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India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 06-10-2008

A measured tread to the future

back to issue

THE dominant paradigm in which India-China relations are generally analyzed is essentially one of competitive power politics. Within this dominant paradigm, two broad strands may be discerned. The first entails looking at the post Cold War world as providing a new world of opportunities for cooperation in a number of fields. The competition between them takes on somewhat benign contours and far greater possibilities are visualized for the two countries to work in tandem to refashion the new emerging world order along more multipolar, democratic and equitable lines. The other strand views the two countries as locked in a ‘balance of power’ politics, their relationship characterized by rivalry for regional dominance and their long term strategies predicated on their objective of playing an influential role in the emerging world order.

These two virtually exclusivist viewpoints appear rather static and somewhat at odds with the dynamism of global politics, particularly in the post Cold War world which appears to be characterized by shifting alignments, changing interests and a more integrative approach to strategic concerns. The situation in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the socialist bloc and that which prevails in the post Kosovo world for instance, requires a far more nuanced and layered interpretation of relationships than that offered by the above approaches. Not only that, with the forces of globalization and the dominance of the capitalist world economy, a new set of forces are bearing down on old notions of power and sovereignty.

Furthermore, an entirely different set of concerns are moving onto the national agendas, viz., concerns regarding the environment, finite sources of energy, poverty and underdevelopment. Graver challenges are emerging with greater threat potential than simply military ones – cross border terrorism, narco terrorism, ethnicity and fundamentalism, among others. This is not to suggest that the strategic concerns of the past are no longer valid or that the asymmetry in India and China’s respective power positions is no longer critical. The point is that those strategic concerns and power equations have to be assessed and analyzed in new, flexible and inclusivist paradigms.

Events over the past year and a half at the global, regional and domestic levels have brought about a discernable change in the attitude of both countries towards the outstanding problems between them. A sense of urgency and greater purpose seems to mark the policy initiatives and overtures from both sides as well as the interaction and discussion between them. These developments were primarily three: the Indian nuclear explosions of May 1998, the U.S. led NATO bombings of Kosovo and the ‘mistaken’ bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and the Pakistani adventure in Kargil. An additional factor is that of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and associated separatist movements in China’s Xinjiang province. All these can be seen as cumulatively having contributed to once again reasserting the centrality of India-China relations in the region as well as virtually elevating India in China’s worldview.

There are five sets of complex, multidimensional issues which can in fact be considered as constituting the problem areas in India-China relations. Some of these are old, others new; some a legacy of the Cold War and others a result of the fallout of the end of the Cold War. These issues are, by their very nature, unlikely to be resolved soon and will continue to exercise the minds of leaders and policy makers well into the next millennium. The manner in which the two countries deal with and mange them will shape the nature of this relationship in the years to come.

Ever since May 1998, the Indian nuclear tests have dominated India-China relations. It was not until Jaswant Singh’s visit in June 1999 that a semblance of normality returned. The problem is not just a bilateral one however. The stand that China has taken as a permanent member of the Security Council (P-5) and as one of the five nuclear nations (N-5) is also a factor in the way in which the issue will be dealt with between them. But we shall return to this later. Any analysis of India-China relations inevitably, and necessarily, begins with the border problem. This can justifiably be described as the root of all discord, the source of suspicion and mistrust and the most difficult/intractable of all problems between India and China.

It is not our objective to go into the historical background of this problem or describe the events which led to the 1962 war. Suffice it to say that despite the profusion of writing by researchers and journalists and memoirs of officials and army personnel from India, the non-availability of official records continues to be a source of frustration and amazement. Not only does it prevent a definitive and conclusive assessment, but by keeping the actual course of events under wraps, it continues to deny us the opportunity to come to terms with that debacle.

It was Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China at the end of 1988 which re-launched the India-China dialogue in general and the border question in particular at the highest political level. The setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore the boundary question finally brought India-China negotiations out of cold storage. The expectations that the border question was finally nearing resolution did not quite materialize though. However, the decade of the nineties, till the Indian nuclear explosions, can in retrospect be seen as the most cordial phase of India-China relations since 1962.

There were two landmark agreements in 1993 and 1996: the first during Narasimha Rao’s China visit, was an Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Border Areas; the second during Li Peng’s South Asian visit was an Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas. The latter was hailed as virtually a ‘no-war pact’, and between them the two agreements did manage to enhance the atmosphere of cordiality and goodwill.

There was also a slow but distinct turn in China’s South Asia policy in which a more even handed approach towards both India and Pakistan replaced the overt tilt in favour of Pakistan. This was witnessed fairly unambiguously during Jiang Zemin’s South Asia visit in November-December 1997 when he advised the Pakistanis to put the Kashmir problem on the back burner and focus on mending relations with India.

This was also their approach as far as the India-China border was concerned. The policy seemed to be to ‘temporarily shelve’ or freeze contentious issues till more propitious circumstances came to prevail. In the meanwhile, both countries would concentrate on strengthening and intensifying cultural, economic and commercial interaction geared to mutual benefit and advantage. Common interests, carefully nurtured, would thus help keep suspicion and ill-will in check. In the process, some crystallization of both government and public opinion would provide the pointer to an eventual settlement.

The approach to the border in the post nuclear period continues to be characterized by this sentiment. Given the undefined nature of the disputed areas and an inability to evolve acceptable parameters for settlement, the progress so far has been somewhat like ‘one step forward two steps back’. There are unlikely to be any dramatic breakthroughs. The argument that the uncertainty over settling the border dispute is not in India’s interests is indeed persuasive. The longer uncertainty regarding the border prevails, the greater the chances that the asymmetrical power positions, or unforeseen circumstances, or both, would once again bring the two countries on a collision path. Undoubtedly, in shelving the ‘problems left over by history’, the lessons of history must not be forgotten. The matter has to be tackled within a long term strategic perspective, evidence of which is not quite forthcoming on the Indian side. More important, both the proposals made and the understanding reached, has to be clear and unambiguous.

Yet another issue in India-China relations is that of Tibet. Officially the Chinese have admitted that the Indian government has not encouraged, fostered or promoted the Dalai Lama or his growing international profile. But the existence of a substantial Tibetan refugee population and a Tibetan government-in-exile on Indian soil does complicate the scenario. Additionally, a prominent section of the Indian elite is extremely favourably disposed towards the Tibetan aspirations for independence. Equally, within the community of Indian strategic analysts, there are some who champion the notion of an independent Tibet acting as a buffer between India and China. Chinese strategic literature has often expressed doubts about India’s adherence/commitment to Tibet being a part of China.

Under the circumstances, there seems to be virtually no likelihood of any change in India’s official policy as regards Tibet. Any other option, given the current power balance, would be nothing short of folly. As it is China loses no opportunity to condemn/protest what it sees as Indian acquiescence in the activities of the Tibetan ‘splittists’. The point may be made that perhaps there is not enough appreciation in India about Chinese apprehensions regarding Indian intentions vis-a-vis Tibet. The post Pokhran II phase in fact saw the reiteration of pro Tibetan sentiments in India, though the Government of India quickly distanced itself from such sentiments. The defence minister’s views on the Tibetan question will be sure to create problems as well.

The Indian nuclear tests threw into sharp relief Indian concerns about Pakistan’s China connection and the nature of nuclear cooperation between them. As mentioned earlier, the Chinese policy towards the subcontinent in the post Cold War period has been undergoing a change in favour of a more even handed approach. In their reaction to the Indian, and shortly thereafter the Pakistani, nuclear tests, the Chinese were far more critical of India than Pakistan. They saw the latter as essentially reactive in nature compared to the Indian tests, which were seen as without any provocation. Of course, Vajpayee’s letter to Clinton had been responsible for much of the harshness of the Chinese reaction.

There is a fairly strong conviction within India that Pakistan’s nuclear build up and technological knowhow is largely of China’s making. As pointed out in the context of the discussion on Tibet, there is insufficient appreciation in India regarding the Chinese apprehensions about Indian intentions vis-a-vis Tibet. However, the same could easily be said about Indian apprehensions regarding the nature and extent of Chinese assistance to Pakistan’s conventional and nuclear build up, which is obviously targeted at India.

