Reuters says in its report “India’s military steps up operational readiness on China border” yesterday that according to its sources, “India’s military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.” However, the sources did not expect that the border tension would escalate into a border war.
That has been confirmed by Reuters’ other two sources, which told Reuters that “the military alert level had been raised as a matter of caution”.
India does not want to fight. It only wants to provoke China to attack it so that it can get more from the US.
China has become “iron buddy” of India’s major enemy Pakistan and is now building its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that it regards as a priority project in China’s Silk Road economic belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) initiative.
The project aims at establishing China’s secure land access to the Middle East especially the oil and gas there, but is regarded by India as a great threat to India’s security as India is sandwiched between China and Pakistan.
India’s conspicuous absence at Chinese President Xi Jinping’s grand Belt and Road meeting gave China a clear signal.
India’s counter measure to deal with its encirclement by China and Pakistan on land is to encircle China and Pakistan on the Indian Ocean, for which it needs the US and Japan as its allies.
China is far from capable enough to deal with the combined navies of the US, Japan and India. It has to develop aerospace bombers to wipe out such navy and dominate the ocean. That takes time.
Even if China is strong enough, it shall not have enemy in its neighborhood. It has to win over Japan by making it believe that China will not retaliate Japanese invasion.
It shall also convince India that China want to be its friend.
China has even been able to turn its long-term enemy Russia into its close ally. Why shall China not be able to win over India?
In fact, India may get lots of benefit from its friendly relations with China. What can India get from the US? US protectionism will make India’s export of elite labor and cheap goods hard since the US is now making efforts to bring jobs back. Protectionism will keep on growing as the US keeps on declining.
True, India may obtain advanced weapons from the US to deal with China, but US weapons are so expensive!
A modern war is fought for achieving a political goal which we regard as the strategic goal of a war. A country is a loser in the war if it wins the war without attaining its strategic goal but it is the winner if it attains its strategic goal even though it loses the war.
From that we see Indian Prime Minister Modi’s shrewdness. He knows well that India army is no match to Chinese army but he provoked China to fight and win a war with India so that he may attain the goal of developing close alliance with the US and Japan to counter-encircle China and Pakistan in the Indian Ocean.
China’s strategic goal must be resolution of its border dispute with India to turn India into its friend instead of enemy. China has been making great efforts in doing so. What can China attain even if it wins a border war with India now? It will turn India into its dead enemy if the war is a large-scale one like the countless border wars between France and Germany that gave rise to the two world wars.
France and Germany are finally wise enough to become allies in establishing the EU. Why shall China and India not learn from their wise examples?
Therefore, we can foresee no war but a few small-scale skirmishes in the border. After all the area of standoff is so small that cannot be the battleground for a war with some scale.
China and Russia have succeeded in attracting both India and Pakistan into their Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). China shall make great efforts in putting an end to the enmity between India and Pakistan and resolving border disputes with India within SCO with Russia’s help. That is the wise strategic goal China must attain but impossible through a war.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:
India’s military steps up operational readiness on China border
Sanjeev Miglani August 11, 2017 / 8:36 PM
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.
Indian and Chinese troops have been embroiled in the seven-week confrontation on the Doklam plateau, claimed by both China and India’s tiny ally, Bhutan.
The sources, who were briefed on the deployment, said they did not expect the tensions, involving about 300 soldiers on each side standing a few hundred feet apart, to escalate into a conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors, who fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962.
But the military alert level had been raised as a matter of caution, two sources in New Delhi and in the eastern state of Sikkim told Reuters on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The crisis began in June when a Chinese construction crew was found to be trying to extend a road in the Doklam region that both China and the mountainous nation of Bhutan claim as theirs.
India, which has special ties with Bhutan, sent its troops to stop the construction, igniting anger in Beijing which said New Delhi had no business to intervene, and demanded a unilateral troop withdrawal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, though, has dug in its heels and said that the Chinese road activity in the region near the borders of India, Bhutan and China was a threat to the security of its own northeast region.
