Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

20 July 2017

*** The India-China War of 1962 and its Political After-Life


India-China relations require a fundamental reset and a new scholarly book provides a useful, if indirect, contribution to how we think about the relationship. 

Amit Das Gupta and Lorenz Lüthi’s The Sino-Indian War of 1962: New Perspectives is a most topical and useful book for two reasons: For one, it revisits a topic that has been relatively neglected in recent Indian scholarship using archival and other material that have become available in the last two decades. With access to (some) Chinese and to Russian/Soviet archives, and to the archives and memoirs of actors in other states, it is now possible to widen the lens from speculation about Indian and Chinese motives, and to attempt a clearer picture of what led to the war, its international context and its aftermath. 

The other reason is that it helps us to understand better how such a brief and limited conflict, in the military sense, had such immense political and other consequences. 

As we know, the political after-life of the conflict, and its continuing effect on Indian thinking and behaviour, has only now begun to be studied and analysed. By getting an international group of younger scholars to examine various aspects of the war and its effects, the editors have done us and scholarship on the war a great service. Coming when India-China relations are in flux and require a fundamental reset – indeed when world politics itself is undergoing a fundamental reset – this is a useful, if indirect, contribution to how we think about India-China’s relationship, which arguably could be the one that most affects our nation’s success in transforming itself. 

*** China’s Bhutan land grab aims at bigger target

China honed its “salami slicing” strategy in the Himalayan borderlands with India in the 1950s, when it grabbed the Switzerland-sized Aksai Chin plateau by surreptitiously building a strategic highway through that unguarded region. Aksai Chin, part of the original princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, has since provided China with the only passageway between its rebellious regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

Now, the attempt by the People’s Liberation Army to replicate its seizure of Aksai Chin by building a military road through the Doklam plateau of tiny Bhutan has triggered one of the most serious troop standoffs in years between China and India, which is a guarantor of Bhutanese security.


Ashok K Mehta 

The immediate task is to defuse the stand-off at Doklam. It may require External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meeting her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to untie the knot

More than a month after the standoff at Doklam, the reading of tea leaves by India and China is different. The latest statements by Xinhua last Saturday said quite a bit: In sum, there is no room for talks till Indian troops who illegally trespassed, withdraw first; there can be no compromise on territorial and sovereignty issues; Doklam is not like previous issues as trespass into Chinese territory across a mutually recognised border line is different from frictions that happened in undefined sections of the boundary; India has lied that it sent troops to help Bhutan but there was no invitation from Bhutan; India will face embarrassment as the situation could get worse.

A live fire exercise involving 5,000 troops was held in Tibet opposite Arunachal Pradesh recently. This could be the escalating psywar and mindgames being played, but it also has a message that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is ready for any contingency. Meanwhile, China has briefed foreign diplomats in Beijing on Doklam, saying its troops are waiting patiently but not indefinitely. Conspicuously Beijing has ignored contents of Bhutan’s demarche and India’s Press release. 

Beyond Doklam Standoff, How India Can Trump China On Economic Front

India and China are not only neighbours but also rivals. They jostle with one another along the borders in three sectors, over support to Pakistan and terror outfits, in taking global leadership roles on critical issues, over NSG membership, as military powers, as regional leaders, over Nepal and of course, Doklam plateau of Bhutan.

India and China together are home to little less than 37 per cent population of the world and thus are centres of future. They are the biggest emerging powers of the world.

China has achieved more progress and prosperity over the last two-three decades by increasing public investment in its manufacturing industries. India is in catching up game right now, but there are indications that the tide is turning against China and in favour of India.


For better part of the last three decades, China has grown at the fastest rate among big economies. India’s growth rates were dwarfed by the Chinese. The economy of China is about five times bigger than that of India.

China achieved this growth riding on the back of massive investment in urban based manufacturing and infrastructure. The manufacturing infrastructure of China has now reached a point of diminishing returns. There are several reports about crisis in manufacturing sector in China.

China to Trim Its Army: What Does It Mean for India and the Region?

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The PLA will increase the numbers of other services, including navy and missile forces, the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, reported.

"The old military structure, where the army accounts for the vast majority, will be replaced after the reform. The reform is based on China's strategic goals and security requirements. In the past, the PLA focused on ground battle and homeland defence, which will undergo fundamental changes," the report said.

"This is the first time that active PLA army personnel would be reduced to below one million," it added.

The report said the number of troops in the PLA Navy, PLA Strategic Support Force and the PLA Rocket Force will be increased, while the PLA Air Force's active service personnel will remain the same.

The PLA Army had about 850,000 combat troops in 2013, according to the Ministry of Defence data.

The PLA Daily article also said that China's interests are spread around the globe and needed to be protected.



