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China Trying to Destablize India

August 17, 2009

India-China Comparison on Military Strength "foolhardy" Says Naval Chief.
By A.M. Jamsheed Basha
August 14, 2009

"If you wish to be secure on land, you should
have supremacy on the sea", said Jawaharlal
Nehru, the architect of modern India. It was
China who was listening to Nehru, rather than
India and they built a Navy far superior to any
other power in the Indian ocean. Incidentally,
during his last days in 1962, China handed him a
humiliating defeat in a war between unequals in
NEFA and Tibet. At that time, India was no match
for the mighty Chinese army. This was no secret.

Today, India's Naval Chief Mehtha, sounded a real
warning. He said it is foolhardy to say India is
equal to China militarily. India is no match for
China whether it is airforce, navy or army. China
is four times bigger than India. The Navy Chief
said India's weakest link is the Indian navy. He
said India is surrounded by China. It has six
bases in the Indian Ocean, one in Chittagong, one
in Yangon, Coco Island in Burma, Trincomalee in
Srilanka and one in Waga in Pakistan, to India's none.

Navy Chief Mehtha, who is leaving office in two
weeks, spoke his mind about India's chances of
fighting a war with China. Chinese presence in
the Indian Ocean is a reality with six bases to
support them. The recent visit of Chinese naval
ships to Cochin port, was a clear indication that
they are everywhere in the Indian ocean. The
Indian navy on the other hand was hardly seen in
Chinese waters in the recent past.

Comparisons between India and China would reveal
that India is nowhere near China's strength.
China has 68 submarines to India's 16, none of
them being nuclear. China has 56 airforce
squadrons to India's 12. China has 4 million
troops to India's 1.5 million troops. China has
14000 Artillery guns to India's 4000. These are
only some examples to show that India is no match for China.

China is jealous of India's economic growth and a
real challenge to its supremacy in Asia. It is in
China's interest that it is planning to
destabilise India. The recent article of Dragon's
plan to split India in 26 created a furore in
political circles. Whether it was real or
imaginary, the writing is clearly on the wall,
that China is harbouring extra-territorial ambitions.

China wants to establish its supremacy in the
Indian ocean. With the waters unapproachable to
US, UK and France, with no presence of their
naval battleships, nor Russia. China rules
supreme in the region. India is virtually
surrounded by China. The prophecy coming from
none other than India's Naval Chief, is that one
day, China will crush India militarily, if no
action is taken to build up in the Indian ocean.

There is no doubt that both India and China are
nuclear countries. When a war breaks out, it
would be catastrophic for either to use nuclear
weapons. China has a vast mass of land and
population, which is almost two times the size of
India. Nuclear war is therefore ruled out.

It requires political wisdom to see reality. The
Navy Chief was candid enough to reveal the truth
to the establishment that they should not sleep
over the matter. The threat from China is real
and it is coming. There is a talk of China
attacking India in 2012, which is not far off.
The question is whether India will be prepared.

With this warning from the Navy Chief, it is time
to take stock of the situation and work on
strengthening the airforce, navy and army. It is
not time for an arms race, but to secure our
borders, as we are surrounded by China. Perhaps,
this revelation as echoed by other naval
ex-chiefs, would be an eye opener to the
government to move with caution in their relationship with China.

It is not that India is more vulnerable than
China. China too has its own problems. The ethnic
unrest in China's mineral rich Xiang Province,
Buddishts in Tibet and elsewhere, it may
destabilise itself, if these groups wage an armed
struggle. The problem is there is no solid
support from outside to these rebels as the insurgents or Maoists get in India.

It is also difficult to count on Russia as our
past experience has shown that in 1962 Russia did
little in the wake of the Chinese attack.
Besides, India has moved closeer to the US, a
departure from its Russia leaning policy of the
past. Russia with its own internal shortcomings
and problems, economically is not sound enough to
enter into a war for the sake of India. India
therefore has to take care of its own needs, not depend on others for help.

When George Fernadez, the then Defence Minister
said India's Enemy No.1 was China and not
Pakistan, there was a hue and cry both in India
and China. There was hectic diplomatic activity
to clarify India's position with China. Today,
George Fernandez is proved right. It is indeed
China, which is India's no.1 enemy, threatening
to wage a war and destabilise India to gain
supremacy in Asia both on the economic front and militarily as well.

It is time for serious thinking and action. I
Hope the UPA government takes the Dragon warning
seriously and acts in consultation with the
chiefs of the army, airforce and navy to counter
the balance of power in the region. As of today,
the military balance of power is certainly in
China's favor. India has to match them. There is
no need for despondency, as India is capable of
defending itself without any outside support.
India has to reorient its China policy in the
wake of the real threat from that country. Jai Hind.

A.M. Jams Heed Basha is a Chennai-based
columnist, who writes at and

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