India Blind To New Realities

New Dynamics Are In Place
India cannot fathom the new ground realities

By Moin Ansari

As Tomas Kunh said a long time ago “The paradigm has shifted, and when the paradigm shifts, everything goes back to zero”. The world watched (pun intended) aghast as the Swiss watch making industry was decimated by an electronic watch marketed by TI and Casio. Ironically the electronic watch was invented by the Swiss themselves. Within years 60% of the Swiss labor force had to scramble to find non-existent jobs.

In another paradigm shift the books on international relations had to be rewritten and map makers had to work overtime to paint the new realities. The planet watched the demise of the USSR and the liberation of Central Asia Republics and the unity of Germany.   The profound change dissolved the dreams of Catherine the Great of reaching the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. Pakistan as a new custodian of those waters breathed a sigh of relief.

The impending US withdrawal and its “coopetition” with China is another paradigm shift which transforms South and Central Asia. Pakistan has been building its relationship with China for decades. It was a gift born out of the blunders of Nehru in Kashmir and Tibet. If Nehru had not triggered belligerency with Pakistan and China in 1948, the world would have been different. However he and other politicians in Delhi had an opportunity to build Asia–they tried to build Akhand Bharat–aggravating each and every one of their neighbors. Today Bharat faces a foreign policy Armageddon–but it is one of its own making. It cannot see Pakistan. It wants to devour Bangladesh, Sikkim and Bhutan. It wants to colonize Afghanistan. It wants to step on Lanka. It wants to bamboozle Nepal. The chickens have come home to roost. In an opportunistic move to please Israel and America it betrayed Iran, and that betrayal will cost it Afghanistan. All have teamed up and want nothing to do with Bharat. Even Afghans in the Kabul palaces want Delhi out. The sad thing is in instigating trouble in all its neighbors, it has rocked the boat internally. Bharat faces colossal issues within its boundaries.

The Times of India is one of the most vocal critics of anything Pakistani. This week the chagrin has been more vitriolic than usual. Perhaps it is chagrined by the Pakistani deftness in Afghanistan, or it is pure hatred of anything to do with Islamabad–one can never tell. This much is certain, the entire Bharati (aka India) media is in a tizzy fit about Bharat’s diminished role and imminent eviction from Pakistan. South block and the entire Bharati diplomatic corps are seeing the world change in front of them, and they can’t seem to do anything about it. Mad dashes to Riyadh, Tehran, and Beijing have come to naught.

Delhi seems to represent a rejectionist front all on its own. No other country has joined the “stay the course in Afghanistan”. The world seems to have rejected the Delhi notion of “no compromise in Afghanistan”, no “talks with Pakistan”, and no “Nuclear deals with China”.

The Planet wants a Pan-Afghan solution, certainly the Afghans want it. The neighbors want it, and Pakistan desires it. Pakistan and Afghanistan are natural partners with a built in mechanisms to unite. What’s more important is that the US, the UK and Europe have bought into it and just want a face saving exit from Kabul.

Delhi’s think tanks are beyond panic on the NSGs silence, and the American wink wink nod nod whispered acquiescence of China’s policy of helping Pakistan. Many analysts have actually said that President Obama has asked China to help Pakistan in energy and other fields. Some international think tanks also say that the US and China have held a “Malta” type of conference and allocated areas of influence–and Asia and Africa falls in the Chinese lap, while Europe and the Americas fall under American influences. In other words Bernard Lewis’s map of the Confucian power is being implemented.

The Bharati media is stung not by the Nuclear deal, but by the fact that the NSG simply ignored Delhi. Delhi pulled all the stops in its opposition to the Pakistan-China deal–and ended up in knots. Neither the US, nor any of the European countries seem to be concerned about the Pakistani-China deal. Only Delhi is jumping up and down antagonizing Beijing, irritating the US, and pouring water on the peace process with Pakistan. Bharat’s stance in front of the NSG is comical–it goes something like this “make an exception for us, but not for anyone else, be it Pakistan or Iran”.  In Psychiatric terms, Delhi’s self image differs dramatically from the image others have of it–when the images are very different, it is a true sign of lunacy. Bharat sees itself special. Other powers see it as a bully, a paper tiger, and a spoilt brat—a naked penury strken one with a distended stomach. Bharat sees itself as a huge powerful elephant. These two images cannot be reconciled by a $42 billion Call Center industry–which affects 6 million Bharatis only. Its the other billion that overwhlems the world–its the other billion which are not shown on Bollywood and which doesn’t seem to exist for the Delhi politicians. The Delhi politicians are busy projecting power when huge cavities in Kashmir, Assam and Naxal control area sap the strenght of any argument that emanates from Bharat.

