Managing Chinese Threat

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby rajrang » 25 Jul 2014 19:10

Any political significance of this exercise should be devalued because by now it has become well known that India likes to exercise with every country including China.

Don't be surprised if the Indian warships stop by Shanghai and Vietnam for further exercises on the way back. No wonder China is not kicking up a big fuss this time unlike on earlier occasions.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 26 Jul 2014 10:28

China again tested controversial anti-satellite missile, U.S. says - Japan Times
The U.S. says China has tested a missile designed to destroy satellites and is urging Beijing to refrain from destabilizing actions.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the “nondestructive” test occurred Wednesday. She said a previous destructive test of the system in 2007 created thousands of pieces of dangerous space debris.

Harf said Friday that the continued development and testing of destructive anti-satellite systems threatens the long-term security and sustainability of the outer-space environment that all nations depend upon.

China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, citing a Defense Ministry statement, reported a successful missile interception test conducted from land within Chinese territory late Wednesday.

Xinhua did not refer to it as an anti-satellite system. It said such tests could strengthen Chinese air defense against ballistic missiles.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby ashish raval » 26 Jul 2014 12:00

^^ it should not be very hard to equip satellite with flare or systems which can distract anti sat missiles. I doubt US don't have it already in place since 2010.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 26 Jul 2014 13:16

As far as these ASATs are concerned, China has been very vocal about them. . Various PLA officers and PRC defence analysts have justified China’s ASAT requirements. During 60th anniversary of PLAAF, its former commander Xu Qiuling stated that it will develop force projection ability to outer space too and that only power can protect peace. On January 5, 2013, China’s state-run Global Times said in an editorial, “China should continue substantive research on striking satellites. In the foreseeable future, gap between China and the US cannot be eliminated by China's development of space weapons. The US advantage is overwhelming. Before strategic uncertainties between China and the US can disappear, China urgently needs to have an outer space trump card. China’s public policy is peaceful use of space, which is also China's real desire. China has no interest in launching a large-scale space race with the US. China and Russia jointly initiated a programme to avoid an arms race in outer space in 2008, but this proposal was refused by the US. Against this background, it is necessary for China to have the ability to strike US satellites. This deterrent can provide strategic protection to Chinese satellites and the whole country's national security”

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 29 Jul 2014 14:42

From NightWatch for the night of 28 Jul 2014
China: According to official media, more than 50,000 Chinese fishing boats have been outfitted with China's Beidou satellite navigation system, which gives them a direct link to the Chinese coastguard.

The press analysis is that the program is an indication of China's increasing financial support for fishermen as they sail deeper into Southeast Asian waters. Reuters indicated that Chinese also are providing fuel subsidies so that fishermen can sail farther into the South China Sea.

Comment: The Chinese fishing fleet is not just an economic asset. In times of crisis, it is a paramilitary force that comes under the direct control of the armed forces. Fishing boats have harassed US naval ships on occasion and armed fishing boats had key tasks in the Chinese naval maneuvers during the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis.

The new systems are part of the program for upgrading military control of the fishing fleets. The boats receive weapons, ammunition, depth charges or mines and sailing orders when militarized. In peacetime, they provide a continuous flow of intelligence to the coast guard and the navy.

By themselves, the navy and the coast guard lack the ships to patrol the sea areas China claims as territorial. With the assistance of the fishing fleets under positive control, they have enough assets for the patrol mission.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 29 Jul 2014 19:32

China defends its presence in PoK - PTI, ToI

A shallow defence. India must keep a constant pressure on China on this point and hold their feet to the fire at every opportunity.

China on Tuesday defended the presence of its personnel in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying they were not targeted against any country but are only involved in "cooperative activities" to improve the livelihood of local people.

Reacting to defence minister Arun Jaitley's comments in Parliament that India has conveyed its concerns to China about the presence of Chinese personnel in PoK, the foreign ministry here said Kashmir issue is a left over from history and it should be resolved between India and Pakistan.

"China's relevant cooperative activities in Pakistan administered Kashmir are entirely focused on the local peoples' livelihood and not targeted at any third party," the ministry said in an exclusive response to a question from PTI.

Elaborating China's stand on the PoK issue, the Chinese foreign ministry said "on the issue of Kashmir, our position is clear and consistent. Kashmir issue is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan".

"As a neighbour and friend of India and Pakistan, China advocates that the Kashmir issue should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultations between India and Pakistan," it said.

Jaitley had told Lok Sabha that the Indian government keeps an eye on Chinese presence in PoK and has asked China to "cease such activities" there.

"Government pays close attention to Chinese activities in PoK and it has conveyed its concerns to China and asked them to cease such activities," he had said in reply to a written query in Lok Sabha.

He said issues are discussed by the government in regular meetings with Chinese counterparts and "entire gamut of bilateral, regional and global issues are discussed".

The presence of Chinese army troops has been witnessed in recent times and there numbers were estimated to be around 5,000 by the Army couple of years ago.

They were mainly involved in construction activities there.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby Rony » 01 Aug 2014 04:58

This may be western psycops but are they factually correct with respect to Chinese being the only one with veto ?

It is noteworthy that the main financial contributor to the new bank will be China and it is the only one, who has the right to veto financing of infrastructure projects by the BRICS Bank.

India is the most interested in the development and stable functioning of the BRICS Bank, as it plans to use the capital for infrastructure development of the country.On the other hand, China will never let pass such a financing and are more likely will put a veto on it. Chinese and Indian markets are the most ambitious in the world and China will not stimulate the development of its regional rival. Only in case of India to give up its territorial claims for McMahon line denounced by China in 1959.

China may also ask India to abandon its ambitions in Southeast Asia, namely in the ASEAN countries in exchange for funding, as well as Indian support to China in international organizations(eg the UN).

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 01 Aug 2014 18:00

Japan names five more islets for addition to Senkaku island chain - Japan Times
Japan on Friday named five uninhabited islands and added them to a disputed chain in the East China Sea, a move likely to spark anger from fellow claimants China and Taiwan.

The five were among the 158 uninhabited islands officially named Friday as Japan steps up protection and claims over border islands and the waters around them.

The government’s maritime policy department published a list of all of the names on its website later Friday.

The five new Senkaku islets are: Nantokojima, Nanseikojima and Higashikojima, near Minamikojima Island, and Seihokuseikojima and another islet also named Nantokojima, near Kubashima. All are now part of the Senkakus, which China and Taiwan call Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively. The chain has recently become a regional flashpoint.

The names will be used in new maps. The islets are within Japan’s established exclusive economic zone and will not change maritime boundaries.

The disputed East China Sea islands are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potential gas deposits. Chinese Coast Guard and fishing boats have been approaching the area more frequently and sometimes violating Japan’s territorial waters, especially since Japan effectively nationalized the main islets in the chain in 2012, setting off major political turmoil.

