Sino-Indian border - Fresh opportunity - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 13 July 2010

Sino-Indian border - Fresh opportunity

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 13th July 10

The last couple of weeks have seen interesting developments in the Sino-Indian relationship. On June 28, a Chinese Web newspaper called Global Times posted an article that argued forcefully that Indian control of the northern Indian Ocean would be a positive development for China’s security. The timing of this article was noteworthy, coming as it did just four days before National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon left for China to begin a new dialogue on exploring new ways to impart a positive direction to the Sino-Indian relationship.

The author, Zhang Wenmu, a Beijing University professor, argued that only Russia, India and the US had direct interests in the northern Indian Ocean, while China had only an indirect interest. Indian control of these waters would suit China better than a strong US Navy presence in these waters.

Besides, argued Prof Zhang, the more India focuses on the Indian Ocean, the safer Tibet becomes for China. If India were bent on containing China, it would focus on Tibet, not the Indian Ocean. Prof Zhang believes that India’s ongoing naval build-up would bring India into confrontation with the US, rather than with China, mirroring the way that China’s naval expansion is currently precipitating a confrontation between the Chinese and US navies.
Admittedly, this radical idea has been expressed only unofficially, and in just a single media article so far. But it is standard Chinese practice to test reactions to potentially controversial ideas — such as an entente with India in the Indian Ocean — through a trial balloon of this kind.

Furthermore, Mr Menon’s visit to China, from July 3 to July 6, took place in the backdrop of the naval confrontation that is building up between China and the US. Beijing has made it clear that it would not allow a joint US-South Korea naval exercise, scheduled for mid-July, in the Yellow Sea to be conducted unhindered in waters that it regards as China’s zone of influence.

In March 2010, according to The New York Times, Beijing had told two visiting US administration officials that China would not tolerate US interference in its territorial disputes in the western Pacific, labelling the South China Sea for the first time as a “core interest” for China, on a par with Tibet and Taiwan.

Now, Washington has challenged Beijing; an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, the flagship of the US 7th Fleet, is leading a powerful naval flotilla into the waters off China.

China’s predicament explains Prof Zhang’s argument as well as the warmth with which Mr Menon was received in China. Premier Wen Jiabao received him for a 40-minute meeting, as did Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, Mr Mr Menon’s interlocutor on the border issue. Wen Jiabao was quoted as pointing out to Mr Menon that “It will be Asia’s century if India and China have a strong relationship”, and officials told the media that “a way forward” for the relationship was explored.

China’s new appreciation for India’s concerns — which has flowered since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh supported Premier Jiabao’s stand at the Copenhagen climate summit — must be leveraged by New Delhi into forward movement on the Sino-Indian territorial dispute. While fully resolving the dispute is a complex task, Beijing must be made to understand that better relations with China hinge on convincing Indian public opinion about China’s bona fides on the border.

A viable suggestion to China would be to diminish the profile of the dispute, transforming it from a territorial dispute — involving vast tracts of land amounting to 130,000 square kilometres — to a border dispute over where the boundary lies. Astonishingly, given the animosity and bloodshed that the dispute has generated, this is not difficult. Since the 1950s, China had been suggesting an East-for-West swap, in which China recognises India’s sovereignty over NEFA/Arunachal Pradesh (which India occupies) in exchange for recognition of Chinese sovereignty over the areas it already occupies in Aksai Chin/Ladakh.

The same proposal, with relatively minor changes, has also guided the settlement being discussed since 2003 between the special representatives of the two countries: currently Shiv Shankar Menon and Dai Bingguo. Beijing’s insistence, after 1984, that the Tawang tract in Arunachal Pradesh be ceded to China has been the only new stumbling block. The other disputed areas are small and relatively insignificant.

Today, it is theoretically possible for the two countries to agree on a border where China keeps Aksai Chin and India keeps Arunachal; while the Tawang tract and a dozen or so disputed enclaves be settled through further dialogue. This would radically diminish the very nature of the dispute, allowing an overall improvement in relations.

All that prevents such a settlement (other than an Indian parliamentary resolution, which would have to be dealt with anyway) is China’s belief that it could extract a more favourable settlement in the future. But China is pragmatic; when the US-India relationship was surging in 2005, Wen Jiabao made bold concessions, accepting an India-friendly draft of the “Political Principles” for a settlement, an important document that India holds up today to buttress its claim on Tawang.

