PLA hawks fuel Pakistan’s push for limited war

PLA hawks fuel Pakistan’s push for limited war

By MADHAV NALAPAT | New Delhi | 14 August, 2016
There are reports of significant transfers of missile systems from China to Pakistan to add to the stores already present in that country.

The rising level of tensions in the Kashmir valley is not accidental, but forms part of a design by GHQ Rawalpindi to boost tensions in that state and in the rest of India, so that the way gets cleared for a limited conflict which would depress investor sentiment about India for several years. Given the disposition and dispersal of forces, the Pakistan army is confident of holding its own in a limited and conventional conflict with India across the Line of Control (LoC) as well as the International Boundary (IntB) in Jammu & Kashmir. The perception at GHQ is that India could be deterred from opening more fronts (especially in the Punjab and Sindh sectors, as took place in 1965) by the threat of escalation through use of tactical nuclear weapons, which in their view, Indian forces are “yet to possess”. This time around, GHQ Rawalpindi is confident of support from China in the form of feints across the Line of Actual Control (LOAC) between that country and India. The Pakistan air force already has J17 fighters, the technology for which has been transferred to Pakistan, and there are reports of significant transfers of missile systems from China to Pakistan to add to the stores already present in that country. China has already signalled its acceptance of Pakistan as the legitimate owner of Kashmir by declaring the border between itself and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as the “International Boundary”, on which both countries now routinely and jointly patrol. Within the Afghanistan Quad, China has invariably taken the side of Pakistan, and has gone as far as to host three rounds of talks with the Taliban, despite that group’s record as a terrorist force. In a display of what may be expected in a future conflict situation, the PLA has made incursions into Uttarakhand, a sector that till now had been relatively free of such incidents, even as PLA troops in uniform have regularly been seen on the Indian side of the LoC. PLA hawks have, over the past year, increased their level of cooperation with the Pakistan army, including in ways that pose a direct challenge to India’s interests.

Concurrently, the Pakistan army is secretly gearing up to fight a limited war in the Kashmir theatre, which will take place on the excuse of “responsibility to protect”, relying on the spurious claim that there is a “genocide of civilians” taking place in the Kashmir valley, a false claim that surprisingly has found more than a few takers in India, besides the usual suspects abroad. Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif is lobbying for another term on the excuse of tensions with India, and has ensured that posters asking for him to take over and “save” the country have appeared all across cities in Pakistan. Public opinion surveys show that the general is certainly more popular than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has been scarred by constant revelations (including in the Panama Papers) about the wealth of his family. Not that Nawaz Sharif would do anything to block offensive action against India. During the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, the 1999 Kargil incursions and the 2016 Pathankot terror attack, it was Sharif who was technically Head of Government in Pakistan. Also, in effect, much of the powers of the Prime Minister now vest with the Chief of Army Staff, as indeed has been the case throughout most of the history of Pakistan. It is COAS Sharif who okayed the plastering of a train with posters of Burhan Wani, and who has sanctioned fund collection in Pakistan, India and the GCC in the name of Burhan Wani by the JeM and the JuD, both international terror organisations protected by China in the United Nations. It was no accident that the PML (Nawaz) “won” the elections in PoK, a farce that is invariably scripted by the army. In September at the UN General Assembly, Pakistan is expected to focus on the situation in Kashmir, and this time around, India may not be fielding its most potent speaker, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and perhaps not even External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, perhaps in an effort to downplay the importance of what is usually simply a talking shop. Overall, the year ahead is planned by GHQ Rawalpindi to be exceptionally bumpy for the Modi government. In such a battle of both mind and muscle, courteous behaviour is a casualty, as was shown by the affront to Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his recent visit to Islamabad.

What is giving the Pakistan army oxygen in such a battle with India is no longer the US, but China, where a substantial section of the establishment is in favour of assisting the Pakistan military in its anti-India operations, so as to keep India from going beyond its South Asian boundaries in its diplomacy and its strategic outreach. Such an alliance works against the logic of India-China cooperation that has been promoted by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi, and creates a distance between Delhi and Beijing that would delight some other players, especially Pakistan and Japan.