Ties between Japan and China have worsened ever since, exacerbating friction over a contested gas field in the East China Sea and lingering animosity over Japan’s World War II invasion of China.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 03 Aug 2014 14:17

The phenomenal traffic transiting the South China Sea to China itself or Korea or Japan are later phenomenon. For China itself, the boom started in the 80s after Deng Xiao Ping's reforms. But, China's claims go thirty odd years before that.

The nine-dash line was based on an earlier territorial claim known as the eleven-dash line, drawn up in 1947 by the then-ruling Kuomintang government. After the end of the Japanese occupation, the Kuomintang government sent naval officers and survey teams through the South China Sea to map the various islands and islets. The Internal Affairs Ministry published a map with an eleven-dash line enclosing most of the South China Sea far from China's shores. This map, despite its lack of specific coordinates, became the foundation of China's modern claims, and following the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China, the map was adopted by the new government in Beijing. In 1953, perhaps as a way to mitigate conflict with neighboring Vietnam, the current nine-dash line emerged when Beijing eliminated two of the dashes. The new Chinese map was met with little resistance or complaint by neighboring countries, many of which were then focused on their own national independence movements. Beijing interpreted this silence as acquiescence by the neighbors and the international community, and then stayed largely quiet on the issue to avoid drawing challenges. Beijing has shied away from officially claiming the line itself as an inviolable border, and it is not internationally recognized, though China regards the nine-dash line as the historic basis for its maritime claims.

The usual Chinese tactic is to claim areas but avoid conflicts and wait for an opportune time or until it became strong enough to challenge. Until such time, it avoids conflicts but does not fail to stake its claim at regular intervals in order to srengthen its claims of legitimacy. That is exactly what it did in SCS as well as in the case of India. The 1962 war is a prime example of this approach. It thrust a war (though it was in the making and only the naive would have felt betrayal and surprise) in 1962 when the world's attention was on the impending nuclear war between the US & USSR (opportunism) and it withdrew when it felt that continuing the war could unnecessarily turn the spotlight on it. It had also achieved its objective by then, of humiliating India and teaching her a lesson.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby Philip » 03 Aug 2014 17:04

The "S.China Sea" is incorrectly labelled.Please guys,let's call it the "Indo-China Sea",as the Asian landmass adjacent is called "Indo-China".
As an eminent expert on China once said,the "Chinese will push and push into soft flesh with a sword, until they meet steel".India has to display steel in all its dealings with China,never for a moment taking its eye off the ball. Theer are several ways in which India can teach china "manners".The first is to drastically cut back the huge $50B deficit ,which China uses to beef up its defence. Either China makes it "evens stevens",or we simply use any excuse to ban Chines eproducts,impose huge customs duties,impose a total ban on small scale items as they kill local small scale industries in India,s has happened in Africa,where even Chinese made handicrafts have replaced African ones.

The second is to beef up the defence of China's mortal enemies just as China is doing with Pak.It cannot protest whatsoever as a result.Vietnam must be given Ballistic Missiles and N-tech must as China has given to Pak.In fact India must ensure that Vietnam becomes a N-weapons state in he future.

Thirdly,we need to take swift decisions to revamp the entire defence-cum-security infrastructure,the entire MOD management of Indian defence,weed out the rotten eggs with a new broom that sweeps clean."Jet-Li" cannot forever handle two huge mins like Fin, and Def.He needs support at least until he is able to chart out the financial roadmap.The PM must give him another Dy.Min for the interim to look into less challenging tasks.

The Chinese are most dangerous when they're smiling and during visits of their top dictators.
Remember how they launcheed the war against Vietnam when ABV was visiting them as Foriegn Min.? They know that the window of vulnerability is closing rapidly as Mr.Modi and his team start tightening up our security lapses.They must be alarmed at the speed with which decisions are being taken,not usual "IST",or QST (Quisling Std.Time).The world today is witnessing many conflicts,ideal time for China to embark upon another effort at "scinching",grabbing more Indian territory before the new dispensation finds its feet. ... -alert-101

Security forces along LAC put on high alert
Aug 03, 2014 - Rajnish Sharma |
New Delhi
Security forces along the India-China border have been put on “high alert’’ by the government following a specific intelligence input earlier this week that China was planning a major intrusion into the Indian territory.

Highly placed intelligence sources said that an input was received by the Centre from one of the key intelligence agencies that despite recent incidents of Chinese troops entering India through land, sea and air route they were “planning a major intrusion over the next month or so”. The input, sources said, was based on human intelligence which revealed that there was build up on the Chinese side in the Ladakh sector.

“It seems that China has mobilised more troops and equipment close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and we have no reason to believe that this might be linked to an intrusion,’’ a senior security official said. Following the inputs security forces along the Indo-China border have been put on high alert and asked to extreme vigil. Instructions have been given to the troops to even carryout patrolling in remote and difficult parts of the mountain terrain in the region. Though top government security and intelligence officials are yet to ascertain the exact provocation for the Chinese to carryout this intrusion.

There was a major stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces in 2013 when the latter had come about 18 km inside the Indian territory in Ladakh’s Chumar region and had pitched tents. The major confrontation continued before the matter was resolved between Delhi and Beijing through the diplomatic channels.

Again a few days ago also there were reports that the Chinese troops had destroyed some tents erected by Indian tribesmen in the Demchok region in Ladakh. Sources said both the ITBP and the Army have also been asked to find out as to why Chinese were making successful incursions into Ladakh.

The security forces have been directed to identify the reasons for this and plug the loopholes at the earliest possible, sources added.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2014 06:14

China unveils 12000 Km long range ICBM

The fact that DF-41 was being tested was known for some time and is being confirmed now.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2014 12:15

Xinjiang death toll close to 100: Official - Ananth Krishnan, The Hindu
Chinese officials said on Sunday that the July 28 clashes in remote townships of western Xinjiang had left close to 100 people killed, marking the worst violence to hit the Muslim-majority region in more than five years.

Earlier this week, it emerged that a large mob armed with knives and axes attacked government offices, police stations and majority Han Chinese residents in two townships in Yarkand (Shache in Chinese), a county in the Kashgar prefecture in Xinjiang’s west. Officials said after Monday’s violence that “dozens” had been killed in attacks by the mob and in firing by police, although they did not specify the number of casualties.

The regional government on Sunday said 37 civilians, of whom 35 were Han Chinese and two were Uighurs – the ethnic Turkic Muslim group native to Xinjiang – were killed in the mob attack, while 59 others were “gunned down by police.”

At least 215 others were arrested, suggesting that several hundred people were involved in what officials described as an “organised and premeditated” attack by “terrorists both in and outside China.”

