What you may have missed: Narendra Modi’s message to China

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Samar Rathi, May 29, 2014.

  1. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    In the last 36 hours, we have seen intense discussion and speculation on the future of India-Pakistan relations in the wake of Nawaz Sharif attending the swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi as India’s new Prime Minister. But no one seems to be talking about China. What most analysts appear to have missed is that Modi has also sent a multi-leveled but clear message to our giant neighbour in the north.

    Take his invitation to all the leaders of neighbouring countries, most importantly Maldives and Sri Lanka. China has been for years single-mindedly pursuing its string of pearls strategy to encircle India. Maldives, traditionally a good and amiable friend of India, is now almost lost to China.

    To quote from John Elliott’s recent—and eye-opening—book Implosion, “Problems probably created, or at least accentuated, by China have emerged in the Maldives… China opened a mission in Male, the capital, in March 2012, and the country’s president, Mohamed Waheed, met (former head of the Chinese government) Wen Jiabao in China a month later, when $500m aid was agreed.
    “Towards the end of 2012, the government cancelled a long-tern build-and-operate airport contract with GMR, the Indian infrastructure company. That happened just after China’s defence minister, Liang Guanglie, visited the islands. Mohammed Nazim, the Maldives minister for defence, national security and transport, who handled the airport, had also just been to Beijing. This showed a distinct pro-China tilt by the Maldives…

    “Previously the islands had relied on Indian assistance, as was well illustrated in 1988 when Indian troops quickly quelled a coup attempt by Sri Lankan Tamil mercenaries. Unsurprisingly, India, which is rarely adept at handling its neighbours, failed to deal smartly with the airport situation and the contract was lost, which was widely seen as a gain for China.”
    Among the many areas the second regime of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was paralysed in, one was foreign policy. The Indian government sat around open-mouthed as China quite openly lured Maldives into its area of influence. Maldives is also crucial to India for another reason: the islands have been seeing a disturbing rise in Islamist fundamentalism, which, while creating social and political instability in the islands, could also have disturbing implications for India. Inviting Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom over for the swearing in, and chatting with him to get an informal sense of the situation in the islands is Modi’s first step to woo Maldives back into India’s fold. At the least, he is sending a message to China that India would no longer sit idle and watch Maldives slide away and become a pearl in China’s string.

    Right now, in the wake of the global furore about the way it ended its civil war, Sri Lanka believes it needs a great deal of international support. While the Manmohan Singh government was blackmailed by its Tamil ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) into not voting for Sri Lanka at the United Nations, China has been happily and not-so-quietly stepping into the breach. Chinese companies are building infrastructure contracts worth some $4 billion including the country’s second international airport, a massive special economic zone, and Sri Lanka’s first four-lane expressway, and all almost wholly funded with Chinese soft loans.
    In August 2013, China opened the Colombo International Container Terminal, a $500 million port 85% owned by a Chinese merchant company to serve as a hub between Singapore and Dubai. The Hambantota Development Zone, which the China is helping to build, will include an international container port, an oil refinery, an international airport and other facilities. It is expected to cost more than $1 billion and again China is funding 85% of the project.

    As Jack Goodman writes in The Diplomat, “The recent commitment from Sri Lanka to join the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) indicates the proximity of the two states’ strategic aspirations and is a reflection of the assimilation of national interests. The Indian Ocean ports of Gwadar in Pakistan, Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Chittagong in Bangladesh have all benefited from Chinese investment and account for 30% of global trade, according to Indian Ocean Rim Association. The MSR is a vital strategic project for China in the Indian Ocean, and will increase China’s presence in South Asian shipping routes. Sri Lanka can be seen as a gateway port up the western coast of India and further west to Iran, a vital exporter of oil to China. The brand new port of Hambantota…is located on (what is) historically not a traditional shipping route. However, it is the perfect location to meet the strategic objectives of the MSR.”
    There’s another pearl, and right next door to India. Indeed, the tragedy is that Sri Lanka turned first to India for assistance in building Hambantota port, but, as usual, we dithered and sat on our hands. Spotting a juicy opportunity, China moved in.
    A free trade agreement between China and Sri Lanka is in the offing. Bilateral trade exceeded $3 billion in 2013 and China is Sri Lanka’s second-largest source of imports behind India.

    The fact that Modi ignored the shrill protests from the Tamil political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) own allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and went ahead and invited Mahinda Rajapaksa and met him, is a clear indication that the new team in charge well understands the China threat. It is time to rebuild relations with Sri Lanka after decades of unease and do what is best for India in its neighbourhood and in the Indian Ocean.