As China and India find themselves in the middle of yet another military standoffin the high Himalayas, their age-old border problem is back on the boil. Or so it would seem. The underlying causes of the current round of hostilities, which broke out last month in the tri-junction of Sikkim, Tibet and Bhutan where China was building a road, run much deeper and are rooted in the deeper churning in the region as a result of the simultaneous rise of two great and proud peoples.

For much of the 60 years that followed the emergence in the late 1940s of China and India from century-long periods of foreign domination, China remained a bit player in the South Asian-Indian Ocean region (SA-IOR). The tyranny of distance imposed on China by the length between its east coast centres of power and the Indian subcontinent combined with the forbidding terrain of the Tibetan plateau and associated mountain ranges separating China and India helped India hedge against China’s thrusts into the region.

A key player in China and the EU's 'third industrial revolution' describes the economy of tomorrow


Jeremy Rifkin is an adviser to the EU leadership and that of the People's Republic of China. He was an adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the third industrial revolution.

He is a principal architect of the EU's long-term third industrial revolution economic vision called Smart Europe and is advising the European Commission on the deployment of the plan across the continent. Rifkin is also a principal architect of China's third industrial revolution vision and an adviser to government agencies on the deployment of the China Internet Plus transformation underway in the 13th Five-Year Plan.

Rifkin is president of the TIR Consulting Group, which works with regions across Europe to conceptualize, build out, and scale third industrial revolution infrastructure. He is also a lecturer at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program.

Business Insider spoke with Rifkin about the challenges and opportunities associated with the "third industrial revolution ," energy, and the sharing economy.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Graham Rapier assisted with reporting.

19 July 2017

‘Get Used To It’: China Tells Neighbors Bombers Will Be Flying Past On The Regular


A Chinese military plane H-6 bomber flies through airspace between Okinawa prefecture's main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan, out over the Pacific, in this handout photo taken October 27, 2013 by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Japanese troops on Sunday that Japan would not tolerate the use of force to change the region's status quo, comments likely to rile Beijing which is locked in a long and bitter territorial dispute with Tokyo. In the latest sign of tensions between the region's two heavyweights, Japan on Sunday scrambled fighter jets after two Chinese bombers and two airborne early warning planes flew near Japan's southern islands into the Pacific and then back into the East China Sea. No violation of Japanese airspace took place. REUTERS/Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout via Reuters∧

China told Japan on Friday that it can expect Chinese bombers flying past regularly.

A formation of Chinese H-6 bombers flew through the Miyako Strait Thursday during a training exercise which the Japanese defense ministry characterized as “unusual.” The Chinese military, both the navy and the air force, has been pushing farther into the Western Pacific in recent months to expand China’s military power.

Why China Is Trimming Its Army

By Adam Ni

The latest cuts to the PLA Army will help make China’s military a leaner, more modern force. 

On July 11, the official media outlet of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China’s armed forces, announced that it will rebalance the two million-strong force by downsizing its army while boosting its navy, missile force, and strategic support force.

According to the PLA Daily, the mouthpiece of the military, the number of PLA Army personnel will be reduced to below one million for the first time in its history. “[T]he old military structure, where the army accounts for the vast majority, will be replaced after the reform,” the announcement said. It added that the PLA Navy, Rocket Force, and Strategic Support Force will see an increase in personnel, while the Air Force’s active service personnel will stay the same.

China’s Ministry of National Defense figures show that the Army had about 850,000 combat troops in 2013. It is unclear exactly how many troops will be cut from the Army given the lack of official data on the total strength of PLA ground forces.

Russia, China undermining U.S.

Source Link
By Bill Gertz
Russia and China are working against the United States around the world, according to a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report.

“Moscow and Beijing share a common interest in weakening U.S. global influence and are actively cooperating in that regard,” the DIA’s first annual report on Russian military power says.

The military intelligence agency stated in the report made public last month that defense cooperation between Russia and China is slowly expanding along with economic ties. Russian officials, according to the report, frequently praise Russia’s ties with China, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Beijing-Moscow ties are the closest in a decade.

“In fact, the Russian National Security Strategy lists developing a strategic partnership with China as one of Russia’s most important goals,” the report said.

Some in Russia, the DIA report noted, are concerned that the growing power disparity between the two countries and China’s increasing clout will render Russia a “junior partner” to the Chinese.

18 July 2017

Doklam standoff: Why China wants India to stop defending Bhutan

Prabhash K Dutta

The site of ongoing standoff in Doklam area lies on the Bhutan-China border and India is in the picture only due to its security arrangement with Thimphu.

With both India and China refusing to back off from Doklam area in Bhutan, the stand-off between the two armies is nowhere near its end. India and China have mobilised their troops in thousands in the region to put pressure on the other side.