Officials said the group had “set roadblocks” on highways to stop vehicles, and attacked passengers with knives. Some were seen carrying banners declaring “holy war”, officials were quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

Authorities said they had identified “the mastermind” behind the attack as Nuramat Sawut, a Uighur who reportedly “had close connections” with the banned East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a terror group that is calling for an independent Xinjiang.

Officials said Sawut had been “spreading separatism and religious extremism with audio and video materials since 2013.”

“Through this process he developed a terrorist group and became its leader,” they said.

Authorities said the group had been planning the attack “through multiple gatherings in remote places since the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramzan.”

Separately, officials said they had shot dead nine “suspected terrorists” in Hotan, also in Xinjiang’s southwest, days after the government-appointed imam of the Id Kah, China’s largest mosque located in the nearby town of Kashgar was murdered after morning prayers.

The violence in Yarkand is the biggest since July 2009, when large scale riots between Uighurs and Han Chinese left at least 197 people killed.

Very serious violence. It is either not getting reported or getting under reported, if at all. There is no possibility of independent verification. It appears that very harsh measures are being let loose on the Uyghurs and the Uyghurs, who love death just like other Muslims and unlike the Hans who love life just like other non-Muslims, are retaliating without letup and fear. The Uyghurs can choose a place and time of their choice. Welcome China to jihadi terrroism, something that you had directly supported earlier when you twice prevented India from bringing up in the UNSC at the behest of your 'larger than life' friend, Pakistan. We are happy at your discomfiture.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2014 17:17

From NightWatch for the night of Aug 3, 2014
China: On 28 July, a large group of masked militants attacked civilians, police and officials in two towns in Shache County in Xinjiang region in western China. The militants attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku town, before moving on to the nearby town of Huangdi, targeting civilians and smashing vehicles. They also set up roadblocks on a main road and attacked passengers with knives and axes, according to police.

The Xinjiang regional government said 59 "terrorists" were killed by security forces in Shache County, while 37 civilians were killed in the attacks. The government delayed releasing news of the attack, but has not explained the delay.

Police confiscated long knives, axes as well as banners calling for jihad, the government said.

Comment: These were the most deadly and largest scale attacks in years. Authorities attribute the attacks to Muslim Uighurs. Police suspected they planned them during Ramadan. They might have been a reaction to stern Chinese measures limiting Uighur observances during Ramadan.

These attacks embarrass the government which has implemented increasingly harsh security measures on the Uighurs in response to less serious militant attacks this year. Loss of face might have contributed to the decision to delay releasing the details. The Chinese prefer to announce a problem when the solution has begun to be applied. Officials announced the crackdown will continue.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2014 17:26

Imam's killing in China may be aimed at making Muslim Uighurs choose sides - Reuters
The murder of a state-backed imam in China’s Xinjiang region underscores an escalation in 18 months of violence and could be part of a bid by extremists to persuade moderate Muslim Uighurs to turn against Beijing’s controlled current of Islam.

The targeting of Uighur officials or religious leaders has been an undercurrent of unrest for some 20 years in Xinjiang, where members of the Uighur minority are unhappy at official restrictions on their culture and religion.

Jume Tahir, the imam at China’s largest mosque, Id Kah, in the Silk Road city of Kashgar, was killed on Wednesday by three suspected Islamist militants armed with knives. His predecessor narrowly survived a knife attack in the same spot in 1996.

But the attack contrasted with most recent violence aimed at the majority Han ethnic group and may be calculated to persuade Uighurs to fall in behind what China says are separatists seeking an independent state called East Turkestan.

“Part of the motivation is not simply to remove and put pressure on the state-backed officials, but also to make an impact on those who attend these mosques, the stability minded Uighurs,” said Michael Clarke of Australia’s Griffith University.

“In a sense, it is attempting to signal that this is a conflict that is now society wide. You have to now choose sides.”

Tahir, 74, whose name is also spelled Juma Tayir, was a well-known supporter of Beijing authorities and had backed the government after security forces crushed 2009 riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital. About 200 people died.

A figure who divided Uighur public opinion, he was killed days after police shot dead dozens of attackers brandishing knives in a district about 200 km (125 miles) away, according to the official Xinhua news agency. China has yet to give a full account of that incident.

State media reported the murder about 36 hours after witnesses described to Reuters the chaotic scene outside the mosque after morning prayers. Two attackers were later shot dead by police and the third was arrested.

All the attackers had Uighur names.

Tensions are running high in Xinjiang, after officials told Muslims to eschew religious customs during the fasting month of Ramadan, which rights groups saw as an bid to repress Uighurs.

China punishes the study of Islam outside the confines of tightly controlled state mosques.

As part of a crackdown on extremism, Xinjiang has offered rewards for tips on anyone offering independent study of the Koran. Students, officials and members of the officially atheist Communist Party are barred from mosques.

Henryk Szadziewski of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project, says imams studying in Chinese state-approved Islamic institutes must adhere to a strict system.

Only a fraction of their time is devoted to the study of Islam, with most directed at political study sessions. Sermons are subject to approval and are monitored.

Szadziewski said tight state control on religion make it difficult to gauge how most Uighurs view pro-Beijing imams, but he said most wanted nothing to do with violence.

“The vast majority of Uighurs do not perceive assassination as any kind of positive action for their community, whatever their view,” he said in emailed responses to questions.

Government leaders say they are aware of a sustained effort needed to address violence in Xinjiang.

Zhang Chunxian, the region’s Communist Party boss, said poverty-stricken southern Xinjiang, the epicenter of last week’s unrest, was the key to the “chessboard.”

“We must put southern Xinjiang as the highest priority in anti-terrorism and stability maintenance duties,” Zhang said in an article in party journal Qiushi released on Friday.

But so far, experts say, there is no indication that Beijing is addressing the issues of religious freedom, that, coupled with economic marginalization of Uighurs and the influx of Han laborers, has contributed to the region’s volatility.

The response to Tahir’s murder, Szadziewski said, probably would be even greater scrutiny of religious practices.

“Misunderstandings and insensitive behavior on the part of state security can easily develop into incidents that perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2014 17:32

Japan's Min of Defence to seek funds for amphibious assault ships study - Japan Times
The Defense Ministry wants money from the fiscal 2015 budget to research the possibility of adding amphibious assault ships to the Maritime Self-Defense Force, defense officials said.

The ministry plans to start studying the size and functions needed for ships of this type with the goal of introducing at least one into the fleet by fiscal 2019, the officials said Sunday.

The new national defense plan adopted last December emphasized protection of Japan’s southern Pacific islands between Kyushu and Taiwan.

