Skip to comments.China raises tension in India dispute
Posted on 06/10/2007 12:30:05 PM PDT by CarrotAndStick
Indias strengthening ties with the US are the cause of Chinas increasingly aggressive position over the disputed India-China border in the eastern Himalayas, according to security affairs analysts in both countries.
The two fast-growing economies have co-ordinated their approach to climate change through the Group of Eight, and bilateral trade surged 56 per cent in the first four months of the year. But political relations have come under unexpected stress recently.
Beijing claims 90,000 sq km of land in the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders Bhutan and Tibet. India says China is occupying 38,000 sq km of its territory in Kashmir illegally ceded by Pakistan.
[The Chinese claim] came as a big surprise to New Delhi, says Brahma Chellaney, an Indian security affairs analyst. The new shrillness in Chinas rhetoric on territorial issues is a reflection of its anger at India gradually getting co-opted into the US league.
Hawkish elements in the Indian media on Sunday accused Manmohan Singh of appeasing Beijing after the prime minister struck a conciliatory tone in his meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Berlin. Mr Singh described China as Indias greatest neighbour.
China seemed to harden its stance over the territorial dispute. Foreign minister Yang Jiechi told his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee in Hamburg last week that the mere presence of settled populations did not affect Chinese claims.
Analysts say Chinas blunt assertion of claims to an area more than twice the size of Taiwan is inconsistent with political parameters for a potential settlement agreed in 2005 and could contaminate other areas of the relationship.
This is the elephant in the room, says Uday Bhaskar, defence analyst. The Indians had taken the political parameters as Chinese acceptance of the status quo. But China is now sending out very different signals. Well have to see how far they push it.
The US is trying hard to improve bilateral relations with India. At the centre of its effort is a nuclear energy co-operation agreement that promises to end 30 years of sanctions against a country now seen as a potential counterbalance to China.
Analysts anticipate a gradual Americanisation of the Indian military, which is expected to import hardware and software worth $30bn in the next five years, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.
The countrys navy chief last month said there was no evil intent in trilateral naval exercises with Japan and the US along the Pacific coastline of East Asia. India has also held exercises with China, Russia and south-east Asian states.
India last month cancelled a confidence-building visit to China by 107 elite civil servants after China denied a visa to an official from Arunachal Pradesh on the grounds that he was Chinese and did not need one.
Analysts said the denial of the visa was intended to reinforce Chinas claim to the entire state, not just disputed land around Tawang, which it has long asserted to be part of Tibet, itself annexed in the 1950s.
Ma Jiali, a researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, said: India should have been fully aware of Chinas stance on the border issue, which has been specified by the Chinese government many times.
Last November, days before Mr Hus maiden visit to India, Beijings envoy to India said the entire state was a part of China.
The Indian ministry of external affairs has repeatedly stated that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. This position has been consistently and categorically conveyed to China, officials said.
During a trip to India by Wen Jiabao, Chinas premier, in 2005, India and China agreed broad principles to settle the border issue. Although negotiators will meet again in July, few expect any breakthrough ahead of Mr Singhs visit to Beijing this year.
The border dispute has not prevented a blossoming of trade and economic ties. The countries aim for two-way trade worth $40bn by 2010. Trade surged to $17.6bn in 2005-06, from $260m in 1990.
A senior Chinese foreign ministry official, speaking before the G8 summit, said the two countries had maintained close consultations about which policies developing countries should adopt on global warming.
There are a lot of similarities between the two countries, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. We agree that developing countries should give top priority to poverty reduction and national development.
China released its first action plan on global warming this week. It promised to put the issue at the heart of its economic and energy policies, but asserted that developed countries had an unshirkable duty to lead in cutting emissions.
Chinas existing and projected emissions far outstrip Indias, and that makes New Delhi a valuable ally for Beijing in warding off pressure from developed countries and Europe in particular.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Forgive the funny characters appearing now and then in the article, but that never used to happen earlier. I guess the HTML format that FreeRepublic uses has been changed recently.
I think sane nations should seriously consider donating nukes to Taiwan. The Chinese are wary of MAD. Then again, that might lead to them concentrating military resources currently aimed at Taiwan, into other things more nasty.
It looks good on my computer.
Thanks for that reply. I checked just now, and something made my computer use Western European (ISO) encoding instead of the default Western European (Windows). My bad!
America has many things in common with India and fewer things in common with the PRC. For example, democratically elected governments and common problems with muslim fundamaniacs. If China ever went to war with us, India might want to ally with us in order to regain the territory that China is occupying. The disputed border region includes the water rights to the glaciers of the mountains. Its not just barren real estate; its the water needed to feed their people.
India and US should begin with the derecognition of “one China” and grant recognition to Taiwan as an independent nation.
And just to let them know India is not exactly Taiwan, Indian navy should carry out a small naval excercise in the South China sea.
I thought you might find this interesting.
The guy in my tagline would do just that.
Wonder if he'll ever mention India in the coming months.
Eh, the Chinese really beat up the Indians in the 1962 War - they could have taken a lot more territory than they did, but they didn’t, declaring a unilateral cease-fire when they had what they wanted.
Most of what is disputed is fairly worthless mountainous territory.
This article points up the abject idiocy, though, of that faked “India Daily” article about India and China entering into a NATO-like Alliance from a few weeks ago.
the world was asleep when china claimed and later occupied tibet in 1950.
Sooner or later. The destructive potential in the region is barely imaginable.
“Indias strengthening ties with the US are the cause of Chinas increasingly aggressive position over the disputed India-China border in the eastern Himalayas, according to security affairs analysts in both countries.”
Our “friend” China.
The friend (India) of my enemy is my enemy.