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India and US - III - Guest - 01-29-2007

Email from Ram Narayanan's US India Friendship site.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US-India Strategic Partnership: Where is it Headed?</b>

Presentation made on January 16, 2007 by Ram Narayanan at the India International Centre,  New Delhi, under the auspices of SAPRA India Foundation.
In a talk I had the honor to deliver here at the IIC, under the auspices of SAPRA India Foundation, almost exactly two years ago, I focused attention on why I thought a solid and comprehensive US-India strategic partnership was inevitable. It was inevitable because of the compelling geo-political and geo-economic global scenario that is emerging in the 21st century.

In that talk, I made ten key points:

Point number 1. Among the major powers of the 21st century -- the US, China, India, the EU, Russia, Japan and Brazil -- China is the only aggressive competitor of the United States, and further, it is determined to win that competitition, come what may!

Point 2. As the 21st century advances, China will forge ahead of the United States in GDP.  It will become the number one superpower -- economically, perhaps militarily too. Even in the realm of technology, it's likely to seriously challenge the United States. All this may take 20 years, 30, 50, perhaps 70 years. But it appears inevitable.

Point 3. All the demographic indicators are in favor of China. The US, therefore, will find itself at a disadvantage as it tries hard to retain its current economic, military and technological position. 

Point 4. India's importance lies in the fact that it brings to a US-India partnership exactly the attributes the US lacks, and desperately needs, namely  India's demographics which, over the longer run, are even more favorable than China's.

Point 5. India will never be an aggressive competitor of the United States, the way China is.

Point 6. The only way the US can in fact win the global competition -- and stay first among equals -- is by teaming up with India. IT HAS NO OTHER OPTION. I repeat, THE US HAS NO OTHER OPTION. A US-India partnership -- is a WINNER. It's the only possible partnership with the ability to balance the surge in China's geo-political and geo-economic and, by extension, geo-military, power.

Point 7. When I spoke of a partnership, I did not speak of a military alliance between the US and India. There is no logical possibility of war between the US and China, or between India and China. War there is, and war there will be -- but it is, and will be, a war fought on the battlefields of the economy, and of technology. And it is here that the US and India stand out as natural, logical -- inevitable -- partners. Standing alone, each nation has its own limitations -- but together, they quite simply CAN NOT be beaten.

Point 8. There is, therefore, no question of a US-India partnership being directed AGAINST China, or, for that matter, against any other country or region. Because of the substantial and ever growing magnitude of US-China and India-China economic and commercial interaction, that's a totally unthinkable course of action. I may now add, the CPM in India can lie back and relax.

Point 9. What then will be the logical end of a US-India partnership? It will be to systematically leverage their respective, unique, comparative advantages -- which will, over a period, help maintain a global balance of economic, technological and military power that will go well into the latter half of the 21st century and beyond.  This is something neither will achieve on their own.

And finally, point 10. Having said all that, I brought up the inescapable question: Will the two countries actually move toward such a partnership, given that it needs a strong commitment and vision? I answered:  "Yes", because "No" is too illogical to contemplate in the emerging world of the 21st century.

Along with these ten points, I also raised two issues for policy action:

Number 1. That an overriding, absolutely essential precondition to a successful US-India partnership is the establishment of a climate of total trust at all levels. What's necessary is a trust that binds the top political leadership, the bureaucracy at senior, middle and junior levels and, of course, the R&D establishments in both nations. It has to be a trust that can comfortably survive the irritants that may crop up from time to time, and ensure a deeper understanding of each other’s real politik.

Number 2. The US will have to help India get around NPT, NSG and other alphabet-soup obstacles to full-fledged technological cooperation . Let's not beat around the bush. The proof of the pudding -- viz. the granting of licenses by the US administration for export to India -- will be seen only when the US can make the case to treat India as an exception. The next step will be passage of new regulation in Congress. That's where action is required. 

I had concluded my talk with two basic postulates:

One -- make no mistake, that, as the 21st century moves ahead, China will mount a serious challenge to the present US status as the world's economic and military superpower, and as the leader in technology.

And two -- if the US does not wish to end up playing second fiddle in a global orchestra, it is very, very clear what she needs to do. And who she needs to do it with. 