In June 1999 for instance, even as the Kargil conflict was underway, China and Pakistan signed an agreement to develop and manufacture an indigenous advanced fighter aircraft, the Super 7. As usual the Chinese government claimed that the arms deal was not aimed at any third country and only meant to provide ‘self-defence capability to Pakistan’ with whom they have a ‘time tested friendship’. However, the Chinese made a special effort to project what has been termed a ‘neutral’ posture during the Kargil conflict. It could be argued that the absence of an unambiguously pro Pakistan statement in a situation where a clear violation of international norms had occurred, does not entirely amount to ‘neutrality’. Nonetheless, by not supporting Pakistan in a clearcut manner, the Chinese position, along with that of the U.S. and a large majority of the international community, contributed to bringing the Kargil conflict to an end with greater dispatch. To that extent the Chinese attitude was widely welcomed in India. Nonetheless, Pakistan is likely to be a rather long term factor in India-China relations.

Pokhran II constituted the second major occasion since 1962 (the first being the Sumdurong Chu incident of 1986) in which India-China relations became crisis ridden. It is not our objective to go into the events and developments of the post May 1998 period which are only too well known by now. Suffice it to say that the sharp and bitter exchanges that followed raised grave doubts about the validity of the general belief that India-China relations had achieved a mature and more enduring basis for the resolution of their outstanding problems.

In the initial phase of the post Pokhran II period, there were two dimensions to the Chinese position. The first related to the implications of Vajpayee’s letter to Clinton in which he cited China as the major reason for India’s nuclear tests. This angered (and also hurt) the Chinese tremendously, causing a setback to the process of confidence building that had been underway. (So much so that the Chinese unilaterally decided to indefinitely postpone the JWG meeting.) Not only was it seen as having been done with ‘the purpose of finding an excuse for the development of (India’s) nuclear weapons,’ but it also had the effect of pushing aside the substantive aspect of the questions pertaining to India-China relations raised by Pokhran II.

The second aspect related to the Chinese stand as a P-5 and N-5 member. The post Cold War has seen the Chinese placing a great deal of emphasis on their role as a responsible and responsive member of the global community and as a major upholder of the global nonproliferation regime. They have therefore been reiterating the Security Council decision 1172 that India should sign the NPT and in effect roll back its nuclear programme. In other words, there is no question of recognizing either India or Pakistan as nuclear powers. This has also prevented them from extending the benefit of their own earlier logic of self-defence for going nuclear to India. They in fact stress the drastically different global situation of 1964 (the year the Chinese exploded their nuclear device) to that prevailing in 1998. The world opinion is now definitely against nuclear weapons and India is going ‘against the tide of the times’ quite apart from having forced Pakistan to follow suit and thus unleashed an arms race in the subcontinent. In the Chinese view, nuclear competition, and therefore instability, in South Asia has to be taken very seriously indeed and the onus for this lies squarely with India.

As mentioned earlier, it was Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh’s visit to China in June 1999 that finally ‘untied the knot’ in bilateral relations caused by the May 1988 nuclear tests. This brought about a definite change in Chinese attitude and behaviour. First, they agreed to put the ‘hurt’ behind them as indicated in their acceptance of Singh’s explanation that India did not consider China a threat. The contradiction between the position of the Indian defence minister and the foreign minister was glossed over. This, while impliying a certain understanding on the part of the Chinese of the logic of India going nuclear, did not exempt India from signing the CTBT and the NPT. That, according to the official Chinese view, would be the best conclusion possible to the nuclear imbroglio in the region.

Second, they responded positively to Singh’s proposal for a security dialogue, the nature and contents of which would be decided over a period of time. A security dialogue had been mooted before Pokhran II which had not gone very far. There continues to be a great deal of ambiguity about the levels at which this dialogue should be initiated and the gamut of issues that would be addressed. It is also not clear at this stage how the two countries would tackle the nuclear issue, though the need to bring it into the ambit of discussions has been recognized.

It has been suggested at non official levels that although China would be unable, and unwilling, to accept India as a de jure nuclear power, a de facto acceptance could form a basis of the discussions in a separate dialogue between them. Given that understanding, proposals regarding ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons cannot be made or considered within formal, governmental frameworks.

There have also been suggestions that the above need not be a hindrance to the security dialogue, since a clause in the 1996 Agreement about neither side using its ‘military capability’ against the other can be interpreted broadly to include nuclear capability as well. It is obvious, therefore, that this is a complex issue and one is not at all certain about the depth and range of the meeting ground between them, particularly as regards the strategic situation in South Asia, the post Kosovo situation and the common concerns regarding the U.S. notwithstanding. The positive fallout has been with regard to the common perception that confidence building measures have not only to be revived, but also intensified.

An issue which is certain to take on bigger and wider dimensions not just at the bilateral and regional but also at the global level, is that of Islamic fundamentalism and cross border terrorism and the shape that these may acquire. The Chinese are apprehensive that this could well escalate into something more serious, particularly in the light of the developments in Xinjiang. It may be recalled that the violent campaign launched by the Uygurs since the mid-nineties has gradually intensified and the likelihood of its escalation into a separatist or secessionist movement could well spin beyond the capacity of the Chinese state to handle.

There have been reports of riots, bombings, killings, assassinations of Uygur leaders who are perceived as ‘pro Chinese’ and demonstrations of independence. There is sufficient evidence that the Chinese are taking this matter seriously, though they view the problem essentially as a domestic one. The official media has projected it as a ‘law and order’ problem and the government has adopted tough measures, including legislation of anti-terrorist laws to deal with what is seen as seriously ‘harming national security’. Barely a month ago, 18 Muslim separatists were sentenced to between one and 15 years in prison for spreading ‘splittist theories’ in Xinjiang and ‘for undermining the unity of the motherland.’

Pakistan’s role in instigating cross border terrorism and insurgency in Kashmir has been a grave problem for India, particularly since the government of Pakistan has acknowledged that it continues to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the militants in Kashmir. That support lately took the form of actual hostilities as Pakistan sent its regular troops in the guise of militants into Indian territory resulting in a heavy loss of lives. As India moves towards cooperation and consultation, especially with Russia and the United States against state sponsored and cross border terrorism, China’s own worries over Pakistan’s role in this regard and the possibility of spillover effects of Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan, would require some action on its part.

At the domestic level, China is likely to continue to step up efforts to control and contain the wave of unrest and violence unleashed by the ‘national separatists and religious extremists.’ On the external front, China would most likely take up the issue with Pakistan, as it reportedly already has, as well as discuss ways and means with Russia and other countries of Central Asia, particularly Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan for building a broader defence against this threat. This is thus an important issue on which India and China are likely to hold broadly similar and common positions.

The problem is two fold: on the one hand, the economic development of these areas which are quite backward with large pockets of poverty and the absence of adequate educational and health facilities, which in many ways is the root of the problem, has to be accorded top priority. On the other, the state has to control violence without facing criticism about human rights violations, thereby inviting international intervention. The need for a common platform to counter external pressure and evolve common strategies is therefore quite compelling and we are likely to see definite steps in this direction in the future.

The ‘mistaken’ bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia by the U.S. led to a strong anti-U.S. wave in China and a reassessment of the PRC’s global strategy. The post Kosovo world is clearly a unipolar one, dominated by the U.S. which gives a new edge to the problem of hegemonism. A fresh impetus was thus provided to the process of creating new alliances and strengthening relationships since it was clearly beyond the capacity of any one single country to meet the emerging challenges. This has led to a renewed emphasis on India-China relations and their role in the global scenario. It is in this context that the revival of the India-China-Russia strategic alliance has to be understood.

Indo-Russian relations have generally been on an upswing in the post Cold War period with the Russians strongly supporting India’s claim for permanent membership of the Security Council and the signing of agreements on the transfer of advanced technology and strengthening military ties. On the other hand, the Chinese and the Russians entered into a ‘strategic partnership’ in November 1998 during Jiang Zemin’s visit to Russia. This was aimed at blocking ‘the development of elements of confrontation in their relations, [and] encourage cooperation.’ It was also sought to be made clear that this was not an alliance or aimed against third countries.