The TOI report had a horrid headline. However the roundup of the news from Pakistan is a true representation of the level of consternation in Delhi. The Bharati media was championing Incredible India which would rule the world. Egged on by the religious right, the sensational newspapers reported the Neocon nonsense and the naive Bharati population lapped it up.

When the rubber hit the road, Bharat discovered that Condaleeza Rice could coronate Bharat as a super power, even if she wanted to. Slumdog pured water on the dreams and the aspirations of the irredentist and revanchist media weaned on the Indian National Congress propaganda machine which projects a hyperbolic version of the future of Bharat. Foreign Leaders know what the Bharati media wants to hear. They say the right words and then laugh their way to the bank.

Meager success in the past decade has given the media a false sense of security. The hubris and arrogance is unfathomable and very nonsensical. No America president or European Prime Minster is as arrogant an ordinary two-bit Bharati bureaucrat.

The TOI report below is a treat to read, because it gives a real vignette of what Bharati’s are thinking. Mr. Zardari has a strong government supported by a friendly opposition, by the army and by the international media. Calling Mr. Zardari names simply informs us that the TOI is frustrated at the success of the Zardari government in dismantling Delhi’s designs in the neighborhood.

The China National Nuclear Corporation recently announced that China would set up two power reactors in Pakistan. It was a move that raised India’s hackles.

Iran and China forge stronger relationship with Pakistan

TOI, the Bharati media and the Delhi establishment seem to have discovered the C-3, and C-4 Nuclear plants  as “new deals”. Rupee News has been reporting on them for years. Mr. Zardari’s trip to China has little to do with C-3 and C-4, that was already presented by China to the NSG as a fait accomplii. Mr. Zardari’s trip was multifaceted and profound in many ways. It has engaged China in economic, industrial, housing,  and transit ventures which will literally transform all of Asia. The Trans-Korakoram rail link will be an engineering feat and will connect Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan etc to the warm waters of the Arabian sea. This was the dream of Catherine the Great and one of the visions of Mao Zedung.

The rail and road links will enhance trade, and commerce along the silk route. While the Bharati media discusses the 150 km road in Afghanistan day in and day out–it cannot appreciate or fathom the engineering marvels that are going on in the Karakorums.  The trip now allows two additional points of contact between China and Paksitan. These three links have colossal potential and will help China in getting its goods to the sea quickly and rapidly.

The TOI articles are myopic only about the Nuclear deal which was signed a decade ago–before the Indo-US deal. Bharat’s brouhaha about the Sino-Pakistani deal is an acknowledgement of Pakistan’s Nuclear status and the growing Sino-Pakistani relationship.  Noise from Delhi has highlighted Pakistan’s civilian nuclear deal which will encourage other countries to follow suit. The US is on the fence–and has moved from a “solid no” to a “maybe” to a “soon” to a “OK” stance. It needs a little more encouragement, and will award Pakistan parity—just like the NSG has done. Read more of this post

CIA’s Rogue Afghanistan Operations

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Ahmed Quraishi:

The face of a CIA-recruited drug lord. Read below for details.


CIA needs authorization from US Congress before launching covert operations in other countries. Congress approves releasing funds for the operations.

Because of this requirement CIA has to give people in government details about the covert operations it is asking money for.

To avoid this disclosure, CIA has been looking for funding from other sources to launch ‘rogue’ operations, ones that are not fully endorsed by the government.

In Afghanistan, CIA has launched several covert operations since 2002 meant to target not al-Qaeda or Taliban but some of the neighboring countries whose policies may not sync with US interests.