With China under pressure on the Pacific front, and exploring common ground with India, Beijing must be persuaded to neuter a dispute that has long been, in the Indian psyche, evidence of Chinese animosity towards this country.


  1. Aksai Chin, Arunachal Pradesh, and the Indian Ocean have been points of contention with China for many decades. In my opinion, the recent proliferation (2 decades)of nuclear, and high end missile technology to Pakistan is the reason for souring relationship.

    China started the proliferation, they have to find ways to undo it. Without that there can be talks that don't lead to anything.

  2. Preposterous ! Blasphemy !

    Ajai ji, are you suggesting we(Bharatiya) do away with Aksai Chin? We have done away with Pakistan, Bangladesh, POK and now Aksai Chin ? Is Bharat on a free heaven/land-allotment spree? Or is this a share-market where odds of success are inversely proportional to one's intellect? Let's not forget, present Bharat has shrunk to 1/3 of the Bharat of Ashoka whose four lion symbol we proudly take as our national emblem today.

    If China believes she can extract more favourable settlement in future,would not that be true for India as well? Why can't we take more optimistic approach & let the bone of contention hang as-is (as it has been for years) until we are in the driver seat?

    Despite BJP being in the opposition it has credible appeal in large parts of our country(recent Bharat Bandh !). Besides political challenge by doing away with Aksai Chin, we would personify our cowardice nature as a nation that made us subject of humiliation,tribulations and foreign rule for a thousand years. Which direction do we want to go as a nation? How do we want the world to think of us?

  3. Modern China is ever hostile to India. Imagine that even Taiwan supports mainland China on the border issues with India.

    Moreover any border agreement between India and China now may not be acceptable to any future Chinese government which can be expected to be both democratic and nationalist tending towards Zingoism.

    China and US are fast business friends now because there are little internal class differences between them. They both are very happily going with growing business relations. Any Chinese fear of America in oceans may be a compromised pseudo technique to attain various objectives from others.

    So India shall at the minimum and maximum remain neutral in case of any arising contradiction between America and China or allow it to sharpen.

    Due to its own political requirements, America has never been a dependable friend of India, but India need not to antagonize America by making some smart friendship with China.

  4. China's each and every movement comes under anti-india policy, Doing every thing against india , helping pak as much as possible ( small pin to nuclear weapons to use against india), India has nothing to trust on china's genuineness .

    Worst enemy cannot be trusted .

  5. I would never believe Dragon.
    I still remember quite clearly PLAN vice chief's comment to his US counterpart - "You take pacific - we take Indian ocean"
    As if Indian ocean is Chinese backyard.

    I would love to watch those ripples USS GWashington creates in Yellow sea.

  6. Well!
    Sure as hell this is one "possible" way to fix the indo-china mess!! If we Indians can manage to get this sorted out, maybe China would have fewer reasons to develop Pakistan as its evil sidekick.. Between the two of them, they do form a really formidable pincer that I'm afraid our military isn't yet prepared well enough to handle simultaneously.. We may have had a two-front war strategy for years now but its still nowhere near realization on ground..
    Pakistan today has two alternative routes to feed its army's mojo for war - US and China. If US don't give them, they go to Chinese who have actually given them A-bombs, tomahawks, short range ballistic missiles, 4.5 gen aircraft(s), tanks.. you name it! Probably even a boomer soon...
    So we HAVE to either cut the Chinese out, or declare India an Islamic state, annex it with Pakistan and declare war on Amreekan Infidels.. or nuke the hell out of these monkeys playing with fire before they do it to us... We know our neighbors are incorrigible and their governments fragile!

    Also, a pacified China would greatly help our problems with the insurgencies in the northeast.. and do I need to mention the mother of all, the Maoist word at all??!

    But! Are we Indians really so naively stupid as to fool ourselves into believing that it is peace with India that the Chinese (or the Pakistanis for that matter) really want??!

    Open your eyes and look around - what's happening to Tibet and Taiwan.. which could possibly even be repeated in Nepal...