“The army has moved to a state that is called ‘no war, no peace’,” one of the sources said. Under the order issued to all troop formations in the eastern command a week ago, soldiers are supposed take up positions that are earmarked for them in the event of a war, the source said.
Each year, Indian troop formations deployed on the border go on such an “operational alert” usually in September and October. But this year the activity has been advanced in the eastern sector, the source in Sikkim, above which lies the area of the current standoff, said.
“Its out of caution. It has been done because of the situation,” the source said. But the source stressed there was no additional force deployment and that the area was well defended.
The move comes as diplomatic efforts to break the stalemate failed to make headway, other sources with close ties to the Modi government told Reuters earlier in the week.
China has repeatedly warned of an escalation if India did not order its troops back. The state-controlled Global Times which has kept a barrage of hostile commentary said this week that if Modi continued the present course in the border, Beijing would have to take “counter-measures”.
Ties between the neighbors have been souring over China’s military assistance to India’s arch rival Pakistan and its expanding presence in smaller nations in South Asia which New Delhi long regarded as its area of influence.
China has criticized the Modi government’s public embrace of the Dalai Lama and its decision to let the Tibetan spiritual leader, whom it regards as a “dangerous splittist”, to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as its own.
China has also frowned at India’s expanding military ties with the United States as well as Japan.
Additional reporting by Zarir Hussain in GUWAHATI; Editing by Nick Macfie
Ben Blanchard August 3, 2017 / 8:50 PM
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday said India has been building up troops and repairing roads along its side of the border amid an increasingly tense stand-off in a remote frontier region beside the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the neighbors, who share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, large parts of which are disputed.
“It has already been more than a month since the incident, and India is still not only illegally remaining on Chinese territory, it is also repairing roads in the rear, stocking up supplies, massing a large number of armed personnel,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“This is certainly not for peace.”
Early in June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on the plateau.
The two sides’ troops then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from its close ally, Bhutan, and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land connecting India and its remote northeastern regions.
India has said it warned China that construction of the road near their common border would have serious security implications.
In a separate statement, China’s Defence Ministry said China had shown goodwill and that its forces had exercised utmost restraint, but warned “restraint has a bottom line” and that India must dispel any illusions.
“No country should underestimate the Chinese military’s confidence in and ability to fulfil its mission of safeguarding peace, and should not underestimate the Chinese military’s determination and will to defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” it said.
Despite China’s numerous diplomatic representations, its foreign ministry said, India has not only not withdrawn its troops but has also been making “unreasonable demands” and is not sincere about a resolution.
“If India really cherishes peace, it ought to immediately withdraw its personnel who have illegally crossed the border into the Indian side.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit China early in September for a summit of BRICS leaders.
Indian officials say about 300 soldiers from either side are facing each other about 150 meters (yards) apart on the plateau.
They have told Reuters that both sides’ diplomats have quietly engaged to try to keep the stand-off from escalating, and that India’s ambassador to Beijing is leading the effort to find a way for both sides to back down without loss of face.
Chinese state media have warned India of a fate worse than the defeat it suffered in a brief border war in 1962. China’s military has held live fire drills close to the disputed area, they said last month.
On Friday, the official China Daily said in an editorial that China was not in the mood for a fight, noting how the stand off has been “unusually restrained”.
“However, if good manners do not work, in the end, it may be necessary to rethink our approach. Sometimes a head-on blow may work better than a thousand pleas in waking up a dreamer,” the English-language paper added.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry
Source: Reuters “China says India building up troops amid border stand off”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Shihar Aneez July 25, 2017 / 3:30 PM / 10 hours ago
COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a revised agreement for its Chinese-built southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday, the government said, after terms of the first pact sparked widespread public anger in the island nation.
The port, close to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, has been mired in controversy ever since state-run China Merchants Port Holdings, which built it for $1.5 billion, signed an agreement taking an 80 percent stake.
