Random Thoughts

Strategic China & Blundering India

Most leaders of nations are power hungry and do unspeakable things to retain power. Many also enrich themselves obscenely like the Shah of Iran, Marcos of Philippines, Suharto of Indonesia, Mobutu of Congo. Even elected leaders suffer from these character flaws and often make their progeny extremely rich as India’s leaders have done. In India, the politicians have become dependent on financing their campaigns by the rich elite, catering to vote banks and seeking the help of crooked criminal dons to deliver votes by intimidation and coercion. The criminal dons of India have learned that it is better for them to be elected to office rather than depend on a financing a corrupt politician. The net result of this is that the governing parties and politicians have no other purpose in life except to get elected to get rich and exercise the prerogatives of power. They have no vision for the country, no knowledge or interest in the betterment of the nation or population and no knowledge, interest or intellectual ability to acquire any skills or expertise.

A recent conference at the Brookings Institution had a program on Stephen Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta’s new book, “Arming Without Aiming”, which is a scathing indictment of India’s haphazard efforts at developing military capabilities to counter the accelerated arming by China and Pakistan. Ashley Tellis, Indian born American military analyst, who tried to abort the Indian nuclear capability during negotiations while serving in the American embassy at New Delhi, has worked for the Rand Corporation and gave an excellent assessment of India’s bungling ineptitude. The program is available at the website of  cspan.org by clicking on the video library.

This is a recent fiasco, but prior incompetence as in Kargil, response to the many terrorist attacks, Nehru’s foolishness in dealing with China in the sixties, Shastri’s capitulation after the 1965 war with Pakistan in Tashkent, Indira’s waste of the 1970 victory in the Bangladesh war and failing to use the 90,000 Pakistani prisoners to settle the Kashmir issue at the Simla treaty, Nehru’s supposed refusal to accept the accession of Nepal and the American offer of China’s permanent seat in the UN Security Council and the neglect based on fear of building road, rail and air links to the Indian northeast, lest Chinese aggression used them to occupy more of India , the delays by the DRDO and Defense ministry in acquiring or developing Arjun, Tejas, Dhanush, 155 mm guns,126 MRCAs, are all glaring examples of stupidity, lack of foresight, expertise and intelligence, inadequate responses to repeated terrorist attacks and no concern for the nation or its citizens. The craven slavish attitude towards bullying nations because of the pressures of the rich elite industrialists or foreign dignitaries shows a lack of will and goals.

Mao did not have to pander to an electorate and caused the death of millions of Chinese by his whimsical policies but had clear ideas about the path for the nation. He also had to tolerate a de facto partition of China when the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan after losing and split China with American support. Yet when the US during the Korean War pushed beyond the Yalu river despite warnings by China, Mao entered the war even though the US had nuclear weapons and better military technology. China did not want US troops at its border. It is for this same reason that it sided with Kim Jong Il and North Korea in the recent sinking of a South Korean ship. If the North Korean regime collapses and there is unification of the Koreas, US troops will be right at China’s border. That is also why China wants the US out of Afghanistan, the Yellow Sea and even the South China Sea and is developing a bevy of satellites to guide its DF21 missiles which can sink US carriers from a distance of over 1000 miles.

Mao detonated a nuclear  weapon in 1964 while Indira Gandhi waited till 1974 and thus suffered exclusion and embargos by the NPT while China was grandfathered as a nuclear weapon state with no restriction on testing. Indira made no prior arrangement for uranium ore supply and neither did foolish Vajpayee. He voluntarily and unilaterally announced that India would not test again despite the fusion weapon being a fizzle. The US initially imposed sanctions, but Vajpayee still invited Clinton for an official visit and Manmohan Singh still crawls to the White House every time. Foolish Nehru supported Mao’s takeover of Tibet in 1950-51. Mao did that while he was already fighting the US in Korea and unlikely to challenge China in Tibet. The Dalai Lama sought asylum in India in 1959. A prior Dalai Lama had done the same a few decades ago when the British ruled India. The US had been supporting Tibetan insurgents via Nepal and possibly India. Idiot Nehru gave China an excuse. He had neglected the armed forces and interfered with them in the past to prevent them from taking over all of Kashmir. He foolishly took the problem to the UN Security Council and agreed to a plebiscite and Article 370. China just flooded Tibet and Sinkiang with Han Chinese to swamp the Tibetans and Uighurs and make them a minority in their own land.