For island defense, the ministry intends to form an amphibious assault brigade modeled after the U.S. Marine Corps and start using an assault vessel that can carry MV-22 Ospreys, the tilt-rotor transport aircraft set to be adopted by the Ground Self-Defense Force.

Amphibious assault ships have wide decks like aircraft carriers but are smaller. They can carry several Ospreys and amphibious vehicles in addition to more than 1,000 troops.

The ministry also plans to use ships of this type for disaster relief missions.

After inspecting the assault ship USS Makin Island in San Diego last month, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said he was willing to swiftly work out plans to acquire such a vessel as a multifunction transport indispensable for island defense.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby member_19686 » 04 Aug 2014 19:17

Still Testy After 120 Years: Lessons from the First Sino-Japanese War

11:09 am HKT
Aug 1, 2014

One hundred and twenty years ago today, China and Japan officially declared war after months conflict over control of Korea. The First Sino-Japanese War, the subject of widespread remembrances in Chinese media this month, resulted in a rout for Chinese forces and ended with the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, one of the several so-called “unequal” treaties that would later help fuel the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty.

China Real Time took this occasion to talk to Ma Yong, a Japan specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences about that conflict, its impact on Sino-Japanese relations and on China’s own reform program. Mr. Ma also gave us a sample of his own hopes for the future course of China-Japan relations.

Below are edited excerpts from that interview:

The First Sino-Japanese War was a major setback for China. A heavy indemnity, lost territory. How would you characterize the consequences for China?

Without the disruption of the Sino-Japanese War, China would have continued along the lines of the Self-Strengthening Movement (a reformist drive that began in 1861 and first called for military industrialization but later added other goals). Step-by-step China was adopting Western military technology and armaments to establish a constitutional monarchy. But this “learning from the West” was destroyed. China would have been on a path to systemic reform but this war disrupted that. Since then we have seen nationalism gain momentum.

Could the war have been avoided?

Had it not been for the hardliners, this war would not have been fought. ..It was fought because of those who did not understand the (limited) strength of China at the time. They advocated a tough stance towards Japan. At that time Li Hongzhang (a key political reformer of the time and negotiator at the peace table) did not want to fight. He was aware of China’s limitations.

How would you assess the Treaty of Shimonoseki that ended the conflict? Was it an “unequal treaty?”

This wasn’t an unequal treaty. Both sides had their representatives at the negotiating table. It was much later that this “unequal treaty” idea emerged under the pressures of activists pushing a revolutionary and nationalistic agenda.

The first item was the recognition of an independent Korea…. Had we won, we certainly would have wanted to incorporate Korea as a part of China. Secondly, we had to pay reparations. That too was indisputable as in many conflicts the losing side would be asked to pay the costs of war.

Third was the loss of sovereignty over the Liaodong peninsula as well as the loss of Taiwan. The loss of Taiwan was a major setback that is a big problem to this day. Not only did China sustain very real (territorial) damage but it also left a very complicated situation. Taiwan didn’t have much respect for the Manchu government and (something akin) to that view persists today within the Democratic Progressive Party in its views of Beijing. And China has not adequately explained why it paid an additional indemnity to regain the Liaodong peninsula – but why there wasn’t similar treatment for Taiwan. Had it not been for the Sino-Japanese War, perhaps the Taiwan independence sentiment would not have evolved to its current extent.

What was the impact on relations with Japan?

China saw itself as the teacher and Japan as the student. Military defeat at the hands of Britain or France was acceptable, but not a defeat by Japan.

How do you see the current state of Sino-Japan relations? We have a fresh source of tension over the Diaoyu /Senkaku Islands. How do you see this playing out?

If we look at the people-to-people relations, we don’t really have a problem. Japan doesn’t harbor any hatred towards China and there is (a great deal of) Chinese tourism to Japan. It’s quite different from the time around World War II (when Japan invaded and occupied much of China). There are differences but they come from the extremists and not the mainstream.

For China and Japan, we should turn a new page in our history. The Diaoyu Islands are actually a very small problem in the long history of Sino-Japan relations… It should be set aside for now, and we should let the wisdom of the next generation resolve the problem.

What do you think of the effort to beef up Japan’s military by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe?

What Abe is doing is trying to let Japan move towards becoming a normal country. China, as a victorious nation (in WWII), has the responsibility to help Japan. After so many years of curbing its military power, and its institutional reforms, there is no way for Japan to start a war…The anti-war sentiment is (also) very strong among the Japanese people.

What would you say is the key lesson from the First Sino-Japanese War?

We need to value the fact that China has made some real progress in its development. We don’t need a conflict to erase those achievements and start all over again from square one. This is the most important lesson to learn from that experience. We need to ensure a peaceful and friendly environment. This is the path that China needs to follow.

– Olivia Geng and William Kazer ... anese-war/

Not widely remembered now is the fact that many outsiders expected the Qing to win & they had the best Asian navy on paper with the Beiyang fleet.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby RKumar » 04 Aug 2014 20:29

China Developing Capability To Kill Satellites, Experts Say

TAIPEI — US defense experts and the US State Department are describing China’s successful July 23 so-called “anti-missile test” as another anti-satellite test (ASAT). It is the third such kinetic strike ASAT launch by China and raises fears the US will be unable to protect its spy, navigation and communications satellites.

“This latest space interceptor test demonstrates a potential PLA [People’s Liberation Army] aspiration to restrict freedom of space flight over China,” said Mark Stokes, a China missile specialist at the Project 2049 Institute.

China’s first two anti-satellite tests, 2007 and 2010, involved the SC-19 (DF-21 ballistic missile variant) armed with a kinetic kill vehicle. Though the first two involved the SC-19, only the 2007 ASAT actually destroyed a space-based platform. The 2010 and July 23 test successfully struck a ballistic missile.

With the destruction of the weather satellite came international complaints that China was unnecessarily creating a debris field that would endanger other nations’ space platforms. This could explain the reason China chose to shoot down ballistic missiles rather than hitting orbiting platforms.

It is still too early to declare whether the third test used an SC-19 or a different missile system. Stokes said it was a “speculative guess,” but it could have been a test of a new solid motor being developed for a space intercept system, possibly designated as the Hongqi-26 (HQ-26). “Engineering research and development on the new solid motor seems to incorporate some interesting capabilities [that] began early last year.”

Richard Fisher, a China military specialist with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said after the 2007 test the Army may be trying to mask its anti-satellite program by conveying the impression that it is also testing a lower altitude anti-missile capability. “It is also possible that the SC-19 has ASAT and ABM [anti-ballistic missile] capabilities.”

Not everyone is convinced China is developing an ABM system. Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists, is one of them.

“The first [observation] is wondering why China is spending effort and money on developing an anti-ballistic missile defense system given the enormous challenges and expenses the United States and Russia have had to dedicate to their efforts over the years with only partial success to show for it?” He said it seems highly unlikely that Chinese engineers would suddenly be able to overcome those challenges and deploy an effective ABM system.