    The Chinese don't really care about the Indians as such - they're really bothered by the US basically.. and it is THIS weakness that we need to exploit better to our advantage while building up our own strength to eventually bring them to the negotiation tables where the dialogue can happen between two equals and not the predator vs prey situation we have right now...

    (I'm sorry if I've cooked up some strange theories or stepped on "People's" toes, these are entirely my own views, driven by the tendencies of the fertile human brain..)

  7. Intersting article. Some points to consider. Is this is a reaction to the talk about India putting into place new mountain strike divisions? The Chinese may have been willing to build up to a certain degree in Tibet, but India is upping the ante, and they might not want to play anymore. Also the IN and USNAVY have had excellent relations viewing each other has playing mutually supportive roles. How does this fit into the thesis that IN will but heads with the USNAVY.

  8. The article is but one in a sea of literature and thought processes which betray a much more jaundiced chinese view of their relationship with India. In the real world, China seeks to contain India in every form - militarily, economically, through external and internal destabilization.

    The problem in India's dealings with China is the lack of trust with china and its leadership. This is a problem that traces back to the 1950s when china annexed tibet.

    The chinese penchant for sitting on the fence on most issues and keeping their options open, and then rather abruptly choosing one option which usually ends up coming across as crass opportunism is an age old habit that they have not tried to shake off. Add to this is the chinese habit of being quarrelsome and crass rusticness. This is not a one off observation but one that the chinese have reinforced many times over the years.

    I wonder how the civilized nations deal with the chinese.

    This one article is more likely to get lost in the cacophony of contrarian views in the chinese power circles.

  9. Ajai sir

    Do you really think if we give up control over Aksai Chin (and its vast mineral and natural resources) then China will not make voices over Lahaul Spiti or Sikkim, or Upper Assam or upper reaches of Uttarakhand, or Tawang just bcoz the 6th Dalai Lama was born there. (we can ask for Kailash-Man Sarovar as Indians have been doing pilgrimage to this place since time immemorial)

    Lets not forget since the 1962 war the Chinese have already infiltrated 80 km into Arunachal Pradesh and since 80s have captured a strategic valley alongside Indus river which Indian troops used to vacate in winter (ala Kargil by Pakistan).

    In case of Chines naval aspiration we should not forget its trying to undermine Indias circle of influence in Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles in Indian Ocean(String of Pearls)

    Dont forget China fooled the world and acquired a aircraft carrier for pittance (US$20 million), they have even copied Su-33 as J-15. whereas India is spending close to US$ 7.5 billion for 3 aircrafts carriers and supporting aircrafts by 2020.

    Point is, China wants to curtail India's sphere of Influence in the straits of Malacca and Gulf of Aden.

    The write up by Chinese professor is a attempt to show a brave face in light of inevitable confrontation they are pulling themselves into with the USA. Chinese are scared that henceforth they will have to worry about 2 adversaries in India and USA both of whom will do anything to support the Tibetan cause howsoever subtly it may be.

    Oh By the Way Global Times is unofficial mouthpiece of Chinese government. So my intuition says the Chinese government itself is scared and that is why they gave special treatment to
    Shiv Shankar Menon (otherwise they are known for talking to Indian diplomats, even heads of States rather bluntly)

  10. Tibet itself not belongs to china , its illegally occupied / captured by china from Tibetans then how come arunachal will belongs to them .

    If china has interest on aksaichin/ Arunachal/ Indian ocean .
    Why not india should have interest on Tibet / China sea .

    in my view UK also should have interest to take back Hongkong , its really good for china's health .

  11. Good article, would be good if we could indeed use this opportunity to settle things with China. Rivalry will always be there between India and China, but if we can minimize animosity due to the border issue, it would really move both the countries in working to achieve more and minimizing the eye ball to eye ball tension which could crop up on our borders.

  12. The basic theorem should be that both the red dragon China and Pak are the permanent enemies of India till China is permanently contained and Pak is taken back.

  13. I would support a east for west swap, considering they already hold aksai chin and getting it back is very unlikely. We shouldnt lose what we already have to try to get what we dont.

    But this article seems overtly pro-china. While I would welcome better relations, all things past and present point to Chinese deception. If they believed in better relations with india, why do they keep equipping pak? There was a recent article that said 6 secret agreements were signed between pak and china during zardaris latest visit.