Nehru continued prattling that Indians and Chinese were brothers but Mao, annoyed by India giving asylum to the Dalai Lama, saw an opportunity to teach poorly armed India a lesson in 1962. It took over parts of Indian Ladakh to better position itself in Tibet and occupied parts of India’s northeast. It resurrected Tibet’s claims to what the British had usurped and still claims Arunachal Pradesh. It started supporting and arming Pakistan and made it secede parts of Kashmir and now has a border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. It built up the Karakoram highway and the Khunjerab pass and now is planning to build a rail link with the Pakistani port of Gwadar in Baluchistan.

America foolishly got involved in Vietnam and Nixon who was dying to get out of the Vietnam War and at loggerheads with the Soviet Union and knew that China had fallen out with it too, played the China card. He agreed that Taiwan was a part of China and in return for China stopping supporting Vietnam, gave China its permanent seat in the Security Council. He got China to allow American intelligence and electronic monitoring posts at the Chinese borders with the Soviet Union but this allowed China to learn and copy some sophisticated American technology.

After Mao’s death and Deng’s rule China realized that economic progress was essential to continue the party rule. He tempted US capitalists to enter China and benefit from its cheap labor and essential enslavement of Chinese labor by dangling the hope in the future of a huge Chinese consumer market. He did all this with the condition that foreign companies would partner with Chinese state owned companies and share the advanced technology. The US business class salivated at the potential profits and went along and pressured the Republicans and Clinton Democrats for their selfish greed, just as their new avatar of the Tea Party wants to repeal the healthcare bill, privatize social security and gut medicare.

Now America and Europe complain that they have been had. China became an industrial powerhouse, the second largest world economy (overtaking Japan) and the largest exporter (overtaking Germany). It has now acquired a two and a half trillion dollar reserve and gone on a buying spree of energy and spreading largesse in Africa, Asia  and Latin America to garner resources.  It thumbs its nose at America which owes massive debts to China and is too scared to annoy it, as cancelling the military exercises with Korea in the Yellow Sea and this week’s postponement by the US Treasury Secretary’s labeling of China as a currency manipulator shows.

China is worried that its oil supply may be jeopardized by the US control of the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Malacca, so it built a 1500 mile gas pipeline from Turkmenistan, loaned Russian oil companies to build another pipeline from Siberia, another one from Kazakhstan, took over a Kazakh oil company and owns oil concessions in Sudan and West Africa. It will build a railway line and a pipeline to Gwadar and bypass the Indian Ocean and the Straits of Malacca for its oil supply. It has built up good relations with Iran whose oil terminal is a few hundred miles from Gwadar. It has also supported the Myanmar junta and built gas pipelines from it to China. All these will put its oil supply out of reach from harm by the US navy and air-force. India on the other hand, alienated Iran and refused to join the Iran-Pakistan India pipeline in slavish obedience and subservience to America.

China has supported Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and built up ports to form a string of pearls surrounding India. It built a railway line to Lhasa in Tibet and now will extend it to Shigatse in Tibet right up to the Nepalese border. India cavalierly bullies and alienates Nepal. China started offering a cheap price to put satellites in orbit and duped American companies to acquire advanced technology till the foolish US government put a stop to it. China asked Japan, France (Alstom company) and Germany (Siemens) to build a fast train (mag-lev) and learnt the technology and is now competing with and beating those same companies to build super fast trains in other countries.

China arms Pakistan and gives it nuclear weapons while ignoring the NPT and Missile Technology Control Regime and America in hock up to its ears can say nothing. America arms Pakistan but yet stupid India crawls every time Obama says a word and keeps on buying expensive American arms while agreeing to be monitored, sanctioned and to be required to get US permission for using any of the arms, even though it has paid in full. America gives Pakistan arms for free and turns a blind eye to Pakistan using them against India.

India like America is destined for decline if it doesn’t wise up and China is on a trajectory to rule the world unless the West gets its act together.   


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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