Homeland Security

For a Few Tanks More
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Issue Courtesy: http://claudearpi.blogspot.in/ | Date : 22 Jul , 2016

The Chinese are not happy!

You may wonder why again?

Last week, it was about the announcement of the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

The International Tribunal in The Hague had given its ruling on a reference by the Philippines over the South China Sea (SCS): China has no historic ‘rights’ to the natural resources in most of the areas of the SCS, further these rights must not exceed what’s permitted by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Now, China is upset again.

This time, it is because the Indian press reported the deployment of T-72 battle tanks in Ladakh.

The Tribute said that its correspondent visited key locations “across the length and breadth of this strategic frontier, geographically defined by the military as the area from the Karakoram Pass in the north to Demchok in the south-east,” from where he mentioned about “a possibility exists for China and Pakistan to launch a collusive two-front war against India. …In the past four-five years, ground troops have been added to pre-positioned locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), or the de facto border, that is not marked on the ground. In the past 36 months, additions to mechanised forces and artillery guns have been made, backed by the T-72 Russian-origin tanks. Another tank unit is slated to move to eastern Ladakh. This adds a new dimension to any future war in the area that is marked by an average height of 14,000 feet, where oxygen is scarce.”

The Global Times objected to this move: “Deploying tanks on Indo-China border hinders potential for Chinese investment.”

How can protecting the Indian borders ‘hinder’ the Chinese investments? Does it mean that the Chinese are making a favour Beijing to India while investing? Or is it a business investment, in which case, they should not be bothered about tanks,

The Global Times links the deployment of the Indian forces on the border to Chinese business investments in India: “A media report stating that nearly 100 Indian tanks have been positioned near the Indo-China border to counter any possible threat grabbed people’s attention as more Chinese firms are looking to increase their investment in India.”

Then it quotes the China’s Ministry of Commerce with statistics: “Chinese outbound investment increased by 58.7 percent in the first half of the year, as the country [India] has sought to further integrate itself into the world economy.”

It points out that “a great number of Chinese firms, including smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and PC computer maker Lenovo, have turned their eyes toward India.”

The Global Times also quotes The People’s Daily: “the Modi administration has recently promoted a second round of reforms to attract more overseas investment by allowing foreign firms to increase their shareholding in local enterprises.”

This probably refers to the announcement by Delhi of a new foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, opening up several sectors to 100 per cent equity, relaxing rules for defense investment and putting most sectors on the automatic approval route.

The Communist mouthpiece continues: “Chinese investment only just begins to meet India’s rising import demands. However, it is puzzling that while deploying tanks near China’s border, India still strives to woo Chinese investment.”

What have the tanks to do in the investment policy?

It is not clear.

Is it a threat?

You may call it simply ‘logic with Chinese characteristics’, especially at a time China is badly and illegally behaving the South China Sea.

The article explains: “China and India share a large potential for economic and trade cooperation, and while this may make Chinese enterprises enthusiastic about investment opportunities in the Indian market, those firms should remain calm in the face of investing risks.”

It further adds in a paternalistic way: “In an index on the ease of doing business, from the World Bank, India currently ranks 130 out of 189. Despite India’s stated goal to rise to within the top 100 this year, the nation has its work cut out for them.”

In other words, it tells Delhi ‘forget about your borders, make business easier for us first’.

What is amazing is that China has developed its dual infrastructure on the Tibetan plateau at rapid pace during the last few decades, and now it objects to India occupying its own territory and taking necessary measures to defend its borders.

The Global Times article continues in the same contemptuous vain: “Additionally, the illiteracy rate in India remains high and continues to hinder the country’s efforts to improve its productivity, adding to evidence that India cannot make itself a promised land for Chinese manufacturers overnight.”

The conclusion is that deploying tanks near the Indo-China border “may hit a nerve within the Chinese business community, causing investors to weigh the threat of political instability when they make investment decisions.”

According to the same principle, Delhi should stop doing business with China because Beijing has illegally (according to the La Hague Tribunal) occupied most of the South China Sea, where it has build mega infrastructures, even on ‘rocks’?

This is one more example of Chinese double standards.

The Communist regime through its mouthpiece warns Delhi: “The continuous efforts by India’s government to improve its foreign investment environment deserve applause, but now it seems there needs to be more focus spent eliminating investor’s misgivings over non-economic factors.”

And the most startling comes: “During its own initial stage of industrialization and urbanization, China put aside political disputes and concentrated on economic development. To an extent, this may serve as a road map for India’s government.”

Condescendingly, the article concludes: “In the long run, there is large potential for a successful relationship between China and India, especially in the manufacturing sector. In order for that possibility to become a reality, both China and India will need to work hard to clear up misunderstandings in a bid to lay a solid foundation for the sustainable development of economic and trade cooperation.”

You may say, ‘all this for a few tanks’!

But Delhi has probably touched a raw nerve.

After the announcement of the verdict of the PCA, a PLA commentator wrote: “The great rejuvenation of Chinese nation is an unstoppable historical trend that won’t be diverted by the will of any individual country or person.”

A rejuvenated China certainly bully its neighbours and economic partners.

India has to take all measures to counter the Chinese tactics, investment of no investment.

Courtesy: http://claudearpi.blogspot.in/2016/07/for-few-tanks-more.html


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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Claude Arpi

Writes regularly on Tibet, China, India and Indo-French relations. He is the author of 1962 and the McMahon Line Saga, Tibet: The Lost Frontier and Dharamshala and Beijing: the negotiations that never were.

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2 thoughts on “For a Few Tanks More

  1. Very amusing to know that Indian tanks in Ladakh are upsetting China. I am glad that Indian tanks have arrived closer to Akas Chin Plateau to avenge the 1962 defeat and reclaim the area forcibly taken over by China in 1953-55.

    Chinese do not invest a penny until it is beneficial to them. They are after trade. In order to facilitate trade, they are investing in India. That is the crux of the matter.

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