Beijing thinks US strategically encircling China


New Member
May 10, 2010
A reading of recent articles in the Chinese media show a broad picture — in Beijing's view, a strategic partnership with the US can be established only if core issues like Tibet and Taiwan dividing them can be solved, writes China expert D S Rajan.

An article titled 'US Plot Against China', written by Air Force Colonel Dai Xu, an influential Chinese strategist, carried by the Chinese language edition of the official Xinhua News Agency on May 27, has come down heavily on the US for its 'crescent-shaped strategic encirclement' of China.

Intriguingly, the write-up, a reproduction of an earlier one by the same author three days ago in another publication (Huan Qiu Shi Ye — Global Vision, May 24), has appeared close to the second round of Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues (Beijing, May 24-25) and is naturally making the analysts ponder over the question as to how to interpret its timing and content.

Dai Xu has alleged in his article that during the Cold War, the US objective was to 'contain China hard', for the purpose of 'strangulating the Soviet Union softly'. After the Cold War, its strategy was reversed — containing Russia [ Images ] hard for the purpose of 'strangulating China softly'.

Touching on what he calls the 'US dollar trap', Dai Xu takes what Professor Zhang Wuchang, of the Beijing University of Finance said several years back as basis, to disclose that in China, the US controls 21industries out of a total of 28, after 'hollowing out' China economically, at a time when the country's focus for years remained on achieving GDP growth through trade.

The US reinvested in China the money it got from China, eradicated Chinese brands and dominated China's mineral resources, shares of the Bank of China and China's stock market. Dai Xu has added that at the same time, the US does not allow China to buy American companies and denies China any of its hi-tech weapons.

All that US wants is that China invest heavily in US treasury bonds, leaving it with no money to buy technology, build modern industry, develop armament potentials and build defence capabilities. The American humour is that the US should sell 'toxic debt' to China in return for the Chinese sale of 'toxic toys' to them.

Assessing that the US 'diplomatic clamp' strategy aims to totally isolate China, the Chinese expert has acknowledged that Southeast Asia is more and more becoming politically dependent on the US. In Northeast Asia, Vietnam is becoming pro-US. The US strategy in North Korea, Myanmar and Pakistan, the three 'true friends' of China, is meant to challenge China. The US indirectly stimulates North Korea's nuclear weapons programme so as to hurt China's image internationally and force South Korea, Japan [ Images ] etc to get closer to Washington in response.

The growing interests of the US in Myanmar serve the purpose of controlling China while Myanmar itself may develop no trust on China and opt for support of India [ Images ] and ASEAN to balance China. In the case of Pakistan, that nation has already come under the US control due to Afghan war. In the Indian Ocean, there is US-India collusion against China.

Within China, the US is strategically focusing on Tibet and Xinjiang and manipulating the situation there. In conclusion, Dai Xu has asserted that the US is carrying out 'soft attack' on China and its grand strategy is to encircle China.

Colonel Dai Xu is a known hawk on defence matters and had recently supported Chinese development of overseas bases. The Chinese official English language media like the Global Times are giving international publicity to his views.

What looks important is that he is not alone in the People's Liberation Army hierarchy to question US strategic motives vis-à-vis China in recent times. Another senior PLA officer Colonel Liu Mingfu of the National Defence University, in his book on China Dream, released just prior to the March 2010 National People's Congress, has asked China 'to cast away illusions and get ready for the duel with the United States for global domination in the 21st century'.

In contrast to the nationalistic stand and hard-line position against the US of the PLA experts mentioned, Chinese comments on the subject in general have so far remained cautious. State Councillor Dai Bingguo, while admitting the lack of Sino-US consensus in the latest dialogue, has been optimistic on long term bilateral relations. He has described the ongoing dialogue as beneficial to further development of 'positive, cooperative and all-round' partnership between China and the US in 21st century. Xinhua's Washington correspondent Liu Hong has described the dialogue as symbolising 'more and more equal Sino-US partnership'. Professor Chen Dongxiao of the Shanghai Centre of International Studies has hoped (Qiu Shi, February 2) that the 'situation of Sino-US mutual dependence in strategic interests would be maintained for a long-term as both sides need each other in the interest of strategic balance'.

The foregoing leads to a key question — how to interpret the anti-US outbursts coming from experts like Dai Xu at this juncture? The situation somewhat looks similar to what happened in November 2004 when Qian Qichen, considered then as China's foreign policy Czar, right on the eve of US polling in which President George Bush [ Images ] contested for second time, blamed the US strategy for its aim to encircle China, in his article for China Daily. It was another matter that China Daily disowned that article ultimately.