For example, Pakistan allowed Chinese personnel to build a huge strategic seaport called Gawadar. This Chinese presence was not in US interest. So CIA used Karzai’s intelligence people and India’s offer of help to target Chinese engineers in Pakistan. CIA did this quite successfully by slipping terrorists inside Pakistan pretending to be Taliban or al Qaeda.

It was easy for CIA agents to carry out this operation because Pakistan under former president Pervez Musharraf had granted US personnel, civilian and military, unprecedented freedom of movement within the country.

When these CIA agents killed a couple of Chinese engineers back in 2004, CIA psy-ops used the incident to put the blame on Afghan Taliban, thereby creating doubts in the minds of Chinese officials that Pakistani intelligence might have had something to do with this since Pakistan maintained ties with the Afghan Taliban government in Afghanistan before 2002.

Similarly, CIA launched covert operations against Iran, western China and Pakistan. It used Afghan soil in all of them, which made logistical issues pertaining to these operations much easier.

Where did the money come from for all of these operations?
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China warns of ‘serious damage’ if Obama meets Dalai Lama: report

The warning comes after three weeks of increasingly irate exchanges between the US and China over contentious issues including internet censorship, trade and a decision by the Obama administration to sell £4bn of arms to Taiwan.

Although the Chinese government routinely objects to any foreign leaders meeting the exiled Tibetan spirutal leader analysts say the strength of the latest condemnation reflects genuine anger in Beijing at a perceived hardening of US attitudes towards China.

Zhu Weiqun, a vice minister of the united front work department of China’s ruling Communist Party, which steers policy on religious affairs said any meeting would “seriously undermine” the political basis of China-US relations.

“If the U.S. leader chooses this time to meet the Dalai Lama, that would damage trust and co-operation between our two countries, and how would that help the United States surmount the current economic crisis?” added Zhu.

The apparent linking of the economics to the widely expected meeting comes after Beijing took the almost unprecedented step of threatening economic reprisals against US companies participating in the Taiwan arms deal, including the aircraft maker Boeing.

The White House has yet to formally confirm the timing of a meeting with the Dalai Lama who is due in Washington later this month, however officials have made clear that Mr Obama fully intends to meet the Tibetan leader at some point.

A White House spokesman, Mike Hammer, said last month that “the President has made clear to the Chinese government that we intend to meet with the Dalai Lama, it has been his every intention.”

Mr Obama was accused by rights groups of appeasing the Chinese leadership when he failed to take an opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama before his maiden visit to China last November.

Chinese officials are understood to be keen to avoid a meeting before the Chinese President Hu Jintao makes a reciprocal visit to Washington, possibly this April.

The Tibet issue has always been highly sensitive for the Chinese government, but became more so after widespread riots in 2008 seriously shook the party leadership’s confidence in its control over the Himalayan region.

Beijing regards the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Laureate, as a “dangerous separatist” intent on regaining independence for Tibet which he fled in 1959 after a failed uprising, setting up a government-in-exile in the Indian hill station of Dharamsala.

The Dalai Lama, whose profile on the world stage infuriates Beijing, says he wants “meaningful autonomy” for the region, however the latest round of talks between his representatives and Chinese officials ended last week with both sides “sharply divided” according to the Chinese side.

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Another U.S. War? Obama Threatens China and Iran

The possibility of yet another U.S. war became more real last week, when the Obama administration sharply confronted both China and Iran.  The first aggressive act was performed by Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who “warned” China that it must support serious economic sanctions against Iran (an act of war).

Clinton said: “China will be under a lot of pressure to recognize the destabilizing effect that a nuclear-armed Iran would have, from which they receive a significant percentage of their oil supply.”

The implication here is that China will be cut off from a major energy source if they do not support U.S. foreign policy — this, too, would equal an act of war.

