NATIONAL SECURITY: China placing missiles in G-B, encircling India: Jaswant Singh

NATIONAL SECURITY: China placing missiles in G-B, encircling India: Jaswant Singh – a warning few will heed ?!!

* BJP leader claims Chinese military building road, rail networks in G-B
* Says even Pak Army denied access to building sites

An aggressive China or a rather docile India - time to take heed ?!! (The Hindu)

From Daily Times
By Iftikhar Gilani / AP
Forwarded by Gorkhs Daju

NEW DELHI, Tuesday, August 31, 2010: The Chinese military has dug tunnels in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and is storing missiles there in an attempt to encircle India, claimed a senior leader of India’s Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday.

Speaking in Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Indian parliament, BJP leader Jaswant Singh claimed that the Chinese military is storing missiles in tunnels it has dug in G-B. The target of the missiles, he said, is India. Singh warned that Beijing was trying to “encircle” India. He said it has set up permanent structures in G-B in Jammu and Kashmir, which he said is “an inalienable part of India”.

Rail, road networks: Singh remarked Pakistan has handed over G-B to China and the People’s Liberation Army personnel were digging tunnels there to set up rail and road networks for placement of missiles. He asserted that “even locals and Pakistan Army personnel were not allowed to venture in those areas”.

The former foreign minister stressed that it was an issue of vital national importance on which the government must respond in unequivocal terms. He criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent statement on China’s actions, which said that ”we do not have to be reciprocal’. Singh said that India was being encircled by the People’s Republic of China and the prime minister chooses not to respond. He observed that statecraft was a cruel dealing where personal niceties had little relevance.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday denied reports that appeared in a section of the press that India’s maps had been confiscated by Chinese authorities from the country’s pavilion at World Expo 2010. “I have seen a report in the Times of India about the alleged confiscation of some printed material depicting the Indian map… there is no factual basis to this report,” a ministry spokesperson said.

According to the newspaper, officials of China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) barged into the Indian pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and seized brochures bearing India’s map, saying they were taking away the maps because China objected to showing northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as a part of Indian territory. The spokesperson, however said, “there has been no interference in the functioning of our pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.”

China had recently refused visa to an Indian Army general on the grounds that he commanded troops in Indian-held Kashmir, which it described as a disputed area. China said on Monday that it had not received any word from New Delhi that it had suspended military exchanges over the refusal of visa. An anonymous senior Indian official was quoted as saying in The Hindu on Saturday that future military exchanges and a joint exercise between Indian and Chinese defence forces would remain suspended until China resolved the issue.

“China did not suspend military exchanges with India, nor did it receive any communication from India about a suspension of exchanges between the two militaries,” China’s Ministry of National Defence said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press in response to questions.

Time to put China in its place – before its just too late ?!!

From The Hindu Business Line
By B.S. Raghavan

The pinpricks that China had been giving India do not befit the dignity and sobriety normally associated with ancient cultural values.

China’s is an ancient civilisation. It can legitimately pride itself on the quintessential wisdom of thinkers and philosophers who have left their impact on every aspect of life. Indeed, the Chinese polity has its moorings in the comprehensive value system handed down by them that is meant to govern the daily conduct of the people as also those in positions of authority and power. But the needling of neighbours on the slightest pretext by the present-day Chinese rulers makes one wonder whether the compulsive itch to play realpolitik is throwing overboard the heritage of noble tenets and traditions honed for over 5,000 years.

For instance, Confucius is China’s patron saint by whom even the Communist ideologues swear, at least outwardly. It is from his famous aphorisms that Mao borrowed “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let hundred thoughts contend”, only to be subsequently trampled underfoot.

