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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

The Hammer And The Sickle

September 14, 2010

To effectively counter China, India prepares to arm itself to the teeth
Pranay Sharma
Outlook (India)
September 20, 2010 edition

The visa denial issue opens old wounds, new ideas
around the India- China thrust and parry

India has been undertaking various steps to
counter what it perceives as a threat from a
"rising China." Its first big step was to present
itself to the US as a reliable partner capable of
counter-balancing China. It did this by citing
China as the principal security reason for
undertaking Pokhran-II. Since then, this policy
has not changed fundamentally. From 1998, India
and the US have entered into a framework
agreement on defence cooperation, conducted joint
exercises, and embraced those countries—Japan,
Australia, Singapore and South Korea—not in the Chinese orbit.

India has taken steps to counter the Chinese
threat along its border, especially in Arunachal
Pradesh. These include the deployment of 1,00,000
troops with provisions for deploying an
additional 60,000 and comprising two specialised
mountain infantry divisions and an artillery
brigade. It has also renovated its airfields for
the deployment of two Sukhoi 30 MKI squadrons
each at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam. To guard
these assets, it is to deploy eight Akash air
defence squadrons in the next few years.

India has also developed the Agni-II and Agni-III
ballistic missiles with a range of 2,000 and
3,000 km respectively; the eventual development
of Agni-IV will increase its penetration range to
4,000 km plus—enough to reach deep into China. To
enhance its naval strength in the Indian Ocean,
across which most of China’s oil is ferried from
the Gulf, India is also leasing the Nerpa, an
Akula-class SSN (nuclear-powered attack
submarine) for 10 years from Russia. By 2022,
India is likely to spend over $110 billion to
upgrade and overhaul its armed force. This
includes the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, six C-130
J “Super” Hercules transport aircraft, 10 C-17
Globemaster III Strategic aircraft and eight
Boeing maritime surveillance P-81 aircraft. It
also plans to buy 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat
Aircraft soon, for which defence companies from
the US, France, Russia, Germany and many other are competing.

Chances of an armed conflict between India and
China are remote at present, but experts feel the
two will continue to shore up their defences.
India’s gargantuan defence expenditure is akin to
taking out an insurance policy till such time it
believes the threat perception from China has diminished considerably.
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