A more direct military provocation occurred later when Obama agreed to honor a Bush-era military pact with Taiwan, a small island that lies off the mainland coast of China, and is claimed by China as its own territory. Taiwan has been a U.S. client state ever since the defeated nationalist forces fled there from China in the aftermath of the 1949 revolution. Taiwan has remained a bastion of U.S. intrigue and anti-China agitation for the past six decades.  Obama has recently upped the ante by approving a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, including:

“… 60 Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot interceptor missiles, advanced Harpoon missiles that can be used against land or ship targets and two refurbished minesweepers.”  (The New York Times, January 30, 2010).

The same article quotes a Chinese government official who responded, accurately, by calling the arms sale “… a gross intervention into China’s internal affairs, [and] seriously endanger[ing] China’s national security…”   In 1962, When Russia supplied missiles to Cuba, near Florida’s coast, the U.S. interpreted this to be an act of war.

China responded harshly to the Taiwan arms deals, imposing “an unusually broad series of retaliatory measures… including sanctions against American companies that supply the weapon systems for the arms sales.”  These U.S. arms manufacturers are giant corporations who have huge political influence in the Obama administration, and are likely to further push the U.S. government towards an even more aggressive response.

Obama’s polices against China have been far more aggressive than Bush’s, making a farce out of his campaign promises of a more peaceful foreign policy. Obama’s same, deceitful approach is used in South America, where he promised “non-intervention” and then proceeded to build military bases in Colombia on Venezuela’s border, while giving a green light to the coup in Honduras.

Hillary Clinton also threatened China about internet censorship last week, while Obama consciously provoked China by agreeing to talks with the Dalai Lama, who advocates the removal of Chinese influence from Tibet.

Still fresh in the memories of both the U.S. and China is the recent trade flair up, when Obama imposed taxes on Chinese imports; and China responded with protectionist measures against U.S. companies, which brings us to the heart of the matter.

The attitude of the U.S. government towards China has nothing to do with the Dalai Lama, internet censorship, or human rights.  These excuses are used as diplomatic jabs in the framework of a larger, geopolitical brawl. Chinese corporations are expanding rapidly in the wake of the decline of the U.S. business class, and Obama is using a variety of measures to counteract this dynamic, with all roads leading to war.

This grand chessboard of corporate and military maneuvering reached a dangerous standoff yesterday, with the U.S. military provoking Iran. The New York Times explains:

“The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships [war ships] off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four [surrounding] Arab countries, according to administration and military officials.” (January 30, 2010).

The same article mentions that U.S. General  Petraeus admitted that “… the United States was now keeping Aegis cruisers on patrol in the Persian Gulf  [Iran’s border] at all times. Those cruisers are equipped with advanced radar and antimissile systems designed to intercept medium-range missiles.”  Iran knows full well that “antimissile systems” are perfectly capable of going on the offensive — their real purpose.

Iran is completely surrounded by countries occupied by the U.S. military, whether it be the mass occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the U.S. puppet states that house U.S. military bases in Arab nations.  Contrary to the statements of President Obama, Iran is already well contained militarily.  Iran’s government — however repressive it may be — has every right to defend itself in this context.

It is possible that these aggressive U.S. actions will eventually force Iran’s government to act out militarily, giving the U.S. military the “defensive” excuse it’s been waiting for, so the tempers of the U.S. population can be cooled.

A separate New York Times editorial outlines the basic agreement on Iran shared by the Democrats and the Republicans.  It says:

“It is time for President Obama and other leaders to ratchet up the pressure with tougher sanctions.”

And:

“If the [UN] Security Council does not act quickly, then the United States and Europe must apply more pressure on their own [Bush’s Iraq war strategy]. The Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would punish companies for exporting gasoline to Iran or helping Iran expand its own petroleum refining capability [another act of war]” (January 29, 2010).

The U.S. anti-war movement must organize and mobilize to confront the plans of the Obama administration.  Obama’s policies not only mirror Bush’s, but have the potential to be far more devastating, with the real possibility of creating a wider, regional war.  Iran and China are far more militarily capable than puny Afghanistan or Iraq; the consequences of a war with either will cause countless more deaths.

Bring All the Troops Home!

U.S. Military Out of the Middle East! (by Shamus Cooke: Global Research)

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Why China will attack India?

china military

China will launch an attack on India before 2012.

