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Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

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Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 11:06

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 11:07


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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 14:17

Interview with Adm. Sunil Lanba - Dinakar peri, The Hindu
Q: What is the outcome and take away from the two days of deliberations as part of GMC?

A: The most important outcome is everyone acknowledged the centrality and importance of the Indian Ocean as a key gateway to connect the East and the West and the dependence of the global economy on the sea lanes of communication. The key takeaways have been the coordination of efforts, we have identified common security threats across all countries and agreed on greater degree of coordination and information sharing to take things forward to provide maritime security and safety of the global commons of the Indian Ocean.[/b]

Q: What are the common threats identified and how do you plan to take forward it forward?

[b]A:
Common security threats identified are non-traditional threats in the form of maritime terrorism, unregulated fishing, illegal fishing in the global commons, pollution, at sea piracy, drug and human trafficking. We have also agreed on need to put in place a coordination mechanism. We already have architectures available with several island nations, we have coordinated patrols with a number of countries who are participating here. We have identified ways on how we can exchange information.

Q: Addressing the GMC, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman talked of extra-regional navies making permanent presence in the Indian Ocean. What do you have to say on it?

A: When you look at geo-strategic situation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), what is happening on the ground is a fact of life. There is permanent presence of a large number of extra-regional navies in the IOR especially in the Northern Indian Ocean where at any given time there over 100 multilateral ships in the vicinity. We need to be cognizant of the fact that our presence in our areas of interest dove tail our deployment and surveillance missions so that we are aware what is happening.

Q: When you say coordinated patrols, are we looking at more countries coming in? What about countries like US and Japan?

A: We only do coordinated patrols and joint patrols with nations who are our maritime neighbours and we have requested us in the IOR. We are already doing it with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. We are doing Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) patrols for island nations of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. We can look at increasing the frequency, increasing the assets which are deployed during the coordinated patrols. These are the avenues which are available.[/b]

We have been working with the US navy for a very long time. We have had the Malabar series of exercise and now we also have the Japanese Maritime Self Defence force joining it. That exercise will continue. We are not looking at joint patrols with the US Navy at this moment.

Q: At the recent Navy Commanders Conference one key thing that came was increasing the footprint of the Indian navy under the Mission Based Deployment. What are you trying to achieve?

A: These are our areas of interest. We have had a permanent deployment of a ship in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations since October 2008. [b]Last year we have relooked at our deployment pattern and we reached a consensus within the Navy to have mission based deployment so that our areas of interest can be kept under permanent surveillance. We started off by having a ship deployed permanently in Andaman Sea and approaches to the Malacca straits. Then we have mission based deployments in the North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf. Similarly, in the Northern part of Bay of Bengal and we are enhancing our surveillance in the South part, near Sri Lanka. We are also sending ships to the Lombok and Sunda straits. So the ingress and egress routes of Indian Ocean region are being kept under surveillance so that we have better maritime domain awareness and know what is happening.

Q: Is that the reason why we got to know that People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) deployment in the Indian Ocean has been one of the highest this year.

A: They (PLAN) on an average for the last 2-3 years had about 8-10 ships which have been deployed in the Northern Indian Ocean. August this year was a unique month where there was a change around of the anti-piracy escort force. There was also a group of PLAN ships which were transiting IOR to Russia to exercise. This put together in the month of August the total PLAN ships spiked to 14. The present assessment, I don’t think they will go up further.

Q: India has been undertaking capacity building of countries in IOR. How do you plan to increase it further?

A: We work in close liaison with island nations Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. We are assisting them in capacity and capability enhancements in the form of training to their personnel and other is proving assets in the form of ships and aircraft. We are working with them in coordinated patrols, keeping surveillance of EEZ on their request. That is what we are doing and will continue to do.

Q: How far are we in countering Chinese presence in Djibouti and the Indian Ocean?

A: They have a base in Djibouti. There has been a change in the shareholding of Hambantota port. But Sri Lanka has assured that it is not an Operational Turn-around (OTR) port. It is a commercial hub and will be continued to be used for that. We will continue to work with likeminded nations and see how it proceeds.

Q: How do you intend to do the information exchange with the littoral states?

A: Exchange of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), India has been perusing signing of technical agreements and sharing of white shipping information. We already have agreements in place with 12 countries and most of them have been operationalized. The ones we have signed recently, we are working out mechanisms on how to operationalize. Through these agreements information has already started to flow in. In both directions, us to them and them to us. This is being collated on our systems we have in place and there is greater awareness. The picture we generate is shared with our ships through our network centric operation centres. It is a more effective system now.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby vijaykarthik » 15 Nov 2017 16:22

From NW - mainly for fun purpose. But note a few interesting points. Per the Pakis, The Indian govt has allocated 500 mn USD to sabotage CPEC. If only Pakis allocate some sense before they can speak.

Interesting that all this is coming up in the aftermath of the first shipment of wheat through Chabahar.



Pakistan

Concerning India. On 14 November, Pakistan’s Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, told a conference that Kashmir still remains a flash point for a nuclear war between Pakistan and India.

General Hayat spoke on the topic of “Regional Dynamics and Strategic Concerns in South Asia” at an international conference organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF).

Hayat said the path to relations between Islamabad and New Delhi passes through Kashmir. “There is no bypass.” He said India has committed over 1,200 ceasefire violations in Kashmir in which 1,000 Pakistani civilians and 300 soldiers lost their lives. “This Indian behavior can turn into a big war,” he warned.

Hayat also accused India of carrying out terror activities in Pakistan through Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (i.e., Pakistani Taliban) and Baluchi separatists. He said Indian conspiracies against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were also no secret, adding that New Delhi has allocated $500 million to sabotage the CPEC.

Criticizing India's international ambitions, the general said New Delhi’s policies are becoming a cause of instability in South Asia. He said the political and strategic issues in South Asia were intensifying disputes in the region.

He said India was rapidly increasing its missile defense technology, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons. He said India is also diverting Pakistan’s share of its waters. “India is playing with fire and peace of South Asia. “

Comment: The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, is usually the senior-most flag officer in the armed forces, but lacks command of any forces. He is a committee chairman and the senior flag officer for ceremonial purposes. The most powerful flag officer is the Pakistan Army Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Hayat delivered the standard Pakistan Army threat briefing. The main points of Hayat’s remarks could have been written a half-century ago. Then, they would have had some meaning.

