Eastern promises, western fears

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by SHASH2K2, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    May 10, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Bihar, BanGalore , India

    Behind the heavy typeface that the release of confidential American diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks has generated lie smaller stories which sometimes tell us more about the way in which our world is changing than the headlines themselves.

    The U.S. ambassador in Paris met Michel Rocard, a former Prime Minister of France, in October 2005 for one of those sweeping, freewheeling chats that Gallic statesmen evidently specialise in. The bulk of the conversation deals with the French political scene but at the end, M. Rocard shares his concerns about the place of France and the United States in the new world order and proposes a joint Euro-American think-tank to prepare for the future. “Speaking of the growth of India and China, along with all the other challenges confronting both of us,” the leaked cable quotes the senior French politician as saying, “We need a vehicle where we can find solutions for these challenges together — so when these monsters arrive in 10 years, we will be able to deal with them.”

    So there we have it. Even as the Indian elephant and Chinese dragon circle each other warily, wondering how each will cope with the rise of the other, the Occidental mind which has enjoyed dominating the world and the global commons for two centuries is worrying about how to deal with the combined arrival of these two “monsters.”

    Happily for the West, the arrivistes are not exactly on the best of terms with each other. India is too wary of China's rise to exploit the opportunities this ascent provides. For its part, Beijing — which alternates between feigning indifference towards New Delhi and fretting over whether it might join hands with a “democratic bloc” led by Washington — is so self-absorbed that it is unable to harness the externalities that India's rise has generated in the region.

    In a recent article, Kishore Mahbubani spoke of the triangular relationship between India, China and the U.S. and noted how the U.S. had better relations with both India and China than the two Asian giants had with each other. By being in the middle, he argues, Washington has a strategic edge. It also has an incentive to ensure a certain amount of tension between India and China, so as to cement its own presence in Asia as an offshore balancer.

    Though Mahbubani does not say so, it would be naïve to imagine the problems the Indian and Chinese sides have with one another are the product of an American conspiracy. The fact is that India and China do not know each other well and have not paid enough attention to understanding the social, political and economic dynamics of the other. As a result, misperceptions and misunderstandings abound and have given rise to suspicions and even fear. That is why it is essential that a continuous and wide-ranging dialogue take place between different stakeholders: officials, politicians, the military, scholars, journalists, artists and others. Above all, there must be engagement on the big strategic questions of our time.

    In a series of interactions held recently in Beijing at the initiative of the Observer Research Foundation and the International Department of the Communist Party of China, Indian and Chinese analysts had a surprisingly frank exchange of views on the state of the bilateral relationship, the problem areas and the new areas for potential China-India cooperation.

    From the Chinese side, a number of scholars spoke of four specific problem areas with India. There is, first and foremost, the unsettled boundary and the fact that border territories are disputed. Second, the presence of the Dalai Lama and the so-called ‘Tibetan government in exile' is seen as a continuing irritant, especially in the aftermath of the disturbances which shook Lhasa and some other Tibetan pockets in China in 2008. Third, and this was surprising, the scholars acknowledged that China's friendship with Pakistan was a source of friction with India. And though they differed from the Indian side in characterising the current nature of the relationship, they acknowledged the fact that “balancing India” used to be a primary Chinese motive in the past. Their argument was that the rise of the Indian economy in the past decade has forced Chinese policymakers to de-hyphenate their South Asian policy. Finally, many of the Chinese interlocutors spoke of growing strategic suspicions that are made worse by a trust deficit. “Many people in China believe Indians look down upon them,” a professor from the International Relations department of Renmin University said. “India sees itself as close to the West and is willing to be used by the U.S. in its desire to become a world power.” Other scholars echoed the same view in different ways — that India might become part of an American-led effort to gang-up against China, that many in India subscribe to the ‘China threat' thesis.

    My own assessment is that the boundary dispute and Dalai Lama are not major problem areas. Indeed, my suspicion is that part of the recent brittleness in the relationship is the product of artificially accelerated efforts to settle the boundary question. As for the Tibetan spiritual leader, it is true that his presence in India is a red rag to those in China who see him as working against the unity and integrity of their country. But the Chinese side can also well appreciate the consequences of his being asked to leave India. A Hollywood exile for the Dalai Lama would only serve to raise the salience of the Tibetan issue globally. Besides, it is time China and India also start paying attention to what might happen to the Tibetan question once the present Dalai Lama is no more. And start engaging each other, and Bangladesh as the lowest riparian, on Tibetan water-related projects.

    Responding to Indian queries on China's plans to harness the Brahmaputra, a scholar from the Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations spoke of the need for the comprehensive development of Himalayan hydropower resources. Citing Indian projects in Bhutan as a positive model, he said India's trust deficit with its neighbours like Pakistan and Nepal was coming in the way of the development of hydropower.

    As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is obvious that China and India have a crucial stake in the stability of that country and need to discuss between them what they can do to help the situation there. The Chinese side is well aware of the emerging ideological and institutional fault lines in Pakistan. If there is any country other than the U.S. that has the ability to exercise leverage over the Pakistani military, it is China. Until now, however, China has been reluctant to use its influence. For more than four decades, Chinese strategic thinking on Pakistan has been dominated by the need to ‘balance' India. But with India having outgrown South Asia and Pakistan in danger of imploding as the problem of extremism and terrorism slowly gets out of control, Beijing cannot afford to remain wedded to this anachronistic mindset.

