April 7, 2005


India talks up axis against China (Siddharth Srivastava, 4/08/05, Asia Times)

It is the kind of statement unexpected just prior to the arrival of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in India on Saturday. Addressing India's top army brass, Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday that India must keep an eye on China's modernization of its armed forces.

Mukherjee's assertions are a clear reflection of the kind of geopolitical turns that politics of the Asian region may take in the near future, with the US egging on India to rein in the growing influence of China.

"A watch has to be kept on Chinese infrastructure in Tibet and its technological and military modernization program and the growth of its navy," the defense minister said. He observed that India had been keeping an eye on the rapid growth of the Chinese navy, and its expected entry into the Indian Ocean region within a decade will introduce a new military factor into the Indian neighborhood. "The Chinese growth is being watched by various powers ... We must be alive to these changes and their implications on our strategy," Mukherjee said.

It has not been lost to observers that Mukherjee, in his same speech, was happy about India's relations with the US. "With the US, we have made progress in expanding the space for understanding of our security concerns and for defense cooperation. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent visit has opened new perspectives," he said.

The Anaconda is nearly full-grown, we can start tightening the coils whenever we feel the need.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2005 9:53 AM

It seems the PRC has turned to saber-rattling in the neighborhood in order to keep its increasingly fragmented nation together. If the Japanese, the South Koreans, the Taiwanese and the Indians hang together, perhaps assisted by the Vietnamese, any putative expansionism by the PRC is doomed to failure. Once the nationalist card fails, the regime is history.

Posted by: at April 7, 2005 10:21 AM

Sometimes it seems that there's nothing to the left except projection. So, if they accuse their adversaries of being parochial and chauvinistic, lo and behold we look and see that all that concerns them about other countries is their troubles with the US.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 7, 2005 10:28 AM

Interesting post on China by EconNobelist Gary Becker over at the heavyweight blog he has w/ R'd Posner.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 7, 2005 10:37 AM

And the Kashmirs have the happy bus 60 years later.

Posted by: Sandy P at April 7, 2005 11:50 AM

Don't forget the Bear to the north. Despite our differences with Putin (and with Russian dreams), on the issue of China, we are almost always aligned.

Posted by: ratbert at April 7, 2005 12:47 PM

Our interest is in Siberia being developed and with American business having a shot at the development. Whether the Chinese or the Russian flag is hoisted over it is of minimal importance. If Russia wants to continue behaving as if they have a GDP larger than Holland's and a non-comic opera conventional military, we might prefer the PRC to them in Siberia.

Posted by: bart at April 7, 2005 2:15 PM