Under the new deal, which Reuters has examined, the Sri Lankan government has sought to limit China’s role to running commercial operations at the port while it has oversight of broader security.
Chinese control of Hambantota, which is part of its modern-day “Silk Route” across Asia and beyond, as well as a plan to acquire 15,000 acres (23 sq miles) to develop an industrial zone next door, had raised fears that it could also be used for Chinese naval vessels.
Sri Lankans demonstrated in the streets at the time, fearing loss of their land, while politicians said such large-scale transfer of land to the Chinese impinged on the country’s sovereignty.
Details of the new agreement have not yet been made public. But according to parts of the document seen by Reuters, two companies are being set up to split the operations of the port and allay concerns, in India mainly but also in Japan and the United States, that it won’t be used for military purposes.
China Merchants Port Holdings will take an 85 percent stake in Hambantota International Port Group that will run the port and its terminals, with the rest held by Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The company’s capital will be $794 million.
A second firm, Hambantota International Port Group Services Co, with capital of $606 million, will be set up to oversee security operations, with the Sri Lankans holding a 50.7 percent stake and the Chinese 49.3 percent, according to the document.
Ports Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that several foreign missions had sought clarification from Colombo about whether the Chinese navy would be using Hambantota port as it steps up its presence in the Indian Ocean.
“We told China that we can’t allow the port for military use and that 100 percent responsibility of security matters should be with the Sri Lankan government.”
China has been building ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and smaller island nations in what military officials call a “String of Pearls” in the Indian Ocean, or a network of friendly ports where its warships can refuel.
China Merchants Port Holdings also agreed to reduce its stake in the Sri Lankan joint venture running the commercial operations of the port to 65 percent after 10 years, the document says.
“The cabinet approved the deal and now it needs parliament approval. We will send it for approval this week,” cabinet spokesman Dayasiri Jayasekera said.
He didn’t provide details. A Chinese embassy spokesman said it had no comment to make on the deal. A source close to the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said both sides had reached a compromise and that Sri Lanka’s concerns had been addressed.
“They emphasized that they wanted to maintain balanced relations with other countries. But the deal is still beneficial for China in terms of revenue,” the source said.
The latest agreement relates to the port while the pact for the industrial zone will be handled separately, Sri Lankan officials said.
The revised deal comes weeks after President Maithripala Sirisena reshuffled his cabinet, naming Samarasinghe to the ports ministry after his predecessor had strongly opposed a majority equity stake for the Chinese firm and raised a red flag over possible military use.
Two Sri Lankan sources familiar with the deal said the Sri Lankan Ports Authority would have the right to inspect ships entering Hambantota.
“Sri Lanka will have control over port activities including security, which various parties have raised concerns over earlier,” one source told Reuters. “The agreement clearly says no military ships will be allowed in the port.”
New Delhi in 2014 was alarmed when a Chinese submarine docked in Colombo, where another Chinese firm is building a $1.4 billion port city on reclaimed land.
India has long considered Sri Lanka, just off its southern coast, as within its sphere of influence and sought to push back against China’s expanding maritime presence. In May, Sri Lanka turned down a Chinese request to dock a submarine.
Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Nick Macfie
Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Sri Lanka’s cabinet ‘clears port deal’ with China firm after concerns addressed”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
India and China can manage the differences that are likely to arise from time to time over their contested border, India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday, commenting on recent tension sparked by Chinese road-building.
In early June, according to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region and obstructed work on a road on a plateau adjoining the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim.
Troops from the two sides then confronted each other close to a valley controlled by China that separates India from Bhutan – a close Indian ally – and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land that connects India to its remote northeastern regions.
Delivering a lecture in Singapore, Jaishankar said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping reached consensus on two points at a meeting last month on the sidelines of a regional summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The two nuclear-armed Asian neighbors must not allow their differences to become disputes, and should ensure their relations were a factor of stability amid global uncertainty, Jaishankar said, summarizing the two points.