Kristensen said his second observation is that a Chinese decision to develop and deploy an ABM system seems contradictory to China’s well-known opposition to US missile defense plans in the Pacific. He does not believe that a Chinese missile defense system would be able to counter the advanced and large US and Russian nuclear missile forces. It would be a somewhat different matter with India.

“If Indian military planners concluded that a Chinese ABM system was capable enough to threaten the effectiveness of India’s small nuclear deterrent aimed at China, it could potentially cause Indian planners to increase the number of long-range missiles it plans to deploy to deter China, or, which would be a worrisome and destabilizing development, begin to develop and deploy MIRVed [multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle] warheads on Indian ballistic missiles to overwhelm a Chinese ABM system,” he said. “In that case, a Chinese ABM system would seem to undermine rather than enhance Chinese security.”

Fisher contends that China is working on anti-satellite and ABM programs at the same time. It is also possible that the SC-19 has both an ASAT and ABM capability, as demonstrated in the 2007 and 2010 tests. Fisher said the new HQ-19 and the HQ-26 could be similar in capability to the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system. There are also reports out of China indicating Beijing is attempting to procure Russian S-400 low-altitude ABMs, he said.

China has plenty of money to spend and appears to have permission to work on a variety of high-tech and risky projects, Kristensen said. “The interesting question is whether China is working on ABM technology to deploy its own defenses or to better understand and overcome the missile defenses of its potential adversaries.”

Fisher said the larger issue could be that after nearly three decades of “scorching harangues” by China on the US missile defense program, China has all along been developing its own ballistic missile defense system.

“We now know that China’s second ABM and ASAT program started in the early 1990s. Aside from how all this undermines the credibility of any Chinese strategic nuclear related statements, Washington now has to face the reality that in the 2020s it will be facing a much larger and more capable Chinese nuclear missile force that will have an active missile defense component.”

For a change, his speculation is right on both counts ... we are working and progressing quite fast on both.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2014 10:18

Japan to launch military space force by 2019 - AFP
Japan is planning to launch a military space force by 2019 that would initially be tasked with protecting satellites from dangerous debris orbiting the Earth, a report said.

The move is aimed at strengthening Japan-US cooperation in space, and comes after the countries pledged to boost joint work on monitoring space debris, Kyodo news agency said on Sunday.

Japan would provide the US military with information obtained by the force as part of the joint bid to strengthen ties in space, the so-called "fourth battlefield", Kyodo said, citing unnamed sources.

Japan's defence ministry is looking at creating the new force using personnel from the Air Self-Defence Force, the country's air force, it added.

The unit would acquire radar and telescope facilities, jointly with the science ministry and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, to run its observatory operations, Kyodo said.

Thousands of pieces of debris — including old satellites as well as pieces of rockets and other space equipment — are orbiting the Earth and threaten to collide with functioning communications and reconnaissance satellites.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2014 11:06

China: Yi Xianliang, deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Boundary and Ocean Affairs Departments, told reporters that China had every right to build on its islands as a way of improving basic living conditions there. "What China will do, or won't do, is determined by the Chinese government. No other people can change the stance of the Chinese government….The Spratly Islands are China's intrinsic territory….China has the right to build facilities on Chinese territory."

Yi made the remarks at a forum held by the All-China Journalists Association. They were China's response to a US and Philippine proposal for a freeze of all provocative activities, including construction, in the islands and reefs of the South China Sea. Yi questioned by what authority the US called on China to halt its development of the islands because the US has no claim to any of them.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is set to hold a meeting this week in Myanmar, where this topic is expected to be raised. Asean foreign ministers and foreign ministers from their main regional trading partners, including China, Japan and South Korea, will participate. A regional security dialogue also will be held in which the United States will participate.

Comment: Since at least 2005, the Chinese have not in any way compromised their claim to sovereignty of the East and South China Seas. They are willing to consider development and exploitation schemes, but cooperation with China always is within the context of Chinese sovereignty.

The US and ASEAN are trying to postpone, if not avoid, a confrontation with China. There is room for diplomacy to avoid clashes at sea, but not for a settlement. Diplomacy gives China more time to develop its military capabilities to defend its territorial sea claims without significant challenges.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2014 16:53

Japan defence paper warns over China's dangerous acts in sea and air - AFP, ToI
Japan warned on Tuesday that China's "dangerous acts" over territorial claims in the East China Sea could lead to "unintended consequences" in the region, as fears grow of a potential military clash.

The annual defence white paper was adopted by hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ministers at a cabinet meeting, heaping criticism on Beijing's unilateral declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) late last year.

The ADIZ sparked regional criticism as well as condemnation from Washington, while commentators voiced concern over the growing chances of an armed conflict between the two Asian powers.

Tokyo's paper, which noted that China's military budget had quadrupled over the past decade, said Japan was seeing an "increasingly severe" security environment.

"Japan is deeply concerned about the establishment of 'the East China Sea ADIZ' which is profoundly dangerous act that... escalate the situation and may cause unintended consequences" in the region, the 505-page paper said.

Chinese vessels and aircraft have regularly approached an East China Sea archipelago claimed by both countries after Tokyo nationalised some of the chain in 2012, which is believed to harbour vast natural resources below its seabed.

The islands are called the Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan. In a June confrontation, Tokyo said that two Chinese fighter jets flew within 30 metres (100 feet) of its aircraft in an area where the two nations' air defence zones overlap.

Beijing responded that it was Japanese military planes that flew dangerously close to its aircraft.

China has also laid claim to much of the South China Sea, angering Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations.

"In regard to conflicts over maritime interests, China has adopted assertive measures, including attempting to alter the status quo by coercive measures... which is incompatible with the existing international law and order," the paper said.

"These measures include dangerous acts that could cause unintended consequences and raise concerns over China's future direction," it added.

"These territorial issues remain unsolved," it said. Japan's military budget had been on the decline since 2002, but it took an upward turn, rising 2.2 percent in the current fiscal year, according to the paper.

Abe has vowed to boost spending on Japan's Self Defence Forces, with Tokyo last month loosening the bonds on its powerful military, proclaiming the right to go into battle in defence of allies.

The move was a highly controversial shift in the nation's pacifist stance.

Abe's government has also lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports. His cabinet has agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) between 2014 and 2019 on various hardware, including drones, submarines, fighter jets and amphibious vehicles.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Aug 2014 14:41

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby vijaykarthik » 06 Aug 2014 15:17

Old news

I didn't realize that Philippines also has used the services of the same lawyer who represented Bangladesh. So, chances are material that China will lose the case against it in UNCLOS [in case there was any doubt]
However, China shamelessly claims that these issues are to be settled bilaterally and its very likely that they will not follow the ruling in either spirit or letter.