Clearly, ongoing efforts by those truly (as distinct from merely verbally) loyal to President Xi to ensure unified control of Chinese policy are not yet successful. For President Xi Jinping understands the US logic of close ties with India in a replication of President Richard Nixon’s outreach to Beijing in 1971, when he initiated the groundbreaking reconciliation with China for which Henry Kissinger (who was initially opposed to the idea) later took credit. At that time, China was an economically backward country with a messy political situation. However, Nixon saw the future potential of the country and ordered his officials to give its leaders the respect that potential (rather than actuality) merited. Over the next two decades, the Washington-Beijing partnership helped enervate the Soviet Union and finally bring it down in 1992. In the new century, first George W. Bush and in his second term, Barack Obama, have understood that a close alliance with India is needed to try and ensure a repeat of the USSR meltdown of the governance system, this time with a much more formidable rival, the People’s Republic of China. Should India join hands with Japan, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines in a security system designed to neutralise China’s capabilities across the Indo-Pacific, the stage would be set for confrontations which, if China were to lose, would lead to a decline in respect and confidence in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), thereby setting the stage for a “colour revolution” across China sometime into the second five-year term of President Xi. In such a constellation, India is the keystone, as no other country in Asia has the potential to challenge China in both the military as well as the economic spheres over the next decade. Both President Bush and his successor have been transparent in their desire to increase the strategic heft of Delhi against Beijing, despite repeated statements to the contrary. This ramping up of a partnership is in anticipation of a future clash with China in a theatre in Asia that may involve the use of force.

President Xi understands the geopolitical game being played in Asia by the US and Japan, two allies that are moving in lockstep to first halt and later reverse China’s sprint towards dominance in Asia, now that the PRC has already achieved primacy in the largest continent on the globe. However, his war on corruption has resulted in ethically compromised sections of the CCP carrying on a campaign of sabotage against him, especially by blocking initiatives such as the effort to forge close ties with India, now that the government is headed by another Asian nationalist, Narendra Damodardas Modi, who replaced a self-declared admirer of the colonial era, Manmohan Singh. The People’s Liberation Army top ranks, in particular, are feeling extreme discomfort at Xi’s repeated culls of compromised officers, and are hitting back by pushing for an aggressive foreign policy that has had effects such as unifying much of South-East Asia against China on the South China Sea question. Another prong of the policy of the PLA “hawks” (who in effect are the best friends of their US counterparts) is to constantly belittle India and seek to confine it in the South Asia box. This was most recently on display at the Seoul Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) meeting, when China was the only major power opposing India’s entry into a group whose benefits are 90% already enjoyed by India as a consequence of the India-US nuclear agreement that was ratified by the IAEA. The PLA hawks are in alliance with the non-proliferation lobby in Beijing, whose principals interact frequently and closely with Pakistan and North Korea, while reserving their fire on a country that has never proliferated nuclear technology or weapons as yet, India. Key non-proliferation experts in Beijing played a decisive role in ensuring that China opposed India at Seoul, thereby helping to make into reality a day when the Indian Navy would steam alongside its US, Australian and Japanese counterparts in the waters of the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. The India-phobic, Pakistan-centric group misled the CCP core into believing that opposing India at the Seoul NSG meeting would have only “limited consequences”. The fact that Beijing rejected requests by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the National Security Advisor and the Foreign Secretary of India to adopt a helpful stand at Seoul has shaken the faith and trust in the leadership of China by the Indian establishment. In particular, the question now being asked is whether Xi is strong enough to challenge the India-phobic hawks in his entourage, or will he continue to be led by Pakistan-centric elements in determining policy towards India?