Today, it is astonishing that the senior Pakistani general would say that the Kashmir dispute is a flash point for nuclear war. That is a testament to the sclerosis in Pakistani strategic thinking in the past 16 or more years. Yet, in making the assertion, Hayat makes it a reality for India.

This kind of thinking about India helps explains the failure of Pakistan to provide adequate security for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the propensity to blame India and Afghanistan for all of Pakistan’s security problems.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 17:34

The Pakistanis aim to widen the cleavage between India and China and keep themselves warm in the process.

While China is indeed an all-weather friend of Pakistan, China is also pragmatic and it realizes that without India on board, CPEC wouldn't be economically successful and China needs economic gains very badly. Pakistan offers nothing to CPEC apart from Gwadar and some real-estate. CPEC's major economic aim is India. That is why China has been repeatedly coaxing and pleading with India to join the project. It went as far as suggesting even a name change if India wanted it. Even as late as last week, China was inducing India.

When Modi mentioned Balochistan in his Independence Day speech from Red Fort, it sent alarm bells ringing in China. One of China’s South Asia experts Hu Shisheng, director of Chinese Foreign Ministry-run think-tank Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies said, “My personal view is that if India is adamant and if Indian factor is found by China or Pakistan in disrupting the process of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), if that becomes a reality, it will really become a disturbance to China-India relations, India-Pakistan relations. If that happens China and Pakistan could have no other way but take united steps. I want to say that the Pakistan factor could surge again to become the most disturbing factor in China-India relations, even more than the Tibet, border and trade imbalance issues. I think the two countries (China and Pakistan) will do whatsoever to enhance the security and smooth construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. But what kind of forms I have no idea. I am just wondering whether military involvement could be one of the choice but in my personal view, it is very unlikely. If Indian concern is too much, China is also one part of the Kashmir issue. If the accession (area by Pakistan to China) is regarded by India as one part of the problem then let the three of us sit down to talk. In the past Chinese scholars are not so much concerned about India-US ties. We strongly believed that India's strategic independence can be trusted and can be maintained. In recent years, Indian strategic independence is facing some challenges because of security issues. The cooperation has been going really far more forward in the past one year”. Since China expresses its foreign policy opinions through such myriad opinion-makers and think-tanks, this must be understood by India as a definite Chinese thinking.

It is such things that Pakistani military would like to fan the flames of.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Aditya_V » 15 Nov 2017 17:50

Indeed, thats why they deliberately tell stuff 159 Indian soldiers killed by Chinese rocket artillery etc.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 18:09

vijaykarthik wrote:Interesting that all this is coming up in the aftermath of the first shipment of wheat through Chabahar.


But, there is a fast changing scenario also developing. Tillerson visited India where he spoke of alternatives to BRI, shortly followed by a USD 500M loan to Nepal, which India welcomed. Now, we hear of a Chinese hydroelectric project being scrapped. there is even a talk of that being given to our own NHPC. Of course, earlier India & Japan had launched the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC). Just a week before his visit to India (which was part of a tour of Afghanistan & Pakistan also), Tillerson spoke at CSIS, Washington DC and spoke in detail about the India-US strategic relationship, particularly Indo-Pacific, Freedom of Navigation etc. The day after his return to Washington, Tillerson referred to the US, India, Japan and Australia as the four anchors of the Indo-Pacific region.

The very next day, Ms. Alice Wells, acting head of the South and Central Asia bureau at the US state department, termed the trilateral engagements with India and Japan, already in place, as “very productive”, adding that they were a “stepping stone” for quadrilateral talks involving “natural ally” Australia, which could take place soon. “As we explore ways to deepen and try to inculcate some of the values – freedom of navigation, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster response, transparency – obviously, Australia would be a natural partner in that effort as well,” she said.

Simultaneously, in Tokyo, the Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono proposed a top-level dialogue with the U.S., India and Australia. This suggestion for a “Quadrilateral Dialogue” (Quad) came just ahead of the upcoming ASEAN & East Asia summits in Manila in two weeks’ time. Kono also said he offered the foreign ministers of the U.K. and France collaborative roles in the partnership. Kono said the purpose of the dialogue is to secure a peaceful maritime zone from Asia to Africa. "Free and open seas will benefit all countries, including China and its Belt and Road initiative," the foreign minister said.

Then, on the sidelines of East Asia Meet, the Quad did indeed meet. The entire development was so rapid and sudden.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby TKiran » 15 Nov 2017 18:13

^^^ I think CPEC is strategic project for China, and no commercial consideration is there. It's a comouflage if they say "we are interested in India joining CPEC" just to lull India to complecency till they complete the project. They will safeguard CPEC once it's completed, most probably using paki army under PLA command (including intelligence)

Once CPEC is completed, India will never progress. Most probably, India would become "democracy with new Chinese characteristics."

CPEC failure is life and death question for India.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Bart S » 15 Nov 2017 19:15

TKiran wrote:Once CPEC is completed, India will never progress. Most probably, India would become "democracy with new Chinese characteristics."

CPEC failure is life and death question for India.


Explain why, please

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 15 Nov 2017 20:15

China under Xi's 2nd term to deal with instances like Dokalam head-on: Chinese expert - PTI
China under the second term of President Xi Jinping would deal with issues like the Dokalam standoff with India and the disputed South China Sea "squarely" and face them "head-on" to protect its legitimate interests, a Chinese expert said today.

"In the past, we thought we would shelve differences. Now, we will face disputes squarely," said Yuan Peng, Vice President of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relation, during his interaction with journalists here [Beijing] on the outcome of the recent once-in-a-five-year Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).


The Congress has endorsed a second five-year term for Xi as party's head and enshrined his ideological thought into the party Constitution.

Yuan said China under Xi might deal with issues like Dokalam head-on.

The 72-day-long standoff at Dokalam which began over Chinese military's plan to build a key road close to the Indian border in an area claimed by Bhutan ended on August 28 after it stopped the road building. Both sides pulled back their troops.

"So we now face these problems head on, and safeguard our legitimate interests," he said, adding that Beijing might do this in an "incremental way".

He also said "Indo-Pacific" being propounded by the US and the quadrilateral mechanism involving India, the US, Australia and Japan projecting India in a big way may become "a kind of trap".

He said it is not "wise" for India as it now enjoys balanced relations with the US and China.


The US wants to increase the strategic status of India as it is a large country and India also wants to get close to Washington. But smart Indian politicians" will not overlook ties with China, he said, adding that India is "quite cautious" in view of this. {This is the kind of 'massaging' that theyhave been trying to do with us for a long time now}

He said that there is an unhealthy mentality in the Western world to try and make use of India in order to 'contain' China's rise.