WELL, as it so happened, two months later, in March 2005, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice paid a visit to India. The significance of that visit was explained in an official briefing at the State Department on March 25, 2005. It signified a radical change -- a historic shift -- in Washington's policy toward India. For the first time the US made it clear that “its goal is to help India become a major world power in the 21st century.”  It meant developing an enduring strategic partnership with India that would embrace the whole gamut of the relationship, including long-term defense industrial partnership, lifting the nuclear blockade, revitalizing India's economy and creating a greater role for India in global institutions.

NOW, no country can really make another country great, but it certainly can put obstacles in the latter's way if it so chooses. The US has chosen not to. It has decided to do everything possible to assist in the process of India becoming a major world power. As Tom Donnelly & Vance Serchuk have said: "Since 2005, the constellation of power in the two capitals -- Washington and New Delhi -- has been almost perfectly aligned".

The knotty core that weighed down a dramatic recasting of the US-India relationship, however, was the existence of apparently insuperable legal obstacles in the way of technology cooperation. And, thus, the June 2005 visit to Washington of India’s then Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee established the framework for a 10-year defense agreement -- an agreement that will pave the way for joint weapons production, cooperation on missile defense and lifting of US export controls for sensitive military technologies.

This was followed by the even more significant visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, when the US and India, as one commentator said, "entered into a geo-strategic and economic embrace that will set the course for the 21st century equations in Asia and beyond". On July 18, 2005, came the momentous announcement -- something that electrified the world -- an agreement aimed at enhancing cooperation in civil nuclear energy, space, and hi-tech commerce. This accord was reaffirmed with more details in a joint statement issued on March 2, 2006 during President Bush's visit to New Delhi.

Since then, the US-India nuclear legislation -- known as the Hyde Act -- has been passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both House and Senate. There is concern in India about the extraneous and prescriptive parts of the Hyde Act. But as one American expert told me, they constitute nothing more than "the US talking to itself." For example, "if the US, China, and others start testing, then no one is going to beat up on India for doing the same, and in fact from a weapons perspective India probably needs to test the most".  As President Bush himself said in a statement issued after signing the nuclear bill into law, he did not endorse all its contents. "My approval of the Act does not constitute my adoption of the statements of policy as U.S. foreign policy. Given the Constitution' s commitment to the presidency of the authority to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs, the executive branch shall construe such policy statements as advisory".

Therefore, one hopes that the two governments will be able to finalize a 123 agreement that will satisfy India. And also get the needed approvals or agreements of the NSG and IAEA. As Nicholas Burns said: "There is a 'larger story' to the nuclear deal than what meets the eye; the agreement is a strategic move to build a new relationship with India. This has always been the ultimate unfulfilled relationship since partition in 1947. I think every American administration since then, beginning with President Truman, has had the ambition to have a full relationship with India. It's never been - it's never materialised. We think it's materialising now."

Thus, the nuclear initiative is just one facet of a many, many sided, fast developing, and fruitful US-India interaction. What has been accomplished so far is emblematic of the transformed relationship the two nations now enjoy -- a relationship that spreads across a large and varied spectrum: top leadership meetings and telephonic conversations, economics, trade, energy, agriculture, defense, space, S&T, health, education -- you name it. 

How does India view its relationship with the US and other powers in a globalized world? India's goal undoubtedly is to create, to quote the Indian Prime Minister, “an international environment supportive of her development efforts” -- to ensure that she emerges as a major global power. To achieve this purpose, India will strengthen her political and economic ties and PARTNER with EVERY nation that offers opportunites.

No nation or region, certainly not the US, nor Russia, nor China, nor the EU, nor Japan, nor Southeast Asia, nor the Middle East, nor Latin America, nor Africa, nor any other nation or region will be excluded.

What will vary -- and this is VERY, VERY IMPORTANT -- is the DEGREE of partnering.

In this PARTNERING game plan, the US inevitably gets pride of place.


Because of FOUR reasons:

a) Demographics; economist Bibek Debroy says by 2015, 32 percent of China's population will be over 50, while 31 percent of India's population will be under 15; 

b) the US is the ONLY world leader in technology and services, both in terms of know-how and markets;

c) the US ALONE offers scope for large-scale immigration; and, thus,

d) the US ALONE, among the major nations, has a large and growing population of Indian heritage, whose influence is rising, and who work hard to build bridges of understanding and enduring links between the two nations.

Therefore, in this century, the US and India will have the maximum space to develop by way of collaboration and partnership, simply because their resource endowments are the most complementary between any two major nations on this earth.

I would NOW like to focus on how I visualize the future development of the US-India strategic partnership.