It was in March 1999, during Russian Prime Minister Primakov’s India visit, that the idea of a strategic alliance between India, China and Russia was mooted. At that point, neither China nor India responded positively. The post Kosovo situation saw the revival of this concept, which in any case had never been fleshed out properly and the contours of which have yet to take shape. The Chinese response this time round, at least at the unofficial levels, has been slightly different.

It cannot be denied though that the impetus for the alliance has been the recognition of the undoubtedly arrogant military offensive launched by the U.S. and the possibilities for intervention in their own backyards. There is a recognition by all three countries that this is indeed a unipolar moment in international relations. Despite the formal status of Russia and China in the United Nations, the ease with which the U.S. overrode all protest and virtually ignored these countries in launching its bombings, must undoubtedly have been a jolt, if not a shock.

There is certainly no intention to antagonize the U.S. since all three countries have a huge stake in the maintenance of normal relations with the sole superpower. The Chinese have also consistently reiterated their ‘peaceful, independent and non-allied foreign policy formulated by Deng Xiaoping.’ Russia and India as well, no less than China, are in need of advanced technology and are dependent on aid from the U.S. dominated global financial and economic institutions. The relationship of each of these countries with the U.S. involves aspects of both ‘contention and collusion’, which is not easy to resolve. In fact, over the last year, all three had to face up to this duality in a major way.

Last June, Russia was in deep economic crisis and had to be bailed out with massive World Bank assistance. Clearly, this would not have been possible without U.S. concurrence. During the Kargil conflict, the U.S. prevailed upon Pakistan to bring an early end to what could easily have been for India (as also for Pakistan) an extremely long drawn and costly affair, both in terms of human casualties and hardware. And most recently, the agreement between the U.S. and China on the latter’s entry to the WTO, has seen the Chinese making wide ranging concessions to U.S. commercial interests, despite the friction between them over the bombing of their embassy. Many of these concessions are in fact related to issues on which the Chinese had long refused to compromise.

Each of the three countries thus came up against situations which offered very little by way of alternatives, virtually forcing them to accept and reconcile with the enormous power and capability of the U.S. The proposed ‘strategic alliance’ will thus have to take into account this objective reality.

In all probability therefore, it will not be the strategic aspects of the alliance which will be the focus of initial discussions, and in the short term the three countries will be negotiating more in the bilateral mode. There would obviously be a more determined effort to explore economic exchanges, discuss the areas of common concern such as environmental problems, energy requirements, cross border terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and possibilities of military cooperation. Efforts would also be directed towards projecting the relationship as an exercise in regional cooperation rather than as an emerging pole in the post Cold War world.

In addition to the objective reality of the global scenario, which imposes definite limits on this trilateral relationship, there are certain realities of the India-China relationship in particular which would act as constraining factors. For one, there does not appear to be any definite opinion in favour of such an alliance in either China or India, either at the official level or within the semi-official think tanks and research community. There seems to be at best a guarded sort of ‘wait and watch’ attitude.

Second, there are far too many hurdles in their relations which need to be sorted out before any shared strategic perspective, either at the global or regional level, can emerge. Moreover, China would at this point be extremely reluctant to appear on a common platform with India on the strategic situation in South Asia. Such a step would run counter to its policy of broad neutrality towards India and Pakistan, which was most recently in evidence during the Kargil conflict. Besides, the Chinese would never discard their ‘time tested’ relationship with Pakistan, particularly at a time when the nuclear factor has complicated power equations in the subcontinent. It cannot be denied, however, that the alliance of these three substantially independent powers could prove to be a major countervailing group, if the idea does get off the ground.

Despite the rather uneven and at times slow progress in sorting out problems, and the unfortunate ease with which suspicions and tensions seem to flare up, a realistic assessment of the manner in which new conditions and opportunities could be utilized, needs to be undertaken. The process of engaging the two countries at various levels and on as broad a front as possible should gather greater momentum. This would facilitate airing of doubts, continuous debates on wide ranging issues, and help enlarge areas and avenues of cooperation.

India-China relations in the years to come should make resolute attempts at shedding the baggage of the past. An unnecessary romanticizing of the past should be avoided. The positive aspects of earlier policies such as Panchsheel should be reiterated and refurbished with the new reality. There are miles to go and a realistic discourse would be the first step.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Guest - 06-10-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>After quake, the deluge? </b>
B Raman
As if the disastrous earthquake in China's Sichuan province were not enough, survivors are now threatened by massive floods that would follow if 'quake lakes' were to burst. China's worries are far from over as it scrambles to evacuate more than a million people

The after-shocks following the earthquake that struck the Wenchuan area of the Sichuan province of China on May 12, 2008, and <b>killed an estimated 70,000 people, have decreased in frequency. </b>But the area still faces another major disaster in the form of massive floods if some of the so-called quake lakes formed as a result of the quake burst under the pressure of the accumulated water. The biggest of these quake lakes is the one at Tangjiashan, which has been causing concern to the Chinese authorities.

If it bursts, it could put in jeopardy the lives and livelihood of nearly a million Chinese living in the direction in which floods will flow and further damage the economy of a strategically important province of China. Sichuan is not only the granary of China, but is also rich in minerals. Many of China's nuclear and space establishments and defence industries are located in the province.

The Information Office of the State Council stated on June 8 that China's industrial and <b>mining sectors have lost an estimated $ 29.5 billion because of the quake</b>. If there are floods now, the loss will increase further. According to figures released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, 4,003 big companies have resumed production since the quake, but 1,482 enterprises are yet to do so. In case of floods, industrial production may receive a further set-back.

If the Tangjiashan quake lake bursts, two of Western China's strategically important railway line and oil pipeline may be washed away. The People's Daily reported on June 9: <b>"The lake is also posing a threat to the Fujiang river bridge on the Baoji-Chengdu Railway, a critical part of the railway network in west China. The swollen quake lake has put China's longest oil pipeline at risk. The pipeline, winding from Lanzhou via Chengdu to Chongqing, was 60 km downstream from the lake. With a capacity of transferring six million tonnes of oil each year, the pipeline provides 70 per cent of product oil to Sichuan and neighbouring Chongqing municipality. If the line was cut, refined oil in storage could only supply Sichuan for three days, whereas repair work would take 30 days.</b>"

A large number of civilian and military engineers, under the personal supervision of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, have been camping in the area and trying to drain off water from the Tangjiashan lake through a sluice canal created by the engineers. Water in controlled measure has already started flowing out through the canal, but it has started raining in the area. As a result, it is reported that the inflow of water into the lake is more than the outflow.

Under the heading "Quake lake still poses big threat", the China Daily News carried the following warning on the morning of June 9: "Water in the Tangjiashan quake lake in Sichuan province was rising on Monday despite the increased outflow through a channel. Increasing the outflow of water is critical for the dam's safety. If the water flows too slowly, the inflow will increase the pressure on the dam. But again, too voluminous an outflow can erode the diversion channel and cause the dam to collapse. A moderate rainfall around 6:50 pm was followed by a 4.8 magnitude aftershock a minute later yesterday (June 8). The tremors that lasted 20 seconds caused massive landslides on the surrounding mountains."

<b>Since the quake occurred, Mr Wen, who has won high praise not only from the Chinese but also from international disaster relief experts for the way he has organised the disaster relief, has spent more time in the quake-hit areas than in Bejing -- occasionally returning to Beijing for a few hours now and then to attend to other work</b>. His decision to fly back to Sichuan to preside over an emergency meeting at the time of the visit (June 4 to 7) of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Beijing, is, therefore, totally understandable. It will be incorrect to interpret his cancellation of the proposed courtesy call by Mr Mukherjee on him as meant to be a snub to him for his strong statements before leaving for China reiterating that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.

India has been sending relief material to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province, by aircraft of the Indian Air Force. One of the aircraft reached Chengdu when Mr Mukherjee was in Beijing. He decided to fly to Chengdu, receive the material and personally hand it over to the Chinese authorities. This was a gesture not only to the Chinese people, but also to the Tibetans who live in large numbers in the quake-hit areas and have been affected by the quake.