Terming India as the most promising country, he said the people of India should be cautious in handling relations with China.

Meanwhile, an editorial in the state-run Global Times said the mainstream media in India was obsessed with competing with China on GDP growth and international status.

Now they are keen to compare their country to Australia or Japan to see which can curry more favour from the US, it said.

After the US began using the term "Indo-Pacific," some Indian media outlets were ecstatic that their country had become an important pillar of this new US strategy", {This is the other approach, to belittle India and make us feel inferior} it added.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby vijaykarthik » 15 Nov 2017 20:33

LOL. If they face the problem squarely in places like Doklam, they will end up with the curious case of "Cutting off the nose to spite the face". I would love to see that happen in my time in Earth.

On a side note, SS - interesting to see all that you have mentioned. If only Trump went and actually mentioned that we are going to have a trade war with China or something on those lines, it should be v interesting viewing. (this was mentioned in the earlier thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6863&start=10320#p2229633)

I do remember Trump mentioning that he will make an announcement once he is back to the US.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby periaswamy » 15 Nov 2017 20:56

"So we now face these problems head on, and safeguard our legitimate interests," he said, adding that Beijing might do this in an "incremental way".


So more Doklam-type situations are on the anvil clearly -- restoring status-quo-ante is not going to be good enough if this is going to be their fallback tactic to grab territory aggressively. Chinese can impose a cost on India whenever they want as they get to initiate trouble at a time of their choosing.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby TKiran » 15 Nov 2017 23:04

Bart S wrote:
TKiran wrote:Once CPEC is completed, India will never progress. Most probably, India would become "democracy with new Chinese characteristics."

CPEC failure is life and death question for India.


Explain why, please

India is the only challenger to China. US at the maximum can hedge India against China, if it doesn't work then G2 is always an option till US also going to be subjugated by China through trade and currency manipulation. RMB will be the reserve currency. Only people who visited China recently can understand how strong the strategic weapon TRADE is being used by China. It's no more subtle, every nation will buy from China. Literally from bricks to defence equipment, China will push it's own products. Trade is totally controlled by state, and party. Unless you see the vision of Xi from Chinese angle, you will never understand the scope of China domination. I have seen first hand how thousands of Indian engineers worked for Tibetan railway eventually lost all those jobs to Chinese, as they successfully reverse engineered and gained the edge. Those Indian engineers thought they can do such engineering again, but where is such a project, many of those bright indian engineers lost their career and some are working as software engineers doing cooly work. Chinese components for India defence projects is just a tip of the iceberg. Next time they will be more careful to cover their tracks.

Now coming to your question, how this will make India not progress, I tried to give an answer with an anecdotal scenario, just extrapolate it to Indian software jobs, when all American corporations are going to be Chinese companies, one Infosys or one Patanjali can't cut it, the whole of India will be traders of Chinese products. You may be wondering how CPEC success or failure is related to this trade war. Whatever trade practices (strategic weapon) you are seeing is not even 5% of what you would see once CPEC is completed. Not for joke they added CPEC into China constitution. CPEC is symbolic to tell India "we have violated your sovereignty", when that happens, India will be looked down upon by world countries, we simply have to accept Chinese hegemony. Everyone is gauging India's resolve to be the challenger to China by looking at the progress of CPEC, how India is going to make CPEC fail. So far India has been playing nicely by psyops, and showing the military advantage, but the real test is failure of CPEC. That is possible, and once CPEC failed, it will be multilateral world.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby vijaykarthik » 15 Nov 2017 23:25

^ you are looking at a world purely from a B&W prism. From that angle, all the while we had Pax Americana, your theory would suggest that the ROW didn't exist and China was nowhere.

Geopolitics is a long story and has too much history. If we fail today, its more important to stay another day and try again.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby TKiran » 15 Nov 2017 23:53

No precedence of TRADE as strategic weapon, everything under control (massive amounts of money) all cohesively working towards Chinese domination, every event analyzed and countermeasures placed, massive smart population, it's unprecedented.

India is the only other country which can truly challenge China. US is a pussy already.

Only thing I am worried about India's rise is that for India, Business is just Business, whereas China uses it with so much of control as a weapon, and the strategic planning such as CPEC, diversion of water from Tibet, etc, are truly megalomaniac, and their single minded persuasion to achieve such goals is no match with India's resolve. India is status quoist, China is revisionist. India is strategically strong, China is circumventing India's strength by CPEC, the consequences of CPEC success, are very very damaging for India, but India needs time to thwart CPEC, but it's happening so fast, we also should move fast, but that's not happening or would happen.
Last edited by TKiran on 16 Nov 2017 00:24, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby periaswamy » 15 Nov 2017 23:58

TKiran: India is the only other country which can truly challenge China. US is a pussy already.


This is the long game closer to a marathon than a sprint -- drawing conclusions prematurely is easy but liable to be wrong. China's aggressive behavior is causing greater cohesion among countries that have come to view China as a long-term threat, if not contained. Game has hardly begun.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Nov 2017 00:59

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/commen ... 98129.html
Getting around Beijing’s ways
G Parthasarathy
India must strengthen maritime pacts with other players

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 16 Nov 2017 01:03

TKiran wrote: RMB will be the reserve currency.

Let me start with this single point. Do you even know what it means for China to have its currency as a reserve currency? Before that do you know the requirements of a "reserve currency"?

One can start on the process to the answer that question by starting with another simple question.

What is the ratio of Indians willing to shift permanently to China as against shifting to the US TODAY? See I am being fair and NOT seeking to impose my view or thinking. Conduct a survey of about 1500 people from diverse background and you will know the answer.

Let me modify that question, What is the ratio of Indians willing to shift permanently to China as against shifting to the US or UK or Europe TODAY? Take your pick of the region to compare with China.

Let me modify that question again , What is the ratio of BAKIS willing to shift permanently to China as against shifting to the US or UK or Europe TODAY? Again as before, take your pick of the region to compare with China.

Let me modify that question again , What is your "guess" on the ratio of Indians willing to shift permanently to China as against shifting to the US or UK or Europe 30 years from now? Again as before, take your pick of the region to compare with China.

You see there are at least 3 critical requirements to a currency becoming a "reserve currency" and I am not talking about IMF/WB requirements. It does not come with becoming the largest trading nation in the world and it certainly does not come with being included in the SDR basket as many wrongly assume.