Fitting a pattern whereby the policies implemented by the PLA hawks in effect benefit the strategic interests of the US and Japan, the NSG meeting at Seoul has severely weakened China-friendly voices in India and boosted the power of influential policymakers in Delhi, who seek to shed restraint and openly join hands with Washington and Tokyo in militarily curbing the ambitions of China, in much the same way as the PLA hawks have sought to box in India through deals with Islamabad, Kathmandu, Colombo, Dhaka and even Male. Many in China still in positions of responsibility are “seeking to weaken Xi by declaring support for him”. This they are achieving by implementing a hyper-nationalist policy that is converting Delhi, Manila and Hanoi into votaries of a military alliance with the US. Of course, it is in India’s national interest to ally with the US to (a) ensure protection and fightback against Wahhabi terror and terror states, and (b) make sure that Asia be kept free of the dominance of any single power. However, should the Modi-Xi diplomacy succeed in crafting a fullscope commercial alliance between China and India, the odds that Delhi would participate in any future conflict with China would get reduced to almost zero. Such a normalisation of ties is, however, anathema to the PLA hawks and their longtime allies in GHQ Rawalpindi. Indeed, in the case of China and Pakistan, “the tail wags the dog”, in that it is Beijing that functions in accordance with the diktat of Rawalpindi rather than the other way about. Both in the case of India and Afghanistan, Chinese policy appears to have been scripted by GHQ Rawalpindi, rather than by the national interest of the PRC, which is to ensure that India does not move into the stage of being as much a military and strategic rival of China as Japan and the US so visibly are.

However, for a conflict-dispelling chemistry to get created between Delhi and Beijing, President Xi will need to reach out to India and break the restrictive mould of his India-phobic establishment, notably the PLA, the non-proliferation bureaucracy and elements of the foreign policy establishment that “talk Chinese but think American”. This India-phobic trio is backing the generals in Pakistan in their drive to generate a crisis with India that would shift global attention from East and South-East Asia back to South Asia, preferably through a limited conflict over Kashmir that is expected to have the effect of damping down India’s prospects for high growth for several years, in each of which more than ten million young people will flood the job market looking for work that in the absence of double digit growth will be absent.

Those eager to witness a commercial partnership between India and China that would boost trade and other flows between the two countries to $500 million in five years are hopeful that the severe blowback from the NSG debacle (in which China has come close to ensuring that India join the US and Japan in a military alliance against China in Asia) would serve as a warning to move against the “India hawks”. This needs to be done by the many in the CCP who support President Xi in his courageous moves to demolish the hold of crooked cadres in the governance of the world’s other superpower. Indeed, whether it be global entrepreneurs such as Jack Ma or the CEOs of major state-owned enterprises, each recognises the importance of India in ensuring future economic health for China. In contrast, all that Pakistan promises is more and more expenditure squandered on a project that will pass through some of the most unsafe bits of the planet. The hope is that those loyal to Xi will move to reduce the hold of PLA hawks over foreign policy relating to India. These hawks are against the long-term interests of China, seeking to coordinate with GHQ Rawalpindi in the latter’s designs to harass and weaken the Indian state in multiple ways. Should this expectation of Xi managing to ensure a change in Beijing’s policy towards India not get realised, the seas ahead for India-China relations are likely to witness severe storms.

There are 37 Comments

Pakistan produces the largest number of paid mercenaries. The state itself has acted in such a way before. If china wants to start the game, they have to do it discreetly. India will be hurt but China will also suffer a huge loss. But both the giants will survive. Pakistan will be finished. If Pakistan is wiped out from the map, even by the loss of $500Bn, that will be a good take for India. And this time they have to face some tough guy, who will make sure that no Taskhant or Shimla happens and this time there will be no Bill Clinton negotiation of 4th July either. You start the game, India will finish it.

One small thing to add...China will suffer an exports meltdown if it dares to hurt India. We are already seeing the imposition of massive retaliatory anti-dumping duties on exports by our govt targeting the rougish Chinese.

