Rumsfeld In China –– Lessons For India

An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 20 October 2005

In many of our analyses we have highlighted how well China was doing and its military build up was scary even for USA. Japan is also worried. China is racing ahead in Space flights and had sent its second successful manned space mission with home-grown Cosmonauts in space for three days and brought them back safely.

Their nuclear forces are formidable too and they are also struggling to build good nuclear submarines (like our ATV), and they have had successes already and unlike us who get help from Russia they did it their way, despite serious accidents. They do not mind pinching technology.

The North Korean No Dong and M11/9 missiles factory could not have come to Pakistan without Chinese support and clearances. In hardware they are leading the world and 65% of the laptops are built in China –– they will surely catch up in software development also once their English improves. Thinkpad of IBM is now Chinese and they are capturing the market.

In athletics and sports they are a force to reckon with and real estate prices have soared in Shanghai which has more skyscrapers than New York and more modern. It is no wonder USA has signed a Defence framework with India and 16 Agreements. Technology Minister Kapil Sibal just signed an Agreement with Codelezza Rice allowing transfer of technologies and President Bush is hell bent to get nuclear supplies to India cleared through the Congress.

Japan wants to join India as in the end China will be the common adversary, not today but in the years ahead. Defence Minister Gen Cao Guanchan has admitted to Rumsfeld that the Chinese defence budget is about $30 billion and does not include expenditure on space, nuclear, medical and pensions. Rumsfeld puts it at $90 billion. See below.

We therefore feel that we must trade and dialogue aggressively and have a long term strategy for China and aim for a favorable trade balance and permit Indian companies to invest freely in China and have a policy to encourage it. The military must keep the cutting edge it has in quality and have confidence to let the Armed Forces get hands on to our nuclear arsenal. Then we can always have deterrence and keep our Chinese friends aware of our strengths.

Stobdan a former staffer in NSC had some telling things to say about the way the Chinese are moving in Tawang and Rumsfeld was in China recently and some snippets are appended to appreciate the situation.

Article by Stobdan

The details of the sixth round of Sino-Indian Special Representatives-level talks (September 26–28) have not been made public. The talks in Beijing were the first to be held in the backdrop of the turnaround in India’s foreign policy, marked by its support to the US and EU-led resolution against Iran in the crucial IAEA meeting on September 24. On September 27, Beijing decided to put off the trade through Nathula that was to begin on October 2, saying that infrastructure on its side was not ready.

The Chinese have never hidden their apprehensions about closer Indo–US ties. The guiding principles on a boundary settlement too appeared a diversionary trick. They sought “meaningful and mutually acceptable adjustments” for a “package settlement”. Article V of the Principle — historical evidence and national sentiments — provides the Chinese sufficient room to manipulate the agenda.

Chinese writings have lately been referring to Monyul’s (Tawang) importance to Tsangyang Gyatso or the 6th Dalai Lama’s birthplace. Gyatso was born in Urgelling, South Tawang in 1683. Surprisingly, the position of Tibetans on Tawang is also not clear. When Dalai Lama visited Arunachal in 2003, he obliquely referred to Tawang as part of Tibet. Any success of the current China–Dalai Lama dialogue will depend on the Tibetan position on Tawang. Tibetans cannot take the position that Tawang is not part of Tibet. As Johan Garver, citing Chinese sources writes, besides the Dalai Lama factor, Tawang’s importance to China lay in its capacity to sustain one-third of the Tibetan economy and its strategic proximity to the North East and Bay of Bengal.

Meanwhile, India’s hold over Tawang, if not handled with sensitivity, could become tenuous. Tension is brewing in Tawang and Bomdila. As the power balance has shifted in favour of other tribes, the Monpas, Sherdukpens and Khamptis are increasingly facing religious onslaughts by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM)&(K). The NSCN’s call to either embrace Christianity or face capital punishment is frightening for the Monpas and Khamtis. New Delhi’s apathy combined with pressure from NSCN could eventually throw the Monpas into China’s lap.

China's Military Buildup Raises Questions

Agence France-Presse, October 19, 2005

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned China on Wednesday that it is sending "mixed signals" with a military buildup whose pace, scope and secretiveness have led other nations to question its intentions. Defense Minister Cao Guangchuan denied that China has understated its military spending and insisted that raising the living standards of the country's poor made it "impossible to massively increase" military spending.

Rumsfeld raised U.S. concerns about China's military intentions in a meeting with Cao and earlier in a seminar at a school that grooms future Communist Party leaders.

He was also scheduled to meet President Hu Jintao, and make an unprecedented visit to the headquarters of the Strategic Rocket Forces. After meeting with Cao, Rumsfeld said they discussed "what I would characterize as mixed signals we've been getting ... and to understand the reaction one gets when one receives mixed signals." Cao, who described the talks as candid, pragmatic and constructive, insisted that Chinese military spending this year totals about 30 billion dollars, although he acknowledged that the space program and other equipment spending was outside the defense budget. "That is the true budget we have today," he said.

The Pentagon in July estimated the true size of Chinese defense spending at 90 billion dollars a year, with much of it going to sophisticated weaponry that will enable China to project power in the Asia-Pacific region.


Another View

A regular visitor who regularly visits China and our website, recently went to Macau for a holiday after visiting China on business. He had this to say:

Macau was food, fun and yes, it too has grown and developed under the Chinese rule. Previously it was like a backwater area but is now thriving in its own right. Whenever I see how much and how fast China is developing, I tell myself, that for India to even do half as much we need a benevolent dictator as we simply cannot afford democracy and its corruption!!

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