BTW, you can ask Chinese help in answering the above question. The really smart Chinese know the answer to those questions and can guide you. As they say people vote with their feet and economics is about people, their collective emotion and collective actions.

If that is too tough to figure out ask yourself about 1500 people from diverse background if they had only 2 places to park their money US or China where would they park their money hanji? A currency does not "become" a reserve currency out of thin air or what!

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2017 01:35

pankajs, There is small number of Indian businessmen mostly Gujaratis and Andhras setting up shop in China for last ten years. Largest group of overseas medical students in China are Indian origin.

As Indian Medical Council keeps clamping up medical college seats in India and the donation/capitation amounts reach astronomical amounts (like currently Rs. 1 to 5 crores for PG) expect more Indian students to go to China.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 16 Nov 2017 01:46

Yes saar I too have read about medical students but that still does not make a summer. That is why the willingness to shift to China vs the US from a "diverse background" will provide the clue.

Even as far back as 60s/70s/80s i.e. before 2008 GFC and before the IT revolution some westerners choose to call India their home but that does not change the facts that there were more Indians willing to migrate to west than westerners willing to migrate to India permanently. And that remains true even today.

Today, An Indian who chooses to park money outside India will move it to west rather than China. IF one understand whys of such a choice one will understand why Chinese currency is far from becoming a significant part of the global reserve stock as compared to say USD or Euro today or anytime in the near future.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 16 Nov 2017 02:10

Funny things,

1. Why is China holding the largest USD reserve in the world?
2. If the Chinese don't trust the USD or wanted to "teach US a lesson" and dump their USD holdings where would they go i.e. into which currency?
2a. Euro or Yen? After all they have to park their surplus into some asset.
2b. Perhaps they can buy BRICS currencies.
2c. Perhaps they can buy 100s of billions of hard assets like Gold / Silver/ Oil/ Coal / iron ore.

Does anyone see the problem?

Why does US not have the same problem i.e. of having to fund its enemy?
Can China emulate the US and get rid of the problem with reserves by making the reserves vanish? What will it mean for Chinese currency and its economy?

There is nothing called free lunch in the world as the Americans say. Every thing has a cost. Even a "reserve currency" status usage is with its own cost. The Chinese policy makers know that cost. Is China willing to pay that cost? I don't think so.

That is why US has the "Reserve Currency" and China has the "USD Reserves". Does anyone notice the connection? This is how economics work. Ponder on this last bit.

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Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 16 Nov 2017 03:49

China corruption could lead to Soviet-style collapse, graft buster says

BEIJING: China must step up its battle against corruption in order to safeguard against a Soviet-style collapse, the country’s second most senior graft buster said in an editorial on Wednesday.

Yang Xiaodu, the deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, who was promoted to the ruling Communist Party’s 25-strong Politburo last month, said failure would risk the “red country changing colour”. In unusually direct and strongly worded criticism of previous administrations, Yang said “in a previous period”, corruption had been allowed to fester to such an extent that the party’s leadership had weakened, with supervision soft, and ideology apathetic.

“It had developed to the point where if not rectified, the country could change colour,” Yang wrote in the official People’s Daily. “The future fate of the party and the country’s people could follow the same old road to ruin as the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc.”

President Xi Jinping, like many officials before him, is steeped in the party’s long-held belief that loosening control too quickly or even at all could lead to chaos and the break up of the country. The party regularly implores cadres to study the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

Yang’s editorial is the latest salvo signalling that the intensity of Xi’s signature war on corruption would not wane despite the departure of Xi’s right-hand man, Wang Qishan, who was widely seen as China’s second most powerful politician before being replaced as anti-corruption chief in a leadership reshuffle last month.

Wang’s replacement, Zhao Leji, wrote a similarly strongly worded editorial in the People’s Daily on Saturday. Yang said Xi’s anti-corruption achievements had been revolutionary in “turning the blade of the knife inward”.

But he said unhealthy pollutants within the party’s political ecosystem had yet to be completely cleansed, and the anti-corruption fight remained “grave and complex”. “There is no road for retreat, only forward in attack, and definitely no pause or relax,” Yang wrote.

China has plans for a national supervision law and a new commission next year to oversee the expansion of Xi’s graft fight. Yang, who is also minister of supervision, had been Wang’s deputy since 2014 and his promotion to the Politburo is seen as another display of the importance the central leadership attaches to fighting corruption.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Avtar Singh » 16 Nov 2017 04:06

many mistakes are made about the chinese relationship with the usd and their supposed hold on america vis a vis debt
we continuously hear how clever the chinese are, but the only thing clever about them is they understand the bind they are in
never underestimate the perfidery of the ASEs (anglo saxon elites)

there is an old saying;
when you owe the bank 10,000 it is your problem when you owe the bank 10,000,000 it is their problem
in this case the bank is china, the usd and us government debt/us treasuries that china holds is not americas problem but chinas
hence all this going around the world buying up everything they can/obor etc they want to be shot of those dollars..
but wait, there is more............

for the first time in the whitehouse is a man who really knows how to stick it to creditors
I am sure no one will believe me, class me as crazy.......
but just like they closed the gold window in the 70s, when push comes to shove
the americans will close the window on the dollar as we know it today.
The chinese understand they could be left as bag holders of worthless paper

american economy will continue, you want to participate....
here is the new dollar and people will have no choice but to take up the new dollar to participate,
yes perfidious they are the ASEs, you could call it the mother of all devaluations

whilst I am at it, china as a superpower, NAH

even nincompoops can become a superpower if they have the right geography,
whilst the greatest people on the planet will struggle to be a superpower if the geography is against them.

Britain had the advantage of being the most difficult to get at of all european countries,
see recent calais jungle/ww2. It could go about relatively un-molested..

this is getting really long..

usa can dominate pacific and atlantic/the world. With river systems into the oceans and coastlines built for ports
Russia cannot dominate pacific like america can and china is so hemmed in it struggles to dominate the south china sea.

Brazil cannot dominate north or south atlantic because elev at sao paulo is 3000 feet and drops in a cliff like manner at the coast
with the only big coastal river (i think) being the topical amazon basin. Coastline not built for ports.

India could dominate the Indian Ocean in a manner that no one could ever challenge

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2017 05:09

That's Demonitization American style.....

You are not crazy. I did tweet that same thin long ago.

Peregrine, I think Xi Jinping realized Corruption is the Achilles heel of China.
Recall right after Opium wars it was the corrupt governors who allowed Western traders right to sell opium.
And rest is history....

