China Commentary
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China Commentary
Tracking Military, Geopolitical & Strategic trends to determine China's impact Regionally Globally and Domestically
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Global Geopolitics & Political Economy B.RAMAN In his first visit abroad as the President of China since assuming office on March 14,2013, Mr.Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo...

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India concerned by China role in Pakistan's Gwadar port

India concerned by China role in Pakistan's Gwadar port | China Commentary |

 China's role in operating a strategically important port in Pakistan is a matter of concern for India, Defence Minister A.K.



Indian policy-makers have long been wary of a string of strategically located ports being built by Chinese companies in its neighbourhood, as India beefs up its military clout to compete with its Asian rival.


Management of Gwadar port, around 600 km (370 miles) from Karachi and close to Pakistan's border with Iran, was handed over to state-run Chinese Overseas Port Holdings last week after previously being managed by Singapore's PSA International.


"It is a matter of concern to us," Antony told reporters when asked about Chinese control of the port.


When complete, the port, which is close to the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping lane, is seen opening up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf, across Pakistan to western China, and could be used by the Chinese Navy, analysts say.


"It will enable (China) to deploy military capability in the region," said Jay Ranade, of the Centre for Air Power Studies and a former additional secretary in the government. "Having control of Gwadar, China is basically getting an entry into the Arabian Sea and the Gulf."


China has also funded ports in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, and Chittagong in Bangladesh, both India's neighbours.

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India-China Ties Under New Chinese Leadership - Analysis

India-China Ties Under New Chinese Leadership - Analysis | China Commentary |

China, which already has a new party leadership since the Party Congress in November last, will be having a new State leadership from next month.

Mr.Xi Jinping, who took over as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chairman of its Central Military Commission (CMC) in November last, will be taking over as the State President from Mr.Hu Jintao at the end of the National People’s Congress (NPC) next month. Mr.Li Kekiyang will be taking over as the Prime Minister from Mr.Wen Jiabao.

One does not know much about the personal leadership style of Li , but from what one had seen since November, Xi will not be a carbon copy of Hu. He is more smiling and relaxed, more forthcoming, less bureaucratic and less formal in his interactions with his colleagues and juniors.

China – India Relations

He believes that military strength comes out of economic strength and that further developing the Chinese economy should have the primacy of attention. He also realises that China’s economic gains might be diluted if corruption is not controlled and that corruption among public servants comes not only out of greed, but also out of an unhealthy desire for status. Austerity in personal and public life is, therefore, stressed by him..

During his first visit to Guangdong after taking over, many noticed the conscious lack of ostentation in his travels and interactions. Lack of ostentation is emerging as a defining characteristic of his leadership style. It remains to be seen whether he is able to retain it as the State President.

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China should strengthen force on Indian border, researcher says

China should strengthen force on Indian border, researcher says | China Commentary |

A Chinese expert has advised the government to increase supervision on its border with India after New Delhi's decision to form a new mountain strike corps for the 3,380km-long border that the two countries share in total. 

Reacting to a news report in The Times of India, Fu Xiaoqiang, researcher from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said, "China should strengthen its supervision and control over the border area with India." 

The formation of a new corps shows India sees China as its military competitor, Fu was quoted by Beijing-based newspaper the Global Times. 

The TOI report said that the new corps, having around 40,000 soldiers, will be formed during India's 12th Five-Year Plan from 2012 to 2017, at an estimated cost of 810 billion rupees ($14.9 billion). The idea is to build the capability of launching counter-offensives into the TibetAutonomous Region against potential "Chinese attacks." 

However, Fu felt the Indian proposal has little relation to a military exercise carried out by the Chinese air force over the Tibet Autonomous Region in December. It is part of India's overall plan to strengthen its military power along its border with China, he said..

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The rise of China and India as major world powers promises to test the established global order in the coming decades.
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Chinese delegates attend India aviation trade show for first time

Chinese delegates attend India aviation trade show for first time | China Commentary |
Visit to aviation trade event is a first, and follows agreement to resume joint military exercises



India, the world's leading importer of weaponry, opened one of Asia's biggest aviation trade shows on Wednesday, with Western suppliers eyeing lucrative deals and a Chinese delegation attending for the first time.

Air Vice Marshal Zheng Yuanlin was heading a five-person group at the five-day Aero India show after New Delhi extended a formal invitation to China last month.


"They've confirmed their attendance," an Indian defence ministry spokesman said.


"It's the first time India has invited a Chinese delegation from Beijing."

The last Aero India in 2011 saw India initially snub China, but the Chinese envoy in New Delhi was allowed to attend in a negotiated compromise.


Suspicion of China runs deep in the Indian military and hawkish comments from senior commanders often conflict with the political leadership, which tends to stress the need for a partnership between Asia's two biggest nations.

DOSID's insight:

"New Delhi has budgeted about 1.93 trillion rupees (HK$280 billion) for defence spending in the financial year to the end of March, up 17 per cent from 2011-2012, when spending was increased by another 12 per cent."

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The Challenge Posed by China’s Military Posture in Tibet

The Challenge Posed by China’s Military Posture in Tibet | China Commentary |

Brig. Vijai K Nair (Retd). Dr. Nair an M Sc. in Defence Studies and a Ph. D. in Political Science. He specializes in Nuclear Strategy formulation and nuclear arms control negotiations.


A         Development of Surface Communications in Tibet 
B         Chinese Nuclear Capabilities Deployed In Central China                         
C         Chinese Nuclear Weapons By Type & Location.
D         Chinese Assistance To Pakistan: Nuclear Field
E          Map of  Area for Diverting Water from Tsangpo 

China is in forceful occupation of approximately 38,000 square Kms of Indian territory in Akshai Chin in the West and claims a further 90,000 square Kms of Indian territories in the East, a claim that was reiterated with vehemence by Beijing as recently as June 1998. This territorial dispute resulted in the deployment of military forces, by both India and China, in direct confrontation along 3488 km of what is called the Line of Actual Control [LAC][i] in place of a mutually recognised international border between them. To add fuel to fire the alignment of the LAC is also disputed thereby causing considerable tensions between the two countries.

