China, India agree to disengage troops on contested border


By Reuters Staff

SEPTEMBER 11, 20208:54 AMUPDATED 22 MINUTES AGO

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and China’s State Councillor Wang Yi pose for a picture during a meeting in Moscow, Russia September 10, 2020. Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

BEIJING/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – China and India said they had agreed to de-escalate renewed tensions on their contested Himalayan border and take steps to restore “peace and tranquillity” following a high-level diplomatic meeting in Moscow. Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar met in Moscow on Thursday and reached a five-point consensus, including agreements the current border situation is not in their interests and that troops from both sides should quickly disengage and ease tensions, the two countries said in a joint statement.

The consensus, struck on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, came after a clash in the border area in the western Himalayas earlier this week.

Shares of defence-related firms fell in China early Friday after the news, with the CSI National Defense Industry Index down 1.2% and on track for its steepest weekly decline since Oct. 12, 2018. Tongyu heavy Industry shares tumbled as much as 16.4%.

China and India accused each other of firing into the air during the confrontation, a violation of long-held protocol not to use firearms on the sensitive frontier.

Wang told Jaishankar during the meeting the “imperative is to immediately stop provocations such as firing and other dangerous actions that violate the commitments made by the two sides,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Wang also told Jaishankar all personnel and equipment that have trespassed at the border must be moved and that frontier troops on both sides “must quickly disengage” in order to de-escalate the situation.

The comments contrast with recent show of force by the Chinese military. China’s Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, reported on Wednesday the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were moving soldiers, bombers and armoured vehicles into the border.

Chinese state media also recently reported armed jump drills by PLA paratroopers in Tibet.

The Global Times said in an editorial published late Thursday that any talks with India should be paired with “war readiness”.

The Chinese side must be fully prepared to take military action when diplomatic engagement fails, and its frontline troops must be able to respond to emergencies, and be ready to fight at any time,” the newspaper said.

India has an abnormal confidence in confronting China. It does not have enough strength. If India is kidnapped by extreme nationalist forces and keeps following its radical China policy, it will pay a heavy price.”

Reporting by Beijing newsroom and Sanjeev Miglani in New Delhi; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Michael Perry, Lincoln Feast and Gerry Doyle

Source: Reuters “China, India agree to disengage troops on contested border”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


The Russia-China-Iran Triumvirate against the US


Asia Times describes in its article “Far from quiet on the US vs Russia-China front” on May 29 Russia, China and Central Asia’s busy activities on interaction between Euroasia Economic Union (EAEU) and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the expansion of their Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to include Iran.

By taking Iran into SCO, there will be a formal Russia-China-Iran triumvirate against the US. Iran has applied for SCO membership. As the US is carrying out three wars respectively against Russia (sanctions on Russia for Ukraine), China (the trade war) and Iran (the sanctions and military pressure), there has already been the de facto triumvirate whether or not Iran will be an SCO member.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Asia Times’ article, full text of which can be viewed at
https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/05/article/far-from-quiet-on-the-us-vs-russia-china-front/


No New Cold War due to Lack of a West Camp to Counter East Camp


I have talked much in my previous posts about the new Cold War between the East Camp centered on China and Russia and the West Camp led by the US. Now according to SCMP’s report “Xi Jinping sends unity message at regional security summit in China after G7 disarray”, the West Camp is in disarray after the G7 meeting.

Due to the rift between the US and Europe due to their conflicts of interests, there will simply be no West Camp to counter the East Camp. As it takes two to tango, there will be no new Cold War like the old one.

The East Camp has the opportunity to exploit the rift to ally with Europe in dealing with the US and ally with the US to deal with Europe. As a result, the East Camp will prevail to prove the prediction that the 21st century is Asian century.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2150117/xi-jinping-sends-unity-message-regional-security-summit.


India strikes river, rice deals with China as relations thaw


Reuters Staff June 9, 2018

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – China and India on Saturday settled a dispute over the flood-prone Brahmaputra river that flows from Tibet to Bangladesh in a sign of growing cooperation between them.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the agreement as they began the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

“Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship,” Modi said on Twitter, as the two countries try to reset troubled ties months after a border standoff.

The SCO, launched in 2001 mainly to combat radical Islam and other security concerns across Central Asia, added traditional rivals India and Pakistan as members last year.

Under two deals signed on the sidelines of the SCO summit on Saturday, China will share hydrological data on the Brahmaputra river and amend certain requirements on Indian exports of rice other than the premium Basmati variety to China, India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said on Twitter.

India said last year that China had not stuck to an agreement to share hydrological data, or scientific information on the movement, distribution and quality of water for the Brahmaputra river. China had cited “technological” reasons.

New Delhi has also been concerned about the rising trade deficit with China, and has sought greater access to the world’s second-largest economy for products such as rice, rapeseed, soybeans and sugar.

India’s trade gap with China has widened to $51 billion, a nine-fold increase over the past decade.

The rice deal should help India finally crack the market in China, the world’s biggest buyer of the commodity, traders said.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that China will buy 6.4 million tonnes of rice in 2018, while India will export a total of 11.9 million tonnes.