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 16 Nov 2017 05:51

ramana wrote:That's Demonitization American style.....

You are not crazy. I did tweet that same thin long ago.

Peregrine, I think Xi Jinping realized Corruption is the Achilles heel of China.
Recall right after Opium wars it was the corrupt governors who allowed Western traders right to sell opium.
And rest is history....
ramana Ji :

Eleven Gin Pegs realizing that Corruption is the Achilles heel of China is - for want of a better term - a Game Changer! Surely he has been aware of it all the time but only now hehas the power to take action about it.

However, what strikes me is that Terroristan has been kowtowing to the Mighty Chinese Emperor - for quite some time - has now the "temerity and gall" to withdraw its Diamer-Basha Dam Project from the ambit of Chinese Controlled Projects.

This leads me to think of what have the American Administration i.e Trump down to the minions PROMISED TERRORISTAN? How come this sudden steel in the Terroristani spine against its all time Higher the Himalayas etc. etc. Fliend suddenly gone out of flavour? The mind boggles! What are your thought? Do tell ramana Ji!

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2017 06:49

I saw that too in the CPEC thread.

Teeroristan is like Golum and please master that he thinks can benefit from.

You could be right something was promised and those talks and interlocutor in Kashmir could be linked to Golum behavior mod.

Lets watch for the good Haqqani and others whispering....

Is Daimer-Basha in POK?

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby vijaykarthik » 16 Nov 2017 07:22

Senior Chinese diplomat to visit North Korea as envoy of Xi
BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Chinese diplomat will visit North Korea from Friday as a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing said, although it did not say he was planning to discuss North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs.

China has repeatedly pushed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but in recent months has had only limited high-level exchanges with North Korea. The last time China’s special envoy for North Korea visited the country was in February last year.

In a brief dispatch, the official Xinhua news agency said Song Tao, who heads the ruling Communist Party’s external affairs department, would leave for North Korea on Friday.

He will “inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit the DPRK”, Xinhua said on Wednesday, using the North’s official name and referring to China’s recently concluded Communist Party Congress at which Xi further cemented his power.

North Korea’s KCNA news agency confirmed the visit, but said only that it would take place “soon”.

The trip will come just a week after U.S. President Donald Trump visited Beijing as part of a lengthy Asia tour, where he pressed for greater action to rein in North Korea, especially from China, with which North Korea does 90 percent of its trade.

It is not clear how long Song could stay, but he has already visited Vietnam and Laos to inform them of the results of the congress, a typical courtesy China extends other communist countries after such important meetings.

It is also unclear whether Song will meet North Korea’s youthful leader Kim Jong Un.

Song’s “main objective” in going to North Korea was to “report on the 19th Party Congress”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing, adding that it was routine for China and other socialist countries to have such exchanges after important party meetings.

The two countries would also “exchange opinions on matters of mutual concern” during the visit, Geng added.

He reiterated that China was committed to resolving the Korean nuclear issue peacefully through consultation.

Kim and Xi exchanged messages of congratulations and thanks over the Chinese party congress, but neither leader has visited the other’s country since assuming power.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north ... me=topNews

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby brvarsh » 16 Nov 2017 09:16

There was an interesting article in Times Of India that some Chinese Christians are replacing Jesus' picture with Xi's. Now this news is so good as it signals a beginning of demise of communism and turning China into a country whose leader is treated as a God.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Aditya_V » 16 Nov 2017 10:42

I am wondering whether the Chinese are doing assessment now with respect to viability of some of their BRI initiatives, Nepal pulling out of Budhi Gandaki, Pakistan pulling out of Chinese Investment in Diamer Bhasha dam, Chinese Company stopping a Electric transmission to Pakjab from Karachi.

These people are hardly the type to stand up to the Chinese, it is more like post Venezuela, Sri Lanka, the Chinese are temporarily evaluating the amount of credit they can be exposed and don't want to sitting on a pile of Bad debts.

And now that Chinese cash is dry the playing India Vs China card leaders in neighborhood are realizing that is China is not the Santa claus they all thought they would be.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby TKiran » 16 Nov 2017 11:55

^^^ corruption may not be Achilles heel for China in my opinion.

There's difference between greed and ambition. A greedy state can be ignored, as the greediness is going to lead to failure ultimately. Greediness has a reference point, for example, when a person sees another person (reference point) with a gaadi and bangalow, he wants to achieve that by hook or crook, means are almost always bad, such as gambling, etc,

It's a different story with ambition, for example, if the aim is to get rich (no reference point), the person continuously try to focus on available means, and if one approach fails, he will try another approach and failures do not matter, as long as there's steadfast effort to reach goal.

In personal life, greedy people are dangerous, as a greedy person can bringin harm to us, and by harming us, he feels that he has become more rich than us by bringing us down. It doesn't matter to a greedy person how pathetic his own condition is, as long as he sees us suffer. The ambitious person is always admired, as he focuses on his own upliftment unmindful of his environment.

It's reverse for the states. A greedy state such as Terroristan, has an aim of India as it's reference point. They usually stew in their own juices and any harm they do to India are only pin-pricks.


But ambitious states are very dangerous, for example China has a fear that India has strategic geographic advantage in Tibet, they will continuously try to weaken that advantage, say for example, they may try having roads very close to Doklam or Tawang, and when they see it's not working, they will change the track and come up with CPEC, diversion of water from Tibet or support Pakistan in its nefarious designs to harm India and keep their hands clean of blood etc.

These projects seem unviable, uneconomical, impossible etc, but it's not so.

A greedy person can be bribed, similarly a greedy state can be bribed, but an ambitious person cannot be bribed, and also an ambitious state can't be bribed.

Who knows if there was a hidden hand of India in bribing some elements of pakis to reject some projects of CPEC, but same thing can't be done with China.

Even after we make CPEC fail, the theatre will shift to Indian ocean. But make CPEC fail we must, as it's directly violating our sovereignty. And it's urgent as TIME is "luxury" for us, whereas fast completion of CPEC is "necessity" for China.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby ashish raval » 16 Nov 2017 12:28

Aditya_V wrote:I am wondering whether the Chinese are doing assessment now with respect to viability of some of their BRI initiatives, Nepal pulling out of Budhi Gandaki, Pakistan pulling out of Chinese Investment in Diamer Bhasha dam, Chinese Company stopping a Electric transmission to Pakjab from Karachi.