There are multiple reasons for a desperate Beijing to teach India the final lesson, thereby ensuring Chinese supremacy in Asia in this century. The recession that shut the Chinese exports shop is creating an unprecedented internal social unrest. In turn, the vice-like grip of the communists over the society stands severely threatened.

Unemployment is on the rise. The unofficial estimate stands at a whopping fourteen percent. Worldwide recession has put thirty million people out of jobs. Economic slowdown is depleting the foreign exchange reserves. Foreign investors are slowly shifting out. To create a domestic market, the massive dole of loans to individuals is turning out to be a nightmare. There appears to be a flight of capital in billions of dollars in the shape of diamond and gold bought in Hong Kong and shipped out towards end 2008.

bharat-vermaThe fear of losing control over the Chinese masses is forcing the communists to compulsorily install filtering software on new computers on sale to crush dissent on the Internet, even though it is impossible to censor in entirety the flow of information as witnessed recently in Tibet, Xinjiang and Iran.

The growing internal unrest is making Beijing jittery.

The external picture appears to be equally dismal. The unfolding Obama strategy seems to be scoring goals for democracy and freedom without firing a single shot. While Bush unwittingly united and arrayed against himself Islamic countries and radical Islam worldwide, Obama has put radical Islam in disarray by lowering the intra-societal temperature vis-à-vis America and the Muslim world. He deftly hints at democracy in his talk without directly threatening any group or country and the youth picks it up from there – as in Iran. With more and more Chinese citizens beginning to demand political freedom, the future of the communists is also becoming uncertain. The technological means available in the 21st century to spread democracy is definitely not conducive for the totalitarian regime in Beijing.

India’s chaotic but successful democracy is an eyesore for the authoritarian regime in Beijing. Unlike India, China is handicapped as it lacks the soft power – an essential ingredient to spread influence. This further adds fuel to the fire.

mapIn addition, the growing irrelevance of Pakistan, their right hand that operates against India on their behest, is increasing the Chinese nervousness. Obama’s AF-PAK policy is primarily a PAK-AF policy. It has intelligently set the thief to catch the thief. The stated withdrawal from Iraq by America now allows it to concentrate its military surplus on the single front to successfully execute the mission. This surplus, in combination with other democratic forces, enables America to look deep into resource rich Central Asia, besides containing China’s expansionist ambitions.

To offset this adverse scenario, while overtly pretending to side with the West, the Chinese covertly ordered their other proxy, North Korea, to test underground nuclear explosions and carry out trials of missiles that threaten Japan and South Korea. The Chinese anxiety is understandable. Under Bush’s declared policy of being ‘a strategic competitor’ alongside the ‘axis of evil’, they shared a large strategic maneuverability with others of similar hues. However, Obama policies wisely deny such a luxury by reclaiming more and more international strategic space ceded by the previous administration.

highlight-1The communists in China, therefore, need a military victory to unite the disillusioned citizenry behind them. This will assist in marketing the psychological perception that the 21st century belongs to China and assert their deep belief in the superiority of the Chinese race. To retain the communist party’s hold on power, it is essential to divert attention from the brewing internal dissent. In an autocratic system normally the only recipe to unite the citizenry is by mannpulating their nationalistic feelings. The easy method for Beijing to heighten the feeling of patriotism and forging national unity is to design a war with an adversary. They believe that this will help them to midwife the Chinese century. That is the end game rooted in the abiding conviction of the communists that the Chinese race is far superior to Nazi Germany and is destined to “Lord over the Earth”.

At present, there is no overall cost benefit ratio in integrating Taiwan by force with the mainland, since under the new dispensation in Taipei, the island is ‘behaving’ itself. Also, the American presence around the region is too strong for comfort. There is also the factor of Japan to be reckoned. Though Beijing is increasing its naval presence in the South China Sea to coerce into submission those opposing its claim on the Sprately Islands, at this point of time in history it will be unwise for recession-hit China to move against the Western interests, including Japan. Therefore, the most attractive option is to attack a soft target like India and forcibly occupy its territory in the Northeast.