The site of ongoing standoff in Doklam area lies on the Bhutan-China border and India is in the picture only due to its security arrangement with Thimphu. Bhutan, after issuing demarche to China, requested the Indian Army to help in checking Chinese incursion in the area in the name of road construction.

Bhutan is the only neighbour of China which does not have a diplomatic relation with Beijing. China has been a bully to Bhutan forcing it to make concessions in its territorial jurisdiction. The root cause of the present military tension between India and China lies in the border disputes between Bhutan and China.


Bhutan shares about 470 km-long boundary with China in the west and north while India surrounds Bhutan for 605 km in the east, south and west. China has overlapping claims on or along Bhutan border in seven pockets including the one along Arunachal Pradesh-Bhutan border near Tawang.

Blocked At Doklam, What Will China Do Next? India Needs To Be Ready On Many Fronts

R Jagannathan

India does have some levers against China, especially in trade, but before we use them, we need to be ready for Chinese mischief elsewhere.

We should brace for impact in four areas.

In the ongoing standoff between India and China at the Doklam Plateau near the Bhutan-Sikkim-Tibet trijunction, Indian troops have the edge in this specific geography. The Chinese are breathing fire and threatening war because the Indian army holds the high ground, and any actual military adventure will involve a huge loss of Chinese lives.

However, it is important for India to consider what else the Chinese may try to cause us damage, either for real or to reputation, since India seems unlikely to blink on Doklam. India considers domination of this area vital to security. If the Chinese occupy and control Doklam, their artillery can threaten the Siliguri corridor which connects India to the north-east.

To outthink the Chinese, we thus need to consider what else they may do to maintain their aggressive line, and to put us on the backfoot. We also need to consider our options for retaliation.

Like last year, when a citizen boycott against Chinese goods was gaining ground after it vetoed the declaration of Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the UN Security Council, this time too there are suggestions that mass resistance should be organised against imports from that country.

Can China and America avoid war?

Dominic Cummings

Every day on his way to work at Harvard, Professor Allison wondered how the reconstruction of the bridge over Boston’s Charles River could take years while in China bigger bridges are replaced in days. His book tells the extraordinary story of China’s transformation since Deng abandoned Mao’s catastrophic Stalinism, and considers whether the story will end in war between China and America.

China erects skyscrapers in weeks while Parliament delays Heathrow expansion for over a decade. The EU discusses dumb rules made 60 years ago while China produces a Greece-sized economy every 16 weeks. China’s economy doubles roughly every seven years; it is already the size of America’s and will likely dwarf it in 20 years. More serious than Europe, it invests this growth in education and technology from genetic engineering to artificial intelligence.

Allison analyses the formidable President Xi, who has known real suffering and is very different to western leaders obsessed with the frivolous spin cycles of domestic politics. Xi’s goal is to ensure that China’s renaissance returns it to its position as the richest, strongest and most advanced culture on earth. Allison asks: will the US-China relationship repeat the dynamics between Athens and Sparta that led to war in 431 bc or might it resemble the story of the British-American alliance in the 20th century?

Dealing with China

The traditional Chinese model of international relations. Image: Wikimedia Commons/PhiLiP/Kanbun.

The standoff between Indian and Chinese troops on some remote Himalayan slopes on their common frontiers with Bhutan is like a good bowl of pepper rasam, tom-yum soup or shot of wasabi. It serves to clear our physical and mental channels.

China is competing with the United States for nothing short of global primacy. It already wants everyone to acknowledge its dominance.

One of our foremost experts feels that Xi Jinping wants China to “arrive” as early as 2020. At such a moment in history, India’s interests are best served by being a “swing power” — pursuing better bilateral relations with the big two than they have with each other, and swinging our support from one to the other depending on where our interests lie. This can’t be had for the asking — we need to cultivate the capacity to inflict pleasure and pain on both the United States and China.

China’s Uighur Muslims Struggle Under ‘Police State’

Beijing says the restrictions and heavy police presence seek to control the spread of Islamic extremism and separatist movements, but analysts warn that Xinjiang is becoming an open air prison.

WORSHIPPERS quietly passed through metal detectors as they entered the central mosque in China’s far western city of Kashgar under the stern gaze of stone-faced police officers.

The increasingly strict curbs imposed on the mostly Muslim Uighur population have stifled life in the tense Xinjiang region, where beards are partially banned and no one is allowed to pray in public.

For years, the square outside the mosque in Kashgar was packed with teeming crowds as worshippers jostled for space to unroll their prayer rugs and celebrate the end of Ramazan. But no longer.

This year, an eerie silence hung over the plaza outside the imposing prayer hall as devotees gathered to mark the end of a month of fasting ─ the lowest turnout in a generation according to residents.

