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China: Is it A Threat to Neighbours and the World?

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By Nelson Lewis, Bahrain [ Published Date: January 27, 2015 ]

Till the end of 1970s, China was a very backward country.  Sometime in 1981 or 1982 in an Economic Times (ET) issue I read an article about a military exhibition held in a European city that also carried a Chinese delegation’s picture inspecting armaments and hardware on display there. Since it is many years, I cannot recall the city or the ET issue where I had read the article.China’s per capita income then was lower than India’s. This article made me sit down and ponder as to what would happen if these advanced countries manufacturing highly advanced arms and other military (and non-military goods produced for civilians) start doing business with China? I was then thinking of the long-range consequences the countries would have in dealing with China, which is a bully and does not believe in fair play? I have observed that majority of countries and humans act immediately to get immediate gains which, I believe, is selfish, rather than considering issues with foresight, long-term vision and considering the pros and cons of the decisions they are going to take. I had told my friends then that if these countries are going to open their economies to China and allow it to freely import and export, they would have manifold problems with her, once her economy grows and she is cash rich and has considerable foreign exchange reserves. The countries could face manifold problems, be it trade, copyrights, presence of Chinese spies in their countries and many other things.

In 1979, under Deng Xiaoping’s reign,China opened their economy for foreign investment, resulting in many countries, their multi-nationals and companies pumping in their money to set up manufacturing units, taking full advantage of cheap labour. In China workers cannot strike, however genuine may be their grievances or else they will face punitive actions, i.e. losing their jobs and livelihood and being prosecuted in Chinese kangaroo courts and being prisoned.

Time has proved me right, because China, which is a totalitarian country, is the world’s fastest growing economy and a leading military power that, with its newly found wealth, is bullying its neighbours. China has raked up territorial disputes with Japan, a nation after the World War II is among the most peaceful countries. China has territorial disputes with hosts of other countries and also lays claim over Spratly islands in the South China Sea, has gobbled Tibet and has had border skirmishes with the erstwhile U.S.S.R. (in 1969), Vietnam (1979-1990) and India(in 1962, 1967) and keeps on threatening to take over Taiwan. With India it is having territorial disputes over Arunachal Pradesh and other territories and also interferes in its internal affairs. During the UPA regime it had warned India to not allow the Dalai Lama to visit the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as hers. Dalai Lama is one of the most peace-loving personalities in the history and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace (1989). Nevertheless, the Chinese call him a criminal and use other derogatory terms.

Chinese patrols constantly encroach into Indian border and have to be told to go back.  Further, they warn India not to do any construction work, i.e. build posts, roads, bridges, etc. within her side of the border, which is preposterous and behaving like a bully. 

China is the third largest country in terms of territory and why does it covet other countries’ territories and creates disputes? Fortunately for India, there is presently a new Government and whatever his detractors and I may accuse him of, however, one has to admit that Narendra Modi is firm and decisive. He may not necessarily do everything right, however, he is fast in thinking, taking decisions, acting upon those decisions and has administrative acumen. He simply is not a wimp.

China has become such a threat to world peace, so much so that Japan, a pacifist nation, has been forced this year to drastically increase its defence budget. Pakistan is the only country that China is very friendly and cooperates with her in production of tanks, aircrafts, etc. and construction projects, etc. Pakistan will continue singing praises of China till such a time the cobra bites and injects too much venom in her before she can react.

Before 1990s, USSR and USA were the two super powers, but due to Mikhail Gorbachev’s openness, restructuring policies and the liberalisation and democratization process lead to the break-up of USSR with 14 territories seceding, though erstwhile USSR or present day Russia is still the largest country in the world in terms of territory, though with a population of just 147 million, it is amongst the countries with the least density of population. Now, China has replaced the erstwhile USSR or the present day Russia as the super power and has become a threat to its neighbours and also to the world and especially to Taiwan, India and Japan.

After Russia and Canada, China is the third largest in the world in terms of territory, though Canada, China and the U.S.A. are all 9,000,000 odd square kilometres in area and there is not much difference because between them, considering the vastness of their territories.

Why does China not introduce human rights and grant freedom to its populace, instead of continuing to maintain a gigantic security and spy apparatus? The answer is simple. If the Chinese democratise and give freedom to their people, many regions would secede, including Tibet, ethnic regions and the regions where Muslims dominate. There have been reports in the media that China has brought their nationals in from far-flung places and settled them in Tibet in order to make the sons-of-the-soil a minority in their own or land of their birth and to destroy their culture and traditions.