    But the smartest move that Modi has made vis-à-vis China—and which hardly anyone seems to have understood the significance of so far—is giving former army chief V.K. Singh an apparently strange combination of portfolios. Singh will be minister of state with independent charge of the north east, and also be minister of state in the external affairs ministry under Sushma Swaraj.
    As China continues to refuse to recognise Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India, and builds military-grade highways that can rapidly move tanks and heavy artillery to India’s border, it’s absolutely the perfect stratagem to put a former army chief in charge of the region. This should give the Chinese some pause.

    And his additional responsibility in the external affairs ministry is a brilliant piece of thinking. In effect, Modi has made a committed Indian soldier our man for China. The People’s Liberation Army may now think twice before sending in troops miles inside Ladakh and camp there for a week and saunter back, sneering at India’s supine indecisiveness. China’s strategy for long has been to push India and see how far we can be pushed. So far, the message that our neighbour has got is that we can be pushed very far indeed. That message gets altered dramatically now in one stroke.

    This is Modi’s message to China. One, we will not be sitting around any longer watching you bead your string of pearls around India, and we will try to reclaim some of the pearls. Two, don’t expect to be getting those old jollies any more, of pushing us and strolling away, whistling merrily. Many in India may not have understood Modi’s intent, but the wise men in Beijing surely will.

    Link: What you may have missed: Narendra Modi’s message to China - Livemint
     
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  3. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nobody cares whatever message Modi wants to send Unless Modi can prove to the world that India has the money to back up his message.
     
  4. Kaalapani

    Kaalapani Tihar Jail Banned

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    Lol talking like spoilt child.We also have nukes.

    No boby cares about china in India go and bully Vietnam and small countrys.
     
  5. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    hahahahah it is only the first half of his first week ....and you are rattled with his message ?
    what about after 5 years ? hahahahha
    naaaah ...listen this is not that wonderful Nehru family which you are so comfortable with
    the people of india have given them, your dear allies teh nehru family such a hard kick, that thy may NEVER
    recover from it - unless the nehru-bongo-congo party gets totally new leadership

    this one is different !
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
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  6. Samar Rathi

    Samar Rathi Regular Member

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    You connect everything with money such as veto,war,life style etc , this shows how much greedy Chinese become and forget their roots.
     
  7. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    Amazing isn't it ?

    A dinky tiny nation of about a 1000 tiny islands, most no more than the size of a 1 or 2 football fields surrounded by a thousand miles of ocean with no one to bother it, no neighbors, etc...........and guess what - they have a serious problem with Islamic fundamentalism and extremists.

    What is it South Asians in general and Islam, that makes it such a TOXIC combination - be they Punjabis, or Tamils or Maldivians or Sri-Lankan or Kashmiris or Afghans ?

    You would think that the Maldives of all the freaking places is one Muslim country that does not need to worry about religious nuts !!!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  8. ninja85

    ninja85 Regular Member

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    shaken up with anger or frustration,that was just first day of modi in PM office,

    string of pearls are expensive and hard to buy but relatively easy and inexpensive to break.:rofl::laugh::lol::taunt::taunt1:
     
  9. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Guess what, your nuke could protect your country but you can't threat anyone outside your border.
    If you really don't care, why bother sending the message?
     
  10. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    No individual leader is different. They are all the same.
    They execute their leadership based on the power of their country.
    No matter how much strong message they send, it is the power of their own country to turn these words into reality.
    So, it is the power of India that matters not the personality of Modi!
     
  11. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is a saying "money isn't everything, but anything would be impossible without money!"
     
  12. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    first point is that Modi is not gonna be against China , in fact it may be a better relationship between our two nations
    with Modi around - perhaps more positive and focus on economic matters rather than military.

    Secondly for Indian people, they are vastly different from the people of China ...in India the leadership has more effect than, say, in China especially in the villages - they take a great cue from the leader - so it makes a big difference

    China need not be concerned but Modi's policies will make a big difference and pull the people of India UP
    Of course it wont happen in a year or even two but let's say in three years we will see the difference. .

    and if HE is given a second 5 -year term, then India will be transformed

    Of course it has to be a day at a time and we will have to see it happen
    But so far just a week in office - he has set an excellent pace
    It is far, far too early to judge the man and his effect

    Like i said give him at least 30 months - 2.5 years - then we can talk
    Come back then - as we can discuss again .
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  13. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Why waste bandwidth ?, Money make almost zero effect on basic ground situation ..

    If you are just here to rant, I suggest you get some holiday cards ..

     
  14. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    one more point i forgot ....and it is not to provoke anyone

    but the cong-bongo has been keeping a lid on Indian people - now with Modi the lid is open !
     
  15. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    spiritual peace is possible without money but with money its impossible to get
     

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