How to check China
Date : 06 Oct , 2012
China is apparently acting out a role as a regional bully: it stakes claims to large tracts of Indian territory; contests ownership of the Spratly isles with the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and even tiny Brunei. Its latest shenanigans include claiming sovereignty over Senkaku islands held by Japan. China threatened an Indian naval vessel in the South China Sea. And now, save for Cambodia among the ASEAN countries, the rest are seeking to present a united front against China in resolving claims in the South China Sea. The USA’s military policy and diplomacy now seems directed only against China, a step that the Chinese are secretly proud off, since they have replaced the former Soviet Union and current Russia as the most dangerous nation for USA, a designation and title that gives the Chinese prominence and attention, which they have craved for over a century. China simply likes to be regarded with fear in the world, quite contrary to any modern preferred psychological philosophy.
China, an ancient civilization with a creative past, has come to suffer through its communist regime from a severe inferiority complex after humiliation at the hands of the West in the 19th century, and seeks to dominate the world, as clearly expressed in Mao’s Little Red Book.
But, China doesn’t stop there: it makes friends with all the dictators and autocratic regimes of the world: North Korea, Syria, Iran, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and other African countries. All these countries severely suppress human rights on their soil. Till a while ago, it heavily propped dictatorial Myanmar, and assisted Maoist Nepal; and even now supports now-autocratic-now-democratic Pakistan, which exhibits bipolar characteristics every day. China has suppressed Tibet and Sinkiang with an iron boot, and puts the fear of communism into its own otherwise wonderful people. China, an ancient civilization with a creative past, has come to suffer through its communist regime from a severe inferiority complex after humiliation at the hands of the West in the 19th century, and seeks to dominate the world, as clearly expressed in Mao’s Little Red Book. None of this is healthy for the world, and suspicions of China’s intentions among the rest of the world are but natural. In addition, China is doing nothing to allay such fears, but is instead becoming more aggressive as it finds greater strength in its new found economic and military muscle. Obviously, China’s actions simply add fuel to the fire, and distrust of China mounts.
World alliances are simply but surely shaping up and taking root, though everyone is careful to say that none of those alliances are meant to “contain” China, fearing that China is capable of irrational behavior and reaction. But the very perception that China, like Iran, could be irrational is enough to bring those nations together that feel threatened by China. As much as China says that its neighbors and world have nothing to fear from China, its actions simply speak otherwise, and neighbors would ignore China’s body language only to their peril.
Hence, while Japan, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and distant India come together with the United States in unstated alliances, China shores up with Pakistan, nuclear-armed North Korea, and soon-to-be nuclear Iran. Hence, the lines of distinction between the allied and axis powers become clearer every day. NATO goes where USA goes, and in this regard it is noteworthy that the European Union has denied military technology to China, though they are talking of a free trade agreement with China, at the present. Russia is the wild card in this equation, being friendly with anyone who will buy its weapons, a peddler in every respect, selling itself to the highest bidder while it barely tolerates the West, and manages to survive with China as an unreliable neighbor. What will Russia do, for instance, if China invades Siberia for all its mineral resources? Start a nuclear war with China that is unwinnable? China’s military strength and numerical superiority far exceed Russia’s, and taking Siberia may be only a two-week military adventure for China. For now, Russia hopes to thwart China with feigned threats of nuclear retaliation.
If the USA had allowed India to dismantle Pakistan in 1971, as was possible – or retake Kashmir, which was easier – the story today vis-à-vis Afghanistan could have been entirely different.
Russia is torn between India as a long-time partner and China as a noveau-rich buyer of resources and products from Russia. Russia also currently feels torn between the liberties of the Western world that everybody in the world cherishes and the traditional socialistic communism on which it was founded that ensures food on the table of Russians. However, Russia would do well if it could simply pull itself together rather than interfering in world politics.
Though the combined strength of the axis powers is virtually nothing compared to the united strength of the allied powers, the blood and damage of a world war is not a very palatable outcome for even the stronger parties. But, with USA’s Pacific fleet directed full force against a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, or a China-supported invasion of South Korea by North Korea, or a Chinese attempt to takeover erstwhile islands from the Japanese, what can be done to reduce China’s powers?
Anyone knows that friends, brothers, and cousins all add to the strength of individuals, groups, and nations. In earlier centuries, kings married their children into other kingdoms to enhance alliances and treaties, in the event that military assistance was required in time of war. Today, China depends on North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Sudan to fritter the energies of the West, and depends on Pakistan to keep another perceived rival, India, under check. Naturally, if allies are reduced—if the number of friends and those in support of your group diminish—the net power of the group is reduced. To reduce the strength of the stated axis powers, it is necessary to take them down one at a time.
Sudan has already been split in two, Syria is in deep trouble, and Israel is keeping Iran busy and sweating. Myanmar is being brought back to the Western fold. Thus, significant action is being taken by the West in checking these axis powers, but Pakistan is a complex and convoluted story, which often seems to slip away from Indian and Western grasps. In the past, Pakistan slipped away from India’s wrath largely because of US support, and even today, like in the past ten years, USA wants to check Pakistan all on its own, which it is unable to do. If the USA had allowed India to dismantle Pakistan in 1971, as was possible – or retake Kashmir, which was easier – the story today vis-à-vis Afghanistan could have been entirely different. Remember, Atal Vajpayee was the first foreign leader to call George W. Bush and offer help to USA. If India had Kashmir, the USA could have used Northern Kashmir as a base for entering Afghanistan. The USA would not have had to beg the Central Asian republics, or haggle with Pakistan over the overland route through Baluchistan. Nations, like people, must sleep in the bed they make for themselves. So it is with the USA that must now suffer its decisions of earlier decades. All this has now proven that India was a better bet all along for the USA than Pakistan, which is why successive US regimes since George W. Bush have come around towards India. The unfortunate reality of the current show is that Pakistan realizes that it is the one in the long term that will make USA spin around, rather than the other way around. So far, given the fact that the USA wishes to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, Pakistan has simply to bide its time till it unleashes itself on Afghanistan, using strategies to subvert the Afghan military forces and topple Hamid Karzai as soon as the last US regiment leaves Afghanistan. That is all likely to only strengthen China’s hand in Central Asia from Gwadar to Kabul to Skardu and Aksai Chin.