It is not known how many of the 70,000 people affected by the quake are Tibetans. The Tibetan-inhabited areas of Sichuan are claimed by the Dalai Lama as part of his so-called Greater Tibet, a claim strongly rejected by the Chinese. Before the quake, there were violent anti-Beijing incidents in the Tibetan-inhabited areas of Sichuan, but these have since stopped.

<b>Sichuan has the largest concentration of Indian students -- most of them studying medicine in the Sichuan University. They live mostly in Chengdu, which has not been affected by the quake.</b>

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Capt M Kumar - 06-11-2008

<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> NEW DELHI: Recent reports of Chinese incursions and Beijing's claims over chunks of Indian territory notwithstanding, Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday said India will follow a non-confrontationist approach towards its neighbours.

"We (India) are not ignoring (these incidents). To a maximum extent, we will try to avoid confrontation," Antony told reporters here after inaugurating a conference of top commanders of the Integrated Defence Staff drawn from the three wings of the armed forces.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Guest - 06-19-2008

<b>China shocks with 18 percent fuel price rise; oil falls</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Prices for gasoline and diesel prices will rise by 1,000 yuan ($145.5) per tonne each effective from midnight, state media reported on Thursday evening.

China will also raise average electricity tariffs by 0.025 yuan/kwh or about 4.7 percent on average, a rise that will primarily affect industrial and commercial users, the NDRC, China's top planning body, said on its website.

The rise, which will be effective from July 1, is its first broad increase in years and will bolster power companies struggling with the soaring cost of coal, which generates some three quarters of China's electricity.

China's rapid demand growth was one of the catalysts for oil's surge from $20 six years ago to a record high of nearly $140 a barrel earlier this week.

The move in November took many market watchers by surprise as Beijing has repeatedly vowed to rule out "near-term" price increases to battle high inflation and avoid social unrest barely two months away from the Beijing Olympics.

China also raised jet fuel prices by 1,500 yuan per tonne.

This is what I was expecting, now oil future will drop. Even strikes in Nigeria will have no effect. India failed to take bold action, in place they opted for pandering.

Now we have to watch China growth and decline in FDI, China started evaluating Yuan under pressure and now 18% increas in energy price. Made in China will be no more cheap.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Guest - 06-20-2008

<b>Jawans forming human chains to stop breach</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->KOLKATA/SILIGURI: Even as New Delhi talks of taking up the issue of border incursions with China at the "appropriate highest level", up in the Himalayas, the Indian soldiers are using a Gandhian method to stop the People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops from intruding into the Indian territory.

With the PLA making fresh incursions into the Fingertip Area of Sikkim, Indian troops are now blocking the Chinese soldiers by forming human chains.

<b>"We are literally forming human chains to stop the Chinese from crossing over," says a senior Army officer. "If they come in groups of 20, we assemble 50 men and form a human chain. They can't after all push us and cross the border." </b>

Under the terms of confidence-building measures started between the two countries during the days of Atal Behari Vajpayee government, troops on either side do not open fire to stop intrusions in disputed areas.

Hence, the Army is using ingenious methods like human chains. Of course, defences are also being developed in depth, it is learnt. One of the moves is to redeploy the artillery much of which had moved to Jammu & Kashmir during the Kargil operations.

The intrusions in Sikkim have taken the authorities by surprise as the Chinese had never disputed the boundary between Sikkim and Tibet.

"Possibly, they are trying to keep the dispute alive," says an Army official.

There have been 65 transgressions into Sikkim in the last six months and on June 16, PLA men entered the region in light vehicles and later returned to their territory.

Army officers in the area recount numerous attempts in recent months by the Chinese to cross the border and remove the heaps of stones used as border markers.

At Chor La, north of Nathu La, they came twice this month, on June 17 and June 12. At Choragabe, south of Nathu La and close to Torsa Nala which is near the China-India-Bhutan trijunction and already under Chinese occupation, the PLA troops had come two days ago. At the Fingertips Area, in north Sikkim, Chinese patrols have been coming regularly for the past two years, the last being on Monday. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
China is busy on border and India's PM Moron Singh want to lock India's nuke.
Indian Army is helpless and naked display of pathetic state of India rulers.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 06-20-2008

Now china cost of production will increase and its exports will decrease.

India since the fuel cost is stil subsidized there will be increase in exports.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Guest - 06-20-2008

India should increase gas price otherwise GOI will have no money for any project in India, first Moron Singh will reduce Defence budget.

From China holidays stuff will be expensive. I think finally Bush agenda will work.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Husky - 06-28-2008
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>China demolishes mosque over Olympic row</b>
25/06/2008 15:58:17

BEIJING: Chinese authorities in Xinjiang have demolished a mosque for refusing to put up signs in support of this August's Beijing Olympics, an exiled group said on Monday.

The mosque was in Kalpin county near Aksu city in Xinjiang's rugged southwest, the World Uyghur Congress said.

"China is forcing mosques in East Turkistan to publicise the Beijing Olympics to get the Uighur people to support the Games (but) this has been resisted by the Uighurs," World Uyghur Congress spokesman Dilxat Raxit said in an email.

Beijing says al-Qaida is working with militants in Xinjiang to use terror to establish an independent state called East Turkistan. Oil-rich Xinjiang is home to 8 million Turkic-speaking Uighurs, many of whom resent the growing economic and cultural influence of the Han Chinese.

Dilxat Raxit added that the mosque, which had been renovated in 1998, was accused of illegally renovating the structure, carrying out illegal religious activities and illegally storing copies of the Muslim holy book the Koran.

The Olympic torch relay passed through Xinjiang last week under tight security.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Pandyan - 06-28-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"We are literally forming human chains to stop the Chinese from crossing over," says a senior Army officer. "If they come in groups of 20, we assemble 50 men and form a human chain. They can't after all push us and cross the border." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is the most pathetic thing I've ever read. Where is the national outcry? And why aren't they shooting at the infiltrators? I won't be surprised if entire North-East becomes part of China by 2030.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Guest - 06-28-2008

I've always wondered why Radcliffe burnt his notes after he was sequestered by the British government for the duration of deciding how to partition India.

It's obvious that handing over Chittagong Hill Tracts to Pakistan while letting it hang on to the rest of India by a thread called the Silguri corridor was a deliberate attempt to isolate our NE.

Pandyan, we have to resort to this method because we don't have the infrastructure in place in the NE to supply our front lines if the condition escalates.

Right now the govt is crippled by the strong pro CPC lobby. How can you expect a meaningful govt response when the CPI is one of the powerbrokers in Delhi?

Before we even think of taking on the Chinese, we need to discredit and weaken these Marxists to a point where they cannot waylay Indian national interests.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Bodhi - 07-02-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On December 18, the party's politburo, the highest ruling body in the
country, held a plenary collective study session. It was the second one
since the 17th Communist Party Congress that ended in October last year. For
the first time in the history of the People's Republic, the party's top
echelons met to discuss a once-taboo subject - religion.

The Chinese Communist Party, like many other communist parties, is patently
atheist, to the point that religious affiliation is forbidden for party
members. However, right in Congress there was the first sign that things
could be moving in a different direction.

Broadcasting from the cavernous Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where
the 17th Party Congress was in session, TV screens showed the slim and
attentive face of the young Panchen Lama (the second-highest ranking Lama
after the Dalai Lama), who was following the speech of party general
secretary Hu Jintao. The badge on his chest said "guest". [...] Indeed,
Hu's keynote speech devoted a paragraph to religion [2]. He said religious
people, including priests, monks and lay-believers, played a positive role
in the social and economic development of China. Furthermore, Hu did not
talk about religions as such, thus establishing a form of respect and
non-interference in purely religious affairs. That is, the party is not
interested in religion per se, but it values the positive social
contribution of religious people.

At the study session on December 18, the politburo explored the issue. Two
experts introduced the subject. One was Zuo Xinping, a specialist on
Christianity from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the other was Mou
Zhongjian, a scholar on Confucianism from the Central University of
Nationalities in Beijing. It seemed the party wanted two perspectives, one
about new Christian faiths coming from abroad and one from the country's own
native traditions.