“This consensus underlines the strategic maturity with which the two countries must continue to approach each other,” he added at an event hosted by the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Asked specifically about the recent confrontation in the Himalayan region, Jaishankar said the neighbors had experience dealing with such situations.
“It is a long border,” Jaishankar said. “As you know, no part of the border has been agreed upon. It is likely that from time to time there are differences.”
He added, “It is not the first time that has happened. And when such situations arise, how we handle it…is a test of our maturity.
“I see no reason why, when having handled so many situations in the past, we would not be able to handle it.”
During his lecture, Jaishankar described the evolving India-China relationship as having direct implications for Asia and perhaps the world.
Ties between China and India, which fought a brief border war in 1962, have long been frosty over territorial disputes, as well as Beijing’s support of Pakistan, and Indian leaders declined to attend China’s “Belt and Road” summit in May.
(Reporting by Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Source: Reuters “India, China can handle border differences, senior Indian official says”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
By Mai Nguyen, Nidhi Verma and Sanjeev Miglani | HANOI/NEW DELHI Thu Jul 6, 2017 | 10:49am EDT
Vietnam has extended an Indian oil concession in the South China Sea and begun drilling in another area it disputes with China in moves that could heighten tensions over who owns what in the vital maritime region.
The moves come at a delicate time in Beijing’s relations with Vietnam, which claims parts of the sea, and India, which recently sent warships to monitor the Malacca Straits, through which most of China’s energy supplies and trade passes.
Vietnam granted Indian oil firm ONGC Videsh a two-year extension to explore oil block 128 in a letter that arrived earlier this week, the state-run company’s managing director Narendra K. Verma told Reuters.
Part of that block is in the U-shaped ‘nine-dash line’ which marks the vast area that China claims in the sea, a route for more than $5 trillion in trade each year in which the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have claims.
A senior official of ONGC Videsh, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said interest in the block was strategic rather than commercial, given that oil development there was seen as high-risk with only moderate potential.
“Vietnam also wants us to be there because of China’s interventions in the South China Sea,” the official said.
Vietnam’s state-run PetroVietnam declined to comment on the concession, which was first granted to India in 2006 but had been due to expire in mid-June.
Conflicting territorial claims over the sea stretch back many decades but have intensified in recent years as China and its rivals have reinforced their positions on the rocks and reefs they hold.
Far to the south of block 128, drilling has begun in a block owned jointly by Vietnam’s state oil firm, Spain’s Repsol and Mubadala Development Co [MUDEV.UL] of the United Arab Emirates.
Deepsea Metro I, operated by Odfjell Drilling Ltd., has been drilling in the region since the middle of last month on behalf of Spain’s Repsol SA, which also has rights to neighboring block 07/03, Odfjell said.
Odfjell declined to comment on the specific location of its vessel, but shipping data from Thomson Reuters Eikon showed it was in oil block 136/3, which also overlaps China’s claims.
Odfjell’s Eirik Knudsen, Vice President for Corporate Finance and Investor Relations, referred further queries to Repsol, which declined to comment. PetroVietnam made no comment.
COMPETING MARITIME CLAIMS
When asked about the activity, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China opposes anyone “carrying out unilateral, illegal oil and gas activities in waters China has jurisdiction over”.
“We hope the relevant country can act on the basis of maintaining regional peace and stability and not do anything to complicate the situation,” he told a briefing in Beijing.
Chinese General Fan Changlong cut short a visit to Vietnam and a friendship meeting at the China-Vietnam border was canceled around the time the drilling began.
The centuries-old mistrust between China and Vietnam is nowhere more evident than in their competing maritime claims, despite their shared communist ideology and growing trade.
Asked about the most recent drilling, Vietnamese officials said their Chinese counterparts have started raising concerns about cooperation with both Repsol and ExxonMobil Corp. of the United States, which is developing the $10 billion “Blue Whale” gas concession off central Vietnam.
