INDIA DEFENCE CONSULTANTS
–– PERCEPTIONS AND MISPERCEPTIONS
An IDC Analysis
Delhi, 03 February 2002
is no doubt that China has marched ahead. Indians keep saying there will
be problems in China because of inequitable growth between the hinterland
and the coast and in water short areas. Well IDC believe that to be
wishful thinking. Chinese leaders are well educated, learned, ruthless and
the Chinese do not like to ‘Lose Face’. They have great pride in their
heritage. Yet they do secretly admire India and its progress in the
software and banking sectors and want to cooperate.
Our trade with China has gone up to US$ 3 b and if we include Taiwan and Hong Kong then it is almost $9 billion. So China is our second largest trading partner. However the foreign trade of China is some US$ 480-b and our factor in that is not much by any standard. It was good that Dr WPS Sidhu of the International Peace Academy, (ex-St Stephens, JNU and India Today correspondent who did his PhD at Cambridge) and Dr Yuan –– a Canadian at Monterey, were both in India to co-Author a study on India–China relation’s and threat perception for USA, and spoke at USI.
relations are very important and revolve more on how India treats China
than how they treat us. Our mindset is against China. To George Fernandes,
China is Enemy/Threat No1, though people like Lt Gen Nambiar of USI defend
him and say he never said it. IDC feel relations with China in 2002 will
be important even though today they are in the negative list and not
invited to the IFR or the DEFEXPO 2002. This
has to change. Let us list the factors Sidhu and Yuan alluded to with our
comments, as many are contentious. The
subject is of interest to IDC in the order of precedence below.
The territorial dispute is paramount and the Army must have a say.
The Peace and Tranquility Treaty and 13 meetings have ensued
and India will never get Aksai Chin back but we must progress to get some
agreement on the boundary and forget the Mc Mohan Line issue in some
areas. That is history. China is strong.
A triangular relationship India–US–China is very crucial. USA
will want to make India the bulwark as now China is growing fast to
threaten USA. India can play its cards to get USA to do its bidding and
see that trade with China rises and also cooperation on world issues.
India can get into a commanding position in the bargain as a good friend
of both countries.
Triangular relationship India–Russia–China comes next. Russia
and India are already buddies and we can bring in China, as Ambassador C V
Ranganathan Chairman of NSAB has been advocating with the think tank he is
associated with. It follows from the above two and between us we have more
than one third of the world.
triangle is critical. Missile transfers and missile targeting create
problems with China now that it has detargeted USA.. India must be mature
and let Pakistan be made to join an arms reduction with India. If Kashmir
can be resolved along the LOC as a line of P and T. China feels every
nation has a right to self-defence and we cannot fault China. It feels
threatened by India. Pakistan is low on its list now but is still a friend
in the area. Pakistan is a Central Asian beachhead.
Terrorism is a passing phase.
The presence of the Dalai Lama raises suspicion and an exiled
Tibetan Government in India is certainly not acceptable to China since
India accepted Tibet as an autonomous region in the 50s and they say the
CIA helped Dalai Lama to escape to India. The period after the present
Dalai Lama will solve this issue to some extent and he is not keeping good
health. IDC hope India has
had enough demonstrations on this. Read Dragon Fire.
As explained, our trade is
US$9 b and as friends more is possible. This must be progressed at all
costs as China is willing to come forward and Indian businessmen know it
is not dumping that is threatening us but our own poor control on
production costs, because of which the Chinese are beating us. They also
believe in reverse engineering and the story of FDI of US$ 30-b per year
is staggering. India has to liberalise. Views on NPT/MCTR differ but both
have declared ‘no first use’.
We can cooperate and we must move in that direction.
Domestic Policy and who dictates it is what matters in India and
our leaders like George Fernandes and Advani must visit China to change
is well known but politically India and China keep each other out. It was
the British who pitted China and India against each other in the Opium
War. In World War II India and China supported Gen Stilwell against Japan.
After Independence personality and ideological differences and the
‘boundary dispute’ soured relations with the 1962 war. In future India
and China may well spark a war if they tread a confrontational path
because USA and Russia are now involved for world stability.
At present the Peace and Tranquility agreement is in force sullied
by the 1998 nuclear blasts, but this is receding as China gains a “Look
West” and bigger role in the world for political reasons. India’s
‘Look East’ for economic reasons is very interesting and will bring
balance in our mutual relations. As
India’s economy improves and Naval exercises are carried out the picture
changes and confrontation should be avoided in words and deeds.
has signed a de-targeting agreement with Russia and USA so there could be
Confrontation. No progress on border, nuclear instability, arms
race and regional competition without any dialogue.
It can happen if both do not take each other seriously.
Cooperative. Border resolution, demilitarisation and a not-to-arm
neighbours policy may lead to an alliance which will threaten USA
politically and economically. This is unlikely as USA is the key and both
countries are deeply involved with local issues –– Pakistan, Taiwan,
and internal issues.
c) Mixed -- Confrontation and Cooperation. This is the present state and will continue unless we move to (b).