    Let us never forget 1962. Remember all the "hindi-chinni bhai bhai" thing? They keep doing this and indians seem to keep falling for this. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    DO NOT TRUST the chinese. They are grandmasters at geopolitics. We should use the american pressure on their east to push for a resolution of Arunachal pradesh.

    Guys, I wouldnt be too worried about ceding Aksai chin, I would like it back but lets be realistic, we are not going to get it back unless we go to war. I would be more concerned about Pakistan and Kashmir:

    "Successive statements by the Prime Minister in Havana, Sharm-al-Sheikh and Thimphu have all implied that, succumbing to American pressure, India is willing to cede Kashmir to Pakistan, the only issue being how to market such a climb-down to the Indian public."

    It looks like Manmohan singh and sonia gandhi are trying to give away kashmir. We have to make sure this does not happen!

  14. If one reads Neville Maxwel,and also D.K.Palit, we have no historical claim on Askai Chin.Further the possibility of getting back Askai Chin in the next 50 years is doubtful.
    It will be worth settling the border dispute by exchanging territories , and starting normal relations. It will help in overall development.

  15. @ anonymous 14:22

    do you really think the chines will stop at Arunachal Pradesh. Pls read my viewpoint which may force you to do a rethink on your views.

    Chinas official policy is 'what land or resources we hold is ours but we also want other areas'. They occupied Tibet now they say Tibet is not negotiable.

    In the same way Arunachal Pradesh (including Tawang), Sikkim (including Finger area), Lahaul-
    Spiti and upper reaches of Uttarakand are not negotiable.

    Whatever negotiation can happen that can happen only on Aksai Chin and the 5000 sq km plus area ceded to these land grabbers by Pakistan.

  16. Say we agree for east-for-west swap, ever imagined what that would do to the confidence of JK based( & supported by Pakistan) separatists. It will be an after-burner booster to them. They will have a reason to believe, Bharat is a pushover. Few more years of struggle, few more martyrs and we are *FREE* from the evil Hindu-dominated Bharat full of kafirs! Are we prepared for that?

  17. Whilst China attends anti-terror conferences and sides with major political powers, let's not forget China is the world's largest terror sponsoring state and uses terror to control its own citizens.Almost all separatist movements in India owe their origin in China - except it uses Pakistan as a proxy.Where do you think the Maoists and ULFA or whoever get their arms and weapons?Who funds terror masterminds in Kashmir?A broke Pakistan can't.China has a Bond-villain policy not only towards India but the world - total world domination where every country is seen as a Real Estate for the chinks.It is India's own fault that wishy-washy foreign policy and procrastrinated defence policy has sandwiched her between the two most far-apart but politically unified allies.

  18. We have general slogan ,

    India is my mother country and all indians are my brothers & sisters .

    If really india is our mother country , how can one will share is mother(country) with others .

  19. Recently China invaded Bhutan, a country with which it has never had any territorial problems before, and suddenly, unilaterally claimed 'The border is not settled'. What makes you think they won't pull the same stunt on India a few decades hence even after we agree to this hypothetical 'east-for-west' solution?

    It's not about Tibetan/Chinese Empire-based historical claims, the Chinese just want as much strategic Himalayan territory as they can get their hands on and are merely using Tibet and the Old Kingdom as an excuse. That's why they took Aksai Chin; they needed the territory to help secure Tibet, and afterwards raised noise about it being part of their historical claims to justify themselves.

  20. @ Deshdaaz

    well said!. Life and death , war and peace is nothing but a matter of time, the only thing which would remain and will be known in future is the "glory" and i think India lacks leader who can take it on the path of glory. Osho said in one of his books that 'War and fear of war is necessary for development' and i agree with him

  21. Ajay Sir,

    Is there any fundamental difference in the idea of "Poeples War" and "Jihad" ? Emancipation of individual and society based on the idea of equility under Islam or equality under Communism is one and the same thing?

    Both ideology people feel they have been and still are supressed?

    Both are revolting insugents and terrorist.

    Both want world dominance. Goal being to convert world population to their faith / ideology.

    India unfortunately, as a liberal society has got stuck between the twin sisters of despotic political and culural systems?