Many believe that India can’t go to war with Pakistan because of the nukes that Pakistan possesses. So does this mean that India must subject itself to Pakistani blackmail and kowtow to Pakistani whims and dictates?
This trend of likely events can be checked if Pakistan is limited. If Gwadar and Kabul are denied to China, China in turn will be limited by that much, especially at a time when China’s main oil supply comes from the Persian Gulf. Thus, if Pakistan can be taken out, Kashmir returns to India and China moves out of Baltistan. It’s only a continuation of the great game of the 19th century – or else a simple game of chess!
The picture for India without a Pakistan becomes even better: the 500,000 Indian troops facing off against Pakistan on India’s Western front can be spared 400,000 to move to the Chinese front. With a single stroke, India can eliminate all threats from its Western side and doubly beef itself on the Eastern fronts. Overnight, China’s force strength will become relatively weak to India’s, numerically. Consequently, India’s entire military might, including air force and navy can concentrate on the only remaining threat – China. This will further make it easier to mop up Naxalite elements and rehabilitate them. At a time when the threats to India are substantial, taking tough action becomes all the more important. India has to prove the old adage that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
What will this do for India? It will enhance India’s security for generations to come, strengthen overnight the value of the rupee, increase India’s standing with Moody’s and Standard & Poor and similar rating agencies, and attract Foreign Deposit Investment in the tens of billions of dollars, which it needs. To take off, India simply has to shoot Pakistan down. No game is won without defeating the opponent – it’s as basic a principle as that. It seems strange that successive Indian governments have never had this keen sense of competition. But, we know that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. India had better get moving if it wishes to survive in this competitive world, where anyone getting rich is able to command sophisticated weapons and fighting platforms. If Pakistan doesn’t like this game, it shouldn’t have started playing it. Needless to say, anyway, India will finish the game one day.
The additional bonus of dispensing with a Pakistan is that the risk of nuclear proliferation is bound to decrease. There is currently a fear that Pakistani nukes may fall into the hands of the Taliban and other terrorist outfits, which can be a further menace for India, USA, and Israel, who, as far as the jihadists are concerned, fall into the same category of kafirs, and against whom there has been immense rhetoric, bombing attacks, and other action meant to destabilize those countries.
The end aim: terminate Pakistan, undertake some geopolitical engineering by redrawing borders in current Pakistan and Pakistani occupied areas, and bring peace to the Earth.
Many believe that India can’t go to war with Pakistan because of the nukes that Pakistan possesses. So does this mean that India must subject itself to Pakistani blackmail and kowtow to Pakistani whims and dictates? Does the tail wag the dog in the real world? Is the strong bullied by the weak? Do the destitute and indigent command the secure? Only in India, with its distorted thinking. But, India and Pakistan must realize that India too possesses nukes that it can use to retaliate with. While India will not use nukes first, as per its military doctrine in this regard, Pakistan will ensure its own annihilation if it dares use nukes on India. Pakistan will have a choice at some point to surrender without using nukes and saving the life of its people, or else surrender after using nukes, which will assure widespread death and destruction in Pakistan. If Pakistan is a rational player, it will choose the former path; if Pakistan is irrational, then all the more that the disassembly of Pakistan should be expedited because it is simply unreliable. In this regard, India needs to rediscover its spine and become conscious of the fact that power flows only through military strength.
For the Western world, as well, which is worried about jihadists and China alike, bringing down Pakistan is killing two birds with one stone. It is thus time to put the shoulder to the hoe and dismantle Pakistan to diminish threats to world peace.
For a nation that has as many smart and intelligent people as India, it is simply a shame that they haven’t played their cards right till now. The bottom line of action: allow commanders to cross the international border upon any infiltration by Pakistan; remove the thorns and untie the commanders’ hands; and plan for steady reduction of Pakistani military assets over a prolonged period, even if it be months and years. The end aim: terminate Pakistan, undertake some geopolitical engineering by redrawing borders in current Pakistan and Pakistani occupied areas, and bring peace to the Earth. That should shake China and make it wake up to realize it can’t stomp over the Earth in its arrogance; that human liberties – even if in its own country — mean something that mankind must cherish. Though China sought to teach India a lesson in 1962 and Vietnam a lesson in 1979, it is time to teach communist China a lesson. Therefore, to check China, Pakistan must be taken out; in fact, the way to China goes through Pakistan. Thus will China be reduced from its present position, giving its neighbors reprieve and breathing space and allowing all to live in harmony with one another. All this without firing a single shot at China. This simply means further that Pakistan is the last major holdout of the negative forces, and that the sooner these are countered and destroyed, the better for the world.
Dr. Amarjit Singh is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Univ of Hawaii, Honolulu.