The least that can be said is that the views on the US strategy towards China, coming from military analysts like Dai Xu, may represent the thinking prevailing at least among some sections of opinion makers in China. Such opinions seem to have a domestic dimension too — by implication, they appear to disapprove the present pragmatic approach of Beijing to Washington.

The patronage being given to the views by official agencies like Xinhua indicates that the concerned writers are influential. Having said that, there seems to be no direct evidence so far, to prove any leadership divisions on the subject; in particular, any rushing to conclusion that the Chinese military is not in agreement with the current US policy of the country's foreign policy establishment, could be erroneous. The Chinese system allows reconciliation of differing approaches — in the domain of external relations, the party's leading group on foreign affairs plays a role to this effect.

The views from military experts in any case seem to have potential to put pressure on the present collective leadership functioning in China on relations with the US; especially the fifth generation leadership to take over in 2012 may have to address what perhaps looks like a policy debate with respect to ties with the US.

Has the leadership come under such pressure already? The answer could be yes, judging from the formal introduction of a new criterion by the Hu Jintao regime for conducting the Sino-US relationship — protection of China's 'core interests'. The message is that 'core interests' principle, providing for 'no compromise' on issues of territorial integrity and national sovereignty, will from now on drive China's strategic course towards foreign powers including the US.

The criterion has received emphasis at the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's press conference during the March National People's Congress session; specific references were made on the occasion to Taiwan and Tibet. A broad picture emerges — in Beijing's view, a strategic partnership with the US can be established only if core issues like Tibet and Taiwan dividing them can be solved.

Both China and the US know that such a thing cannot happen soon and as such, it can be expected that their bilateral relations will continue to be based on pragmatism for years to come.

Beijing has so far not formally applied the 'core interest' criterion into the ambit of its relations with countries having land and sea territorial problems with China. Especially, the disputed border with India has not so far officially been brought by it under that principle.

China may not deviate from this position, as its inclusion of the disputed border with India under the 'core interest' category, if happens, could undermine its 'mutual accommodation' formula with inherent provision for some compromise on the boundary question. In this regard, it would in any case be necessary for New Delhi [ Images ] to keep a close watch for future trends in China.


New Member
May 10, 2010
China and India, who is encircling whom?

"India has long had dominance or, you might say, hegemony in South Asia. India has seen China's moves to build a deep water port at Gwadar in Pakistan and assist in setting up a monitoring station on the Great Coco Islands, Myanmar, more as an attempt to 'encircle' India", said Dr. Francine R. Frankel, who is in charge of the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, in an interview with Washington Observer Weekly. "Therefore, India, itself wanting to assert influence in South Asia, naturally does not welcome it".

However, Frankel stressed that while China and India have conflicts of interest in South Asia, she sees no possibility of military conflict, because neither country has the capability of power projection in the Indian Ocean at present. Nevertheless, she predicted that such ability will be attained in the future.

In the eyes of many Chinese scholars and South Asia experts in Washington, there are ulterior motives behind the United States' latest active cottoning to India. Its potential goal is to join forces to "hedge against China".

During the Indian Prime Minister Singh's visit to Washington in July 2005, the United States and India reached an agreement to upgrade their "global partnership" and strengthen cooperation in the Asia/Pacific strategy and in anti-terrorism. The United States also agreed to assist India in developing its civilian nuclear program. For this, the United States has risked condemnation in order to export advanced nuclear technology to India, blatantly ignoring the fact that India is not a signatory of the International Non-proliferation Treaty or NPT. This has not only aroused great dissatisfaction from the international anti-nuclear community but also raised frequent criticism from the government and the public in the United States: is it truly in line with US interests?

"The agreement between the United States and India is mutually beneficial in many ways. One cannot say that the United States has made more of a contribution than India", Frankel pointed out, "Currently, China can only be said to be a 'background factor' to the strengthened relationship between the two countries".

"A strong India accords with the interests of the United States"

According to the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Act, which took effect in 1978, the United States cannot sell to India civilian nuclear energy, space technology or technology suitable for both military and civilian purposes, because India is not a signatory state of NPT. Consequently, though Bush has promised the Indian government that the law will be amended in order to complete the historical deal between the two countries, whether the agreement will smoothly fall into place will still depend on Congress approval. For this, the US House Committee on International Relations has held 3 hearings in the past few months and examined the US-Indian cooperation agreement from the perspectives of regional strategy, anti-nuclear proliferation and US national interests. Frankel accepted the invitation from the Committee and testified in the capacity of expert on Indian issues in the hearing held on November 15.

"The United States hopes to see rapid growth in the Indian economy. Given the increasingly close economic and trade exchanges between the two countries, the United States has also made considerable investment in India's hi-tech industry. Many companies on Fortune's Top 500 List have set up branches in India", Frankel explained, "From this perspective, rather than merely from the viewpoint of non-proliferation, it makes sense for the United States and India to establish a partnership".