    Bothe are backstabers, plotters and worst kind of Machiavellians.

    MEA is ideologically infiltrated since very begining. They feel bad about it but National Interests are above their feelings and their personal leftist ideologies.

    Things are bad and Chinese seems tobe laying a trap.

    What ever little we have gained militarily even in defeat, MEA is hell bent on losing that, like ever before.

    No negotiation or negotioans with no results is in India's advantage.

    Recovering lost ground is the real acumen of Diplomacy and loosing the won grounds.

    And pardon me, on China issues you are a novice, as reflected by your article.

  22. I'm absolutely astonished by the level of ignorance about China's approach to its borders... and the general level of paranoia about China.

    Instead of wasting your time reading this blog, why don't some of you --- Joydeep Ghosh, Deshdaaz and the like --- spend some time reading about the history of the border problem. Don't read three and a half articles and then imagine that you've become strategists.

  23. India will not have issues with China as long as they becomes the tail of China. Having followed India and Indians, this is their natural behaviour. Indians like to follow and are submissive (eg Afghanistan). They respect size and economic power. The question really is who would they like to follow, USA of China. This is their big dilema. Their other big dilema is what to do wrt to Pakistan. Unlike India, Pakistan has no respect for its bigger neighbours. Their nature is opposite to India and Indians and even Chinese. China recognises this.

    In this space China holds all the aces. India has handicapped itself by not having a good relationship with any of its neighbours.

    In my opinion India's space is very limited, just look at the map and you should understand

  24. Ajai, I mean no disrespect but you are not exactly a China specialist either. Given past and current happenings the 'paranoia' is well-justified. It should be noted that China has border disputes with India on ALL our shared borders: Sikkim(calmed down in recent years but fears remain), Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. All of these also happen to be the mountainous areas that offer a natural bulwark between India and China.

    The inference is clear. The Chinese want the high ground that provides us a measure of security. Even if we gave the entirety of Arunachal Pradesh to China, it is quite plausible, given the Bhutan excuse I quoted in my above comment, that they will raise fresh claims over the next adjoining border areas like Assam and Nagaland.

    This is a most grave matter, given that many reports in recent years have been pointing to China shifting its immediate attention from Taiwan(which is protected by the US and Japanese military and diplomacy) to India(which has no such safeguards).

  25. Gautam

    Your comment: "Ajai, I mean no disrespect but you are not exactly a China specialist either"

    Can you enlighten us, what exactly is a China specialist? I make no claims to fancy labels, but here are my credentials on China:

    1. From 2008-2009, I lived for a year near Tawang on the Sino-Indian border, researching a book on the post-independence history of the McMahon Line.

    2. Over the last three years, I have read most of what is worth reading on the history of the Sino-Indian border.

    3. One of India's most well respected history groups has found my project worth funding and supporting.

    4. As a journalist, I am in close touch with the latest developments in the MEA on the Sino-Indian relationship and with the people who make policy in this field.

    5. As a military officer, I have spent a long period posted on the Sino-Indian border and took part in the operations at Tawang (it was called Operation Chequerboard) when the Chinese occupied Indian territory at Wangdung.

    6. I have travelled to China and spoken to several Chinese strategists about their view of the issue.

    So, okay, you're the expert on China.

  26. @Ajai sir

    my apologies if my comments have been offending to you.

    But if you stand by what you said, doesnot it clearly mean that since we have played into the hands of China since long, so we should contnue playing into the hands of China.

  27. When did I claim myself to be a 'China specialist'? By that definition I meant those strategic analysts who study Chinese policies, plans and strategies on a regular basis and advise the government and military on the matter.

    But since you are clearly more knowledgeable on this issue than the average journalist(no sarcasm), please explain to me briefly China's recent sudden invasion on the Bhutan border after decades of silence on the border , the reports of fresh problems in Sikkim even after the Chinese officially recognised it as an Indian state, and why coincidentally all our states on the Chinese border are disputed by them.

    About your proposed 'east-for-west' SWAP, I recall reading a front-page article years ago where our MeA had apparently suggested something similar with respect to Aksai Chin and Tawang during talks. The Chinese dumbfounded them by saying that their problem wasn't just Tawang: it was the whole of Arunachal Pradesh. I'm sure this is well south of the McMahon line, in which case their actual intention may be to take India's eastern regions state-by-state.