Are US and Indian viewpoints converging on crucial global issues of the century, or if they diverge on some issues, can they be managed without hurting the rapid onward march of the relationship? Those are the critical questions that will face us in the years to come.

Let's look at NINE of the more important issues:

1) First and foremost -- economics and trade. Is it healthy for America to continue to over-depend on China for low-priced, quality consumer products? Isn't it in America's vital interest to diversify and look to India, among other countries, as an alternative dependable source? House speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the US trade relationship with China a 'disaster'.  To an extent, India is competing with China in the US market for products such as apparel and footwear. And she may achieve some success in other items like consumer electronics and computer equipment.

But the main thrust for India, as a McKinsey article forecasts, will be in "skill-intensive industries requiring advanced technical expertise—areas in which India is likely to become a primary sourcing and manufacturing base". McKinsey research supports the view that the next wave of global outsourcing in manufacturing will take place in just these kinds of industries. In addition to auto components and assembly, they include fabricated metal products, machinery, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, electrical and electronic products, and telecom equipment. 

Presently, China's product exports to the US are seven or eight times that of India. I expect that huge disparity to narrow considerably over the next 20 or 30 years. Also, with the development of high tech exports from the US to India, I expect the US-India balance of trade to be less imbalanced vis-a-vis US-China trade.

In information technology, software, BPO and KPO, R&D and other high-skilled service sectors, in all probability, India will maintain its primacy in outsourcing for the US market, notwithstanding heroic Chinese efforts to catch up. To stay competitive, American industry and business will increasingly leverage Indian brains.

Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture was announced in July 2005. This is a US-India program for expanding cooperation in agricultural science and technology aimed at reducing rural hunger and poverty. It seeks to focus on agricultural production, food processing, marketing, biotechnology and water management in India. The expectation is that the US and India will work together as they did in the 1960s -- this time to usher in a second green revolution.

Looking at the broader canvas of economic growth, China will probably continue to grow faster than India over the next five years, perhaps, ten, as it has in the preceding decade and more. India has a lot of catching up to do -- especially in infrastructure, literacy and health-care.

However, India gets a much better return for the investment it makes in its economy than China. A Merril Lynch report estimates that China needs to invest $3.50 to produce an additional dollar of output. India only needs to invest $2.50.

This combined with India's clinching demographic advantage -- i.e. an increasing surplus of the working age group vis-a-vis China's expected shortage of workers as the century advances  -- plus, VERY IMPORTANT, a dynamic and outgoing private sector, unmatched by China's, will probably push India ahead of China in growth rates as we move toward and beyond the first quarter of the current century.

2) The second most important issue, again related to economics and trade, is the Doha round of global trade negotiations, stalled since July 2006, on the issue of farm subsidies. This is not going to be an easy thing to resolve. Meanwhile, an area not yet adequately explored, but which looks feasible, is the opening up of US and Indian economies for a free trade agreement in services which will benefit both the nations. It's not clear why nobody is talking about it.

Again, related to the same issue of services. A question: Does India provide part of the answer --  a longer term answer -- to America's spiralling health care costs? Here is a thought: If over the next 5-10 years, American corporates invest in setting up, say, 500 large world-class hospitals in India, and if 50 percent of the beds are occupied by Americans while a sizable proportion of the remaining beds is reserved for low-income Indians at nominal or no payment, will it not be a win-win situation? Let's think about it.

3) A third major issue that will define the relationship between the US and India has to do with energy needs over the medium and long term.  As we speak, China is maneuvering to secure its future energy needs by gaining privileged access to crude oil and gas reserves in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. India is far behind.

The US and India will probably focus a great deal in the area of clean coal technology, alternative fuels, joint research and development of bio-fuels, solar, fusion, wind and, hopefully, nuclear, energy.

4) A fourth major issue is migration of skilled people. America is increasingly likely to face shortages of skilled personnel in many professions, not merely in R&D and high-tech. As India's economic development acquires greater depth, width and pace, she will absorb more and more of her own educated manpower, but she will also help fill a large slice of US manpower needs, simply because of India's more favorable demographics vis-a-vis other large populated nations.

The US will, thus, continue to attract many of India's best and brightest brains, in a wide range of fields, including science, technology, medicine, finance and  management.

5) A fifth major issue is terrorism. While India and the US share a common interest in ridding the world of terrorism, there is one -- at this time apparently irreconcilable -- difference in the way the two countries look at the issue.