These people are hardly the type to stand up to the Chinese, it is more like post Venezuela, Sri Lanka, the Chinese are temporarily evaluating the amount of credit they can be exposed and don't want to sitting on a pile of Bad debts.

And now that Chinese cash is dry the playing India Vs China card leaders in neighborhood are realising that is China is not the Santa claus they all thought they would be.



Agree here. Long time back, I made this moot point of financial viability of entire BRI and the amount of credit risk that Chinese companies will be exposed to without substantial and sustainable returns. Apart from this many of these roads are going through areas that are vulnerable to terrorist attacks and independence movement and once you built the silk road this will only intensity because everyone wants share of that pie. This is what happened in the history along the entire silk road. Someone in their government has realised how it's going to be three times more expensive maintaining those roads without substantial revenues from bhikhari nations (read Pakistan) and it's going to be white elephant and vanity project. It will turn out to be for sure atleast the section going to west of China and see pac.

Empire building does not working 21 century and eleven should forget about it. There are just too many factors of instability now than there were just 100 years back.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby chola » 16 Nov 2017 12:42

^^^ The problem is that it is not seen as empire building by those who sign up for it — Pakiland, Iran, Greece, etc.

Remember Cheen is mercantile. It is not respected as a military power like the US, USSR or the old British Empire Cheen shopkeepers and traders don’t fight. So if you decide to not pay the lizard back, there is little the reptile can do — except not give you future loans or investments.

But this SYRE reputation might work in the PRC’s favor. Both Cheen and OBOR client going into these arrangement knowing full well that default is possible with gunboats and violence ala the old Euro empires. This is the only reason why all those countries signed up for this.

For some reason, we think Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, etc. are stupidly and innocently rushing into Cheen’s trap while we know from our own interactions with them that they are every bit as devious as the chinis themselves.

No, I don’t believe those nations suddenly turn pure and innocent when in the Lizard’s hypnotic gaze. And that’s where danger lies. Both sides know what they are getting into and because of that, they might actually try to make their piece of OBOR work for them.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 16 Nov 2017 12:57

Cmdr. Uday Bhaskar's lament is justified and needs to be addressed by GoI

Strangely forgotten: on Rezang La - C.Uday Bhaskar, The Hindu
A recent visit to a school in Dehradun to participate in a military history seminar drew attention again to the tenacious Indian indifference to history in general and recent military history in particular.

My panel was on the India-China relationship and the temporal review was from the traumatic border war of October-November 1962 to the more recent face-off at Doklam. A brief conversation with the students and the teachers highlighted one of the abiding omissions in the Indian school curriculum — the near total absence of recent Indian military history. Recall, if any, is through Bollywood!

No recall

Various reasons were advanced for such omission but one major gap is the lack of an adequate body of work by way of well-researched books by professional Indian historians that could have been distilled for school children. A wry observation is that there are more books on the 1857 War for Independence (aka the Sepoy Mutiny in the British discourse) than the wars the Indian military was compelled to engage in after August 1947.

The 1962 border war with China receives episodic attention and it remains a traumatic memory for the Indian collective. This year marks the 55th anniversary of that chapter of national history, and the lack of public debate on it is depressing. The brief war has a boiler-plate Indian narrative to it that has acquired an inflexible index of certitude, wherein China is the aggressor and India the hapless victim. The Chinese narrative has its own contour, dwelling in the main on Indian perfidy and the arrogance of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Emotive nationalism has rendered the narratives on both sides more sacred and, equally, more brittle with every passing year.

The younger generation in India, that is those born after 1980, may not even recall the border war with China except in a hazy manner. However, it merits recall that those responsible for national security at the highest level in government proved to be inept, ignorant and arrogant in the defence management of the country. Nehru was broken by this episode, unable to come to terms with what had transpired. This is evidenced in the manner that the Henderson-Brooks report undertaken by the Army was not tabled in Parliament — in fact, it has still not been declassified.

The more unsavoury part of the history of the 1962 war was the role played by then Defence Minister, Krishna Menon, and his acolytes in the Army, led by Lt. General B.M. Kaul. But there is another aspect to the recall of the war and that is the forgotten heroism and gallantry of the Indian soldier in the face of extreme adversity.

Anecdotal fragments from that war refer to the grim and unpardonable reality of the Indian soldier, poorly clad in the cold and harsh terrain, marching up the icy heights of the Himalayas with ancient .303 rifles to face a much better equipped Chinese army.

Heroism at Rezang La

Despite such deficiencies, from Nathu La in 1962 to Kargil in 1999, the Indian soldier has remained stoic and steadfast in his commitment. Specific to the 1962 war, there were many acts of gallantry of the highest order, and regrettably they are little remembered today. One battle often recalled by professionals is that fought by a company of 13 Kumaon at Rezang La in the Ladakh region on November 18, 1962. Gallantry in battle cannot be meaningfully quantified, much less compared but the odds were against the 123 men led by Major Shaitan Singh and all but 14 died, rifle in hand, in battle position as the Chinese overwhelmed them. Their bodies were discovered only in January 1963 by a local shepherd, and it was then that the texture of their indomitable heroism became discernible.

Independent India has faced many challenges to national security and territorial integrity, beginning with the war for Kashmir in October 1947 and through the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008. The need to introduce an appropriate capsule in the school curriculum should need little reiteration, but it has remained elusive for more than half a century. Can this project begin now?

C. Uday Bhaskar, a retired Commodore, is Director, Society for Policy Studies, New Delhi

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby vijaykarthik » 16 Nov 2017 13:46

Continuing on my earlier theme: it does look like Trump has taken the news to China head on. Atleast the signs of action seem to point in the direction.

Donald Trump again urges halting North Korea’s nuclear programme through ‘maximum pressure’
US president, speaking after a 12-day tour of Asia, also hinted at punitive measures against America’s trading partners in the region

US President Donald Trump reiterated his administration’s goal to denuclearise North Korea through a campaign of “maximum pressure” and hinted at punitive measures against trading partners in Asia.

“We have to denuclearise North Korea. We have ended the failed strategy of strategic patience and as a result we have already seen important progress including tough new sanctions from the UN [Security] Council,” Trump said a day after returning from Asia. “We made it clear [in China] that all options remain on the table” to force Pyongyang to end its nuclear weapons programme.”
The hardline comments on North Korea underscored Trump’s top priority on his 12-day trip, during which he put efforts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme on top of his agenda in talks with China’s President Xi Jinping, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.


