India has reasons to be be wary of China
Subtle and not so subtle changes in the balance of power equation have been taking place in the last few years. The growing power of China and India are a very big cause.
Quoting from the Australian
The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced “trilateral” security arrangements, locking together the three most powerful democracies of the Asia-Pacific region.
A blogger friend of mine told me that this was all over the news in Australia but I did not read about it anywhere in the Indian newspapers. But I think this news is very significant, even if nothing has actually happened until now. The United States believes that India can help balance the power equation in Asia and is pushing for India to join this trilateral arrangement
India’s military power, economic growth and geographic position would significantly offset China’s emerging power, which is of concern to many in the Bush administration.
Apparently, the US and Japan are both keen on this alignment. But what about Australia? Well, now that a historic security declaration between Japan and Australia has been signed, security, intelligence and military relations are at the highest level they have been since World War II! Clearly Australia is well aware of the threat from China’s growing power.
From India’s viewpoint, a trilateral of arrangement of this sort is just what the doctor ordered. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if India herself has been working behind the scenes to persuade the US to push for this. But what is China doing that is a cause of worry for India? It’s not just because the United States feels so.
China has made references to Arunachal Pradesh being a part of China. Remember that visit of Chinese premier in April 2005? Then, and even as recently as in late 2006, China said that it did not consider Arunachal Pradesh as Indian Territory. The Wiki has explained it in more detail.
Also, China does not support India’s claims on Kashmir and ofcourse, not on Sikkim either.
And even more dangerous, China continues to supply missiles to Pakistan, although this has been hotly denied. However, the Americans say that they have the evidence. Pakistan is not the only country China is building bridges with. It has defence agreements with Nepal, Myanmar, and Bangladesh as well!
There’s more. China is helping Pakistan build Gwadar port as a base for its navy, although now there seem to be some disagreements over the finances. China is lending a hand to Sri Lanka as well. It has just signed an initial agreement worth US$360 million for the constructing the Hambantota harbour in Sri Lanka.
China has also reportedly established a signals intelligence on the Cocos Islands, 30 nautical miles from the Andamans, to “monitor Indian missile test firings from the eastern Orissa coast: an activity that has proliferated since its 1998 nuclear tests.”
Then there are those in this country’s political establishment who firmly believe that China clandestinely supports secessionist movements in the north-east of India, although ofcourse no solid proof has been found.
The wise men of Delhi are also worried that China has upped it’s defence budget this year by as much as 18 percent! Its staring at us in the face. China has surrounded India.
The Chinese are ofcourse simply making sure that they remain supreme in Asia and India is a strong contender to the position. Besides this, India has given China some sleepless nights over the Dalai Lama and Tibet.
The United States is as worried about China as India is. Er…no, I think much more. China is getting far too powerful, not just militarily but also economically. Goldman Sachs has predicted that China will overtake the United States economically by 2039. A pretty scary prospect for the US huh? And for us too. We are surrounded on three sides by hostile countries. Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. Its time we pushed harder and got ourselves into this security triumverate.
(Photo sourced from the bbc)
Related Reading: China lays claim to-Arunachal Pradesh