For America the prime goal is to prevent any future terrorist attacks on the United States and/or US interests in other parts of the world. While America recognizes Pakistan as a fountainhead and training ground of worldwide terrorism, so far as the US is concerned Pakistan has always been willing to cooperate in destroying terrorist cells operating in that country against America (or, for that matter, against Europe). All for a price, of course. And that's about it so far as America is concerned.

India is a different kettle of fish. For India, terrorism means only one thing -- a Pakistani inspired, relentless, single-point objective to destabilize the world's largest multi-cultural, pluralist democracy. India has been fighting this menace single-handedly long before 9/11 and well after 9/11. Presently India and Pakistan are pressing ahead with a fresh, unconventional initiative to address the difficult Jammu and Kashmir issue. Not many are optimistic about its success. Even assuming that the J&K issue is settled to the satisfaction of both India and Pakistan, will, to use B Raman's expression, "Pakistan's perceptions and mindsets towards India" change dramatically? Will Pakistan uproot all the terrorist networks operating in that country against India?  We don't know. And what about the open support extended by Pakistani military and intelligence outfits to the Taliban to destabilize Afghanistan?

There could be a congruence between the US and Indian viewpoints on the issue of terrorism if and when the American administration grasps the point as the American media, the American think tanks and, of course, the rest of the world have, that it's Pakistan which is standing in the way of stabilizing democracy in Afghanistan. The coalition forces there are facing a well armed and well trained jihadi Taliban force and suffering casualties only because Pakistan is running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. But will America call a spade a spade or will it take the line of least resistance, turn tail and arrive at a compromise with the Taliban? That's a question for the future.

6) The sixth major issue is Defense. The New Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship signed on June 28, 2005 commits Washington and New Delhi to cooperation in thirteen substantive areas including expansion of two-way defense trade, enhanced opportunities for technology transfer, research and development, co-production and collaboration in missile defense.

While India will continue to secure military supplies from countries like Russia, Israel and France, the growing technological gap between the American defense industrial base and the rest of the world will trigger an expanding US-India collaboration in joint research, designing and co-production of new generations of weapons systems.  However, the pace of progress will depend a lot on the extent to which the Indian government will induce India's dynamic private sector to get involved.

India will maintain its historic defense relationship with Russia. Strategically, it's not in India's interest to see Russia move away from India and and get even closer to China. But it's clear that US-India co-partnership in the defense area, especially in cutting edge technologies, is set to take off.

7) The seventh major issue -- again a defense-related area -- is security in the maritime domain.  The US sees India as a close partner in enhancing security cooperation against maritime threats in the Indian Ocean area, preventing piracy, carrying out search and rescue operations, responding to natural disasters, and enhancing cooperative capabilities, including through logistical support.

The Indian navy is expected to assume a substantive role in this joint effort to ensure security of the Indian Ocean. Since protection of the sealanes is of vital importance to countries such as Japan, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia, it may well become a six-nation cooperative effort. But the question is : Will the Indian navy get the needed budget and support required to build up its fleet strength rapidly enough? A further question: Will China try to push itself in by using the CPM's influence to lobby for it? Will it be in the interest of India or the US to accommodate China?

8) The eighth major issue -- is an area wherein American and Indian viewpoints
may diverge, viz. policies toward third countries like Venezuela, Cuba and, especially, Iran.  While India shares America's view that Iran should comply with international agreements and should not develop nuclear weapons, India has economic and cultural interests in Iran. India is keen that the Iran nuclear
issue is resolved through peaceful means. China and Russia -- both enjoying veto power in the Security Council -- take the same view. Does the Iran imbroglio have the potential to sour US-India relations? It does. If the US-Iran confrontation worsens, India may get terribly hurt as some 4-5 million of her citizens are working in the Gulf, apart from the fact that a major proportion of India's oil supplies come from that region. However, considering all eventualities, the Iran nuclear issue is unlikely to reach a point of no return.

9) And last, but not the least, the ninth major issue is people-to-people relations and the bridging role of Indian Americans in cementing US-India cooperation in a wide range of fields. The findings of the Pew Global Attitudes Survey released last September reveals that 70% of urban Indians believe relations between India and the US have improved in recent years, and among them, an overwhelming 91% consider this to be a good thing.

It's a fact that Indians feel a much greater affinity to the US than to any other country because they have far better opportunities in the US than anywhere else in the world. Every second or third middle class family I meet in any large city in India has some one or other living in the United States.

