Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ONE INDIA & ONE CHINA

B.RAMAN


The strong economic relations between India and China and their co-operation in multilateral fora such as the recent Copenhagen summit on climate change should not blind one to the fact that the trust and comfort level between the two Governments and their people remains unsatisfactory. Unless this improves, any talk of a strategic co-operation or partnership between the two countries would remain wishful-thinking.


2. There are many security-related issues which call for co-operation between India and China bilaterally and for a joint leadership role by them multilaterally. Maritime counter-terrorism and anti-piracy measures are two examples of such issues crying out for India and China to join hands in countering these evils. But we will not be able to do so unless the trust and comfort level improves.


3. Five issues or perceptions are standing in the way of a better trust and comfort level. The first is the pending border dispute. Chinese leaders and analysts often quote Deng Xiao-Ping's advice to keep this issue aside till a favourable moment arrives for finding a mutually acceptable solution. Delay suits China because the trans-border status quo presently favours it and it has developed its military capability in such a manner as to be able to use it should China decide that the time has come to impose its will in the eastern sector. Indians suspect----with valid reason---- that the Chinese preference for keeping the issue prolonged is motivated by the desire to give itself time for the further strengthening of its military capability in Tibet. India's interest will be served by a quick resolution of the dispute, which has not been forthcoming.


4. The second is the failure of the Chinese to reach an agreement with the Dalai Lama on the demands of the Tibetan people. India has recognised Tibet as an integral part of China in the expectation that the international acceptance of the One China principle will pave the way for the return of the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan followers to Tibet with honour and dignity so that they can take their due to place in the local society. India is the cradle of Buddhism, which spread to Tibet and the rest of China from India. It is natural that as admirers of this great religion and its Tibetan leader, Indians feel disappointed by the failure of the Chinese Government and Communist Party to follow up the integration of Tibet with the rest of China by restoring the honour and dignity of the Dalai Lama and his followers.


5. The third is what many Indians see as the double standards followed by China with regard to Jammu & Kashmir. China expected India to recognise Tibet as an integral part of China and accept the One China principle. India did so without reservation. Indians are greatly disappointed that China has not reciprocated by recognising Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India and by accepting the One India principle, which is as precious to India as the One China principle is to China.


6. The fourth is what many Indians see as China's attempts to build up Pakistan not only as a time-tested friend, but also as a welcome strategic surrogate against India. China's nuclear and military supply relationship with Pakistan and its support to Pakistan in its disputes with India are seen by many in India as a malign exploitation of Pakistan's differences with India to serve China's own interests.


7. The fifth is China's reluctance to support India's permanent membership of the UN Security Council. India under Jawaharlal Nehru played an active role in canvassing for the People's Republic of China to be given its due place as a permanent member of the Security Council. In an historic act of ingratitude, China has failed to reciprocate India's gesture and has done everything possible to keep India out.


8. Unless there is a change in the policies of the Chinese Government on these issues, the trust and comfort level will continue to be low and there is a limit beyond which the relations between the two countries cannot improve.


9.The time has come for India to re-examine its policies with regard to China. The improvement in economic relations has benefited China more than India. If one analyses purely on the basis of trade exchanges, both countries have benefited, but the adverse balance of trade in China’s favour and India’s dependence on raw material exports for keeping up the steady surge in bilateral trade dilute the significance of the surge in trade.


10. Other parameters of the bilateral economic relations tilt strongly in favour of China. The liberal opening-up of the Indian construction sector to Chinese construction companies has led to a situation where next to African countries, India has become a major dumping ground for Chinese engineers and semi-skilled workers to the detriment of the interests of Indian engineers and semi-skilled workers. Our opening up the doors to sensitive sectors such as telecommunications to Chinese private companies ---- private in name, but State-sponsored in reality --- has added to the major security concerns of our security agencies.


11. Unfortunately, we do not have a debate in India either in the Parliament or outside on the background of the Chinese companies, which have been entering India in large numbers and on the threats that this could pose to our national interests. Unchecked and inadequately monitored Chinese economic intrusions should be of as great a concern as unchecked and inadequately monitored Chinese troop intrusions into Indian territory across the border.