Mr sulal, if u want to delete Pakistan from wrold map, rest asure India will also b cut into pieces. Still more than 13-14 insurgencies is going in India, a very well fault lines to exploit. so just behave and dont post such type of remarks against my country.

What the article explicitly and implicitly, both, mentioned is accurate to many extents. But i have few reservations. Firstly. India is not acting in hands of US in terms of destabilising and cracking down China. Indian role and an alliance is need based because of increased stature of India as well. A security apparatus is needed to counter the terrosist ideology to float in South East Asia largely unaffected till now. Fractured India-China ties( though all the boats are not burnt yet) is a choice of China not India. Look few things are inevitable like one county rising and overtaken. Same will happen here as well. Its better to accept and cooperate rather confront. Chinese agenda of opposing and restricting India will lead it to no where. Pakistan in between is the biggest loser. What has Pakistan got in these years excpt weapons technology?

If we can finish off Pakistan and break that in to 3 or 4 parts and denuclearise, then even if it is going to cost money and some years of growth, it is worth taking. Alternatively, assist BLA ,Pashtunstan and Sindh seperatists in a low intensity proxy war to destroy Pakistan from within which will lead to civil war and break up finally.

I don't know how old are you, but i can tell you one thing. You know nothing about Pakistan and Pakistanis. Being a Pashtuns i want to remind you about 1948 war, when we Pashtuns freed half of Kashmir. And again we pashtuns will do this job i think. And i also want to tell you about another aspect of Pashtuns, We can die for those who comes to us for shelter or for safety, but we also can never forgive those who doesn't respect our hospitality or use it against us. its like our faith. That's why today more than 95% of Pashtuns hates Afghanistan and Afghanis, so this door for you is closed too. And Your BLA is also a past history now. Balochistan is going to be a business and economical hub for Pakistan in near future. While i think i doesn't need to talk about Sindh, They are true patriotic and everyone knows that. I think you should worry about yourselves, about those 37 states who are fighting for freedom, about Khalistan, about Nanga, etc etc. and if you still want to finish Pakistan. Than try it. whole world knows that Pakistan will put down many with themselves..... a well known phrase of Pakistan "Atom bomb hum nay baraat (shadi) main pornay k liye nai banaye"............................ So wake up

You "freed" half of Kashmir?! Good for you.. You "Pashtuns" are human beings only.. I suppose You do know Khalistan is dead, might still be a dream or in the heads of India haters like you, they will be squished like mosquitoes. Buzz off

Hahaha Pashthuns. You Urdu speaking Pashthuns!!! You are slaves of Mujahirs. You cannot even speak your own mother tongue. You have no independence. What do you talk. Be real. You are curse on Humanity.

Remember USSR? It also had military might...and you are not even 1/100th of it in military and not even 1/1000000 in terms of intellectual capabilities! Forget the false bravado...wake up!

If we can finish off Pakistan and break that in to 3 or 4 parts and denuclearise, then even if it is going to cost money and some years of growth, it is worth taking. Alternatively, assist BLA ,Pashtunstan and Sindh seperatists in a low intensity proxy war to destroy Pakistan from within which will lead to civil war and break up finally.

Srini, hold down please, think before talk, Pakistan is a Nuclear state and have ability to demolish India in Minutes. Please don't live in foolish Paradise. Kashmir will be very soon a part of Pakistan.

The nukes Pakistan has acquired will be used on her own people and not India. It's just a matter of time.

Khane ke liyeah khana nai.. pene ke liyeah saff pani nai.. phir nuclear anhiliation ki batein. Maza tho tab ayega. Jab pakistan mein chinese jyada or p uh jabu kam honge.. punjabi chini ke baache kaise honge... nateza dekhne mein maza ayega.

The nukes stolen and brought to Pakistan by AQ Khan have reportedly been put in safe custody in Saudi Arabia, as they are the funding fathers of Pakistan. Theifs working for money should not boast their loot.

Which part of Pak will be live after Indian Retaliation?