-- So, if a veto power in the UN body doesn't want to follow its own arms rules, laws and regulations, why even be part of it and also have a veto right? It seems pretty immoral and its almost there that we are heading towards.

2015 should be very interesting.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 06 Aug 2014 16:08

vijaykarthik wrote:Old news

I didn't realize that Philippines also has used the services of the same lawyer who represented Bangladesh. So, chances are material that China will lose the case against it in UNCLOS [in case there was any doubt]

vijaykarthik, there was some merit in the Bangladesh case at least whereas in none of the Chinese disputes (Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei) is there any merit. What is this logic of 11-dashes, 9-dashes, the seas have China as part of their names and hence 'owned' by China etc? It is worse than the infamous Lahori logic.

The Chinese approach, IMO, would be that China will not contest the case in UNCLOS and the decision would have to be ex-parte. China can then go on harassing the neighbours as before using its clout and the [weak] argument that it did not recognize the award as its side was not heard. It would claim that UNCLOS had to be the last resort and should have come only after bilateral negotiations which these countries were not sincere about conducting etc. China knows that these small countries stand no chance unless and until the US steps in and that the US has no stomach to do so. For long, it has been steadfast in demanding only bilateral engagements even when the ASEAN took it up on behalf of these nations wuth China.

It violates with impunity bilateral & international agreements & conventions and that's what will happen wrt UNCLOS as well.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 06 Aug 2014 16:50

China General visited disputed regions [on the Indian border] - Ananth Krishnan, The Hindu
The top ranking General of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) (PLA) has carried out a rare inspection visit to the disputed western section of the border with India, including stops to inspect troops at two sites that have been at the centre of recent differences over incursion incidents — near the Karakoram Pass and the contested Pangong Tso lake.

A high-profile visit

General Xu Qiliang, who is one of two Vice-Chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC) headed by President Xi Jinping — the highest-ranking position in the Chinese Army — made the visit last month to inspect frontier troops in Xinjiang and Tibet, including in the Aksai Chin region claimed by India.

Significantly, General Xu also visited a frontier defence company which, sources said, may have been linked with the three week-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Depsang, in eastern Ladakh, in April last year.

The stand-off strained bilateral ties ahead of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India last year and, later, prompted both countries to fortify border cooperation mechanisms and increase the number of border personnel meeting points along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC).

This is the most high-profile visit by a top Chinese leader to the region in many years. General Xu held talks with leaders of garrisons in Hotan in Xinjiang, Lhasa in Tibet and in Ali in Tibet’s west, the PLA Daily reported on July 24, without specifying the dates of the visit.

General Xu also inspected the Shenxianwan frontier defence company — located at the height of 5,380 metres, north of the Karakoram Pass. This frontier defence company is tasked with guarding the area near the Karakoram Pass and the western sections of the border east of Ladakh. This eastern region is close to the Depsang plains.

General Xu also visited two troop bases that are in charge of guarding the western border: the Khurnak Fort frontier defence company in the Aksai Chin region, and the Banmozhang water squadron.

The responsibilities of the water squadron, likely, include the disputed Pangong Tso lake. His visit followed recent reports of incursions, including by water squadrons on the lake, which is patrolled by both sides. Chinese officials have rejected claims of incursions, pointing out that there were differing perceptions of claim lines.

General Xu, who was accompanied by Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, and Miao Hua, Political Commissar of the Lanzhou Military Area Command, also observed training and drills of a “Red army” regiment of the Xinjiang Military Area Command (MAC), the PLA Daily said.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby vijaykarthik » 07 Aug 2014 14:45

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby anupmisra » 07 Aug 2014 15:09

Beware, China: India's Economy Could Have an Even Brighter Future

"When all is said and done, the difference between India and China can be summed up in one word: freedom."
Veteran Asia watcher James Gruber, writing in Forbes, argues that India will soon outpace China in terms of real economic growth.
First, it’s highly probable that China’s GDP growth rate is slowing much more than the fraudulent figures put out by the government
Second, credit tightening in China will almost certainly take years rather than months given the boom which preceded it.
Third, Chinese economic reform will be a drag on growth in the near-term, as can already be evidenced by the crackdown on corruption and its impact on retail consumption.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 07 Aug 2014 15:59

Chinese military set up joint operations command center: sources - Japan Times
The Chinese military has set up a joint command center that would integrate the operations of its army, navy and air forces, military sources have told Kyodo News, in a move aimed at making military strategy and tactics more efficient.

The joint operations command center has been established under the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Headquarters, which is responsible for taking command of military strategies, as part of military reform efforts to boost the unified operations of Chinese capabilities on land, sea, air and in dealing with strategic missile operations, the sources said.

It is the first time for such a center to be permanently set up, according to the sources.

The establishment comes as China is reviewing its military posture, partly with an eye on Japan’s efforts to boost its alliance with the United States and U.S. shift in strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region.

Political analysts say the new entity could spark worries among nations near China and in the United States over China’s growing assertiveness in pushing its territorial claims in the East China Sea as well as South China Sea.

According to the sources, China is also considering drastic reforms to restructure its seven domestic military regions, including the Beijing Military Region and the Shenyang Military Region, to four “battleground regions,” which it will rename to quickly respond to events in surrounding countries.

The four new regions would be named “Northeast Asia,” “Southeast Asia,” “South Asia” and “Central Asia.”

It is not known who will head the new center, which was set up under the Operation Department of the General Staff Headquarters under the wing of the military’s top decision-making organ, the powerful Central Military Commission, the sources said.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby ramana » 07 Aug 2014 21:50

ramana wrote:Looks like there is a tussle between Xi Jinping and the PLA.

Xi Jinping wants to broaden PRC strategic options while PLA wants to narrow them for tactical positions.

Lets see how it plays out. ... 140807.htm

Modi leads India to the Silk Road
August 07, 2014 12:47 IST
With Beijing having had a profound rethink on India's admission as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the tectonic plates of the geopolitics of a massive swathe of the planet stretching from the Asia-Pacific to West Asia are dramatically shifting.

That grating noise in the Central Asian steppes will be heard far and wide -- as far as North America, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.

On the face of it, China has so far been reluctant about India's admission as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

According to latest reports, Beijing has had a profound rethink.

At the SCO foreign ministers meeting last Thursday in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, a decision has been taken that the grouping will formally invite India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia as members at its next summit in September.

To be sure, Russia would be immensely pleased. A Moscow pundit promptly estimated that India's admission into the SCO will pave the way for the grouping to hold itself out as a 'centre of power in world politics.'