Hu presented some introductory remarks, reported in a Xinhua article in
Chinese [3], and it was indeed an historic event. Two facts are

It was the first high-level meeting of the party fully devoted to religion.
That was a sign that party leaders recognized the great political
significance of religion in building a "moderate, affluent and harmonious
society". Religion is no longer an issue of public security that can be
handed over to the police - it is a top social and political issue involving
all aspects of society, and therefore all politburo members must be aware of

Secondly, in all of the Xinhua reports, there were no negative, derogatory
remarks about religion, as one would expect to find about the "opiate of the
masses". There were not even "ifs" or "buts" to indicate that the party
would handle religion with diffidence. The English version stresses that
there must be freedom of belief, and in the Chinese version, Hu is quoted as
saying that the party must mobilize the positive elements of religion for
economic and social development. Thus, religion can play an important role
in realizing the "harmonious society" that is the new political goal of the
party. [...]

However, Chinese history tells party leaders that religion is also an
extremely volatile element. Major uprisings in the past were organized by
religious groups. For instance, the Taiping, who almost brought to an end
the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century, were pseudo-Christians. Similarly,
extreme radical Islam now mobilizes millions worldwide. Religion has to be
handled with care, but it cannot simply be ignored or looked down on like
some kind of feudal leftover.

"China's massive wrench: Change in the face of foreign devils" (Francesco
Sisci), Asia Times Online (03 July 08)<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-04-2008

Olympics a Bust for Beijing Business


Even as Beijing prepares to welcome the world for the Summer Olympics, some of the city's foreign residents are planning their farewell parties. China's epic economic transformation has, in recent years, swelled the city's expatriate population to an estimated 250,000. While hardly the most comfortable city, Beijing offered cheap food and lodging, and the opportunity to live in one of the world's most important emerging centers of commerce and the arts. But just as the city prepares to make its international debut by hosting the Olympics in August, many of those expats have found themselves forced to leave as a result of tightened visa restrictions imposed as part of the security arrangements for the Games.

Sabrina Mondschein, a 24-year-old American, came to Beijing last year after spending a year studying in the central Chinese city of Xi'an. She began work last fall at a small educational foundation and traveled back to the U.S. the following spring to apply for a yearlong work visa. But after returning to China, and inadvertently overstaying a temporary tourist visa, Mondschein's application for a work visa was rejected. Officials told her she didn't have enough experience with the foundation to serve as a representative in China. "I'm baffled," Mondschein says. "I don't feel angry; I don't have any bitterness. At the end of the day you're still a guest of someone else's country. It's just sobering."

It's not only long-term residents who have had nasty surprises from the Chinese authorities - business travelers and tourists have also had problems getting visas for China this summer. As a result, despite expectations of a tourist boom, the number of foreign visitors to the capital last month was actually down in comparison to last year. Some large events have been called off or rescheduled, such as a four-day rock concert that authorities ordered be held only after the Games. Security forces have stepped up patrols in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreigners, and the Olympic organizing committee published an extensive list of rules for foreigners planning to visit during the Games. For an event meant to highlight how much China has opened up in recent decades, the pre-Olympics jitters appear to be prodding the authorities to tighten up rather than relax their social controls.

Anxieties increased after the Olympic torch was greeted with large protests during some of the international legs of its relay last spring - the government fears similar demonstrations could hit Beijing in August. In a list of 57 rules for foreigners visiting during for the Olympics, the Beijing organizing committee declared that no protest or demonstration could be held without registering with the authorities. "Illegal gatherings, processions, demonstrations and failure to comply can result in fines or legal punishment," the rules state. Political protest banners are also prohibited from stadiums.

An even bigger concern is terrorism. The Beijing subway system began security checks at entrances on Sunday, and heavily armed police have begun patrolling some parts of the capital. Officials have said that Beijing will have an anti-terrorism force of nearly 100,000 police, paramilitary troops and the elite Snow Wolf commando unit. In March, authorities announced what they said was a failed terror attack on a flight to Beijing from the city of Urumuqi, capital of the restive western Xinjiang region. The government blamed the attack, allegedly involving a failed attempt to set a fire in the aircraft's lavatory, on separatists from the Muslim Uighur ethnic group. But human rights groups complain that the threat warnings lack specifics, and could be used to justify political crackdowns. (Interpol and the U.S. State Department, however, have also issued warnings of possible terror attacks during the Games.)

The jittery climate has clouded the expectations of hoteliers and other entrepreneurs hoping to profit from this summer's expected travel boom. "I was really looking forward to a phenomenal year, and that has slowly been tempered by the visa restrictions," says Derek Flint, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street. In May 346,000 foreigners visited the capital, down 12% from the previous year's figure, according to the Beijing Tourism Administration. "May and June have been tough months. July will also be a tough month before the Olympics," says Damien Little, a Beijing-based director for Horwath HTL, a hotel consulting firm. While most of the top hotels are fully booked for the Games, mid-range accommodations still have vacancies. "The four-star and three-star market has perhaps more than 50% of the rooms available," says Little.

The economic pain is felt well beyond the hospitality industry. Business groups complain that the visa rules are keeping overseas investors from visiting factories, and blocking retailers from attending trade fairs. In Hong Kong, the autonomously governed Chinese city that is a key entry point to the mainland, long lines of people wait to plead their case to officials at the Chinese visa office. "It's really a hassle and adds a lot of time and expense," says Richard Vuylsteke, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. "Nothing is insurmountable, but it increases the cost of business and makes people think twice before going in." The group sent letters of complaint to the Chinese foreign ministry and the Hong Kong government. But they don't expect to see any improvement before the Games' conclusion. "Our interest is that things go back where they were before after Olympics," Vuylsteke says. "Otherwise this will have an impact on business plans."

The visa problems are affecting more than just business, however. Farnoosh Famouri, a 25-year-old Australian, plans to marry her American fiance in Beijing on July 6. The couple, who met while working in the Chinese capital, invited 30 friends and relatives to join them, before realizing that they might not be able to renew their own visas in time. After meeting with several denials, Famouri returned to the visa office with her visiting parents for one last attempt. Upon learning that she planned to be wed in China, the officer extended Famouri visa for two weeks. "I was so happy and so excited after three months of so much stress," she says. Still, she has to wait to learn if her fiance's visa can be extended as well.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-04-2008

Forecast: China to top medals table

Posted by Tim Johnson
Mon Jun 23, 4:00 AM ET

You don’t need to wait and see which nation will win the most medals at the Beijing Summer Games. The wizards have already spoken.

Here is what they say: China will win the most medals (88), followed by the United States (87) and Russia (79).

If true, this will mark the first time China has ever topped the medals table at an Olympic Games.

The predictions come from economists at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who regularly handicap the Olympic Games. Click here for the press release issued Monday.

The accounting firm says China has won significant advantage this year by being the host of the Summer Games, as well as its strong government support for sports and its growing economic strength.

“In general, the number of medals won increases with the population and economic wealth of the country,” said John Hawksworth, a macroeconomist who is the report’s author. “David can sometimes defeat Goliath in the Olympic arena, although superpowers like the US, China and Russia continue to dominate the top of the medals table.”

Among other conclusions of the report: “As the host nation in Beijing and an economy which has grown very strongly since 2004, the medal ‘target’ of 88 for China according to our model is much higher than its actual medal totals in Athens (63) or Sydney (59); in fact, the model predicts that China may be very slightly ahead of the US (87), although this difference is well within the margin of error of the model so the race for top place is really too close to call based on this analysis.”

By way of comparison, here are PWC’s projected list of top medal-winning countries. The second number is how many medals each won in Athens in 2004.

1. China 88 63
2. United States 87 103
3. Russia 79 92
4. Germany 43 48
5. Australia 41 49
6. Japan 34 37
7. France 30 33
8. Italy 29 32
9. Britain 28 30
10. South Korea 27 30

China has attempted to tamp down down expectations it will sweep up medals.

Deputy Sports Minister Cui Dalin said last August: "America and Russia are stronger. We are far behind, especially in athletics, swimming and water sports. In the sports where we are traditionally strong, we have little space for improvement. America and Russia are in a leading group of their own, we are trying to be the leaders of the second group."