“Despite competitive prices, India was unable to export rice to China due to their phytosanitary norms,” said a New Delhi based dealer with a global trading firm, referring to food standards as well as animal and plant hygiene.

“As the norms are going to change, India can easily export more than 1 million tonnes rice every year to China.”

Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Alexander Smith

Source: Reuters “India strikes river, rice deals with China as relations thaw”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China sees trade opportunities in Iran after the US drops out of nuclear deal


Lucy Best May 29, 2018

Russia and China are eager to dance with Iran after U.S. President Donald Trump rtore up his government’s commitment to the Iran nuclear deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will attend a regional summit for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao next month, where discussions will cover economic, energy, and security cooperation throughout Central Asia.

  • Iran currently is an SCO observer, but has long sought full SCO membership, for which Russia and China have voiced approval.
  • Beijing will push for cooperation to combat the “three evil forces” — terrorism, extremism, and separatism — in addition to economic cooperation related to Belt and Road at the SCO Summit in June, the SCMP reports, but in general China wants to “push forward evelopment of bilateral cooperation,” Reuters reports.
  • Chinese support for Iran also has a lot to do with oil. The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that “Sinopec…sent a delegation to Tehran this month to complete a $3 billion deal” to develop the Yadavaran oil field, which would be “the biggest foreign investment in a decade.”

Source: SubChina “China sees trade opportunities in Iran after the U.S. drops out of nuclear deal”

Note: This is SubChina’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Growing Interest in Joining Shanghai Cooperation Organization


Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report “Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretary-General: Israel has applied for SCO membership several times” that according to Russia’s Sputnik News Agency’s report on Dec. 5, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov said at a meeting in Moscow on that day that there is growing interest in SCO. So far Bahrain, Qatar, Israel and Syria have filed applications to join SCO. Among them, Israel has applied for several times.

Alimov said that he expected that Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia would join SCO but Mongolia had not yet filed an application. Afghanistan has some internal problems so that it will join SCO in relatively remote future though it has a strong desire to join SCO.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretary-General: Israel has applied for SCO membership several times” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese, full text of which can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/world/2017-12/11425951.html).


China Stupid if It Started a Border War with India


A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

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!

Strategic Goal

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


China-Russia Cold War Camp Prevails while Western Camp Disintegrating


A vessel belonging to a Chinese naval group docks at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas last Wednesday. Photo: Handout

I have quite a few posts on the emergence of the new Cold War between Russia-China autocratic camp and Western democratic camp consisting of US, EU and Japan.

There has been much media talks about the US losing Asia, which in facts means US losing Southeast Asia.

Previously US was Asian leader but in East Asia consisting of Japan and South Korea and in Southeast Asia, the ASEAN.

Now, the US has lost ASEAN due to ASEAN’s economic dependence on China and US military’s failure to protect Philippines’ interests in the South China Sea.

In recent Shangri-la Dialogue, only the US, Japan and Australia criticized Chinese moves in the South China Sea, but ASEAN remained silent. Some ASEAN members have contending claims against China but they prefer silence as they know that they will suffer in confronting China as the US will not and is unable to help them either economically or militarily.

Western media blames Trump for that. However, US losses were caused by Obama administration’s failures.

First, US pivot to Asia aimed at containing China gave Russia the impression that the US was also containing Russia when Putin was making great efforts to improve Russia-US relations.

Obama thus gave China the opportunity to win over Russia, China’s historical enemy.

Unexpectedly, Russia has become China’s close ally as China can be the largest market for Russia’s natural resources especially oil and gas. The US, however has greatly reduced its import of energy even from the Middle East let alone Russia as it has developed the technology to extract gas from shale. China has also been able to provide Russia with funds for Russia’s development.

Certainly, the alliance is first of all political as they have to combine forces in resisting the US.

Being strategy illiterate, US politicians and military intensified pressure on both China and Russia respectively in the South China Sea and Ukraine. That has turned China and Russia into close allies and their Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) into their new Cold War camp against the Western camp led by the US.

SCO’s recent expansion to include Pakistan and India has made the China-Russia camp much stronger. Now it seems that SCO will soon accept Iran as its new member as Iran has been applying to join SCO.

SCMP’s report today “China and Iran held a joint naval exercise near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf amid rising tension in the region” shows China and Iran’s joint efforts in developing military ties.

The report says “the drill on Sunday included an Iranian warship and two Chinese destroyers, a logistics ship and one helicopter.”

The timing of the drill is especially important as SCMP says that it was carried out “amid heightened tension between Iranian and US warships in the Gulf. Washington has accused Iran of sending fast-attack boats to harass US warships passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The US Navy also held a drill with Qatar on Saturday.”

In fact, close relations with Iran will enable China to have a new Silk Road through Pakistan to Iran for secure export of Iranian oil and gas to China. As India, Pakistan and potentially Iran are all SCO members, there is possibility for Iran to export oil to India safely through Pakistan.

The great economic interests will make China and Pakistan Iran’s close military allies in countering the US and protecting China’s trade sea route from Pakistan to the Middle East.