Amid negotiations with Xi, Trump’s insistence on action against Pyongyang may have helped spur China to send an envoy to North Korea, said Orville Schell, director of the Asia Society’s Centre on US-China Relations in New York.
US President Donald Trump pictured on Sunday during his visit to Vietnam. Photo: Associated Press
Song Tao, the head of the Communist Party’s international liaison department, will visit Pyongyang as a special envoy of President Xi Jinping, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
“You do have to ask, in Beijing what finally did [Trump] finally get? We don’t know everything that was talked about, whether something may have been discussed, and this trip by Song Tao would be a result of some of the things they talked about in Beijing,” Schell said in a panel discussion in New York.


Emphasising the goal of denuclearisation multiple times, Trump repeated positions that have caused friction with China, including the expansion of a US missile defence system in South Korea and a rejection of a “freeze-for-freeze” agreement whereby the US would scale back joint military exercises with the country around the Korean peninsula.
“The United States welcomed the decision of Moon to remove the payload restrictions on missiles to combat the North Korean threat and together we reaffirmed our commitment to a campaign of maximum pressure,” Trump said.
The US president added that he was aiming to reduce his country’s “staggering trade deficit with China” and, later in his speech from the White House, threatened “trade action” to cut the country’s trade deficit. At about US$350 billion, China has the largest trade surplus with the US.

Tough talk on the deficit may signal greater confrontation between Trump’s administration and China.
“We will never again turn a blind eye to trading abuses, to cheating, economic aggression or anything else from countries that profess a belief in open trade but do not follow the rules,” said Trump. “We will take every trade action necessary to achieve the fair and reciprocal treatment that the United States has offered the world for decades.”

Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said at the Asia Society panel discussion: “Many people, including the president, continue to talk about what they refer to as China’s predatory trade practices and there are people … who are doing work studying the ways in which China is pursing its economic interests at the expense of the United States.
“I believe we are going to see trade actions by the US against China,” Glaser added.
Other comments Trump made in his White House speech referred to commitments with Australia, Japan and India to guarantee navigation rights in the Asia-Pacific region.
Trump said “we made it clear [at an Asean summit] that no one owns the ocean”, the president said. “Freedom of navigation and overflight are critical to the security and prosperity of all nations.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies ... Isdrjuah9f

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 16 Nov 2017 15:33

ramana wrote:I saw that too in the CPEC thread.

Teeroristan is like Golum and please master that he thinks can benefit from.

You could be right something was promised and those talks and interlocutor in Kashmir could be linked to Golum behavior mod.

Lets watch for the good Haqqani and others whispering....

Is Daimer-Basha in POK?
ramana Ji :

Daimer-Bhasha Dam - 35°32′30.64″N 73°36′25.98″E - is in Gilgit-Baltistan.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Bart S » 16 Nov 2017 17:20

Peregrine wrote:
ramana wrote:That's Demonitization American style.....

You are not crazy. I did tweet that same thin long ago.

Peregrine, I think Xi Jinping realized Corruption is the Achilles heel of China.
Recall right after Opium wars it was the corrupt governors who allowed Western traders right to sell opium.
And rest is history....
ramana Ji :

Eleven Gin Pegs realizing that Corruption is the Achilles heel of China is - for want of a better term - a Game Changer! Surely he has been aware of it all the time but only now hehas the power to take action about it.

However, what strikes me is that Terroristan has been kowtowing to the Mighty Chinese Emperor - for quite some time - has now the "temerity and gall" to withdraw its Diamer-Basha Dam Project from the ambit of Chinese Controlled Projects.

This leads me to think of what have the American Administration i.e Trump down to the minions PROMISED TERRORISTAN? How come this sudden steel in the Terroristani spine against its all time Higher the Himalayas etc. etc. Fliend suddenly gone out of flavour? The mind boggles! What are your thought? Do tell ramana Ji!

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I think Diamer Basha being 'turned down' comes more from the Chinese (might be the Chinese company and not necessarily the govt) than the Pakistanis, though the declaration comes from the latter. The Chinese put in tough conditions (for Pakistanis that is, not for normal people) that effectively meant that the Pakistanis would have to pay for it and keep paying for the output (with guarantees in place), and there is no way that the Pakistanis can afford that, even if they want to.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby vijaykarthik » 16 Nov 2017 21:11

^ in the case of China, Chinese company vs Chinese country ambition really blurs in cases where the company does work on something as important as OBOR / CPEC etc. I would rather go one step ahead and mention that its virtually impossible for the company to do its own bidding if that flies in the face of the Chinese overall aspiration.

By deduction: it can't be that the Chinese called this off.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Nov 2017 00:54

Outreach to ASEAN by India needed to contain China ("assure regional stability").
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/t ... 492654.ece

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Suraj » 17 Nov 2017 01:48

ramana wrote:That's Demonitization American style.....

You are not crazy. I did tweet that same thin long ago.

Peregrine, I think Xi Jinping realized Corruption is the Achilles heel of China.
Recall right after Opium wars it was the corrupt governors who allowed Western traders right to sell opium.
And rest is history....

Identifying corruption is easy. Dealing with it administratively in a manner that doesn't simply cause the system to rise up and depose the guy striking down against it, is quite something else. There are plenty of passages within Chinese history itself, of a leader trying to corral corruption only to end up dead in a revolt somehow. The Red Guards arguably were agents of intellectual corruption, and even Mao at his height of power arguably lacked sufficient control over them.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 17 Nov 2017 12:10

Will Quad fly? The answer is in Beijing - Ravi Velloor, Straits Times

An excellent piece by Ravi Velloor.

Amid all the hectivities surrounding the Asean and East Asia summit meetings this week in Manila, another gathering in the Philippines capital that took place on the sidelines did not quite get the notice it probably deserves.

Two days before the Asean Summit, senior officials from the United States, Japan, Australia and India sat down for talks aimed at, in their words, keeping the Indo-Pacific region "free, open and inclusive". With this, the so-called Quad, short for Quadrilateral Dialogue, got a renewed lease of life. Should it gather momentum, Asia's security landscape could be altered for the next 100 years.

The first iteration of the Quad did not last long, perhaps because when it was mooted by Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe a decade ago during his all-too-brief first term, it was an idea whose time was yet to come. The uncharismatic Hu Jintao was still China's president and Beijing hadn't yet proclaimed its controversial nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. India, always leery of needling China, particularly during the Manmohan Singh years, was a half-hearted participant.