What the article explicitly and implicitly, both, mentioned is accurate to many extents. But i have few reservations. Firstly. India is not acting in hands of US in terms of destabilising and cracking down China. Indian role and an alliance is need based because of increased stature of India as well. A security apparatus is needed to counter the terrosist ideology to float in South East Asia largely unaffected till now. Fractured India-China ties( though all the boats are not burnt yet) is a choice of China not India. Look few things are inevitable like one county rising and overtaken. Same will happen here as well. Its better to accept and cooperate rather confront. Chinese agenda of opposing and restricting India will lead it to no where. Pakistan in between is the biggest loser. What has Pakistan got in these years excpt weapons technology?

Starting the war is in Pakistan's hand ,but keeping it limited not. Modi, Doval and Sushma have done an excellent job in last 2 years to the extent that if Pak indulges in mis-adventure now, there won't e any Pakistan but only a Baakistan left after free Balochistan, Khybur Pakhtun, Sindhu Desh, Gilgit Baltistan. Baakistan i consisting of Sunni Punjabi Wahabi Muslims will be headquarer in Rawalpindi whose Militart generals can do everything except figthing i battle field

India's Pak policy is not constant. But Pakistan's India policy is constant be it army or civilian rule. They want to bleed India by a thousand cuts. Newcomer Modi threw the rule book to the wind and started his personal diplomacy and even made an impromptu impulsive childish visit to Lahore. The leaders of major powers like the US, Russia, UK, France, Germany and China are realists who practise realpolitik to advance their national interest. Modi is running around capital hopping pretending to be a world statesman, like the dreamer Nehru used to do. The Chinese leadership have their feet firmly on the ground. Vajpayee went for kebabs to Lahore and got Kargil as a reward and Modi went for pakoras and got Pathankot and Kashmir stone pelters. Our PMs, with the possible exception of Narasimha Rao, get into moralistic 'world is one big family' mode and give away hard won gains of our jawans on the battlefront. Pakistanis have a good chuckle at India's expense. They know exactly what they want but we change our goal posts like clueless buffoons.

Dear Kumar, I am really surprised at your observations. Its for the first time since Op Gibraltar and Op Tupac that Pakistan is compelled to rethink its approach towards India. The changed balance of global power shift with the existence of Euro Zone, US being Pro India, the Allies (Germany Included) prefer India as a long term ally over Pakistan. China cud in the short term soon see itself getting diplomatically isolated. How long can China support/shield recognized terror groups and terror states? Can China afford to eventually stand by ISIS too, that cannot be the case. Can it? China already has a direct rail route running into Europe, the idea of having a port at the opening of Gulf is something compelling China to keep the radicals in Pakistan in good humour, coz the radicals dominate the land route Chineses have invested heavily in (Read CPEC, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). Similarly China has major interests in Africa, too, recent foreign trips of PM Modi have been concentrated to create greater Government to Government involvement and strategic and economic partnerships (remember India -Africa Summit 2015, New Delhi?) Modi is well travelled across the globe even prior to his coming in active politics, ur observations are unfounded. Kumar u hit the bottom when u compared Modi with Nehru. Infact Modi is only trying to correct the mistakes of Nehru, be it UNSC, POK, Tibet and many more, where do u wish to start?? Pathankot is something which has once again exposed Pakistan globally, one after the other Pakistan is being cornered internationally US blocked over $300Billion aid, are any major foreign investments coming to Pak except from China? Who will have the last laugh is yet to be seen, its game on. Wait till its "Game Over". As for Pak Nukes, Zero Day (OG).

Hey Ramnik, Just a fact correction. It should be $300 million and not $300 billion. Ain't it ? That is not even the size of whole Pakistan GDP in nominal terms. The exact figure is $430 million. BTW, your theory is on the right track. Just a little far fetched in terms of results.