Despite having signed an Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control [LAC] in 1993 Chinese incursions across the LAC continue to be a regular feature and have continued to date.[ii] If anything the frequency of these intrusions registered an upswing after the demise of Deng Xiaoping in February 1997 with exponential increments thereafter when India conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. “Chinese troops have crossed over into Indian territory over 500 times since January, 2010. But much more than the sheer number of these "transgressions" - the government refuses to call them "intrusions" - it's the increasingly aggressive behaviour of the 2.5-million-strong People's Liberation Army [PLA] along the LAC that remains a major worry.”[iii] The propensity of the Indian Government to sweep this aberration under the carpet cannot reduce the threat manifest in the fact that the PLA has:

DOSID's insight:

Very pertinent content and ground breaking analysis by Brigadier Vijai K Nair [rtd]


Brig. Vijai K Nair (Retd). Dr. Nair an M Sc. in Defence Studies and a Ph. D. in Political Science. He specializes in Nuclear Strategy formulation and nuclear arms control negotiations. He has considerable experience on issues related to NPT, CTBT and FMCT.  Dr. Nair is currently revising the nuclear strategy for India [in keeping with nuclear transience] suggested in his book “Nuclear India.” Besides two tenures of combat duty, in service experience includes being a Member Army Experts Committee - 1989-90; Core staff officer to the Committee on Defence Expenditure 1990.
He is the Life Trustee of the Forum for Strategic & Security Studies; and, Managing Director, Magoo Strategic Infotech Pvt Ltd.  An information service providing daily news updates and analyses on “Nuclear Agenda’s”.   
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How India is Turning Into China

How India is Turning Into China | China Commentary |

CHINA IS shakily authoritarian while India is a stable democracy—indeed, the world’s largest. So goes the cliché, and it is true, up to a point. But there is a growing resemblance between the two countries. A decade after we were told that China and India were “flattening” the world, expediting a historically inevitable shift of power from West to East, their political institutions and original nation-building ideologies face a profound crisis of legitimacy. Both countries, encumbered with dynastic elites and crony capitalists, are struggling to persuasively reaffirm their founding commitments to mass welfare. Protests against corruption and widening inequality rage across their vast territories, while their economies slow dramatically.

If anything, public anger against India’s political class appears more intense, and disaffection there assumes more militant forms, as in the civil war in the center of the country, where indigenous, Maoist militants in commodities-rich forests are battling security forces. India, where political dynasties have been the rule for decades, also has many more “princelings” than China—nearly 30 percent of the members of parliament come from political families. As the country intensifies its crackdown on intellectual dissent and falls behind on global health goals, it is mimicking China’s authoritarian tendencies and corruption without making comparable strides in relieving the hardships faced by its citizens. The “New India” risks becoming an ersatz China.

TO THOSE IN THE WEST who reflexively counterpose India to China, or yoke them together, equally tritely, as “rising” powers, the solutions to their internal crises seem very clear: Democratic India needs more economic reforms—in other words, greater openness to foreign capital. Meanwhile, authoritarian China, now endowed with a cyber-empowered and increasingly assertive middle class, must expose its anachronistic political system to the fresh air of democracy.

Such abundant commonplaces draw upon the Whiggish assumption shared by most Western commentary: that middle and other aspiring classes created by industrial capitalism bring about accountable government. This was the main axiom of “Modernization Theory,” first proposed by American cold warriors as a gradualist alternative to communist-style revolution. The theory always had its critics, most notably Samuel Huntington, who questioned whether social and economic transformation in developing societies is always benign or leads to democracy. Certainly, Modernization Theory never took into account the possibility that certain forms of raw capitalism violate the basic principles of democracy in a country like India.

It is often forgotten that the ruling elites of both India and China once presented themselves as socioeconomic engineers working hard to release their desperate masses from the curses of poverty, ill health, and illiteracy. Despite investments in institutions of higher learning—which would later help provide highly skilled labor to Western banks and tech companies—India was always a straggler in public health, left behind not just by China but also by Sri Lanka (and now Bangladesh). This was largely due to what Amartya Sen, writing in 1982, called “an astonishingly conservative approach to social services.” The limits of Indian democracy had been outlined early by the co-author of India’s constitution, B.R. Ambedkar, who famously lamented in 1950 that “democracy in India is only a top dressing on an Indian soil, which is essentially undemocratic.” Thirty years later, Sen was still warning that it was “important to understand the elitist nature of India to make sense of India’s policies.”

Notwithstanding regular elections, a small minority, consisting largely of men from the upper and middle Hindu castes, set national priorities, the most important of which was the entrenchment of their own power. (Sen was heard lamenting earlier this year, “Whenever something is thought of to help poor, hungry people, some bring out the fiscal hat and say, ‘My God, this is irresponsible.’”) Some women and low-caste Hindus were brought into the elite, but their compatriots remained exposed to violence and discrimination, often perpetrated by the upper-caste-dominated state itself.

The contrast with the fanatically, even violently, anti-elitist nature of China’s revolution was stark. The communists had empowered Chinese women, brutally cracking down on the various social “evils” of feudalism. Despite Mao Zedong’s calamitous blunders, which caused the premature deaths of tens of millions of people, communist China took an early lead over India in all the important indices of human development.

DOSID's insight:

Well researched and well put together. A must read commentary on the simalarities of the two countries.

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