One of the imperative dicta of Confucius is that China’s relations with other peoples and countries should be founded on the sacred principle of harmony and the golden law of reciprocity, defined as putting oneself in the other’s place, whatever one does. One need not go as far back as Confucius. Speaking to the US Army War College some time ago, General Li Jijun, then Vice-President of the Academy of Military Science of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), referred to an ancient Chinese motto that admonished people, “Never do to others what you do not like others to do to you” ( ji suo bu yu, wu shi yu ren), and added: “China’s history and the way the Chinese people understand their own civilisation militate against any desire for aggression. Over thousands of years the pursuit of peace has been thoroughly absorbed into the Chinese national psyche…”

Sardonic smile

He also paid glowing tribute to the ancient Chinese military thinker, Mo Zi, who lived five centuries before Christ, and was the father of the concept of “non-offence” ( feigong), that advocated ‘accommodating’ rather than provocative actions.

The people of India, for many of whom the memory of 1962 is still fresh, should be pardoned if they react to this recital with a sardonic smile. The behaviour of the market socialist Chinese regime towards India in recent years has not only been at odds with the teachings of Confucius and claims of the PLA General but can fairly be described as immature, even childish.

It is always possible for two national Governments, particularly of adjacent countries, not to see eye to eye on some issues. In such a situation, it is expected of mature Governments to seek to deal with them at the policy level and set up mechanisms that will take such issues towards resolution in the spirit of the ancient Chinese motto mentioned by the PLA General, and not to unilaterally go about indulging in irritating displays of carping pettifoggery. The pinpricks that China had been giving to India in the past in the form of border incursions, questioning the status of Arunachal Pradesh, raising frivolous objections to the visits of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Dalai Lama to that State, refusing visas to the IAS trainees belonging to that State, and resorting to issue of stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir are certainly not befitting the dignity and sobriety normally associated with ancient cultural values.

Now comes the refusal of China to ‘host’ General B. S. Jaswal, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of India’s Northern Command, who was to lead the team for the fourth defence dialogue, to be held in Beijing.

The reason mentioned (that he came from the “sensitive location of Jammu and Kashmir” and “people from this part of the world come with a different kind of visa”) is of a piece with China’s past record of insensitivity and arrogance.

Hegemonistic ambitions.

What is the justification for China viewing Jammu and Kashmir as a ‘sensitive location’? Is it insinuating that it does not regard the State as an integral part of India? Or is it that the location has become ‘sensitive’ because China is preparing the ground to lay claim to some part of the territory? Worse still, has China decided to gang up with Pakistan to ‘bleed’ India in whatever manner possible?

Whatever it is, it takes the cake for impudence beyond belief, raising the question how and why China, with all the advantage of ancient wisdom, has failed to realise that this is no way to “clarify concerns, deepen mutual trust and coordinate stances” which was the stated purpose of the defence dialogue.

What is most baffling is China being oblivious to the greatest harm it is doing to itself as a result of the cumulative effect of these annoying incidents.

It is providing vindication to those who have been venting their suspicion of its hegemonistic ambitions and is fast alienating a constituency in India which, however small, had been braving public opprobrium and advocating an early settlement of the border dispute in a spirit of give-and-take to usher in an era of peace and friendship with China.

Apparently, winning friends and influencing people is not China’s forte. Given China’s deliberate policy of keeping India on tenterhooks by manufacturing a series of untenable pretexts, reminiscent of the famous fable of the wolf and the lamb, it should not be surprising if the significance of India’s mild but pained response to the blackballing of Gen Jaswal is totally lost on the powers-that-be in Beijing.

New Delhi must understand that mere half measures will not do. The defence dialogue has never been much to speak of from its initiation in 2008. At best, it was exploratory at the periphery of India-China relations and never went in depth into any substantive issues relating to Defence and security collaboration, the implications of China’s maritime pretensions or the China-Pakistan axis spiting India an every count.

China has handed on a platter an opportunity for Indian policy-makers to scrap altogether the wholly fruitless and wasteful make-believe of a dialogue and deal with emerging issues as they arise.

In any case, the strategic imperatives and the composition and configuration of forces of both countries are so far apart that a common defence dialogue is an illusory luxury.


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