abe, Japan itself is ambivalent about how to deal with the Chinese challenge. Steady escalation of Chinese pressure on Japan over Senkaku seems designed to force Japan to acknowledge that the island is a disputed territory. The US is publicly and privately urging Japan to show restraint against Chinese provocation. Abe will also have to listen to Japan`s business community, which is anxious to not lose Chinese market and manufacturing platforms by slipping into a conflict. While India and Japan share an interest in freedom of navigation and curbing China`s ambition, India will have more clout by staking a middle ground rather than being seen as Japan`s ally.
     
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  3. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    India does not even have a coherent national security policy forget about foreign policy.

    Besides we don't have any clout to poke our nose in such regional affairs
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    As dispute over islands escalates, Japan and China send fighter jets to scene


    BEIJING: The action in the skies over the East China Sea started simply enough. Last week, the Chinese government sent a civilian surveillance plane, a twin propeller aircraft, to fly near the uninhabited islands at the heart of a growing feud between China and Japan.

    Tokyo, in response, ordered F-15 fighter jets to take a look at what it considered Chinese meddling. The Chinese then sent their own fighters.

    It was the first time that supersonic Chinese and Japanese military fighters were in the air together since the dispute over the islands erupted last year, significantly increasing the risk of a mistake that could lead to armed conflict at a time when both countries, despite their mutual economic interests, are going through a period of heightened nationalism that recalls their longstanding regional rivalry.

    The escalation comes amid a blast of belligerent discourse in China and as the Obama administration has delayed a visit to Washington requested by Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister of Japan, the United States' main ally in Asia. After the rebuff, Abe announced that he would embark on a tour of Southeast Asia intended to counter China's influence in the region. On Friday, as Abe cut short his trip to return to Tokyo to deal with the hostage crisis in Algeria, secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Washington that Abe would meet with President Obama in the second half of February.

    For Japan and China, what began as a seemingly minor dispute is quickly turning into a gathering storm, military analysts and western diplomatic officials warn, as each country appears determined to force the other to give ground.

    "What is really driving things is raw nationalism and fragmented political systems, both on the Japanese and even more so the Chinese sides, that is preventing smart people from making rational decisions," said Thomas Berger, an associate professor of international relations at Boston University. "No Chinese or Japanese leader wants or can afford to be accused of selling out their country."

    The backdrop for the dispute is the changing military and economic dynamic in the region. In Japan, which rose from utter defeat in World War II to become a prosperous global economic power, many experts talk of a nation preparing for an "elegant" decline. But Abe has made clear that he does not subscribe to that idea and hopes to stake out a tough posture on the islands as a way of engineering a Japanese comeback.

    In contrast, Beijing brims with confidence, reveling in the belief that the 21st century belongs to China — with the return of the islands the Chinese call the Diaoyu and the Japanese refer to as the Senkaku as a starting point.

    Though Japan is far richer than China on a per-person basis, its economy has been stagnant for years and contracted once again in the second half of 2012. It was hit hard by a slowdown in exports to China after the island dispute erupted in August; Chinese protesters disrupted Japanese plants in China and boycotted Japanese products during the autumn. The value of Japanese exports to China fell by 17 per cent between June and November, the World Bank said this week.

    China's fast-growing military still lags behind the Japanese self-defence forces in sophistication of weaponry and training, but Japan's edge is diminishing, according to Dr Berger, an expert on the Japanese military, and other western defence analysts.

    For now the Chinese military wants to avoid armed conflict over the islands, Dr Berger said, but its longer-term goal is to pressure Japan to give up its administration of the islands. That would give China a break in what is known in China as the "first island chain," a string including the Diaoyu, that prevents China's growing ballistic submarine fleet from having unobserved access to the Pacific Ocean. Taiwan is part of the "first island chain," as are smaller islands controlled by Vietnam and the Philippines.

    "The Chinese leadership seems to think that the cards are in their favor, and if they push long and hard enough, the Japanese have to cave," Dr Berger said.

    A senior American military official said that Washington considered China's decision to send its fighter jets in response to Japan's to be "imprudent" but not a violation of international law. The Chinese jets had entered what is known as Japan's air defence identity zone, but had not infringed Japan's airspace, the official said.

    The United States was watching closely and advising restraint on both sides, because there is no established method of communication — or hot line — between Japan and China that can be used in the event of a confrontation. With jet fighters from both countries aloft last week, "the potential for mistakes that could have broader consequences" was vastly increased, the official said.

    The Chinese state-run news media have stepped up their hawkish tone since the episode. On Abe's trip to Southeast Asia, which the Chinese say is intended to create a pro-Japan alliance, the overseas edition of People's Daily newspaper said, "Even the United States, the world's sole superpower, acknowledged that it cannot encircle and contain China, so why should Japan?"