Ramnik, I still hold to my view even though I will be most happy if I am proven wrong. This view is based on my observance of our PMs' actions since 1948. First it was Nehru, who stopped the armed forces retaking PoK and foolishly announcing a plebiscite. Shastri gave away the army's gains at Tashkent. Indira gave away 93k P0Ws and territory in return of a piece of paper called Shimla Agreement. After the attack on Parliament, Vajpayee thundered that the 'Lakshman Rekha' had been breached and it was now an 'Aar Paar Ki Larai'. Troops were marched upto the front and down again after 'mediation' by foreigners. The less said about people like Deve Gowda, Chandrashkehar, Gujral and MMS. Modi thundered about Balochistan and Gilgit yesterday. Frankly I will believe it when I see it. I suspect a quiet phone call from new 'friend' Barack will dampen him. Talk is cheap and easy.

If war begins with India it will be a great opportunity for Pakistan to break India in to more then ten states , Sikh, Tamil, Muslim, Mao aasam and maney more .

Jannisar, Do u have anything substantive to back ur ugly 4 lines? A theory, a study anything. I guess u are just freakin day dreaming there is so much that u need to study before u even utter one bit on international strategy. Pakistan is hostile with India, Afganistan and Iran, there is a suppressed internal revolution in Balochistan and Sindh while FATA & North Waziristan are really beyond ur administrative control. In light of the above lemme give u a scenario: U face simultaneous offensives from within as well as from outside, meanwhile Israel hits your Nuke Installations, u hit us with ur carry home small dirty Nukes and China has its own issues & doesn't come to ur rescue. Where do you stand? Do u exist? Think.

War with Pakistan is the best thing that can happen to Modi. You start we will finish!!

Most likely the war push would be before new government takes over in US in November. India and Israel with or without US should now plan to swiftly destroy Pakistan nukes in such limited war and also break it into 5 countries.

Most likely the war push would be before new government takes over in US in November. India and Israel with or without US should now plan to swiftly destroy Pakistan nukes in such limited war and also break it into 5 countries. China for sure only makes noise e's and gives limited material support to Pakistan

Brilliant article. Thank you author. The key observation from this is that Pakistan China internal politics mirror in many ways, and so do the power struggles. Strangely enough, the American angle to it is very revealing. Does that put America as neither an ally nor even a well-wisher or even partner of India? The key takeaway from this in the short term is that India cannot go to war with Pakistan. India can either lead Baloch, Sindh and KPK freedom movements or launch its own covert boots-on-ground ops . Afghanistan clearly needs to be kept in the loop and enticed with the dream of Greater Afghanistan. Strategizing with Baloch Freedom Leaders seems to be on the cards, howsoever close or distant in the future. The key takeaway in the long term is the balance that India needs to have in its foreign policy. NAM looks so much more important now. Think. If and when China is finished, who is next in the line? :) India needs China to remain the punching bag for USA while India keeps supporting it from behind. Xi has a huge task cut out for him. I thank the author for lucidly explaining the flip-flops of China. Let's hope Xi wins.

Very well prepared narrative for justifying some type of Indian involvement in South China sea.

Sir your previous prediction regarding the "Summer of discontent" against Modi came awfully true ! I am sure your current prediction will also come true . God save the Indian republic !

Pakistan has been there and done that. Both China and Pakistan know from previous experience that India is ruled and run by corrupt, pusillanimous incompetents who would rather rob from helpless Indians than wage war with an armed enemy. Georgie Porgie Pudding and Pie.

You took this propaganda article seriously? Shame on you! You'd have to be as dumb as an LTTE supporter or a useless idiot Marxist to respond to any point put forth in this work of fiction.

Hi One thing is very clear that Chinese President is in very weak position. This is good for the world.