    On strategic issues too, the Indian and Chinese sides have much to talk about. India and China are both officially committed to an open, inclusive architecture for the Asia-Pacific region. Both also have a stake in the freedom of navigation. During the visit to India by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, the two countries committed their navies to joint anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. A commitment was also made to discuss the wider issue of maritime security. These are all promising new areas of cooperation that should be actively pursued. One Chinese scholar spoke of the need for strategic transparency, another made a pitch to launch new security principles by updating the Panchasila concept. Of course, such an effort is unlikely to go beyond the reiteration of homilies unless China and India both recognise that the world and their own national profiles have moved on since the 1950s. It has become a cliché to say the world is big enough to accommodate the rise of India and China. Since the world is a finite place, this means those who are today squatting on strategic space despite their leases having run out will have to be displaced. Let the West have nightmares about demons and monsters. The elephant and the dragon cannot afford to be scared of each other.
  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    This is already happening. Human Rights, Special Envoys to our countries, Missionaries preaching "freedom of religion" and converting poor people with money and bribes brainwashing them against their own culture and hence creating a strong base for western mind enslavement, media stooges in Indian media, bigoted politicians bought out by Western money etc etc etc....

    It is surprising how uptight people are in India to take these things like "secular, free democracy" so seriously when all these things are already happening. Freedom is just and righteous and I am most supportive of it. But not out of limits. Turkey is a democracy too but it doesn't let mind enslaving so called "freedom" ideologies ruin their foundations. Our top brass on the other hand manipulate our yellow media to hide the truth, declare them as "political right wing conspiracy", favour specific groups and weaken India's foundations. When we complain, we are regarded as right wing radicals and brushed off. Then when violence occurs, we are again blamed for "intolerance, lack of secularism" and other bullshit like this.

    This is the state of our country.

    Now this may be true but it should know that our rivalry with CCP is long before US even thought of interfering. It was a bilateral rivalry that turned into enmity because of CCP's rash actions of undoing 2,000 years of goodwill between the two.

    I don't know what to make of these paranoid fools called CCP that are ruining the good efforts of general Chinese people to spoil our friendship. We already told them that we acknowledge Tibet as an integral part of China officially. On the other hand they are the ones creating friction between us by claiming Arunachal, disputing Kashmir and Sikkim, occupying east Ladakh and Shaksgham Valley. We told them that if they undo these 3 mistakes, we will have no issues with them. We have walked the extra mile always in acknowledging their controversial provinces as a part of their country firmly while they don't and instead support medieval residue failed states like Pakistan against us.

    Hence is the enmity. They are brainwashing their people to think that we are "pro west" and "anti china" because of their type of government. Heck! The overlord of Communist bastion was our best ally for half a century! How can they brainwash their people like this.? Hence we also are force to take measures that further push China and India away.

    At least they had the decency to admit all this openly. Instead of viewing us as a friend, they made us their enemies: biggest mistake.

    Typical Communist propaganda to lie to its people. CCP very well knows that our ties are good with most of the world in general including dictatorships and kingdoms without preaching the blow horn of democracy. They still want to lie to their people about us. The reason why they pushed us away to China is by supporting our enemies, claiming our territories and not returning what was ours. Simple as that. Otherwise we could have continued in the same fashion like we have for centuries: friendly and peaceful.

    And CCP must know that we are a NEUTRAL country with an INDEPENDENT policy. We have many times criticized US and any country that we feel based on any situation. Iraq war 2003 for example. I don't know what makes them see so short-sighted.

    They jolly well know why we are against Pakistan after being stabbed a thousand times behind our backs thanks to them. We CANNOT become their friends come what may no matter what this anti-national, terror-loving government talks by rewarding Pakistani writers literary awards, starting AMAN KI ASHA propaganda, allowing Pakistanis to work in India and other such crap.

    About Nepal, we were going fine with Nepal but thanks to our own stupid Manmohan Government that we screwed it up and made Nepalis China's allies. Instead of ignoring whether Nepal is a democracy or an absolute kingdom, our stupid government decided to play the US democracy puppy boy and we have lost the only other ally who shares culture, religion and everything with us in common.

    The Chinese CCP is responsible for making them against us via Maoists and Communist stooges that are funded by Chinese in Nepal. We never were hostile.

    No we don't. We would as much love to see it collapse if UNSC can just come in and seize their nuclear arsenal. We could are less as long as their stupid jihad stops and their infrastructure is dismantled. It is China's liability. We could have been so strong together. But they made the wrong decision.

    How about the writer tell this to Hu and Wen to keep their aggressive PLA commanders in check eh? First of all, it is CCP's fault. They have our territory, they dispute our existing territory for a failed state, they claim our another territory and don't recognize a 4th one completely by backtracking. The writer should have the spine to at least reflect this openly rather than subscribing to the anti-national "liberal" school of thought.

Share This Page