Also, as per the PEW survey, more Americans have started rating India favorably -- while they rate China less favorably and America's "ally" -- Pakistan -- even less favorably. The "Global Thermometer survey" by Boston-based Quinnipiac University released end-November last disclosed that Americans are increasingly feeling positive about India even as their warmest feelings are reserved for England, Canada and Israel.

With the rising socio-economic status of Indian Americans, many have achieved
leadership positions in the US. Indian Americans as a group play a dominant role in the hospitality industry, among other sectors. A study released this year, supported by two prestigious American universities, Duke and Berkeley, revealed a significant contribution by immigrants of Indian origin to America's leading edge entrepreneurial economy. Indian immigrants have founded more engineering and technology companies in the US during the decade 1995-2005 than immigrants from the UK, China, Taiwan and Japan combined. Of all immigrant-founded companies, 26 percent have Indian founders.     

Both governments, therefore, are engaging the community. Indian American lobbying groups have gained formidable influence and are quite effective in pushing their agenda on Capitol Hill. Also, American  businesses not only lobby for India in Washington but often select Indian Americans to lead projects to set up or expand operations in India.

TO SUM UP, striking a balance sheet of the few points of divergence with the overwhelming and far-reaching points of convergence between US and Indian interests in the 21st century, I would confidently assert that nothing can really stop the inexorable march of "a vibrant and exciting relationship between our two great democracies, " to borrow Senator Lugar's pithy expression. As the new Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden, affirmed in a recent interview, "My dream is that in 2020 the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States. If that occurs, the world will be safer."

I am glad my "prediction" of two years go, on inevitability of the emergence of a solid and comprehensive US-India strategic partnership, which Indian ambassador to the United States, Ronen Sen, seven months later opined in an email to me, as "very perceptive, indeed prophetic," is  coming true.

I have no doubt that the expectations spelt out in this talk, will be substantially fulfilled and, as the century moves ahead, the US-India strategic partnership is destined to reach heights unparalleled, perhaps, never ever witnessed in world history.

Thank you.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

India and US - III - Guest - 02-01-2007

Rajesh_g's posts 178 and 180 of this thread and that of Dhu in the Unmasking AIT thread (at some point after post 192) led me to Balangangadhara's work.

Just in case this has not been posted at IF yet:
- http://colonial.consciousness.googlepages....ninhisblindness - online book The Heathen In His Blindness
- - contains links to many useful correspondences of Balagangadhara and that of Jakob de Roover.
Of which I read through the following two yesterday and thought they were really good:
Not sure I understand or agree with all of it, but do with most of it. But in any case, it's all very interesting and quite sensible. Lots of food for thought. I think all Indians really ought to read his work, it makes me understand things better (he explains stuff really well and at the right speed for me).

India and US - III - acharya - 02-17-2007

A very interesting passage found in

Do I smell Hate Burn????

India is just as selfish, insular and greedy as many other nations, probably 100 times worse than the self important and Franco-centrics, Francophiles or French-Fry politicans. India has been against many of the United States ally's, they only care about their own skin and India was something of a foe during the Cold-War.

Remember that NASA is the greatest space agency that ever existed so NASA will always have more to offer other Space Agency's in joint missions. NASA has more to give them when compared to the amount that they ( other space groups ) offer the USA/NASA !

Sadly NASA isn't a divine body nor can it do magic, it can't go everywhere and do everything because NASA is governed by the laws of rocketry physics as well as hampered by politics and economics. People would like NASA to go everywhere - build a new Shuttle, do an asteroid mission, fix Hubble, go to Saturn, send robots to Mars, fix the ISS, go to Europa, make a new base on Mars....
So in order to real its goals NASA must sometimes do joint co-operative missions.

Even though NASA is the greatest agency to ever exist, its does have limitations and we also have budget trouble - there are however a number of Space agency's that do have something great to offer NASA.

Russia is good because the Soviets were NASAs greatest rival. Russia have a huge experience with Venus, Salyut space station, rovers on the Moon, have done biospheres, long duration studies lived in space for double the time that NASA have, built Energia.
Europe even without space has a strong tradition of industry with great products like eurofighter, sports-cars and airbus. Today Europeans are studying exo-planets, testing ion-drives to the Moon, sending off spacecraft like Rosetta and ESA are launching many space telescopes. Japan and Canada also have something to offer, a large knowledge of robotics and Earth-satellite observation, the Japanese did have some of the greatest wonders of technology but today the Japanese industry is in decline and the economy has become stagnant since their economic bubble burst. China will soon surpass Japan in industry, economics and technology, they are building multiple launch pads, are buying companies like Rover and IBM, have a manned spacecraft it is only a matter of time before the Chinese have totally over-taken the Japanese in every area. China might soon have some skill, experience and technology to offer NASA , however political relations with China are mixed and I suspect they will be a rival in Space.