12. Our recognition of Tibet as an integral part of China and our acceptance of the one China policy of Beijing without a quid pro quo from Beijing in the form of acceptance of J&K as an integral part of India and of the One India policy have proved counter-productive. In our anxiety to avoid adding to the tensions and distrust between the two countries, we have let Beijing dictate what should be the nature of our interactions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan refugees. We avoid open interactions with His Holiness and are not even prepared to associate him with the project to revive the Nalanda University.


13. Our hopes that closing our eyes to the worrisome aspects of the economic relations and imposing restrictions on our relationship with His Holiness could contribute to a change of Chinese policies have been repeatedly belied. China has taken advantage of the lack of assertiveness on our part to advance what it regards as its core interests in the region with total disregard for our core interests.


14. Better relations with China on mutually and equally advantageous terms and not on terms which favour China alone, but not India should be our policy. A clear message in non-provocative language has to go to Beijing that India has been disillusioned by the self-centred policies of Beijing and its lack of reciprocity in respecting our core interests. Strategic relations have to be a two-way traffic and based on quid pro quo. For China, they are a one-way traffic benefiting only its core interests. We should no longer accept this.


15. China has taken a major lead over us in building up its strategic strengths, strategic presence and strategic alliances. Its economic and military strengths and its building-up its military-related infrastructure in Tibet have given it a confidence that it can impose its will on India ----through subterfuge so long as it is possible, through open action if and when it becomes necessary.


16. We are lagging behind China in all these fields. Neutralising the advantages which China has acquired for itself should be the main objective of our future policies. Expediting the completion of our infrastructure projects in the border areas and adding to our China-specific military strengths in a time-bound manner should be an immediate objective of our policy-makers.


17.Re-fashioning our economic relations with China in order to rid them of elements which are to the exclusive advantage of China should receive equal priority. There is a need for a re-think on our Tibet-related policies without reversing our recognition of Tibet as an integral part of China. We have to be more assertive in pursuing an One India policy as a quid pro quo for our accepting the One China policy.


18. India should do everything possible to avoid a confrontational situation with China, but should be prepared for it if China seeks to create a confrontational situation at a time of its choosing. We should pay more attention to the China-specific dimensions of our strategic relations with the US, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea.


19. In our interactions with US policy-makers and non-governmental strategic experts, we have been over-focusing on Pakistan and terrorism. China should receive greater attention from now onwards. A greater focus on the thinking and respective concerns of India and the US with regard to China should be an objective of the forthcoming talks when President Barack Obama visits New Delhi in November.


20. Signals from the Obama Administration are confusing. It has not hesitated to express openly its determination to counter the Chinese designs in the South China Sea and to maintain the primacy of the US Navy in the Pacific as well as the Indian Ocean. It is taking interest in the talks of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the Chinese Government and party. At the same time, it does not seem to view with the same concern as India China’s developing relations with Pakistan and the possibility of Pakistan becoming China’s strategic surrogate in Afghanistan too. After having taken a strong stand on the right of the US Naval ships to visit and hold exercises in the Yellow Sea, it is showing signs of being responsive to Chinese sensitivities over the question of US aircraft-carriers visiting the Yellow Sea.


21.It still looks upon China as an useful intermediary in relation to North Korea and Myanmar. It has greater confidence in Beijing’s ability to influence the military junta in Myanmar than in the Indian ability. It has a low opinion of the Indian ability to influence Governments, policies and events in the Asian region. Under these circumstances, it is unlikely to be enthusiastic to any idea of an India-US understanding on China. Despite this, we should not fight shy of turning the primary focus of the talks with Mr.Obama on China. We do not need strategic alliances in relation to Pakistan. We are capable of taking care of Pakistan with our own means. We would need strategic alliances in relation to China. Hence the importance of free and frank talks with Mr.Obama on this.(9-9-10)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E—mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

9 comments:

ravinder said...

Ramanji,

Thanks for the insightful thread.