    Chinese experts express similar views. In an interview, Hu Lingyuan, the deputy director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, described Abe as a Japanese nationalist who was trying to overextend Japan's reach. "The Diaoyu conflict keeps escalating," he said. "A solution is not possible." And as the commentary became harsher, the Chinese news media stressed reports of training by the military's East China Sea units. Dozens of J-10 fighter jets participated in a live ammunition drill with the navy's East China Sea fleet, the state run news agency, Xinhua, reported Thursday.

    Before returning to Japan, Abe spoke to reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia. He said he opposed "changing the status quo by force," and called on China to behave in a responsible manner.

    "The seas is a public asset that should not be governed by force but by rule of law that keeps it freely open to all," he said. "We will work with Asean nations to do our utmost to defend this."

    With a top United States diplomat, Kurt M Campbell, in Tokyo this week, Washington is urging both sides to open a dialogue.

    But the initial signs are not particularly promising. On Thursday, a former Japanese prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama of the opposition Democratic Party, met in Beijing with Jia Qinglin, the chairman of the national committee of the Chinese People's political consultative conference.

    The setting looked conciliatory. China, however, used the occasion to make a point that was immediately rejected in Tokyo. Jia called for talks with Japan over the disputed islands, an idea that Japan has always said was unacceptable. Japanese governments have consistently maintained that the islands rightfully belong to Japan and that there is nothing to discuss.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    After making all kinds of statements and signing security pacts it is a little late to come
    to this realization.
     
  6. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    What security pacts have we signed with Japan.
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Very strange that India fought the Japanese with the allies in ww2 to save China and now has become
    close to Japan against China. I guess it's true nobody learns from history and it always repeats.
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It's more than time that Japan chuck it's Pacifism in the Sea of Japan and about time it also went overtly nuclear. China will absolutely demolish Japan as time goes over the issue of sovereignty. Chinese will also be looking to take revenge for what happened to them during the world war.

    Chinese moves over the last year or so have been alarming and certainly calls for a unified stance against it. US distancing itself from this is really disappointing. It will hurt them in the long run. Japan and other smaller countries around China are but a stepping stone for the Chinese to come out openly against the US.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Japan is under USA's nuclear umbrella and still has a infrastructure which
    can rapidly militarize. Japanese have many times more weapons grade plutonium than China
    has but it is claimed to be for peaceful use.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    US is getting dodgy. It cannot be relied upon. I really don't think they will lose New York for Tokyo. Unless there is some real good thinking in Washington on how to tackle the Chinis whose ultimate aim is to kick the US out from its perch.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    China is really testing USA's alliances and they picked the right president
    to do it under. US influence as you mentioned is decreasing among the Pacific
    allies and many NATO nations are unofficially bankrupt so this is a recipe for
    new powers and paradigm shifts.
     
  13. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    its clear that India will never be able to have high status in world until China will have demonstrated its success in this world, hence overcoming Western hurdles for India and other countries too this way. 'Rise of China' provides enormous benefits for India and other emerging countries, which can't be stated in one post. until China brings the Western superiority to its shoes, Western War Champions will never let any other society/culture go high :nono:. and with having good knowledge of these key geo-political issues, I have passed many years while waiting for the China to achieve highest trade volume, highest GDP size etc..... we all are waiting for that certain day when China will have successfully shoot these Western War Champions to its foot, making its easy for rest of the world to rise also, go high like China too this way :thumb: :china:
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  14. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    the foundation for coo+eration is thre through these pats and more to come

    fantastic opportunity for india and japan to help each other with usa - australia looking on , ASEAN too should play some side role

    but india must make the most of th eoportunities to learn from japan .......
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Middle path should be to niggle China and act coy!
     
  16. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    not even necessary - theyre bringing it upon themselves .....preferably stick with japan and show the other our derriere - a policy which should have been applied since 1962 october
     
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  17. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Maybe you should check the detail of your India-Japan pact. There is no term indicate that India or Japan would bear any obligation for each other when one side is in a conflict or war with a third country. In other words, these new treaties may bring Japan and india closer, but still far away from being allies.

    By the way, neither Chinese nor japanese thinks that india has the neccessary power to provide any military support in eastern asia currently. The key role in this potential Sino-Japan conflict will always be US. With US support, Japan don't need india. Without US support, India's support is meaningless to Japan.
     
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  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    why would all the details be made public?? Since India's support is meaningless
    China does need to be concerned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  19. desicanuk

    desicanuk Regular Member

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    Spot on!Stick with Japan and kick the PRC posterior to the kingdom come.The arrogant thugs in Beijing have to be brought down to earth.STOP CHINA!!!
     
  20. The Fox

    The Fox Regular Member

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    At least from now on India should be firm on its foreign Policy and not have one foot on the land and another on the sea If you stand firm with Japan say it out loud or if you are going with Imperialistic Chinese then say it openly and don't be in the Middle enough Being Neutral
     
  21. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    It is funny how our political leadership's lack of foreign policy and indecisiveness is being likened to being on a "preferred middle path". :rolleyes:
     

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