To ally with India could be totally worthless, I know Bush has some great visionary plans about outsourcing NASA to India but I think it is dumb to give them our technology because there is little to be gained in return. India is full of self importance and they only care about their own, they were on the wrong side during the cold war buying up Soviet missiles and MIGs so they could destroy the American made planes. I know people like the late JFK, Webb and Griffin would be very unhappy about outsouring space exploration to another country. Bush however has great plans for outsourcing and giving away technology went over to India and said there would be no curbs on outsourcing tech or aerospace designs from the U.S The only thing India has to offer is a cheap rocket launch so if we start outscouring to these guys we may aswell start outsourcing exploration to everyone else with a launch-pad, sounding-rocket or ballistic missile such as Iran, South Africa, Pakistan, Malaysia, Brazil, and North-Korea.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

India and US - III - Guest - 03-12-2007

From a recently trashed thread on BR, want to save this particular post from Johann.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The State Department is a relatively marginal figure in the IRF.

Like most of these other mandatory annual reports, they are the result of some sort of succesful Congressional initiative by a group of politicians.

In this case it was the IRF Act passed in 1998.

The act also created the 'US Commission on International Religious Freedom' USCRIF.

These are the people who really write the annual IRF report, and make the recommendations for designating countries as being of 'Particular Concern' or below that on the 'Watch List'.

All of the countries on the two lists are either Muslim states, or Communist ones.

However the USCRIF has been openly pushing for the last few years to put India on the watch list, and the USG has resisted.

The USCRIF has 11 commissioners - some come from a variety of religious organisations, while others are legal specialists.

Two specific observations/recommendations;
- Richard D. Land who is a big cheese in the Southern Baptists Convention is the commissioner Indians should be most concerned about. He is the one, along with Khaled Abou El-Fadl who keeps pushing at India.

- There are no Hindu or Buddhist commissioners. This is ridiculous, and this is something that a number of Indian/Hindu/Buddhist organisations in the US can and ought to do something about.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

India and US - III - Guest - 03-16-2007

Couldn't access IF yesterday when I wanted to post this:,00.html
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Pacific allies to enlist India</b>
Dennis Shanahan, Political editor, in Tokyo
March 15, 2007
AUSTRALIA has been approached to dramatically upgrade its three-way security arrangements with Japan and the US to include India in a four-way security agreement that would encircle China.

The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced "trilateral" security arrangements, locking together the three most powerful democracies of the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Cheney gave the Japanese proposal new life on his recent visit to Japan and Australia after sections of the Bush administration rebuffed the plan. He raised the idea in talks with John Howard in Sydney two weeks ago after discussing the plan with the Government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

The plan involves turning the trilateral security arrangements between Australia, Japan and the US into a "quadrilateral" arrangement including India.

<b>India's military power, economic growth and geographic position would significantly offset China's emerging power</b>, which is of concern to many in the Bush administration.
(As anticipated, India will have to play the fall guy: the one everyone hates. US already resents India - at least from the time lefty Indian govt stood 'neutral' in the Cold War.
China's govt already hates India as it is. But now it will have a reason to resent us. Oh, yay.
America is afraid of China, but won't or can't do anything itself. As usual, it has to get others to play footsoldiers.)

It is understood the Australian Government is not against the idea in principle but does not wish to hurry the process and wants to ensure that the heightened relationship with Japan is settled before embarking on any new arrangements. Mr Cheney's backing for the plan, which is understood to be strongly supported by the new Japanese Prime Minister, came only two weeks before Tuesday's signing of a historic security declaration between Japan and Australia, putting security, intelligence and military relations on the highest level they have been since World War II.

The disclosure of Mr Cheney's support for a plan that would close the back door on China is likely to cause deeper concern in Beijing, which is already accusing the US of attempting to contain its growth and influence.

Even as Mr Howard and Mr Abe signed the Japan-Australia joint declaration on security co-operation in the prime ministerial residence in Tokyo, the Chinese Government was expressing its concern at the new arrangements.