Then in March at a press conference I attended, he said: “We've got to take a pretty sober, objective view toward this. Overall, we're not a big sporting nation.”

He went on to say: “In the competition altogether, the United States and Russia are still well above our level.”

Any bets on who is right?

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-04-2008

Bush will attend opening ceremonies of Olympics

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer 53 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush will attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing, the White House said Thursday, quashing any talk of a presidential boycott over China's violent crackdown on Buddhist monks.

The White House had been reluctant to confirm Bush's plans for the opening event, although there was no doubt he would attend the Olympic Games. While other world leaders have talked of boycotting the Aug. 8 opening ceremonies, Bush's aides have signaled for weeks he was unlikely to do so.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush will travel in August to South Korea, Thailand and China and will attend the opening ceremonies of the games with first lady Laura Bush. The specific dates of travel were not released.

Bush's trip is built around the Olympics, which the White House long has said Bush plans to attend as a celebration of sports.

Bush also will be dealing with the tense matters of U.S. beef imports in South Korea and the six-country effort to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons.

Any Olympic protest by the United States would have deeply offended a proud Beijing leadership that hopes the games will show China's emergence as a new world power. It also would run the risk of hindering a host of international efforts the Bush administration needs China's help to solve, including efforts to confront Myanmar's military junta and nuclear efforts in North Korea and Iran.

The president and first lady Laura Bush will begin their trip in South Korea, the site of violent protests over the import of U.S. beef. Anti-government protests about the matter have raged for weeks and turned central Seoul into a riot zone.

Perino said Bush and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak would discuss a proposed free-trade agreement along with security matters.

Bush then will travel to Thailand to celebrate its long-standing relationship with the United States and confer with Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, Perino said.

In China, Bush will meet with President Hu Jintao. A key focus will be the six-country effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons capability. Then the president and the first lady will attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, Perino said.

Critics of China have said if Bush were to avoid the opening ceremony, it would send a powerful signal of international anger over China's violent response to demonstrating Buddhist monks in Tibet in March.

Bush himself has said he does not view the Olympics as a political event. "I view it as a sporting event," he said earlier this year.

In April, Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said it would be a "cop-out" for countries to skip the opening ceremonies to protest China's crackdown in Tibet. China says 22 people died in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, while foreign Tibet supporters say many times that number were killed.

Significant talks between Chinese officials and envoys of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, are taking place this week.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said this week he would attend the opening ceremonies if the latest talks made progress. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not attend the opening ceremonies.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-04-2008

Countdown to Beijing
For Hosts, Games Lose Some Luster
Many Beijing Residents Find Tribulations of Olympics Outweigh Benefits

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, July 2, 2008; Page A01

BEIJING -- It seemed like a great idea last year, starting a hotel-reservation Web site for this summer's Olympic Games. Companies had been calling travel agencies 17 months in advance to book rooms.

He Peiyuan, who used to work for just such an agency, calculated that he could make more than $140,000 with his site, Beijing Hotel Reservations. But so far, he said, all he's managed to earn from 448 customers is about $43,000.

"Chinese clients think the rooms are too expensive or the hotels aren't conveniently located, and they're afraid of being cheated. The foreign clients just hesitate to make a decision," said He, 24, who has started to work at an art gallery for extra income.

The Aug. 8-24 Summer Olympics are supposed to mark a major celebration for China, an extravaganza that has ordinary citizens bursting with pride and excitement. Locals here are, by and large, proud to play host. But many are also increasingly feeling burdened by or disconnected from a billion-dollar spectacle for which expectations have been set so high.

Tenants are upset that development has driven up the cost of living in the city; drivers are bracing for major traffic congestion; and hotel managers and travel agents are complaining that security restrictions have held up business and tourist visas, keeping occupancy rates unexpectedly low for the Olympic period.

"So many people expect the Olympics will help make China's economy even more prosperous. But in China, the government operates everything. As a result, the Olympics are not that efficient, economically speaking," said Zhang Ming, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

In every Olympic host city, there is pre-Games grumbling. But this is a city that had arguably yearned for the Games more than most, making it all the more disappointing when the burdens of hosting the event start to outweigh the benefits.

For the Chinese, the Olympics have long been seen as an opportunity to strut and preen, a chance to demonstrate their country's ascendance in the world as an economic and political heavyweight. When Beijing won its bid in 2001, an estimated 200,000 overjoyed Chinese spontaneously converged on Tiananmen Square to celebrate what state media called "the triumph of the motherland."

Seven years later, the Beijing Games are likely to be the most expensive Olympics ever, given the amount of new infrastructure and corporate sponsorship that will benefit the city. But with just over a month to go, enthusiasm among many has given way to indifference and, in some cases, annoyance.

Authorities in Beijing, for instance, have said they will limit the number of trucks in the capital during the Games to improve security and curb traffic. The move means stores are likely to find themselves short of supplies.

"I just got the key of my new apartment last weekend. I need to buy tiles, paint, sinks, a toilet, kitchen appliances, a wood floor. But several construction stores told me they got government notices encouraging them to close during the Olympics," said Yin Jun, an editor in a publishing house.

The government, meanwhile, is also trying to tighten security by deploying automatic-weapon-toting guards to the airport and applying greater scrutiny to mail coming through the capital. From June through October, post offices here will not accept packages containing liquids, chemicals, powders, electronic equipment, or even soap and ointment, without special permission from the Public Security Ministry.

"It's worse than I thought. There are so many new regulations on which kinds of things cannot be mailed from or to Beijing," said Jian Yamin, a chemical engineer.

"I want to buy a new cellphone, but I cannot use an express company to deliver it since it's an electronic good," said Jian, who added that development in the capital has driven up rent prices.

Even the authorities may have overestimated the level of interest in the Games. The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games continues to predict the event will draw more than 1 million domestic visitors and 500,000 foreigners, including 22,000 credentialed foreign journalists. And yet tougher enforcement of rules governing visas and residential permits has forced thousands of foreigners to leave China and many Chinese migrant workers to leave the capital.

"If tourists want to extend their visas, they have to provide proof that they have at least $3,000 in the bank and residential papers for where they're staying," said Liu Jia, a Beijing-based visa agent. "The new visa policy is tighter because the government is afraid something will happen during the Olympics. . . . The new policy will try to keep foreigners out of China."

The restrictions, which in some cases require tourists to prove they have tickets for the Games and hotel reservations, have sent hotel occupancy rates plummeting. In June, four-star hotels reported only a 45.5 percent occupancy rate. The city's five-star hotels, with average room prices of $500 a night, reported an occupancy rate of about 78 percent.

Zhang Bin, a saleswoman at the four-star Sunjoy Hotel, said that the daily rate at the hotel averages about $285 a night but that "there's still room to lower the price."

"We were optimistic about the market last year, but there's such a big distance between reality and our expectations," Zhang said.

Like many Beijingers, Liu Qifei, a magazine vendor, assumed that the Olympics would bring real improvements to life in the city. But it hasn't quite turned out that way.

"Look at this street. The old buildings have been newly painted. Just opposite, the buildings facing the street have been decorated. But the buildings behind them are unchanged," said Liu, 55, who plans to watch the Games on television. "I don't like those facade projects because they are useless to our ordinary citizens."

Liu said the Olympics have led to some benefits, at least in the short term. Bus tickets are discounted, and traffic is being restricted to cut back on pollution. Such changes, though, are intended mainly to ensure a smooth event.

"I'm worried that after the Olympics, everything will return to the old orbit," Liu said.

Researcher Zhang Jie contributed to this report.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-05-2008

`It was as if India did not exist`


Sify Columnist Claude Arpi is a French-born author and journalist who lives in Auroville, India. He has authored several books like The Fate of Tibet, India and her neighbourhood,and Born in Sin: The Panchsheel Agreement, among others.

In his latest book, Tibet, the Lost Frontier he argues that the Chinese annexation of Tibet spells trouble for India, because it has brought the dragon right up to our gates.

In an interview with Ramananda Sengupta, he explains the difficulties he faced while researching for the book ('The Government has confiscated the modern history of India' he says) and why he feels the Tibetans are losing the race against time.