You are suggesting diplomacy as a route to counter China. The track record of diplomats may be good but without the strong political support of the national leadership, there is not much that a good diplomat may be able to do. In such a scenario we cannot expect too much from Diplomacy alone. You must have faced situations in the Govt set up yourself. Chinese have a much more robust coordination between their Political leadership and their negotiating teams.

I personally am of the view that the only entity inside India that has a clear potential to match Malechas is the Middle Class. If the political class in India can take its wretched 10% and move on allowing maximum leeway to the Middle class to run with the ideas that, lets say the establishment bureaucrats sow then only will India have a proper winning chance.
In my view the relations with China should not be treated in the same way as those with Pakistan. This is a civilizational race. Chinese are way way better and tougher then Pakistani. The ideas put forth by you are definately good wrt. Pakistan but I am afraid wrt. China that may not work out.

I am sure you and your readers will be able to decipher my comments better then I have been able to express them.

As an aside, IMO the Chinese treat their relationship with the outsiders as a civilizational race and the rest of the world has to play catch up now.

ambi said...

unfortunately india lacks original thinking sir! we never act as per our plans. sorry to say your comments also reflect the same thinking. If China do this, we ll do that, if China do that then we ll reply accordingly. This attitude ll take us no where.

we only react to others actions. how can we think of becoming global power or leader when we ourselves are following others. Where is our original thinking. where is our original plan how we wish to see this region & world at large.

bollywood is almost 100 yrs old industry. it is a good example of that cheap 'follow others, dont take risk' mentality. even the name is bollywood copied from hollywood. we have money, good actors, good stories to tell. still our producers dont want to take risk, they dont want to experiment. they ll just copy mainly hollywood or other foreign film & make cheap version of that originally master piece. now what to do?

we have software companies like Infosys, TCS, & wipro. but all they are doing is software hamali. why there is no original software product like adobe created in india in al these years.

china is nothing if we handle it with our original thinking. India has handled many invasions for centuries with our pure indian thinking. PRC does not bother me. because it is an immoral state. no immoral state can last for long. it ll fall of its own contradiction. nazi germany, fascist italy, communist soviet russia, japan during second world war & now pakistan, all these are prime examples of that. its mighty army & great generals like gen. Rommel, could not save Nazi germany from following.

message is clear. nurture leadership & for that nurture original thinking. think something out of the box.

ambi said...

...Rommel, could not save Nazi germany from following.

oops! sorry in above line pls. read the word 'following' as 'falling'.

gregory said...

finally, something that can't be blamed on colonialism

ravinder said...

@gregory
LOL
Hunting around for Anti-China stuff on the net. Hmm..

@ambi
Production gets dictated by inputs available. The very same production values that allow the production of Bollywood movies and Indian Software Services will allow the production of Aircraft carriers also, in time. But the limiting factor is still the demand for things like air craft carriers.
Rather a corollory to your arguement would be that poor quality chinese products signifies their poverty of ideas. But that can be nobodies case.

See Ambi, there are sectors in every economy that have unfulfilled demand. Chinese were able to find these and invest with the Bharti Airtel style of investment strategy. Basically buying income generating assets when they are available cheap. They could do it because the Political leadership was smart enough and greedy enough to go after such avenues. Indian Political leadership has still not been able to do that.

In fact it appears that your illustrations go against the observations cited by you.

As you wrote "If China do this, we ll do that, if China do that then we ll reply accordingly. This attitude ll take us no where." This is where the real idea is. We have to make our own way. Bollywood movies and Indian software services are also but just one/two part of the grand unification equation but this is not enough.

Taking the good ideas from Chinese is smart. Replacing their bad ideas with better home grown solutions is what is required. This will require taking risks and being ready for calculated stop losses. This in turn will require the Politicians to get greedy about launching projects like railway lines, roads, ports, SEZs, reforming the exit strategy the labour strategy and in general betting upon themselves.

What is getting done is not the problem. The problem is that which is not getting done.

nri2008 said...