Chinese officials in Australia had previously expressed their concern at the "lack of transparency" in the new declaration between Australia and Japan - aimed at expanding links on counter-terrorism, people-smuggling and intelligence sharing. Beijing fears the intelligence sharing would be directed against China's missiles.

Mr Cheney said in Sydney: "The growing closeness among our three countries sends an unmistakable message - that we are united in the cause of peace and freedom across the region."

On Tuesday night in Tokyo, Mr Howard and Mr Abe noted the "shared democratic values" of Australia, the US, Japan and India, and Mr Abe said he thought continuing dialogue with India was a good idea, despite Chinese concerns.

Mr Howard went out of his way on his three-day visit to Japan to reassure China that the new security arrangements between Australia and Japan were not designed with China in mind.

"This agreement is not antagonistic to anyone," Mr Howard said in a joint press conference with Mr Abe.

The Prime Minister also said he believed the Chinese "at the bottom of their heart" knew the joint declaration was not aimed at them. Earlier, Mr Howard had said bluntly: "This document is not designed at China any more than other arrangements between Australia and other countries have been designed at third countries."

But the prospect of an understanding between four democracies surrounding China is likely to be viewed differently.

Kevin Rudd has said Labor would be against any plan to upgrade the Australia-Japan security declaration into a full security pact and signalled the ALP would oppose any steps to contain China. Mr Howard made it clear the new declaration was not like the ANZUS pact with the US, which requires mutual defence when one partner is attacked.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->US alternating between wanting to enlist India's help, while still wanting to break us up. And it certainly always wants to convert us. And that's supposed to be one of our 'friendly' countries. What a world.

How about if the US takes its missionaries and sends them off into outerspace/oceanbed/wherever heathenish peoples won't be troubled by them anymore. How about if they stop creating/getting think-tanks like RAND to specifically target Hindu organisations in India and sling mud against them by equating them to terrorist orgs like AQ or whatnot. How about they stop funding the christoterrorists in the NE, the Maoists in Nepal, the j-hadis in Pakistan and stop airlifting the T-ban to India? And stop propping up Sonia Gandhi or 'crown prince' Rahul Gandhi as our next leader. And how about they stop meddling in our country's affairs through their NGOs and other subversive plans? And stop funding 'Indian' media, communists and pseculars (like 'social activists'). Stop funding conversion and genocidal activities too. Stop creating/encouraging/humouring/ the psecular and compulsively lying anti-Indian, anti-Hindu 'Indian' gang by giving them associate professorships in US universities and giving them columns to spread their dawaganda in. Most importantly, they need to stop funding the evangelisation of India - we may be poor but we're not desperate to throw our lot in with other jeebus-junkies, we know to say No To Drugs.
Maybe then Indians might begin to think the US isn't just waiting to stab us in the back. Well, other Indians might - myself, I'm gone beyond the point of no-return when it comes to trusting the US govt to do anything benign, certainly for a heathen country.

That reminds me. One Chinese Buddhist friend of mine thinks the communist government has been long preparing for eventual war (or other joust) with US. If it ever really does come to war, and US and China both end up losing an arm and a leg, at least their meddling and terrorising India won't be as bad as now.
Since India is not the target, better get out of their way and let the big players play out their power game.

India and US - III - Hauma Hamiddha - 03-16-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Mar 15 2007, 06:41 PM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Mar 15 2007, 06:41 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->How about if the US takes its missionaries and sends them off into outerspace/oceanbed/wherever heathenish peoples won't be troubled by them anymore. How about if they stop creating/getting think-tanks like RAND to specifically target Hindu organisations in India and sling mud against them by equating them to terrorist orgs like AQ or whatnot. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

An American today with a tinge of aspersion told me the following: "We help India so much, and you guys want to live here and enjoy our comforts, but still say we are harming India". I told he I would have nothing to say if he can point out one step taken by the US to stop Missys from going to the desh. He said missys were only helping the poor. I said as long as that remains the perception we cannot but feel that India is being harmed by US actions.

I have always felt a true Indian government would be one that extracts from the US in a bilateral treaty for cooperation the assurance that there would NO missys ever sent to the desh. The same with Australia. We are more than willing to cooperate if you put a stop to those missys.

Indeed they only want us to counter China, and perhaps feel as a Xtian/Moslem nation it may be easier to control us to reach China.