Still, the first Quad meeting rattled China, which openly criticised the formation. In the event, the Quad was effectively killed in 2008 when then Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, standing next to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, announced Canberra's withdrawal from the group.

A decade on, the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape has changed significantly. Beijing lost its fear of the US during the Barack Obama years when, eager to get China onside for his climate change deal, the 44th US President turned a blind eye to its increasingly assertive behaviour and island building in the South China Sea. The result has been that where it once chafed at excessive US surveillance in its backyard, China now confidently fixes its gaze a long way afield, asserting that the Pacific Ocean is "big enough for both China and the US" and setting up its first overseas military base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.

Today, President Xi Jinping handles current US President Donald Trump with far more aplomb than does Mr Abe, a formal US ally. He can do so because China has secured its backyard, building where it wants in the South China Sea, installing radar and other military equipment, scaring off Vietnam from prospecting for oil within its exclusive economic zone and pressuring South Korea to bend to his will. Meanwhile, other long-time US allies in the region, such as the Philippines and Thailand, are redoing their sums.

China has also taken on the more powerful in Asia, intensifying its patrols in the waters around Japan, bothering Tokyo. On the other side of the map, with India, it has consistently shifted the goalposts in border negotiations and ignored New Delhi's sensitivities on the economic corridor it is building with Pakistan in disputed territory.

The two-month-long stand-off with India over the Doklam trijunction with Bhutan earlier this year, which came perilously close to open skirmishes between the two Asian giants, was a direct result of facts on the ground being sought to be altered to its advantage. Indeed, China is so used to having its way that the swift and forceful Indian response seemed to have taken it by surprise.

All this is causing concern not just in Asia but also around the world, including Washington and several European capitals. US assessment of Chinese behaviour was expressed unambiguously by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a major foreign policy speech last month when he plainly stated that "China's provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge international law and norms". Tellingly, Mr Tillerson went on to say that the US "will not shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order".

The response to China's new strategic profile has been in the making for a while and its contours are now within view.

Fully aware that this juggernaut can be checked only by the US acting with two Asian nations - Japan and, to an extent, India - there have been attempts to fuse the two strategically. Mr Abe, his economy long ago pushed to second place by a surging China, and fearful of further marginalisation on the Asian landscape, has been a leading player, his political durability lending him added confidence as he goes about his mission.


While he has sought to make the constitutional changes at home that would allow Japan to have a regular military, fight overseas and come to the aid of an ally, he has assiduously sought to build a coalition of democracies with values that stand in open contrast to China's unilateralism, politically, economically and militarily. In all this, he has enthusiastically gone along with US attempts to bookend the Asia-Pacific with itself at one end and India, the dominant Indian Ocean power, at the other. Japan is now a firm participant in the annual Malabar exercises that the US conducts with India. This year, it sent the carrier Izumo to war games with Indian and US carriers in the Bay of Bengal.

This is where the Quad, which adds Australia, enters the frame. The US stoutly backs its presence, seeing Australia as a potentially significant naval power and a nation that has fought alongside it in every significant military campaign since the 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea. Mr Abe, too, enthusiastically endorses an Australian role. New Delhi, it seems, has shelved its reservations about Canberra. Hence, the Quad meeting in Manila.

Separately, the US Pacific Command has in recent years made dramatic semantic adjustments to the landscape in addition to the continuing military rebalance.

For the past four years, it has been referring to the "Indo-Asia-Pacific", a term it subsequently shortened to "Indo-Pacific". More recently, top US officials, including Mr Trump, have repeated that phrase ad nauseam, which is rather surprising given that this president is usually so allergic to the smallest holdover from the Obama days.

But the Indo-Pacific coinage, and the push to keep it "free and open" - the stated aim of the Quad - is part of the larger plan. The US is signalling to China that it is not the only game in Asia, only a part of it, no matter how powerful. At the same time, it is also an undisguised ploy to stoke Indian vanities and nudge New Delhi to shift away from its centrist instincts in foreign policy and towards a more committed relationship favouring the US and Japan.

This process has been going on for a bit. As its own fear of China grew, the US has been building up India as a counter within Asia, giving it access to ever more sophisticated defence technology, particularly in the sea control domain, and weaning it away from its traditional dependence on Russia for weapons.

India was the first military outside the US to get the P8i Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft and recently agreed to buy Predator "Guardian" unmanned aerial vehicles, also for maritime use. A White House read-out of a meeting between Mr Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Manila said they "pledged to enhance their cooperation as major defence partners, resolving that two of the world's great democracies should also have the world's greatest militaries".

To the credit of the Indians, whose moods tend to swing from excessive elation to dark despair, they have lately shown little thrill at being thus flattered. It is for this reason that unlike in 2005, when Indians thrilled at then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying the US would help India become "a major power in the 21st century", the reactions have been more muted, its steps carefully nuanced.

Indeed, a close reading of the statements put out by the four Quad nations after their first meeting shows that the Indians alone avoided mentioning issues like freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for international law, and the North Korean question - issues sensitive to China. Instead, they framed their participation as part of Mr Modi's Act East policy, "the cornerstone of engagement with the Asia-Pacific region".

And next month, India will host the foreign ministers of China and Russia for a trilateral meeting.

Still, there are indications that Mr Modi may be ready to put more muscle on the bones of that Act East policy.

One tiny indication is that he has accepted Singapore's invitation to participate in next year's Shangri-La Dialogue, the region's premier annual meeting of regional military and security chiefs, organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

In recent years, India had chosen to keep a low profile at these meetings, not wishing to show its hand more than it needs to. Mr Modi's appearance, therefore, could electrify things.


Aside from Indian reluctance to call out China unless it is compelled to, factors other than the omission of a joint statement from Manila suggest that the Quad is unlikely to evolve too fast, or dramatically.

Economic ties with China have become so deep that the US, Japan and Australia cannot afford an adversarial relationship with it. Rather than get into a gang fight, therefore, what all Quad nations really expect of China is better behaviour and respect for each member's sensitivities.

South-east Asia, weary of China's relentless pressure, may take comfort in seeing the regional overlord corralled one way or the other. But a successful Quad would marginalise Asean and rather than its much cherished centrality, leave the grouping in the unwelcome position of being the stuffing in a less than wholesome sandwich.

Ultimately, how the Quad shapes will probably be determined not in Washington, Tokyo, Canberra and New Delhi but in Beijing. It is in China's interest, therefore, to moderate its own behaviour in a manner that reduces the impetus for an "Asian Nato" to rise around it.


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