Timely related article by American analysts enclosed:

Fri, 10 Sep 2010


China is indulging in 'muscular diplomacy' with India,

two noted American scholars have said and recommended the US to not only keep a close tab on Sino-India border frictions, but also enhance the defence co-operation with India.

Over the last few years, tensions have been brewing between India and China over their long-held border disputes, said Dean Cheng and Lisa Curtis of The Heritage Foundation.

"The source of the tensions is multi-faceted but driven in large part by China's concern with an emergent India and Beijing's desire to consolidate its position on Tibet," they said.

While military conflict between the two Asian giants is unlikely any time soon, recent Chinese moves illustrate a broader trend of muscular diplomacy from Beijing over its various territorial claims, Cheng and Curtis said.

"In order to guard against a variety of threats, including a potentially hostile China, India will continue to pursue a robust military modernisation programme and closer diplomatic ties with other Asian nations," they said.

!Newfieldasia.com

"The US should keep close tabs on the simmering Sino-India border friction and continue with plans to enhance US-India defense cooperation, through coordinated maritime security programmes, joint military exercises, and defense trade deals that assist India in accessing advanced military technology," the article said.

Cheng and Curtis referred to the recent Chinese steps with regard to Kashmir, including issuing of stapled visa, denying visa to a top army official and sending its troops to Gilgit-Baltistan.

New Delhi would view with consternation the possibility of Chinese troops being stationed on both the eastern and western borders of Kashmir, they said.

"China already maintains a robust defense relationship with Pakistan, and the China-Pakistan partnership serves both Chinese and Pakistani interests by presenting India with a potential" they wrote.

Noting that China may be returning to a position of reflexively supporting Pakistan on Kashmir, they noted since the 1999 Kargil border conflict between India and Pakistan, Beijing's position on Kashmir seemed to be evolving toward a more neutral position.

During that conflict, Beijing helped convince Pakistan to withdraw forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control following its incursion into the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Beijing made clear its position that the two sides should resolve the Kashmir conflict through bilateral negotiations, not military force.

"Any Chinese backtracking from this neutral position on Kashmir would likely be met with subtle moves by India that increasingly question Chinese sovereignty over Tibet," they said.

China's growing assertiveness is supported by a range of increasingly sophisticated military capabilities, they noted.

A concrete example of this growing set of capabilities was displayed in August, when China held its first major parachute exercise in the Tibetan plateau.

"This involved a paratroop drop of 600 troops, clearly establishing a rapid force insertion capability on the part of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

As a Chinese officer observed, this exercise showed that, in the event of a crisis, Chinese paratroopers could rapidly deploy at any time," the two scholars wrote.

Curtis and Cheng urged the Obama Administration to cooperate with India in matching increased Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean region.

"Given the substantial Indian naval capabilities, US naval forces should increase their interaction with their Indian counterparts, both to improve Indian naval capabilities and to signal Beijing that its moves will be matched jointly by New Delhi and Washington," they said.

(Source:www.indianexpress.com)

nri2008 said...

Timely related article by American analysts enclosed:

Fri, 10 Sep 2010


China is indulging in 'muscular diplomacy' with India,

two noted American scholars have said and recommended the US to not only keep a close tab on Sino-India border frictions, but also enhance the defence co-operation with India.

Over the last few years, tensions have been brewing between India and China over their long-held border disputes, said Dean Cheng and Lisa Curtis of The Heritage Foundation.

"The source of the tensions is multi-faceted but driven in large part by China's concern with an emergent India and Beijing's desire to consolidate its position on Tibet," they said.

While military conflict between the two Asian giants is unlikely any time soon, recent Chinese moves illustrate a broader trend of muscular diplomacy from Beijing over its various territorial claims, Cheng and Curtis said.

"In order to guard against a variety of threats, including a potentially hostile China, India will continue to pursue a robust military modernisation programme and closer diplomatic ties with other Asian nations," they said.

!Newfieldasia.com

"The US should keep close tabs on the simmering Sino-India border friction and continue with plans to enhance US-India defense cooperation, through coordinated maritime security programmes, joint military exercises, and defense trade deals that assist India in accessing advanced military technology," the article said.