  28. @Broadsword

    Ajai ji, I am not a specialist in China's policy or border issues. But I do have a lot of Chinese friends and what i understand by discussing with them is,

    1. China's govt is pretty clever you can not trust them.

    2. I have never read a book about indo-china border or history but i have read a lot of articles and my main source is Wiki(I hope the information mentioned there is right)

    I am pretty sure you know about Treaty of Chushul and General Zorawar Singh( Chinese govt doesn't recognize this treaty anymore. Tibet was not a part of china in recent history, it was a separate empire. So the claim they have on Indian Land has no good stand.

    So logically what you are saying may seems to be right. but morally it doesn't seems right to me (at least). I absolutely like your journalism but i dont agree with you on this issue(personally).

  29. My dear Col Shukla,

    How dare you write about China in anything less than Cheney-esque Hawkish prose scripted in the blood of a dragon!

    Of course we have to settle our differences (one way or another) with China. There's no other way forward. Until we do (and perhaps even after), the Chinese will not stop propping up their client state to our west.

    It is unfortunate that armchair jokers cannot take a more considered view of what you advocate.

    What would be your stand on releasing the Henderson Brooks–Bhagat Report for public consumption, given that its nature is highly critical of the Indian political and military structure of the time? Perhaps it would serve to calm frazzled nerves?

    Kind regards,

  30. Dear Colonel,

    India's biggest problem is that we do not have specialists who can understand China or even Chinese language. Claimants are many, though. That is not a happy situation, specially for removing miscommunication and wrong reading of signals. China should help India out of this situation of language barrier to avoid mishaps in bilateral relations due lack of communication. So far Chinese are concerned their Hindi Programme on radio was on air since 1970s. The Beijing reviw and Pepoles daily was circulated in India in large number. Books published by Beijing and their sale used to a source of income for the CPI-M.

    There is not much available on India China relations. What ever is available is totally baised and one sided. When China was enmy, the Western authors blamed china. However subsequently when west required China, it became "India's China" war. You may like to refer to some old issue of IDSA magazine to see detailed analysis on this issue. See, people like Alastair Lamb and Maxwell produced slanted studies to suit the Cold War requirements.

    The biggest culprit in this regard has been our own establishmnet who assidously hid all records. Ignorance and ambiguity rules the roost. If one wishes to buy the Govt of India White Papers on The War today those are not available.

    It is perhaps to blame you. Look around you in acedemic circles? Who studies China? What is the encouragement to study China when Shakspare can put you in MEA?

    Look around the diplomatic circles and you will not find even a single man who can claim to understand China. Only a few leftist fall in love with China but we need someone to understand them and not fall in love and write back to Comrade Mao on the sucess of Telangana revolt.

    Knowing some bit of you, one can not doubt your sincerity and devotion but where is the raw material to reserch? Allen Adgar Snow is not ebough..

    For an acedemician where is the material to see the whats, whys and aftermaths of Chequerboard ?

    So the point at issue to become China expert could be different. The establishement does not want any one to be China expert in the Country.

  31. if you are interested in china can you inform us something about PLA's influence over chinese government , mainly foreign policy?

  32. by the way my two paisa on border issue is following -

    i think india is quite eager to make LAC as an international border. and very unlikely to actually exchange any area that she controls now, least any settled area.

    so why china doesn't agree with that now?

    1.they don't want to. and they want to use the border issue in future if needed.

    2. they want to settle the issue but they think they will be in a far more advantageous position in future.

    3. they are really serious about tawang and will not compromise over it.

    none of the above scenario looks good to me.

  33. I really wish the two koreas unify.It would total change the whole dynamics of the game. They would end up having common border with US. We can then chequered board their Chinese asses after that. ( to make this a reality, all it needs is an another SoKo ship sinking )

    If this happens this would buy us time. By the time they settle their difference with US/Korea( hopefully will become as strong as Japan - another Japan is always good 4 India) peak oil happens & the technology to harness thermofrost matures, they will then start claim on Siberia bordering Manchuria which will get them in confrontation with Russia(hopefully the petro dollar keeps them strong till then)...