Make no mistake, the tectonic plates of the geopolitics of a massive swathe of the planet stretching from the Asia-Pacific to West Asia are dramatically shifting and that grating noise in the Central Asian steppes will be heard far and wide -- as far as North America.

The big question remains: What made China shift its stance?

We know that at the 90-minute meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Fortaleza, Brazil, on the sidelines of the recent BRICS summit, the subject of India's role in the SCO did come up.

Several reasons could be attributed to the 'new thinking' in Beijing. First and foremost, China may sense that under Modi's leadership, India is all set to pursue a genuinely independent foreign policy.

The idea of an 'independent foreign policy' has been a cliche in Indian discourses and has been bandied about cavalierly by many governments in India.

But the plain truth is that ever since India embarked on economic reforms a couple of decades ago, the Western industrialised world -- the US, in particular -- assumed centrality in the Indian calculus.

Subtle shifts in the country's foreign policy trajectory ensued, helped in no small measure by interest groups and lobbies in India.

This trend became much pronounced through the past decade under then prime minister Manmohan Singh's leadership and at times India seemed to be succumbing to the charms of a new form of entrapment -- of the mind.

Unsurprisingly, China's hesitation hitherto stemmed from its unspoken worry that India might work as a 'Trojan horse' for the Americans within the SCO tent, which was, of course, unacceptable since the grouping has been of critical importance to Beijing in the pursuit of its regional policies as well as for safeguarding the country's own territorial integrity and national security.

It is from such a perspective that Modi's imprimatur that is already visible in India's foreign policies needs to be judged. Clearly, the compass of India's foreign policy is being reset

Modi has taken to the BRICS like fish to water, which surprised most Indian observers who were visualising that the interest groups most vociferously backing his candidature in the parliamentary poll in April would expect him to follow a 'pro-American' foreign policy, driven also by the craving to adopt a muscular approach to India's problematic relationships with China and Pakistan.

However, Modi's meetings on the sidelines of the BRICS summit with Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin brought out his conviction that India's long-term interests are best served by forging closer strategic partnerships with these two world powers.

Again, most expectedly, instead of beating war drums, Modi let loose peace doves into the South Asian skies.

And, least of all, came his audacious decision to demand that Delhi cannot ratify the World Trade Organisation's so-called trade facilitation agreement if it jeopardised India's food security.

Modi took this decision in the national interest, unperturbed by the fact that he is due to visit the US and anticipating that it will be seen as an unhelpful act by the Barack Obama administration and will annoy the Washington establishment and American business lobbies.

What emerges out of all these is that Modi has a world vision as regards the co-relation of forces internationally today and can fathom where it is that India's core interests would lie.

Modi is a reclusive and enigmatic personality and has spoken hardly anything on world politics, but he seems to have thought through a great deal in the privacy of his mind. That much is a safe guess.

Suffice to say, Modi supported the emergence of the BRICS development bank with great deliberation, knowing fully well that such a move challenges the dominance of the US dollar in the world economy and will seriously undermine the Bretton Woods system that provided a vital underpinning for the advancement and preservation of the United States' global hegemony for the past several decades.

If one ventures to put an intellectual construct on such trends as are available in these past 70 days that might eventually go into a 'Modi Doctrine', it would probably consist of the following elements:

Modi has a pronounced 'India-first' approach, which is a rooted belief as well.
But he is not dogmatic when it comes to the pursuit of India's national interests.
Nor is it divested of emotions. The human factor is obvious from his trademark slogan, 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (meaning, inclusive development) and he visualises the foreign policy as an extension of national policies.
India needs help for development from all available sources and there is willingness to source it without pride or prejudice.
India needs a friendly external environment that is conducive to development and acts as a buffer for its national security. Modi places great store on regional cooperation.
Modi visualises that India's 'influence' in its region is critically dependent on its capacity to carry the small neighbours along on the path of growth and prosperity that would make them genuine stakeholders -- rather than by demanding respect or insisting on 'influence' on the basis of its pre-eminence in the region as a military and economic power and through 'muscle-flexing'.
He reposes confidence in the country's inherent advantages as a regional power and is not paranoid about any 'string of pearls' chocking India.
Modi believes in promoting India's commonality of interests with other emerging powers that also have been denied their due role in the global political and economic architecture, which was erected by the West out of the debris of World War II and has become archaic, but remains impervious to change and reform.
The above elements are more or less visible and their interplay presents an engaging sight.

The dire predictions regarding the quintessential Modi have proved to be largely baloney -- that, for instance, a nasty confrontation between India and Pakistan was inevitable once Modi took over as prime minister.

Or that, China's PLA would 'test' Modi's grit by pitching a tent or two on the disputed Indian territory.

But nothing of the sort has happened. Discerning analysts, on the contrary, have noted some accommodative attitudes on China's part toward India in the most recent period.

Similarly, it is China that Modi has engaged most intensively so far.

A large corpus of Indian pundits have been emphatically predicting that Modi would form an axis with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to counter Beijing's 'assertiveness' in the Asia-Pacific.

Curiously, however, by the time Modi gets around to seeing Obama (or Abe), he would have twice met Xi already.

Coming back to India's impending membership of the SCO, there are three salients that draw attention.

First, the timing of the SCO decision to admit India; secondly, how SCO is poised to evolve; and, third, what India can make out of its SCO membership. Each needs some elaboration.

During his visit to New Delhi last week, United States Secretary of State John Kerry (in image, left, with Prime Minister Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj) was asked at a media interaction where India would stand in Washington's scheme of things as regards its recent sanctions against Russia.

Kerry accepted that he was disappointed but appeared resigned to India's stance. 'We would obviously welcome India joining in with us with respect to that (sanctions). But it is up to them. It is India's choice.'

It does not need much ingenuity to figure out that the SCO is taking the decision to admit India at a defining moment in the post-Cold War era politics.

India's SCO membership is fructifying hardly days before Modi's first-ever meeting with Obama. The point is, the SCO is also taking a calculated decision to invite India to become a full member.

The backdrop to the SCO decision is extremely relevant. The US is pursuing a dual containment policy toward Russia and China, the two prime movers of the SCO. The US, on the other hand, has been assiduously wooing India as a strategic ally.

From the American viewpoint, India's SCO membership will inevitably impact the future trajectory of the US-Indian strategic partnership even as India is unavailable as 'counterweight' against China or as an accomplice to 'isolate' Russia.

India being a major power in Asia, its policy of 'non-alignment' grates against the US's rebalance strategy.

On a more fundamental plane, it needs to be understood that if the SCO has often been called the 'NATO of the East', it was not without reason -- although the grouping is far from a military alliance in the classic sense.

The SCO has disallowed a security vacuum appearing in Central Asia, which NATO might have seized as alibi to step in. Put differently, so long as the SCO is around, NATO's eastward expansion beyond the Caucasus remains blocked.