Now that Indian PM has raised the issue of Baluchistan ,Gilgit ,Pak occupied Kashmir, the Govt of India must work without break and do it comprehensively leading to the break of Pakistan into three countries or states .India should give total support with finance , diplomatic ,moral and even help the people of these areas with even manpower and even ammunition so that these areas are liberated and freed from Pakistan .

indian chief justice of supreme court told modi to take care of own home instead of talking about pakistan internal issues. within next 6 to 7 years the hetrogeneous society will be killing each other. soon suicidals will be in every city. INDIA is playing with fire and it is easy for Pakistan to exploit multi religious multi ethenic and extremist Hindu society. Just take care .

This article is a hodge podge of incoherent propaganda points, crafted instigations, unsubstantiated theories & assumptions all wrapped up in bad grammar masquerading as South-Asia English language idiosyncrasies. Really, you need to try harder. ROFL;-)

Firstly, one has to admit the author of this piece is ''master spinner" but still two facts will stand out . 1. Even if China foolishly allows India to join NSG, New Delhi will remain a strategic rival of China, indeed joining NSG will only empower India and encourage it to ramp up its anti-China activities. India's signing of military logistics deal with the US is clear sign that New Delhi has already joined US led anti-China coalition. the reality is that India and China will never be friends what ever Beijing does. 2. China is not the Soviet Union in its later stages and the US is not that all powerful superpower that was economically dominant. Chinese economic power and its sheer population will ensure that country will be uncontainible even if the US, India and Japan join hands . the more India moves closer to the US the more China and Russia move close together. In the coming great power game there will three key great powers that will shape the world ,the US, China and Russia, India has one or two decades to join the ranks of true great powers, Japan is not independent power and its economy will only get worse.

I have to disagree with you that Russia will take any contrary action vis a vis India: Russia continues to offer India unprecedented strategic technology that they refuse to give China (even after many Chinese requests). Putin has clearly stated that he never intends to get locked into the obligations of military alliances because it imposes serious obligations and limitations on Russian foreign policy; he wants to have the freedom to pursue Russia national interests without being restricted by the terms of a formal military alliance with China. For example, Russia continues to arm Vietnam with very deadly naval systems over China's objections. Systems such as stealth attack submarines and deadly sea skimming Moskit and Klub cruise missiles. In addition, Russia has backed Vietnam's and the Philippines' position regarding the South China Sea. Russia has further supported the recent International Court decision on the UNCLOS (UN law of the sea) wrt to Phillipines vs PRC which outright favored the Philipine claim and totally trashed the Chinese position regarding the South China Sea. Russia has recently approved an Indian request to allow the sale of deadly Indian manufactured Brahmos missiles to Vietnam, again, over China's objections. The brahmos is the world's fastest cruise missile (flying and maneuvering at Mach 2.8 while flying 10m above the surface of the sea) and one of the most accurate ship destroying cruise missiles. Since the missile is a joint venture of both Russia and India, both India and Russia need each other's approval before being allowed to sell it to 3rd countries. Russia continues to assist India with it's China targeting nuclear submarine program. In addition, just 1 month ago, Russia has also agreed to sell to India the Maritime version of their Strategic Nuclear Bombers, Tupolev Tu-22 whose only real purpose, in the Indian context, would be to target and destroy any Chinese military assets (submarines, naval bases, etc,) in the Indian Ocean region. Both the nuclear submarines (and attack nuclear subs) and the Tu-22 are strategic technologies that no major power parts with, even to close allies, yet Russia continues to supply these systems and technologies to India in spite of Chinese objections. India is going to maintain friendly relations with all major powers (specifically the US, Russia, France, the EU). India would like to maintain full-scale friendly and productive relations with China too, but only when the inimical factions in China are purged/leashed and no longer create unnecessary threats on the Indo-China border and no longer prop-up the number one terrorist sponsoring and rogue nuclear state of Pakistan. The ball is in China's court if they want friendly relations with India and not become surrounded and contained by hostile states buttressed by both the Indian and American juggernauts. China has to learn to stop behaving like a state where individual warlord/ Generals can defy the General Secratary and President, where such forces make China behave in an expansionist, aggressive and belligerent manner.

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