What was the guiding force behind the book? What was the audience you had in mind?

It started as a personal interest. In 1972 and 1973, I visited North India, more particularly the places where Tibetans had taken refuge. It was mind-blowing to see that these people who had lost everything, still continued to smile and joke. I wanted to know their secret. Then I met their leader, the Dalai Lama and realized that we Westerners had something to learn.

Since that time, I have collected tons (now gigas) of documents on the modern history of Tibet . I interviewed a number of old Tibetan officials (including the Dalai Lama several times). What spurred me to write is that I found that most authors had approached the Tibetan issue from the Western historic perspective; it was as if India did not exist. For Westerners, it is simply a problem between the Tibetans, who have lost everything; China, which is becoming a power to reckon with, and the West. Where is India in the picture? This motivated me to go deeper into the issue and write something from an Indian perspective, for the Indian public (and of course for the Western public if they want to understand India's position).

While researching for it, did you stumble across anything which made you look at issues differently from how you used to?

When I started my research, I soon discovered that the Indian Archives were closed to the Indian public. The Government has confiscated the modern history of India. This still upsets me very much. Very few in India seem to care about the fact that the Nehru Papers are locked in almirahs in the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund and permission to view these State documents has to be begged for from the ruling family. It is probably the only nation in the world where such nonsense can continue unchallenged.

Book special: Tibet: The Lost Frontier | Images: A Lama's journey

Where do you think the Tibetan struggle is headed for right now?

I am quite pessimistic. A couple of weeks before the recent events in Tibet, the Dalai Lama had told me in an interview: "The Tibetan society is debating about autonomy versus independence. But the entire debate may be futile in 5 years time, because the Chinese would have swamped Tibet with millions of Chinese, like they did in Inner Mongolia." It is this despair which motivated the Tibetans from the different provinces to manifest and take the enormous risk of marching down the streets of Lhasa and other places in March-April.

After the Dalai Lama, what?

The Dalai Lama is in good health and not so old. I hope that he has many more years to live and guide his people. In my opinion the Chinese leaders are foolish. They should use this golden opportunity to sort out the issue with a very moderate and wise leader who sincerely looks for a win-win solution for both parties. If the Dalai Lama goes before a solution is found, the Chinese may not gain anything. Today, many observers feel that only the Dalai Lama can keep China united.

Can India afford to take a tough negotiating position with China on the Tibet issue?

India first has to be tough to defend her own interests. Once she does this, her position vis-à-vis Tibet will automatically be clearer. Nehru purposefully decided to keep the Indian position 'vague', to not upset China, with the result that there is a border issue pending for the last 50 years. In my book (I quote from a Press Conference of Nehru in 1949) in two sentences, he used the word 'vague' five times to define India's position vis-à-vis Tibet, while he knew perfectly well that Tibet was an independent nation. Today we are still reaping the consequences of this original sin, look at what is happening in Arunachal or Sikkim. When Nehru finally woke up, (October 1962), it was too late.

Han-isation of the Tibetan plateau, and the gradual erosion of the Tibetan culture…how long before Tibet becomes just a memory?

A few years only. It is probably why the Dalai Lama had to do huge compromises. During the interview that I mentioned earlier, he told me that he has seen a German film showing new townships which are coming up in Western Tibet (north of J&K and Himachal border). These townships are entirely inhabited by Chinese migrants. The flooding of Tibet with Han migrants is one of the reasons why the Chinese have recently developed the road network in this area and constructed new airstrips. It is a threat for Tibet's cultural identity; it is a threat to India's security. But nobody in India seems to care.

The title says 'Lost Frontier'. Are you referring to the notion of it being a buffer state against China for India, or something more?

The 'lost frontier' is India's frontier. For 2000 years, people, monks, pandits, yogis, pilgrims, traders circulated freely between the sub-continent and the Tibetan plateau. Pilgrims would visit Kailash-Mansarovar through the Ladakh road without any hindrance. There was even an Indian principality called Minsar at the bottom of the Kailash. With the invasion of Tibet in 1950, India lost a peaceful frontier. India lost a friendly neighbour. The frontier became a 'disputed' border. This is the tragedy. All because 'frontier' or 'buffer' had a 'colonialist' connotation according to Nehru; he did not want to be seen as an imperialist and hence did not intervene in 1950. Mao had no such scruples when he 'liberated' Tibet.

Given the increasing frustration among the younger generation of Tibetans over the slow pace of the movement, what are the chances of it exploding into a terrorist movement, as it is already being described by the Chinese?

What the Chinese say about the Youth Congress is nonsense. The only act of violence done by them has been to climb the compound wall of the Chinese embassy in Delhi. One could wish that all terrorists would be as mild in their protests; the world would be better. And let us not forget that the Chinese State is responsible for the death of 1.2 million Tibetans. Is that not terrorism? I don't think that the Tibetan movement will ever become a terrorist movement, the Buddhist roots are too deep in the Tibetan psyche, but it may become more violent than it is today.

Do you see a conflict between the freedom being sought by the Tibetan Youth Congress and the autonomy as sought by the Dalai Lama?

It is a difficult question. The younger generation has a point. If you look at the history of the 'negotiations' between Dharamsala and Beijing since 1978 (when Deng Xiaoping said that he was ready to discuss anything except independence) and today, the Chinese have not moved an inch while the Dalai Lama has made huge concessions. This is very frustrating for the young Tibetans (and probably even for the Dalai Lama). As I mentioned earlier, it is a race against time which the Tibetans are losing. It is perhaps the greatest injustice of the 20th century. It is why so many all over the world support the Tibetan cause.

The problem of autonomy for Tibet is that for it to be genuine would imply a democratic setup within Tibet. This could have tremendous consequences for the political system in China, in particular, the monopoly of the Party. The situation is hence not simple and even 'autonomy' or 'Middle Path' has many other implications for China. Take the example of environment. If it comes to the rivers, who will control them - the local Tibetan government or the Central government? It has such strategic implications that it is doubtful if Beijing would ever agree to give up on the control of the Tibetan rivers.

Even autonomy is not an easy proposition for Beijing to accept. And I understand the Tibetan youth who do not want to live under a totalitarian regime: a regime which constantly insults the Dalai Lama (The Chinese Party Chief in Tibet recently called him a "wolf in monk's garb"). Who would like to live in a Tibet where the Dalai Lama's photos are banned? In 1989, when the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the population of Lhasa was celebrating by burning incense and circumambulating around the Central Cathedral. It was immediately declared 'anti-national activities' by the Chinese. Who likes to live in a jail?

‘Is India ready to give away part of its territory?’

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-08-2008

<b> China's people must rise up with nonviolent tactics</b>

By Yang Jianli Tue Jul 8, 4:00 AM ET

Boston - Chinese citizens have generally been a submissive people. What is extraordinary is that tens of thousands of protests are taking place in China every year.

Not long ago, one such protest in China was brutally shut down by the Chinese government. Once again, the world looked on as China provided another example of how it thwarts basic human rights.

The protest took place when the police of Weng An County released a suspect who had allegedly raped and murdered a teenage girl. It is believed that the suspect is a relative of a local police officer. The victim's relative went to the police station demanding justice; instead he was badly beaten by police. This then led hundreds of thousands of people to the street. But the official crackdown on this lawful protest spurred tragic violence.

And it is widely known that many such protests for basic rights are beaten back.

No matter how hard the Communist Party tries to cover up their crimes with all kinds of celebrations, its true brutality is constantly being revealed by the crackdowns on peaceful protests, a carte blanche to destroy citizen's homes, and a flouting of laws and trampling of rights. The party is dictatorial, squeezing people both economically and politically, like a criminal organization.

Enough is enough! Citizens must unite and utilize their own power. It only takes a few people to proclaim their rights, to encourage and awaken the rest of the country to those rights and lead the way.

The people in Weng An did the right thing to demand their rights. It is important that all people in China work against oppression, exploitation, and corruption and to fight for human rights and democracy.

But the way to gain the upper hand – and ultimate peace – is through nonviolent tactics. That is not just a moral principle, but a sound, successful strategy used by democracy and human rights activists around the world. And it would knock the government off guard.

