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12/28/2010

Wen Jia Bao’s visit to India stirring a storm

Reading from articles originating from India, the visit by Wen Jia Bao seems to have created a storm instead of bridging relations between the two countries. Even George Yeo could not miss the unfriendly vibes in the Indian media that kept blowing up the differences in the two countries, from border disputes to super power ambition. Both have many similarities, ancient, populous and corrupt in their own ways. One is already a super power and another pretending to be one. There is no need to claim who is more successful or who is a bigger power. There is no need to claim who is number one in this or that. The truth is all out there. India has historical claims over territories that it claimed was hers, and so does China. How this dispute is going to be resolved or can be resolved in the near future is anyone’s guess. India is claiming that China is getting more belligerent and aggressive and is responding by reinforcing its border military forces, including beefing up its air force. It seems that war is the only solution in the Indian cards. One far fetch drama is the belief that China is encircling India by helping to build sea ports in the littoral states of the Indian Ocean. The concept of containment originated from the Cold War between the West and the communist states. This has been proven to be ineffective as no states the size of China or India can be contained in any way. The Americans failed to contain China and at best only to restrict China’s relation with the American allies. But sooner or later, the allies, if they are independent countries, will have their own interests to look after as these are above the interests of whichever super power. Actually what China is doing is to thwart the efforts of the Americans and the West and also to expand its economic and political space. India is hardly in its equation for at least the next 30 years. In many areas, there is simply no contest and India should not think too highly of itself. It should just go on developing its economy and infrastructure. The influence and stature of a country will be accompanied by its economic strength, backed by a strong military. There are many interstate and strategic differences between the two countries. India should learn from the way China break out from the stranglehold of the Americans by economic development and advancement in technology. There is nothing the Americans can do to contain or restrain China short of an all out war. America has failed miserably by wasting its resources in military prowess and hardware and allowing China to grow by leaps and bounds in the economic field. India can do like wise, develop its industries and technology. No matter how much it aspires to be a super power, it cannot be one if its rockets keep falling out from the sky despite having no problems with its design. Get the basics right, strong economy and military, and all things associated with super power will fall into place. Having a noisy media talking nonsense and creating more animosities would not turn India into a super power. Militarily the US is still the undisputed super power. Economically it is a bankrupt super power. It is in a very precarious state where it could not produce enough to pay for all its adventurism except by printing money. The G2 is not coined for nothing. It recognizes that at the top of the heap there are two super powers. The Chinese may not be as powerful as the Americans militarily. Financially it is the undisputed super power. It helped to ward of the financial crisis of the late 90s. Today China is the most sought after Santa Claus of the financially strapped countries. The US is a pauper, Japan is not the Japan it once was. So is Germany or any other European country. No need to mention India. Only China has the financial muscle to pull the sick European countries out of the quagmire. Even if there is a property bubble burst in China, which the West is hoping everyday and eager to say I told you so, the incompetent Chinese can never manage their economy, the huge cash reserves will pull them through. No need World Bank or IMF. The rest of the poor ‘rich’ nations are equally impoverished to be able to lend a helping hand even if they are willing. This is what China is today. No need to claim super power status. The European knew who has the dole.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

an excellent commentary, a timely wake up call for India to dislodge its imagined rivalry with China and perhaps for China to accord India some respect, which the latter would most welcome and cherish, supporting its desire for a place on the UN Security Council?........

Anonymous said...

For India to follow China's footpath in economic development is quite difficult, because there is no strong hand in the Government to push through changes. Rampant corruption and sectorial interest over-ride common interest.

China is communist and policy changes are decided by the state. There is no fear of backlash from its citizens, because there is no election to vote the Government out of office.

That aside, I agree that India should concentrate on economic development rather than vying to be the next superpower. And I think India is currently not on China's radar as far as conflict is concern. That can be judged from the purpose of Wen Jia Bao's visit.

As for claiming that China is getting more belligerent and aggressive, that does not tally with their behaviour, for example, over the Korean Peninsula crisis. They kept appealing for calm and resorting to negotiations, not egging the two Koreas to fight each other, or threatening the South Koreans directly.

Whether India can take on China militarily is a question best gauged by whether the US will support them in the event of a conflict with China. Knowing the advantage to be reaped by the American weapons industry in any conflict, the answer is obvious.