Chinese militarism

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced at the ongoing 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing that his country will not follow the “two Chinas” policy for long, meaning that the relative autonomy former colonies like Hong Kong enjoy now is about to end. He has also vowed to make Chinas militarily so strong as to make it invincible in any future war. He has emphasized, without mentioning India by name that all “developmental” activities of China on the border will be carried on as scheduled. No objection from any country will be countenanced nor any compromises made in the implementation of the programme of development. Indications are that Xi has made his grip on the party and the government firmer and will get another term in power. In the circumstances, it will be prudent for India to be prepared for more hostility from China in the coming days.
China comes second after the United States in military spending. Last year (2016), the USA spent $611.2 billion and stood first in military spending, followed by China at $215.7 billion. Russia and India came third and fifth, with Russia’s defence spending at $69.2 billion and India‘s at $55.9 billion which is almost one-fourth of China’s. So India will have to pull up her socks to make up for the weaknesses in her defence which successive governments since the Chinese aggression of 1962, did not pay as much attention to and with as much urgency as was needed. While the time lag cannot be made up overnight, the situation does require extra efforts to shore up the combative power of the land, air and naval wings of our defence forces.
At the same time India should explore the possibilities of putting in place Asian security architecture with neighbouring countries like Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. All these countries are facing China’s threat either militarily or economically. China’s lavish “economic assistance” is actually tightening the noose on the recipient countries by creating a huge debt repayment crisis which is looming ahead. The United States has already realized the importance of India in dealing with the threat from China. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged Indo-US cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China. In fact the cooperation should not be bilateral but multilateral with other South Asian countries joining in.  It is necessary to make a perspective planning for the next 50 to75 years, anticipating changes in global power equations by the end of this century, when US power is likely to decline considerably and China is likely to emerge as the new hegemony.

Saturday, 21 October, 2017