They said Chinese officials also expressed concern at Vietnam’s evolving security relationships with the United States and Japan, both of which have offered moral support for its South China Sea claims and help for Vietnam’s coastguard.
Tensions with China were being contained, however, and had not yet reached crisis proportions, they said.
“We know they are unhappy again, but we are resisting the pressure – it is a traditional part of our relations with Beijing,” one official said privately. “Other parts of the relationship remain strong.”
Underlining the relationship between India and Vietnam, Vietnamese deputy prime minister Pham Binh Minh told a forum in New Delhi this week that India was welcome to play a bigger role in Southeast Asia – and specifically the South China Sea.
Hanoi’s growing defense and commercial ties with India are part of its strategy of seeking many partnerships with big powers while avoiding formal military alliances.
The pace has picked up since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration took office in 2014 and sought to push back against China’s expanding presence in South Asia by raising its diplomatic and military engagement in Southeast Asia.
India is providing naval patrol boats, satellite cover to monitor Vietnam’s waters and training for its submarines and fighter pilots – more military support than it is giving to any other Southeast Asian country.
On the agenda are transfers of naval vessels and missiles under a $500 million defense credit line announced last year.
Next week, the navies of India, the United States and Japan will hold their largest joint exercises in the Bay of Bengal.
(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Greg Torode in Hong Kong; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
Source: Reuters “Vietnam renews India oil deal in tense South China Sea”
Reuters says in its report “India won’t include Australia in naval drills, fears China backlash”:
Australia formally wrote to the Indian defense ministry in January asking if it could send naval ships to join the July wargames as an observer, in what military experts saw as a step toward eventual full participation.
Four officials from India, Australia and Japan told Reuters India blocked the proposal and suggested that Canberra send officers to watch the exercises in the Bay of Bengal from the decks of the three participating countries’ warships, instead.
True, India worries that it may be encircled by China, Pakistan as well as Central Asia due to China’s growing influence in Central Asia and close ties with Russia, but it has joined China- and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization for win-win cooperation with China and Pakistan instead of provoking China.
Media exaggerate the recent border standoff between China and India as they need sensational news.
The border incident is in fact very small encounter that will never trigger a war as proved by decades of peace in spite of frequent encounters of such scale.
Anxious to encircle China, the US certainly is trying hard to attract India, but it lacks financial resources. Trump’s policies to bring jobs back to America will first of all deprive Indian elite the well-paid job opportunities in the US.
In addition, US trade policies are increasingly unfavourable to India’s export to the US.
Certainly, encircled by China and Pakistan, India wants US advanced weapons, but US weapons are too expensive. Is the US able to subsidize its weapon export to India to make India afford import of expensive US weapons?
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-navy-exercises-idUSKBN18Q1VD
India warned China on Friday that construction of a road near their common border would have serious security implications, as China’s Foreign Ministry denied its troops had violated the territory of India’s ally, Bhutan.
The stand-off on a plateau next to the mountainous Indian state of Sikkim, which borders China, has ratcheted up tension between the two neighboring giants, who share a 3,500 km (2175 miles) frontier, parts of which are disputed.
According to the Chinese interpretation of events, Indian guards crossed into China’s Donglang region early in June and obstructed work on a road on a plateau.
Troops from the two sides then confronted each other close to a strategic valley controlled by China that separates India from Bhutan and gives China access to the so-called Chicken’s Neck, a thin strip of land that connects India to its remote northeastern regions.
Bhutan said on Thursday that the road was being built inside its territory.
Indian media have reported that the dispute began when China removed an old Indian bunker.
“India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India,” India’s ministry of external affairs said in a statement.
“It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally,” the ministry said.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the road work was going on in an area that was on the Chinese not Bhutanese side.
China and Bhutan have yet to reach a final agreement on demarking their border.
(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes in NEW DELHI and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING)
Source: Reuters “India warns China over road construction near border amid stand-off”