Ideally, the Chinese believe that the east-wind should prevail over the west-wind. However, despite their imperial calculations of the past, they lag behind the West, particularly America, by many decades. Hence, they want the east-wind to at least prevail over the other east-wind, i.e., India, to ensure their dominance over Asia. Beijing’s cleverly raising the hackles on its fabricated dispute in Arunachal Pradesh to an alarming level, is the preparatory groundwork for imposing such a conflict on India. A sinking Pakistan will team up with China to teach India “the final lesson”.

The Chinese leadership wants to rally its population behind the communist rule. As it is, Beijing is already rattled, with its proxy Pakistan, now literally embroiled in a civil war, losing its sheen against India. Above all, it is worried over the growing alliance of India with the United States and the West, because the alliance has the potential to create a technologically superior counterpoise.

All these three concerns of the Chinese communists are best addressed by waging a war against pacifist India to achieve multiple strategic objectives. But India, otherwise the biggest challenge to the supremacy of China in Asia, is least prepared on ground to face the Chinese threat.

How will India repel the Chinese game plan? Will Indian leadership be able to take the heat of war? Have they laid the groundwork adequately to defend India? Is the Indian military equipped to face the two-front war by Beijing and Islamabad? Is the Indian Civil Administration geared to meet the internal security challenges that the external actors will sponsor simultaneously through their doctrine of unrestricted warfare?

The answers is an unequivocal ‘NO’. Pacifist India is not ready by a long shot either on the internal or the external front.

It is said that long time back, a king with an excellent military machine at his disposal could not stomach the violence involved in winning wars. So he renounced war in victory. This led to the rise of the pacifist philosophies. The state either refused to defend itself or neglected the instruments that could defend it.

Any ‘extreme’ is dangerous, as it tends to create imbalance in statecraft.

highlight-2We saw that in the unjust unilateral aggression in Iraq. It diminished the American aura and recessed the economy. China’s despotic regime is another extreme, scared to permit political dissent. This will fuel an explosion worse than the Tiananmen Square. Despite the use of disproportionate force and the demographic invasion of Tibet, Beijing’s hold remains tenuous. Pakistan’s over-aggressive agenda in the name of jihad haunts it now to the point of fragmentation of the State.

Similarly, India’s pacifism is the other extreme. 26/11s will occur on a regular basis as it infects policy-making. Such extreme postures on either side invariably generate wars. Armed with an aggressive Wahabi philosophy, Pakistan, in cohort with China, wants to destabilize a pacifist India. India’s instruments of state steeped in pacifism are unable to rise to its defence.

In the past sixty years, the deep-rooted pacifism contributed to the Civil Administration, ceding control of forty per cent of the Union’s territory to the Maoists and ten percent to the insurgents, effecting a shrinking influence internally, as well in the ‘near abroad’.

India must rapidly shift out from its defeatist posture of pacifism to deter China. New Delhi’s stance should modify, not to aggression, but to a firm assertion in statecraft. The state must also exclusively retain the capability of intervention by use of force internally as well as externally. If it permits the non-state actors to develop this capability in competition, then the state will whither away. On the contrary, the state machinery should ensure a fast-paced development in the Red Corridor even it if has to hold Maoists hostage at gunpoint. The state’s firm and just intervention will dissolve the Maoist movement.

Keeping in view the imminent threat posed by China, the quickest way to swing out of pacifism to a state of assertion is by injecting military thinking in the Civil Administration to build the sinews. That will enormously increase the deliverables on ground – from Lalgarh to Tawang.  (by Abhijay Patel)

Illusion of “China’s Attack on India Before 2012″

Chinese Response, By Chen Xiaochen

The 2000 km border between China and India has been a notable absence from press headlines in the years since then-Indian PM Vajpayee’s 2003 visit to Beijing. Tensions, however, have risen again as India announced last month a plan to deploy two additional army divisions and two air force squadrons of Su-30 Fighter Unit, some 60,000 soldiers in total, in a disputed border area in the southern part of Tibet, which India claims as its state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Adding fuel to the flames is an article by Bharat Verma, editor of Indian Defense Review, predicting that China will attack India before 2012, leaving only three years to Indian government for preparation.

highlight-3According to Mr. Verma, “growing unrest in China” due in part to economic downturn will leave the Chinese government looking for something to “divert the attention of its own people from ‘unprecedented’ internal dissent, growing unemployment and financial problems.” China will also want to strike India before the latter becomes powerful, which is the reason for the 2012 “deadline.” India, with its growing affiliation with the West, is yet weak under China’s fire.

