The Filter Coffee

Foreign policy, strategic affairs, defense and governance

Down to Chinatown

When the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) labels your country a security threat, you will probably sit up and take notice.  The Global Times published the results of a pulse survey where 90% of the respondents indicated that China’s security was threatened by India.  The article provides a rare insight into the political machinations of Big Red.

India’s military moves could cast a shadow over bilateral relations, said Dai Xun, an expert in military affairs, who described India’s actions as “plundering a burning house”, when the international community was focused on a reported nuclear test in the DPRK, destroying the mutual trust between neighboring countries

The pollster, huanqiu.com, also hosts a defense and strategic affairs Internet chat forum, which is very much in the mold of many other defense forums —  mostly filled with bravado and rhetoric, and generally lacking in pragmatism.  But what makes this blogger take notice isn’t so much that such distorted numbers existed, but that a mouthpiece newspaper for the CCP would publish these results, and pass them off as having merit.  The website also polled users on other questions concerning India, a translation of which is included here.

After all, the most recent World Public Opinion (2008), indicated that while there was a general antipathy towards India in China (44% had an unfavorable opinion of India), the statistics were not nearly as skewed as the newspaper article suggests.

All this because of  reports that India is deploying an additional two divisions (mainly light infantry) and two SU-30MKI squadron in Arunachal Pradesh, which China considers “disputed”, and part of “Southern Tibet”.  However, while the dispatching of additional firepower to Arunachal Pradesh is a welcome sign, it merely acts as a deterrent in the here and now to Chinese misadventurism and doesn’t really give India the sense of parity that it needs along the McMahon Line.  Indeed, the most urgent need in Arunachal is not in the deployment of additional troops, per se, but in the development of border infrastructure.

China has worked feverishly to ensure that sufficient infrastructure is in place to be able to quickly move troops and supplies from as far out as Lhasa to the border through land and air.  That India has withdrawn from over 40 border roads projects committed through the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) doesn’t help make matters better.

The recent brouhaha about India in the Chinese press certainly means that China is concerned about India’s growing presence in Arunachal Pradesh.  The deployment of additional troops, and the presumtive refocusing on BRO projects in Arunachal are baby steps, but essential and need to be taken. Manmohan Singh’s government has been blisfully asleep to China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean and the leverage it now has with India’s neighbors, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.  This, aside from the “all weather” friendship that it has with Pakistan.  The time has come for India to formulate a strategic response to China’s growing influence in the region. One can only hope that India’s message to China vis-a-vis troop deployments, are only part, and not the full extent of India’s reply to China’s hegemoneous designs.

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Filed under: China, Foreign Policy, India, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, International Boundaries, Line of Actual Control, McMahon Line, World, , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Philip says:

    This was long time coming. China has a very confusing way of talking. Just before they are to meet, they will abuse you and the moment you meet them, they will deny that they ever abused or even try to downplay. You can see this happening everytime a meeting of some top level officials of both countries are supposed to happen.

    Not much to read into the poll/survey in the papers there. As for the 90% hatred for Indians in China is all hogwash. Its the communist govt’s propaganda machine that has painted that number.

    But yes, bolstering the military strength and putting up a squadron of Sukhois in Arunachal is a welcome step. In fact, it should have been done earlier. We can never let our guard down when it comes to China.

    • thefiltercoffee says:

      @Philip: very true; but additional firepower is of no use, if the means to move troops and supplies don’t exist. China has done a great job at building the required infrastructure along the LAC; India, not so much. Hopefully, this will be a point of focus for the new government.

  2. neel123 says:

    Independence and integrity of a nation is not a free gift of GOD, if you fail to protect it, you do not deserve it. China can not be controlled by policy of appeasing alone, it needs to be made aware of the big stick too.

    The Congress mother fu**ers, that have ruled India for most part, need to be made answerable to the public for the pathetic state of preparedness of the nation, even after 60 years of independence.

    It is an irony that a party that is only interested in vote banks, has been voted to power again and again !

    Indian public will reap what they have sowed, GOD save India !

  3. anup says:

    I completely agree with neel123. India and Indians do not deserve the “freedom” they have got.

    I am hoping that the day is not far off when India is invaded by China.

  4. thefiltercoffee says:

    @ anup: It’s always simpler to dismiss something that you’ve enjoyed your entire life, than it is something that you’ve fought to achieve.

    I suspect your dismissal of “freedom” may have to do with the fact that you haven’t experienced authoritarian rule.

    Some people, such as the victims of Tienanmen, and the Tibetans had little choice but to surrender their freedom to the Chinese. But it will be a cold day in hell before India falls to them.

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