Indian think tanks afraid of calling China threat, says expert

Source: IPF      Date: 30 Jul 2013 10:57:30

 By Sarvjeet Singh on July 15, 2013


undefinedIt is well-known that the Chinese economy is way ahead of ours. Even when it comes to military might, Indian military is far behind the Chinese. But there is one thing that China fears even more than the Dalai Lama — Indian media. Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Editor (Foreign Desk), Hindustan Times, said as much at the launch of a monograph titled China Threat.


“China does not take India seriously, but it fears Indian media, which is violently against China, the most. The second thing which China fears is Dalai Lama and India’s growing friendship with the US,” said Chaudhuri.
Government think tanks have long maintained that China is not a threat. It was only in 2005 that India officially accepted that there is a boundary dispute between the two countries.

 


The event was a rare occasion where a prominent researcher of one of India’s leading think tanks on strategic affairs accepted the fact that China is a threat.


“Think tanks fear calling China a threat. I accept China is a threat,” said Rajiv Nayan, Senior Fellow, Institute for Defense and Strategic Affairs.
Nayan said that such behaviour was because of fears of escalating tensions. Nayan was frank in accepting that the fear was mainly because of China’s growing might, its new policies, thinking, and behavior.

 


“2012 was the year of India-China friendship and after that Depsang (the now infamous Ladakh intrusion) happened. Nobody has an answer to why Depsang happened,” said Nayan.
As recently as July 11, it was reported that two Chinese helicopters violated Indian airspace in the Chumar sector in Ladakh.


“What we don’t understand is why China does what it does. As many as two hundred border intrusions happen ever year between India and China. Interestingly, Depsang is an area which has never been claimed by China as its own,” said Chaudhuri.


It has been reported many times in the media that these intrusions are conducted by China to speed up boundary talks, but Chaudhuri pointed out that these intrusions could have been carried out by the Chinese Army on its own as a signal to its new leadership not to go too fast in normalising its relationship with India. The second reason could have been internal fights in the central leadership of the Communist Party of China.


According to Chaudhuri, China is getting technical help directly from US. Not only this, China is also trying to influence Indian media, academia and intellectuals in a bid to neutralise them.
Supporting Chaudhuri’s viewpoint, Nayan said, “There is no harm in visiting a country, but in what capacity you are visiting a country is a matter of concern.”

 


War-preparedness is also an important area to pay attention to. Till date, ever since the India-China war, out of the sixty-two roads sanctioned along the India-China border, only sixteen have been built. The Indian Army optimally needs eight to nine mountain divisions along the India-China border, but so far, only three to four mountain divisions have been raised according to the experts present during the release of the monograph.


“In 2009, NSA was told by the Indian Army that it will not be able to stand a full scale Chinese attack,” said Chaudhuri. “According to reports, China has begun modernising its nuclear warheads. They were testing short and medium range missiles with greater frequency, but last year they have increased the tests for long rang missiles as well,” said Nayan.


“Missiles are generally used as a deterrent, but of late China is trying to develop a technique through which it will be able to use both short and long rang missile actively in an ongoing war with a conventional warhead,” he added.