Cheng and Curtis referred to the recent Chinese steps with regard to Kashmir, including issuing of stapled visa, denying visa to a top army official and sending its troops to Gilgit-Baltistan.

New Delhi would view with consternation the possibility of Chinese troops being stationed on both the eastern and western borders of Kashmir, they said.

"China already maintains a robust defense relationship with Pakistan, and the China-Pakistan partnership serves both Chinese and Pakistani interests by presenting India with a potential" they wrote.

Noting that China may be returning to a position of reflexively supporting Pakistan on Kashmir, they noted since the 1999 Kargil border conflict between India and Pakistan, Beijing's position on Kashmir seemed to be evolving toward a more neutral position.

During that conflict, Beijing helped convince Pakistan to withdraw forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control following its incursion into the Kargil region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Beijing made clear its position that the two sides should resolve the Kashmir conflict through bilateral negotiations, not military force.

"Any Chinese backtracking from this neutral position on Kashmir would likely be met with subtle moves by India that increasingly question Chinese sovereignty over Tibet," they said.

China's growing assertiveness is supported by a range of increasingly sophisticated military capabilities, they noted.

A concrete example of this growing set of capabilities was displayed in August, when China held its first major parachute exercise in the Tibetan plateau.

"This involved a paratroop drop of 600 troops, clearly establishing a rapid force insertion capability on the part of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

As a Chinese officer observed, this exercise showed that, in the event of a crisis, Chinese paratroopers could rapidly deploy at any time," the two scholars wrote.

Curtis and Cheng urged the Obama Administration to cooperate with India in matching increased Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean region.

"Given the substantial Indian naval capabilities, US naval forces should increase their interaction with their Indian counterparts, both to improve Indian naval capabilities and to signal Beijing that its moves will be matched jointly by New Delhi and Washington," they said.

(Source:www.indianexpress.com)

ambi said...

hi ravinder ji,

i am afraid you are misinterpreting my comments, or probably i failed to convey my thoughts in a proper way.

what i mean to say that our thinking shld be original. we shld support the tibet & xinjiang isue, not because China is raising Kashmir issue, but because we feel that tibetian are standing on the just side, irrespective of the stand of China on kashmir.

in the movie slumdog millionaire (which won many Oscar awards, except the producers & director, from story to actors to songs everything was indian. that is our true potential. when a producer & director can find out such a interesting story & make an oscar winning film on Mumbai(sitting in England), then why Karan johar could not find the same story staying in Mumbai. that is the question. simple because, it was a new topic, requiring taking a risk. thats why i gave an example of Bollywood.

it is an indian who first created hotmail (i think his name is sabeer bhatia, correct me if i am wrong, cause i am not sure of his name), & i think it is an indian who was in the team which invented micro chip. but why they did not invented all these things in india? cause we curb original thinking. we dont want to take risk, our society does not allow us to take chances.

we indians have tremendous potential, the day we ll recognize it, we ll shake this world upside down. yeah chinks binks kuch nahin hain. sirf gadha majuri karke dollar kama rahe hain. usse kuch nahin hona. let them do it. we shld nurture original & out of the box thinking.

Broadway said...

1) India made a huge mistake my recognizing tibet as a part of china. The indian administration should undo this blunder first.

2) China is building bases all around india - "string of pearls". The purpose of these bases are to divide the indian army in 4-5 fronts. That is a nightmarish situation.

3) South asia is a troubled region. Every country besides bhutan is going anti-india. There is no need to sweet talk SL, BD or nepal. They have made their choices. It is time for us to suck it all up and prepare ourselves when they side with china in event of the "eventuality".

4) Develop space weapons. It is we who are being surrounded. It is we who are in a defensive position. Taiwan is just another clone of china. All those people who think we can do with taiwan what china is doing with pakistan are ignorant.

5) Who ever starts a war, losses. It is a psychological battle. The weapons being purchased will probably never be used. If a war does break out, make sure you sink the entire coasts and islands of hong kong and every other metropolitan city into the sea. Take the war to them.