On the other hand, Trump’s “America first” has given rise to serious split between EU and the US while his scrap of TPP and improvement of US ties with China has made the US Japan’s fierce competitor in China’s huge market.

US-EU-Japan Cold War camp is disintegrating while China-Russia camp is growing larger and stronger.

American world leadership? In the new Cold War, America cannot even lead its Western camp.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2098898/china-and-iran-carry-out-naval-exercise-near-strait.


Expanded China-, Russia-led SCO Stronger than Split EU, US


Flags of members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at the venue of one of the group’s past meetings. Aside from the accession to full membership of India and Pakistan, the group’s next meeting is expected to debate Iran’s membership. Photo: Xinhua

China wants SCO (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization) to counter the US, but Russia wants it to counter not only the US but also EU, i.e. making it the eastern camp to counter the Western camp of EU and US.

SCMP says in its report “Security trumps rivalry as India, Pakistan to join China-led regional bloc” yesterday that India and Pakistan will both be admitted into SCO. SCMP’s report regards SCO as China-led. That is natural as lots of media and politicians believe that the rising China will take over world leadership from declining US let alone SCO leadership.

In fact, as neither Russia nor China wants to be SCO’s sole leader, SCO is led by both China and Russia. That’s something unbelievable!

We all know that only one tiger rules a mountain and that it is impossible for two tigers to cooperate in ruling one mountain. However, that is for tigers. Human beings must be wiser. However, the Thucydides trap precisely reflects human beings’ tiger mentality.

No, tigers are wise, but human beings are stupid!

When there are two tigers in a mountain, they do not fight for dominance, let alone killing one another. One of them simply leaves and goes to rule another mountain.

The Thucydides trap is entirely human. It has given rise to the cruelest wars and massive killing. The death toll in one of the world war due to the trap exceeded 10 millions.

We should say Russian leader Putin and Chinese leader Xi are both exceptionally wise so that there can be two leaders in SCO. It is really exceptional.

However, there will soon be something even more exceptional: India and Pakistan the two archenemies will join the same organization for cooperation.

The report points out the trouble China will face in dealing with India-Pakistan hostility and China-India rivalry.

It forgets SCO’s another leader Putin. If Russia had not been one of the leaders, how could SCO have attracted India in the first place when India’s archenemy Pakistan wants to join at the same time while one of SCO’s leaders is India’s rival China?

Putin will help Xi deal with those issues.

Moreover, we shall not underestimate India and Pakistan’s leaders’ wisdom. Their participation in the same organization of cooperation precisely proves their wise intention to bury hatchets. It will be very tricky but the benefits for both countries will be terrifically great. The ease of tension between India and Pakistan will enable both of them to transfer lots of their resources to the funding of their economic development.

Just imagine, how tremendously great the benefit a pipeline linking Iran and India through Pakistan will bring to India! I believe that the two countries will overcome their hostility through SCO rather than splitting SCO due to the hostility and rivalry.

The report says that SCO will consider admitting Iran into the organization. An expanded SCO with the addition of two South Asian powers will enable SCO to counter the Western camp which is splitting due to Trump’s dissatisfaction with NATO and Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Taking Iran into SCO will make the eastern camp centered on SCO much more powerful than the Western camp.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2096913/india-pakistan-set-join-china-led-security-group.


China says would consider Turkish membership of security bloc


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a signing ceremony with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a signing ceremony with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

China said on Monday it was willing to consider any application from NATO-member Turkey to join a Russian and Chinese-led security bloc, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country could join.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Turkey was already a “dialogue partner” of the regional bloc and had for a long time closely cooperated with it.

China attached great importance to Turkey’s wish to strengthen that cooperation, he told a news briefing.

“We are willing, together with other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and in accordance with the rules of its legal documents, to seriously study it on the basis of consensus consultation,” Geng added, without elaborating.

Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that Turkey did not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and could instead become part of the SCO.

Turkish government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that closer ties with the SCO would not mean Turkey turning its back on other allies.

“Turkey, with its history, culture, geopolitics and potential, is one of the few countries in the world that can cooperate with every corner of the world simultaneously,” he told a news conference in the capital Ankara.

“A step taken (with the SCO) does not mean it will end Turkey’s relations with another country.”

Turkish membership of the bloc would nonetheless be likely to alarm Western allies and fellow NATO members.

Having long been critical of Turkey’s record on democratic freedoms, European leaders have been alarmed by Erdogan’s crackdown on opponents since a failed coup attempt in July, and Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU look more remote than ever after 11 years of negotiations.

The EU is treading a fine line as it needs Turkey’s help in curbing a huge flow of migrants, especially from Syria, while Ankara has grown increasingly exasperated by what it sees as Western condescension.

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan speak Turkic languages, and Ankara signed up in 2013 as a “dialogue partner” saying it shared “the same destiny” as members of the bloc.

Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are observers, while Belarus, like Turkey, is a dialogue partner.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Andrew Roche)

Source: Reuters “China says would consider Turkish membership of security bloc”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.