However, many in the United States who are against international nuclear proliferation say that the practice of the Bush administration not only defies international law, they further charge that this "special treatment" of India has actually set a bad precedent, and is a setback to the various international efforts to prevent nuclear weapon proliferation, let alone its negative impact on other countries like Iran and North Korea which have been censured for secretly developing nuclear weapons. (see Upgraded strategic partnership between US and India: aiming the "nuclear cooperation" ward at China?, Washington Observer Weekly, Issue 27, July 27, 2005).

Against this background, US congressmen attending the hearings could not help asking the question again and again: can India really contribute to the United States' strategic interests in the Asia/Pacific Region? Given the price which the United States must pay, does such a contribution warrant Congress making such a significant law amendment?

"Geopolitically speaking, a strong India accords with US interests, whether the United States needs to help her or not", Walter Andersen, deputy director of the South Asia Research Program at the School of International Relations (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University told Washington Observer Weekly, "If you believe that regional peace and stability must be achieved through a balance of power, you then should believe that apart from China, the growth of influence of India or Japan in Asia is also very important".

Andersen also mentioned that for the United States, the "China factor" is only part of the reason. There is an equally important reason for balancing power in the Asia/Pacific Region with the establishment of a US-Indian partnership; namely, cooperation between the two countries on global anti-terrorism action. He directly pointed out that "India is the only stable democratic country in South Asia" and therefore represents an active force for cracking down on terrorism. Frankel also held a similar view on this and believed that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in South Asia is also a primary reason for the United States and India to improve their partnership.

"The United States hopes that it can get support from Pakistan to crack down on local terrorists, particularly those on the run in the North-West Frontier, while India is also very concerned about the terrorists exported from Pakistan, particularly in the India-controlled Kashmir", Frankel commented. "The two countries obviously share common interests in dealing with terrorism. This does not require any party to particularly encourage it". US military intelligence personnel have long suspected that Bin Laden, leader of the Al Quade Organization is hiding in the mountains at the North-West Frontier.

While acknowledging the positive side of an upgraded US-Indian partnership, Dr. Satu Limaye, researcher at the Institute for Defense Analysis, and another expert on South Asia who attended the hearing, did not neglect to mention that in expecting India to support its strategic interest in the Asia/Pacific Region, the United States should not ignore the fact that India, as a sovereign democratic state, has its own national interests to consider.

India will not "walk into a US trap"?

"India's activities in East Asia are designed to achieve its strategic autonomy and aim to prevent India from being marginalized. Meanwhile, these activities will also raise India's influence and ability. When supporting the United States' regional strategic goals, India will also consider its own goals", Limaye pointed out, "In any strategy to contain China, we cannot count on India to support the United States".

Limaye has recently left the post as head of the Research Department of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies at the U.S. Pacific Command.

"The relations between India and China are not so good as to be able to establish a Sino-Indian axis. However, things are not so bad that India wants to enter a formal alliance with the United States", Limaye commented, "India will continue to hedge on both sides so as to continue to benefit from both the United States and China".

Limaye also stressed two major hot spots for military conflict in Asia - the Taiwan Straits and the Korean Peninsula - if something does happen, he "can hardly imagine that India will stand on the US side". One illustration of this is that out of its own security, energy and strategic considerations, India is cooperating with the Myanmar military government. Such behavior does not accord with US values. In addition, though India supports Japan to play a bigger role in Asia, its starting point nevertheless lies in the hope that multilateral mechanisms will emerge in Asia to eventually allow Japan to rely less on the United States and be more willing to accept India as its partner.

"Basically speaking, as far as the role India currently plays in Asia is concerned, her motives and capabilities are not sufficient motivation for the United States to improve US-Indian relations", Limaye concluded.

Frankel said: It is very important for New Delhi to improve its relations with Beijing. India therefore, will not go so far as to express strong support for US interests. She used what Indians have said themselves to state that India should not become so anti-China as to "walk into a US trap". However, Frankel also believes that a US-Indian partnership indeed offers many benefits to India.

"The United States and India can still cooperate on many issues, such as security. To keep the navigation route in the Indian Ocean safe, the two countries may jointly strengthen sea patrolling. This will have a positive impact on regional security", Frankel said. But, she also stressed: "The United States and India have not reached a stage for military cooperation".

Andersen, however, thought that people should not always ask "What India can do for us". He said that the crux of the matter does not lie in whether India truly acts according to the wishes of the United States, and is duty-bound in its support of strategic US interests in Asia, but rather in "whether India is strong enough to sustain its balancing role in Asia". He did not directly answer this question. But, he did point out that the United States exerts a vital influence on raising India's position in Asia, implying that the United States nevertheless has high expectations of India, and will certainly expect things return for its support.