But a “China’s attack” is not going to happen, and one wonders at the basis for Mr. Verma’s thinking. First, although it is true that China’s macro-economy has taken a hit from the global financial crisis, the extent of the damage is under control. Recent statistics shows China’s economy grew 7.1% in the first half of 2009, while its foreign exchange reserve has exceeded $2 trillion. China’s stimulus plan has been effective and given people confidence. China will survive the global downturn as well or better than the rest of the world’s economies.

And even if China’s economy was really all that bad, would the government try to distract “unrest” by taking military actions against India? Mr Verma’s reasoning rests on a lack of documentation. Looking into the past 60 years, China has no record of launching a war to divert public attention from anything. Moreover, while Mr. Verma supposes the Chinese Communist Party has no cards to play other than “invading India,” the Party, widely experienced in dealing with domestic disputes, will hardly in only three years have run out of all options facing potential social instability. Moreover, even if Chinese leaders considered such an option, they would certainly be aware that an external war would severely jeopardize domestic affairs.

Other reasons the author mentions in the article are also vague. The Western powers would not take kindly to a Chinese conflict with India, leaving China rightfully reluctant to use force in any case other than extreme provocation. US forces well deployed in Afghanistan and Pakistan could check any China’s military action in South Asia. And then there is also the nuclear problem: there has never been a war between two nuclear equipped nations, and both sides would have to be extremely cautious in decision-making, giving more room for less violent solutions.

Further, it is important to realize there is no reason for China to launch a war, against India in particular. Economic development, rather than military achievement, has long been the consensus of value among China’s core leaders and citizens. Despite occasional calls to “Reoccupy South Tibet (occupied Chinese territory),” China’s decision-making is always cautious. It is not possible to see a Chinese “incursion” into India, even into Tawang, an Indian-occupied Buddhist holy land over which China argues a resolute sovereignty.

Last but not least, China’s strategy, even during the 1962 border war with India, has been mainly oriented towards the east, where Taiwan is its core interest, while the recent Xinjiang unrest highlights China’s growing anti-terrorist tasks in the northwest – both issues are more important than the southwest border. If China were to be involved in a war within the next three years, as unlikely as that seems, the adversary would hardly be India. The best option, the sole option, open for the Chinese government is to negotiate around the disputed territory.

However, there is one scenario where there is possibility for war: an aggressive Indian policy toward China, a “New Forward Policy,” may aggravate border disputes and push China to use force – despite China’s appeal, as far as possible, for peaceful solutions.

Consider the 1959-1962 conflict, the only recorded war between China and India in the long history of their civilizations. After some slight friction with China in 1959, the Indian army implemented aggressive action known as its Forward Policy. The Chinese Army made a limited but successful counterattack in 1962.

Now, it seems “back to the future”. Mr. Verma asserts another war will happen before 2012, a half century after the last, regrettable one. India has started to deploy more troops in the border area, similar to its Forward Policy 50 years ago. Is Mr. Verma’s China-bashing merely a justification for more troops deployed along the border? Will India’s “New Forward Policy”, as the old one did 50 years ago, trigger a “2012 war?”

The answers lie mainly on the Indian side. Given China’s relatively small military garrison in Tibet, Indian’s 60,000 additional soldiers may largely break the balance. If India is as “pacific” as Mr. Verma says, and is sincere in its border negotiation, China-India friendship will remain. After all, China shares a long and mostly friendly cultural exchange with India as well as other neighbors. Now China is seeking deeper cooperation, wider coordination, and better consensus with India, especially in the global recession, and peace is a precondition for doing so. China wants to say, “We are on the same side,” as the Indian Ambassador did in a recent interview in China. Thus, “China will attack India before 2012″ is a provocative and inflammatory illusion.

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