The Communist Party is adept at violence, but their well-equipped police force is not necessarily strong at suppressing peaceful protests.

When citizens retaliate with violence, it only provides an excuse for government to crack down on the democracy movement, ultimately weakening citizen power. Nonviolence will put the party in a morally vulnerable position and soften it. Such a tactic will also help win over citizens who are hesitant to act against the government.

Nonviolence doesn't mean nonaction. There is the kind of nonviolence in which people refuse to cooperate or participate in any political activities with the government. Such active refusal speaks volumes. This action includes refusing to implement Communist policy or to give lukewarm attention to government. Or it can mean not participating in any government celebrations, communist festivals, communist TV or newspapers. It means staying away from any communist promotion of their "shining models," abandoning the communist jargon, and ignoring unconstitutional decrees.

Active nonviolence includes organizing prodemocracy movements, such as protests, sit-ins, school or factory strikes, fasting, seminars, open funerals for victims, gatherings in someone's honor, and refusal to pay evil taxes.

For active nonviolence, demonstrators need a tangible goal so that they can eventually pressure the Communist Party into a compromise.

But before that compromise comes, both passive and active nonviolence will likely result in more crackdowns and persecution.

The key to success is persistence.

Attempts at peaceful protests in China in the past, and an effort by the Dalai Lama to encourage peaceful demonstrations, are a strong foundation from which to work forward.

The best way to develop a protest movement is to use places such as schools, unions, associations, churches, or clubs to rally people. Chinese citizens can even create some new gathering points to draw activists.

Meanwhile, the more citizens utilize communication tools such as the Internet, the bigger the power base will be. By searching for information, we can find ways to get around Web firewalls and other obstacles to end isolation. Each addition to the cause will create a chain reaction and multiply citizen strength.

And it is important to recognize that the tragic death of Li Shufen, the teenager who was found in the river in China, should not go unnoticed. By persistent, nonviolent action we gain moral ground and protect our children from being the next victims.

Citizen power based on peaceful nonviolence will eventually conquer the power of the Communist Power. Let's start today.

Yang Jianli is founder of Initiatives for China, dedicated to empowering the citizens of China for a peaceful transition to a democratic China. A PhD, he is a research fellow at Harvard University and a former political prisoner in China.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - acharya - 07-08-2008

Spotlight on China, darkness in Tibet
Tibet is shouting. But China isn't listening.
By Dan Southerland

from the June 11, 2008 edition

Monitor opinion editor Josh Burek talks with Dan Southerland about the current relationship between China and Tibet.

Washington - China's media covered the country's earthquake tragedy more openly than any past disaster. But the Chinese government still maintains a blackout over news from Tibet, which experienced its biggest uprising in decades this spring.

The blackout explains why you probably haven't heard about continuing sporadic protests by Buddhist monks and nuns in eastern Tibet, along with further arrests by the Chinese police. As China consolidates control of territory it considers its own, many Tibetans are placing their hopes on a Chinese offer of talks, now postponed, with representatives of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader-in-exile.

Previous talks have failed – and not just because of calcified mistrust. Rather, China appears to see its "Tibet problem" as a question of economic development, and seems unable to grasp the centrality of Buddhism to the Tibetan people's national and cultural identity.

One high-ranking Communist Party official this spring called the Dalai Lama "a wolf in a monk's robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast." Such language deeply offends many Tibetans.

Still, optimists are watching for signs that Beijing is serious this time about discussing the Dalai Lama's proposal for "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet. At the heart of this hope is a belief that a newly confident China, bolstered by its relatively open and rapid response to the earthquake and then by the Beijing Olympics, will agree to loosen its hold over the region.

Pessimists note that China may have agreed to the talks simply to deflect international pressure prior to the Olympics while pursuing a harsh policy of arrests and "patriotic education" campaigns inside Tibet.

I saw all this two decades before as a reporter covering three Tibetan uprisings in Lhasa in 1987, 1988, and 1989.

Then, as now, it began with Buddhist monks protesting and shouting slogans. The police then detained and beat up some of the monks. Other Tibetans reacted violently. Blaming the Dalai Lama for causing all the trouble, Beijing finally reacted with massive force.

Western governments urged talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama, and Beijing ultimately agreed. But in the end those talks led nowhere.

The two sides reopened "informal" talks on May 4, and what the Tibetans describe as a more formal meeting was set to begin June 11, but China has now postponed that meeting.

What will it take to break the cycle of protests, violence, crackdowns, and failed talks that has prevailed ever since the People's Liberation Army marched into Tibet in 1950?

Many young Tibetans are beginning to question whether the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way Approach," which calls for genuine autonomy for Tibet, has any chance of succeeding. In an interview with the Financial Times on May 25, the Dalai Lama conceded that he is losing influence over Tibetans who favor a more militant approach aimed at full independence.
Western experts say that the Chinese government's mistrust of the Dalai Lama is now so great that only small steps forward can be expected from the talks. The hope, though, is that even small steps will create movement toward a broader understanding. The Dalai Lama told the Financial Times that he would be willing to attend the Olympics if the Chinese halt the arrests and torture of Tibetans, provide proper medical aid to those who were wounded in the crackdown, and allow the international media access to Tibet.</b>

Early signs are not auspicious. The Chinese government appears unwilling to acknowledge what may be the real causes of the recent Tibetan unrest. One of those causes is certainly China's failure to implement its own autonomy law that now, in theory, protects the Tibetans' language, culture, and religion. Another is a Chinese government decision last year decreeing that China will now oversee the recognition of all reincarnate Tibetan lamas, or "living Buddhas," presumably including the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama himself.

Yet another cause of unrest has been a state-run program to resettle Tibetan nomads, causing great disruptions in their traditional way of life. Nomads participated in large numbers in the recent protests.

But China appears to have concluded that it can out-wait the Dalai Lama, now 72, in hope that his death will result in the collapse of Tibetan resistance altogether. In the meantime, China plans for a major expansion of its new railroad network inside Tibet, bringing in more Han Chinese immigrants and some day possibly swamping the Tibetan population.

Experts who have tracked the recent uprising say this influx could well lead to even greater frustration and more unrest, with resentment lasting for generations. It's already lasted more than 50 years.

• Dan Southerland, executive editor of Radio Free Asia, is a former Monitor correspondent and Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Shambhu - 07-08-2008

Heard on NPR that 1% of North Koreans see what South K is like on smuggled TVs (NoKo TVs are set to receive only Dear Leader's channels). THey had been taught that NoKo is richer than SoKo, which is just a poor slave of the US.

And some of these NoKo people defect to China (the easiest country to defect to). If you are caught listening to SoKo TV, Dear Leader puts you in jail.

Now China is forcibly repatriating these defectors. PRC does not want them to do anything that could embarass them as Olympics near. So back you go to your gulags in NoKo.

PS... Our marxists would gladly drive these people back to NoKo if any official from the Communist Party of China (PBUIt) asked them to. I mean, what an honor! To be able to serve your mentor-cum-idol!

PPS Now Dear Leader's official line is that SoKo is "impure". THe "poorer" thing does not hold anymore.

India - China: Relations And Developments-2 - Guest - 07-09-2008

<b>Obesity in China Doubled in 11 Years With Rising Prosperity </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Obesity among China's 1.3 billion people doubled among women and tripled in men from 1989 to 2000, according to a study published today in the journal Health Affairs. China's rising prosperity, which allows more people to afford meat, dairy foods, vegetable oils and sedentary living, is fueling the growth, the study said.

The number of obese and overweight people in China, now at 325 million, could double in 20 years, spurring more diabetes and heart disease in what was once one of the world's leanest populations
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->``<b>The prevalence of hypertension has exploded and every day, China and India are producing more than half of the new cases of diabetes diagnosed daily,'' </b>said Popkin.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, has invested $500 million in China in the last 15 years, the New York-based company said. Astra-Zeneca Plc's China sales more than quadrupled from $85 million in 2001 to $422 million in 2007, said Zhou Yi, spokeswoman for the London-based company, in an e- mail.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->