Limaye also pointed out that India's influence in East Asia is of potential benefit to the United States. "India is also improving its relations with other US allies in Asia, such as Japan, Australia and Singapore. It is possible that multilateral security cooperation frameworks can be nurtured. This will help to avoid other East Asian countries over-relying on China. This is indeed good for the United States."

China is "encircling" India?

The new round of wrestling between China and India in the South Asian Region was staged at the South Asian Alliance on Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit closed in Dacca, capital of Bangladesh on November 13. All member states then agreed to invite Afghanistan to join the organization and let China become an observer country at the regional forum. But according to a Pakistani press report, India as a member country which has long considered itself number one in South Asia made the only call against China's entry to SAARC at the meeting.

As for Frankel's notion that "China is encircling India", Andersen disagreed. He said that what China has done is nothing more than maximally develop its economic interests in South Asia. Bilateral trade value between China and India totaled $13.6 billion in 2004. China has become India's second largest trade partner. India mostly exports industrial raw materials and agricultural products to China, while China's exports to India mainly consist of textile and electromechanical products. There is certain trade complementarity between the two countries.

"I am not saying that China does not want to encircle India but rather that China has no blue water navy in the Indian Ocean. Moreover, China should look eastwards rather than southwards in its military deployment", stressed Andersen. "The real problem lies in how these two countries can maintain a stable relationship. How to ease the mood of tension in their relations will be the greatest target and also the biggest challenge for the two countries".

Frankel also said that India and China both have ambitious plans to raise their navy power in the next decade or two. For India, the deployment of military forces is deployment of the navy. Reports say that the Indian Navy announced in May 2005, that a new giant navy base at Kadamba along the Arabic Sea coast on the Indian Island had been put into trial operation. This is also a deep water port, wholly independently used by the Indian Navy, sufficient to harbor 42 warships, one aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines.

"Neither India nor China wants conflict between them", Frankel said, "The two countries are only competing for prestige and influence in South Asia". As for whether India can continue to keep its exclusive dominance in the region, or when China will replace it, Frankel believes that the trend has already started. Developments in the next ten years will be worthy of particular attention.


New Member
May 10, 2010
Editor's note: The US-led Western countries "towards China from land and sea, the maritime encirclement starts from Japan and ends in India, and the land encirclement starts from India and ends in Central Asia, forming a 'C' shaped encirclement from sea to land. Such as this "C"-shaped ring of encirclement whether exists or not, the threat is urgent or not, this issues caused controversy recently. Shanghai University of Politics and political science professor Ni Yue-hung, the Foreign Affairs College Institute of International Relations, Professor Wang Fan, Japan, New Japan Research Institute of the JCC Yan Chang Gung Memorial, the Air Force Colonel DAI Xu, Tsinghua University, Institute of International Studies, Associate Professor Zhao Jin, Zhejiang University, non-traditional security and researcher at the Institute of peaceful development and Ya-Wen Cheng have expressed their views.

"C"-shaped containing aggressively

Ni Yue-hung: From the military see the strategic state of affairs, the U.S. military access to Central Asia, China has been at the things that came under unfavorable circumstances, the original side to meet the enemy in the Pacific, has a vast central and western regions of strategic depth, and now that advantage has been lost. Combined with modern war to hidden, long-range air strikes, mainly China's strategic room for maneuver in the modern era of high technology have been greatly compressed. In addition, you can also find the United States has completed its implementation of China's land and sea combat situation in both directions at the same time, the United States also has the sea power of strangling the lifeline of China, and so on. Our situation is not optimistic. How to do? The only way to be able to seize the opportunities is to develop high-tech military superiority, if Sino-US military-technical pros and cons, in turn, "C" shape surrounded discuss it becomes right at your fingertips to fight. Because of the age, who have seen the weak approximation to cover the strong stance?

American politicians will not rashly go to war with China, because people are skilled in business time calculation of costs and benefits, but that does not prevent the military sector to a potential rival for military preparations, just in case, "C" shape that is surrounded by This "security dilemma" under the law of the product. May never open fight, but the need to seize a favorable position in strategy, "terrain," default "position." "C"-shaped surrounded also nothing more. It is both a military strategy, but also the auxiliary part of the country's overall strategy to meet the political, economic, ideological, so that Chinese like to play the role of the United States. In inter-State relations, the military deterrent force is often the decisive factor behind the scenes. Therefore, the Chinese also need to give tit for tat, even a hundred years be unlikely, but also to find effective "Destroys the Formations," a policy, which is the military's own work in each country, or Pan raises they doing?
The U.S. military has completed encircling China for implementing to attack China from land and sea at the same time
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