17 July 2017

*** How to Stop China's Maritime Advance

The South China Sea is fast becoming the world’s most important waterway. As the main corridor between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the sea carries one-third of global maritime trade, worth over $5 trillion, each year, $1.2 trillion of it going to or from the United States. The sea’s large oil and gas reserves and its vast fishing grounds, which produce 12 percent of the world’s annual catch, provide energy and food for Southeast Asia’s 620 million people.

But all is not well in the area. Six governments—in Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam—have overlapping claims to hundreds of rocks and reefs that scatter the sea. Sovereignty over these territories not only serves as a source of national pride; it also confers hugely valuable rights to drill for oil, catch fish, and sail warships in the surrounding waters. For decades, therefore, these countries have contested one another’s claims, occasionally even resorting to violence. No single government has managed to dominate the area, and the United States has opted to remain neutral on the sovereignty disputes. In recent years, however, China has begun to assert its claims more vigorously and is now poised to seize control of the sea. Should it succeed, it would deal a devastating blow to the United States’ influence in the region, tilting the balance of power across Asia in China’s favor. 

In early 2014, China’s efforts to assert authority over the South China Sea went from a trot to a gallop.



If you’re struggling to make sense of the latest standoff between the Chinese and Indian militaries 10,000 feet in the Himalayas, don’t fret: You’re in good company. The showdown at Doka La is the product of a multi-layered, multi-party dispute steeped in centuries-old treaties and ambiguous territorial claims. Only recently have sufficient details emerged to piece together a coherent picture of the crisis and we’re still left with more questions than answers. However, one thing is clear: While stare-downs at the disputed China-India border are a common affair, the episode now underway is an altogether different, potentially far more dangerous, beast.

This crisis began in mid-June when Chinese forces were spotted constructing a road near the disputed tri-border linking India, China, and Bhutan, prompting an intervention by Indian troops in nearby Sikkim. Nearly a fortnight later, over 100 soldiers from each side are eyeball-to-eyeball, with India moving thousands more into supportingareas. Each passing week has seen a further hardening of each side’s position.

On July 5 China’s ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, described the situation as “grave” and insisted and there was “no scope for compromise.” A vitriolic outburst from China’s Global Times followed, accosting “Cold War-obsessed India” for “humiliating the civilization of the 21st Century.” It mused:

** Game of chicken in the high Himalayas

Zorawar Daulet Singh

With no thaw in sight, much will now depend on wider geopolitical factors. But the costs of conflict are high for India and China

Another face-off at the Himalayan border has surprised few. Since 2010, nearly 2,500 Chinese “transgressions” have been recorded on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the undefined border between India and China. But this is not a typical stand-off. The point, or area, of discord is unrelated to the India-China territorial dispute. The present stand-off is near the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction, and in an area where both China and Bhutan hold competing territorial claims.

The significance

According to the External Affairs Ministry’s June 30 press release, Indian involvement is aimed to prevent China from changing the status quo by building a road on territory claimed by Bhutan, India’s closest ally in the subcontinent. By upholding the rights of its ally, Indian actions are intended to convey the importance Delhi attaches to its special relationship with Thimphu as well as to signal that it intends to preserve its traditional military advantages in the overall Sikkim sector.



With India and China interacting over more than 3,000km of undefined frontier, friction is constant and that one day it would break back into border war has seemed inevitable. Two great Indian delusions have created this situation.

The lesser of these was the outright falsehood spun in the shock of immediate and utter Indian defeat in 1962’s Round One border war with China, when, after the hesitant launch of an Indian offensive to drive the Chinese out of India-claimed territory on the Chinese side of the McMahon Line, the pre-emptive Chinese counter-attack had in little more than a month crushed the Indian Army. It enabled the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to vacate all the territory it had occupied with nothing more than the minatory – and humiliating – warning to India, “don’t challenge us again”.

The absurd myth of an “unprovoked Chinese aggression” which had taken India by surprise was promulgated to resurrect the broken image of “Pandit” Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister personally and pre-eminently responsible for the national disaster. Although long ago exposed and belied internationally, in India the myth has fermented in high military as well as political circles a longing for revenge.

PLA to downsize ground forces to under a million troops

As part of China’s ongoing military reform, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will downsize its ground forces to under one million troops, while increasing the number of personnel in other military services, the Global Times newspaper reported on 11 July.

Citing a PLA Daily article on structural reform, the state-owned paper reported that “the old military structure, where the army accounts for the vast majority [of personnel], will be replaced after the reform”.

“This is the first time that active PLA personnel will be reduced to below one million,” stated the article, adding that the number of troops in the PLA Navy, PLA Strategic Support Force, and the PLA Rocket Force will be increased – but that the PLA Air Force’s active personnel strength will remain the same.

“The reform is based on China’s strategic goals and security requirements. In the past, the PLA focused on ground battle and homeland defence, which will undergo fundamental changes,” the PLA Daily article was quoted as stating.