Why does China, in spite of economically having made immense progress, does not enjoy a healthy per capita income?  Whatever progress China makes, but it will still not at any time have the per capita income of advanced economies, because it is the most populated country in the world and so her per capita income will not increase phenomenally. The same reasons are also applicable to India also.

Then, why does China have the second largest military budget in the world, after the USA and the largest Army? The reason is simply because, 1) they rake up territorial disputes and are the world’s biggest bully and 2) They have a restive population clamouring for freedom and looking for opportunities to secede. Therefore, they need a strong military machine to bully other countries and illegally grab their territories by sheer force and again, within the country, to control riots and kill and wound the rioters and people. The Government is not answerable to anyone or its people and does not believe in human rights.  All decisions are taken by the few most powerful politicians at the top and put to voting in their parliament, where all the deputies are mere rubber stamps. They will all vote without anyone dissent or otherwise they will be in deep troubles.  Why destroy one’s career, princely earnings and perquisites they enjoy, other than being a rubber stamp and voting “Yes” to whatever is put in motion.

People who always keep in touch with international news and modern history may be aware of the Tiananmen Square massacre that took place when the Chinese Government mobilized 3,00,000 men, backed by tanks, to quell this peaceful protest by attacking and killing and injuring thousands of students. Since China is a totalitarian regime, it is not answerable to people, who cannot take their government to courts. If such bloodbath had occurred in any democratic, there would have been a hue and cry, enquiries and probes to find who were wrong and punish the guilty and compensate those who were killed or injured.

India cannot defeat China in war, but can contain it and give it a bloody nose by bolstering its defence forces, manufacturing all arms, including combat and transport aircrafts and naval ships and other military products in the country. Only that military hardware. Considering the urgency or lack of know how cannot be manufactured or manufactured at short notice, should be imported. Defence production in India should not be the exclusive domain of the public sector undertakings, including DRDO., but should be made open to huge undertakings in the private sector.

Secondly, India should allocate 3.5% of its budget for defence spending and being prepared to face both China and Pakistan. If Pakistan keeps on unprovoked firing across the border and trying to infiltrate terrorists into India, then India should respond firmly by using superior force and using high calibre and heavy weaponry, so that the enemy gets badly hurt and constantly bleeds. 

Money for defence can be arranged by taking decisive actions, rather than increasing the taxes, which will burden the people, especially the poor and middle classes. The Indian Government has many employees on its payroll and an unwieldy bureaucracy and with modernization, automation and retaining the best employees and getting rid of excess force in all its departments, the Government can cut down its spending and some of this money can be diverted for defence, education, health, family planning, etc. After the Chinese Liberation Army, the Indian Railways with 1.7 employees is the world’s second largest employer. Does Railways really require 1.7 million employees on its payroll, especially when a lot of irregularities are taking place at its workplaces? 

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Rita, Germany :
a good article.China is a threat to India and rest of world.They have everywhere their People who one cant think as secret agents go as tourists and do Fotos in industries,or places they want.out of These Fotos later you see what is produced in China.All Industry countrys form west go there to produce because of low costs,so that Chinas income increases,at the same time same products will be brought to the market with a slight difference of names as chinese product.so that many product companys have decided to come back and produce in own . Many products are not good Quality , and all copies. watches cars, and many articles are with chemicals which are not good for the health. In every messe you see them bring products which are a copy and and Claim as their own. But they dont have the original patent and result heavy Penalty and Close. you see their products everywhere in all countrys this plastic very low Quality. Their another trick is go to a oil rich Country or Mineral rich Country which is poor like in Africa and try to enter there and just give some plastic as gifts and first take promise that Country not to mix with their internal affairs. They dont tolerate when one critisize their human rights. There People have strict rules, work almost 10-12hours, hardly go to toilet, some sleep at their work bank. should not talk to neighbour when working. No strikes. Now adays Chinas wirthschaft has gone down because some People have tried to make Business in Bangladesh or neighbour Country kambodsha to produce more lower rates. Even People in China are demanding more payment , because with their earnings they cant live a normal life,. bosses are having a good life. still they are a threat to world and India. They are trying to buy and invest in other countrys and almost everywhere their foot has set. In electronics,they have good People. They try to be the first in world . Tell me in which Country they are not?Today whatever you buy , you see made in China!
Ray, India :
Israel will not be allowed to sell arms to India or any other country for that matter, without the permission of USA. Their agreement is as such. Israel can not sell arms it bought from US to any other country. So that option is not on the table.
Nelson Lewis, India :
Dear Mr. K.S. Bhat,

Thanks for your comments. I am really scared of China and it is high time that India should develop strong and durable relations with both U.S.A. and Israel and also lay stress on manufacturing arms and ammunition in India. India should also increase the strength of its Mountain Corps to fight these Chinese by inducting Gurkhas, Nagas, Tibetans and other people from the mountainous climes, who will be very good in fighting at these altitudes.