Meanwhile, it also needs to be factored in that the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation work shoulder to shoulder on regional security.

The two organisations challenge the US strategy to project NATO as a global security organisation.

The admission of India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia constitutes a major setback for America's regional strategies.

For one thing, an expanded SCO provides 'strategic depth' for Russia. The US and European Union's sanctions against Russia will be rendered even more toothless.

It weakens the American hand in the negotiations vis-a-vis Iran insofar as the sanctions regime aimed at isolating Iran becomes unsustainable.

It debilitates America's 'pivot' strategy in Asia; it diminishes its capacity to dictate terms to Afghanistan (or Pakistan).

In strategic terms, the stunning reality is that by the end of this year, the SCO will have as members four nuclear powers plus one 'threshold power'.

In geopolitical terms, the SCO will be stepping out of Central Asia and wetting its toes in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.

It is entirely conceivable that at some point sooner rather than later the SCO countries may move toward trading in their national currencies, creating banking institutions to fund intra-regional projects and forming preferential trade regimes.

Needless to say, with India, Pakistan and Iran inside the SCO tent, the grouping becomes a lead player in Afghanistan.

The SCO's surge severely cramps the ability of the US to manipulate the forces of radical Islam and terrorism as instruments of regional policies in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

No doubt, from the Afghan perspective, NATO ceases to be the only show in town. This can only strengthen Afghanistan's independence and enable that country to regain its national sovereignty.

An enlarged SCO cannot but view with disquiet the US and NATO's game plan to establish military bases in Afghanistan and to deploy the missile defence system in the Hindu Kush.

In sum, the induction of India, Pakistan and Iran would become a game-changer for the SCO. For the first time in modern history, a collective security organisation would be taking shape in a huge landmass on the planet inhabited by some three billion people.

It would significantly boost the impetus toward multi-polarity in world politics by championing the pivotal role of the UN in upholding international law.

How can India make use of its SCO membership? There are four or five directions in which Indian diplomacy can hope to explore new frontiers. The SCO chronicle provides some useful pointers.

Since its inception in the mid-1990s, the SCO provided a platform for Russia, China and Central Asian States to lay to rest the ghosts of the past, namely, the bitter legacy of the Soviet era animosities.

The SCO offered a new pattern of relationship based on equality and shared concerns and commonality of interests that, in turn, helped create trust and confidence leading to the resolution of their border disputes and the harmonisation of their regional security objectives.

There is much food for thought here for India. A window of opportunity opens for Indian diplomats to work with China and Pakistan in a similar spirit as China did with its erstwhile Soviet-era adversaries.

Again, it is no small matter that the army chiefs or spy chiefs of India, China and Pakistan would get to meet and interact within the SCO tent on a regular basis within an institutionalised framework, exchange notes and begin seeking solutions to regional problems.

At the very least, the chances of an India-Pakistan turf war breaking out in Afghanistan would minimise, which would encourage Pakistan, hopefully, to craft a new course jettisoning its obsession with 'strategic depth'.

Curiously, the SCO membership makes Indians and Pakistanis comrades-in-arms in stabilising Afghanistan. Of course, such a turn of events cannot but have positive fallouts on the overall climate of India-Pakistan relationship.

Again, the SCO enables India to rev up its regional policies and it is no small gain that regional security is not held hostage by the US’s unpredictable and capricious policies toward Afghanistan.

Finally, the Silk Road as such would get a massive fillip and within the SCO framework, India could aspire to gain greater access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

India's energy security gets strengthened, too. The time may have come for the creation of an SCO energy club, an idea first mooted by Putin a decade ago.

New possibilities arise for initiating trans-regional energy projects under the auspices of the SCO, such as the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

In overall terms, the SCO membership makes the prevailing international situation highly favourable for India's overall development and its rise as a global power.

The best thing about the SCO is that it is not prescriptive and India can preserve its 'strategic autonomy'. Nor is the SCO directed against any country in the world community.

In short, the member-States are entirely at liberty to pursue their foreign policies attuned to their respective national priorities.

That is to say, SCO membership does not stand in the way of India deepening and expanding its multi-faceted cooperation with the US.

On the contrary, it only enhances India's capacity to negotiate a relationship with the US that is truly based on equal footing.

Suffice to say, SCO membership gives added raison d'etre and verve to India's non-aligned policies.

Through the six decades or so since the idea of non-alignment was born, the world has changed phenomenally and India too has transformed beyond recognition. But the idea of non-alignment as such continues to have great relevance for India.

The intellectual challenge for India's diplomacy today lies in reinterpreting the idea of non-alignment in tune with the spirit of our times, which is characterised by multi-polarity in international politics, so as to meet our country's needs in the coming period as an emerging power.

That is also what Jawaharlal Nehru would have expected Modi to do as his worthy successor presiding over India's tryst with destiny at a crucial juncture in world politics.

All things considered, therefore, India's SCO membership would signify that the Modi government is charioting India toward a new multi-polar world order where the country's political and diplomatic options will multiply.

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar is a retired diplomat.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby svinayak » 09 Aug 2014 03:55

China wary of Modi's engagement in Nepal

China, which was alarmed following India´s offer to invest massively in hydropower projects in Nepal, had heaved a sigh of relief after Nepal was not ready to strike the deal. "The letter sent by Delhi to Nepal regarding power trade agreement and the amendment proposed by Nepal to it was not even discussed during Modi´s visit. India´s intention has become clear - it wanted total control over Nepal´s water resource, "said a Chinese expert, requesting anonymity.

According to Professor Song, it would not be “acceptable” to China if Modi is really trying to use Nepal just for its strategic benefits -- as has been felt by China.

And the Chinese experts cite other reasons to doubt Modi´s intention vis-à-vis China.

"Modi has already decided to go to countries like Japan and the US. However, despite receiving invitation from Beijing, it is unclear why Modi has not been able to confirm his visit to China," said Song.

He further said that China is the only powerful country, which is ready to work with India for genuine reasons. "Indian Prime Minister Modi should keep this in his mind," Song added.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby SSridhar » 09 Aug 2014 05:21

I am unable to accept some of MKB's analyses. The SCO is not a done deal yet, so let us wait and watch how things progress. Secondly, if PRC is so worried about the 'US mole' India sitting in SCO and causing China trouble, there are not enough recent developments to convince it that India has suddenly started to pursue an 'independent foreign policy'. PRC can reasonably expect India to be more assertive than before, but for a hard-nosed China to firmly conclude that it is no longer a 'US mole', it has to wait for some positive proof. This has not emerged so far. Obviously, there are 'China moles' in India.

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Re: Managing Chinese Threat

Postby Rahul M » 09 Aug 2014 09:32

please start a new thread with a link to this page in its first post.

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