    Actually if a test firing of a DF-21/31 lands on a unpopulated area of Taiwan would really help now.

    You may call these as wishful thinking. But it were be US of A in India place they would make these scenarios a reality.

    Sometime status-quo is better then any settlement, its only when you try change the dynamics of a situation - people/groups/lobbyist whose survival depends on animosity will try to escalate & succeed escalating the situation to even more.

  34. Ajai sir

    I have only 1 thing to say now. China is a communist country with authoritarian rule where what top leadership decides is final, where as India is a democracy where every political party has a divergent views.

    There have been several past military leaders who have laented about Indias military, political and bureaucratic blunders committed in the past.

    lets not talk about it, what I want to sayu is that when we say Jammu & Kashmir is crown jewel of India and we are fighting tooth and nail with Pakistan over it, do you think any political party in India has the stomach to commit political suicide by agreeing to part away with part of the crown whethwer its Chinas or Pakistan.

    I think not

  35. Regrettably last comment was not approved. Was there any indecency/objectionable content?

  36. Anonymous 19:45:

    Allen Adgar Snow! That's a hilarious mix of two people. Just to help you: Edgar Allen Poe was a writer of fiction on the supernatural.

    And Edgar Snow was a leftist journalist who believed that Mao's rebellion was the greatest thing in the history of mankind.



    Your mail was too long-winded. I think I'm going to entirely stop posting anything longer than 100 words unless it has REAL intrinsic merit that justifies more space.

  37. When nations have dubious credentials in respecting sanctity of agreements then not trading away our claims is the best option.

    For the dragon, an agreement is only a piece of paper to which one should "try" to conform to "as far as possible" but if pragmatism suggests giving it up in any scenario then they will do so.

    Swap is futile, status-quo is the best. You cannot pacify someone who is looking for ways to tease you, you can only prepare. Solve one excuse and another will be found to keep issues alive.

  38. Gautam writes: "Recently China invaded Bhutan, a country with which it has never had any territorial problems before, and suddenly, unilaterally claimed 'The border is not settled'."

    These are the kind of uninformed, nit-witted falsehoods that the blogsphere unfortunately provides a platform for.

  39. "These are the kind of uninformed, nit-witted falsehoods that the blogsphere unfortunately provides a platform for."

    ...Now I'm beginning to understand why the folk at Bharat Rakshak treat you like they do. I've lost some respect for you, Colonel Shukla. Denying these documented facts hints at a pro-China attitude.

    On 13 November 2005, Chinese soldiers crossed into the disputed territories between China and Bhutan, and began building roads and bridges.[23] Bhutanese Foreign Minister Khandu Wangchuk took up the matter with Chinese authorities after the issue was raised in the Bhutanese parliament. In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang of the People's Republic of China has said that the border remains in dispute and that the two sides are continuing to work for a peaceful and cordial resolution of the dispute.[24] An Indian intelligence officer has said that a Chinese delegation in Bhutan told the Bhutanese that they were "overreacting." The Bhutanese newspaper Kuensel has said that China might use the roads to further Chinese claims along the border.

    Further links provided right there.

  40. Gautam:

    Why don't you remain on Bharat Rakshak instead of wasting your time on this blog?

    Broadsword is where you get stuff about the Sino-Indian border from someone who has served there as a soldier, studied as a student and lived as a researcher. This is not a place like Bharat Rakshak, where people fight "link wars", compensating for their lack of real experience with the indiscriminate marshalling of links to articles written by people almost as inexperienced as themselves.

    So go to Bharat Rakshak and stay there.

    Perhaps you'll be able to tell me why they've been citing every article that I write and practically begging for me to post in that ill-informed, jingoistic madhouse?

  41. Ajai Sir, We respect your Journalism, But it is a point of view which you think might be right, then, there r things too which contradicts what you think is right.
    Personally i think the way Goutam has come out with his comments on ur blog and then ur response to him, is not much different than what goes on most of the defense forums.

    It would be good if visitors show some respect to blog owner(its his blog n his views) With due respect Colonal Shukla dont bring the quality down with such discussions. I never thought you will be so easy to Provoke, after all u were in army and you r a journalist. There will be appreciations as well as criticism, But then there are users who check ur blog everyday.


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