India is not oil rich and cannot afford to spend huge bills on importing oil and arms.

Today, the greatest threat the world and India faces is Islamic terrorism. Though these terrorists are not religious, but they use Islam to perpetrate terrorism. You do not see Shaikh Mohd. R. criticising these elements.

As regards Advocate, B.N. Pai, he can only speak about the Dynasty.
Kadengodlu Shankara Bhat, India :
Happy Birthday, Nelson-ji, today 5-Feb
Kadengodlu Shankara Bhat, India :
Dear Nelson-ji, namashkar.

You have given a very good analysis of the Chinese threat.

I also liked the suggestion of Mr. Dinesh, USA:
"We all know why half the MIG fleet of planes have crashed and killed good IAF pilots! India has an option of going to Israel that has improved some of the US weapons and may be willing to sell them or build jointly with India. Mr. Modi should should seize this good opportunity to build a strong military relationship with the USA to offset the growing Chinese threat".

In fact, the main reason to replace former Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was her reluctance to Modi's policy shift to align friendly with ISRAEL which has to be natural ally of India as they have perfected the art of protecting themselves from Islamic terrorism and in neutralizing their guerrilla war-fare threats from Gaza strip.

But, the problem with India is that we have many sympathizers of & the apologists for this Islamic terrorism which is spreading world-wide like wild-fire with few pockets of safe-heaven for them such as ISIS controlled Iraq-Syria and the entire territory of Af-Pak, not to mention about few sickular elements of our own!
Drona, India :
Good article and great discussion by Dinesh. China has different quality goods for different markets. Even within the USA, it sells 3rd rate and 5th rated goods. Police warn potential customers in New York shopping district not to get conned.Made in China is a joke, a cruel one at that.

Having said that, there are some very good quality goods too. I would definitely avoid electronics made there. Clothes are fine.

China is a very jealous country eyeing India as US gets closer to India. So, don't be surprised if some irritations are felt in the NE border.

We need Modi to rule India for another 10 years.
B. Dinesh, USA :
Mr.Lewis - this is a very good topic for discussion. You have raised very interesting questions and issues related to the growing menace of China. The United States made a huge blunder in courting China in the 1970s under Nixon Administration and Henry Kissinger, primarily to offset the perceived threat from the coalition between the then USSR and India. Opening up trade with the US gave China a taste of modernization and convert the economy to an export based economy. The net effect of this is that today is that China is not only one of the biggest dumpers of cheap and poor quality goods but it is the biggest polluter in the world. Nearly 70% of China is polluted.The US and the western countries have now realized the mistake they made by investing in China.

China now wants to be equal to the US in military might. They are doing this by stealing intellectual property, violating copyrights and patents, and through hacking into the computer systems of the western countries. India needs to wake up and smell the coffee. If not the same situation as the 1962 debacle will occur again and India will lose some territory. India needs to invest heavily in naval power and air superiority. Indian army is powerful enough but Indian Navy needs to be modernized with new world-class fleet of ships and planes. First of all, India should stop buying equipment from Russia and producing equipment designed by Russians. We all know why half the MIG fleet of planes have crashed and killed good IAF pilots! India has an option of going to Israel that has improved some of the US weapons and may be willing to sell them or build jointly with India. Mr. Modi should should seize this good opportunity to build a strong military relationship with the USA to offset the growing Chinese threat.

Mr. Modi needs to create a powerful Ministry of Cyber Technology to develop preventive and offensive cyber technologies. Indian Cyber Corps needs to be established. This is what China has! Indian software talent could be leveraged successfully to fight the cyber threat from Pakistan and China. This is a threat that can cripple a country without a single terrorist being on the ground or without a shot being fired. India is capable of building a cyber fortress but is there a vision and will?
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