India and US - III - Guest - 03-16-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Indeed they only want us to counter China, and perhaps feel as a Xtian/Moslem nation it may be easier to control us to reach China. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
China, a Godless nation had chosen a very European path as its future.
China :Scotch rocks!
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->For years the industry has predicted that the opening up of <b>China and India would reap massive rewards.</b> But until 2005 it was just that, a prediction. Now, for the first time, there is tangible evidence that these two markets are about to fulfil their potential.

<b>In just 10 years, growth in China has risen from 700,000 litres to 5.7 million, fuelled by a burgeoning middle class that have acquired a taste for whisky. </b>

At the moment the market leader is Pernod Ricard's Chivas Regal. So incensed was Walsh by this that last year he flew to Shanghai with a £20m cheque for his Chinese marketing team. <b>Johnnie Walker Black is now experiencing 85% growth a year</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Astounding Church Growth </b>

<b>Chinese love fast food, cars</b>

China — Population Growth Rate: 0.59% (2006 Est.)
India — Population Growth Rate: 1.38% (2006 Est.)

India and US - III - Guest - 03-16-2007

I hope members have seen GWADAR, HAMBANTOTA & SITWE: CHINA'S STRATEGIC TRIANGLE by B.Raman (6/3/2007)

Here is more. Some interventions on this forum (now blacked out) about SSCP may also have a relevance to the following. I will not even talk about thorium sands of Kerala too close to the ancient shoals or reef or whatever (that it is an ancient formation brought in by ocean currents + plate tectonics, there is no dispute among pleistocene researchers).

I will title this: Diego Garcia, now Trincomalee, what next? I will post below the paper without any of my own comments. k

Diego Garcia, now Trincomalee, what next close to Rameshwaram? With the transfer of the Seventh Fleet of US from Subic Bay in the Philippines, and the increasing sops offered to Bharat to take over guarding the sea-lanes between the Straits of Hormuz and Straits of Malacca, what are the strategic policy options for Bharat? Should the role be subservient to US interests? It is a pity that few people in the security analysis circles ponder on such issues.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US gets its long-sought foothold in Sri Lanka</b>

By B. Raman (Paper No. 2171 of 15 March 2007)

In a message sent to US President George Bush after the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US, the then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga offered Washington "full access to the country's port, airfields and other facilities" for use in its  operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

2.  In March,2002, a  delegation  of US officials, led by the then Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Christina Rocca and including US Brigadier General Timothy Ghormely, commander of the US Marine Expeditionary Brigade, visited Sri Lanka for secret talks with Ranil Wickremesinghe, the then Prime Minister, his Defence Minister Tilak Marapana and senior army officers at the Palaly army camp in the north. General Ghormely also visited Trincomalee. The next month, a four-member team of US military and legal experts secretly visited Colombo.

3 .......................<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

India and US - III - Guest - 03-16-2007

Kalyan Ji,

While doing some unrelated search, I had accidentally hit upon a US Navy operational directive, which says this:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India's Claims

Aug 76 Act No. 80  Enables government to declare waters as historic.
Jun 79 Law No. 41

Waters of Palk Bay between coast and boundary with Sri Lanka claimed as internal waters; waters of Gulf of Mannar between coast and maritime boundary claimed as historic waters.

This claim is not recognized by the United States.  U.S. conducted operational assertions in 1993 and 1994, to Gulf of Mannar claim in 1999.

May be important to the assertions you made in previous post. If you think this is relevant, please PM me your e-mail address and I will send you the document.

India and US - III - Guest - 03-20-2007

Interesting facts in these US Navy directives:

If it has right data then:

a) In past, India and Sri Lanka have tried to assert to the international community that the Palk Straight waters are 'historic' and 'internal'. Both have been united and consistent in this stand.

b) USA does not recognize this claim, has always protested against these, and considers the waters as 'international' and rejects the 'historic' claim too.

c) India decides to unilaterally damage the bridge on its side of the waters - which means effectively India is going back on its earlier claims of waters being of historic importance.

d) This also means Sri Lanka is free to do what it likes on its side of the waters.

India and US - III - Guest - 03-25-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Mar 20 2007, 11:53 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Mar 20 2007, 11:53 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Interesting facts in these US Navy directives:<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Implications of damaging Rama Sethu under international Law of the Sea

a) India and Sri Lanka have consistently treated Palk Bay, Gulf of Mannar and Palk Straits as 'historic' and 'internal'.

b) USA does not recognize this claim, has always protested against these, and considers the waters as 'international' and rejects the 'historic' claim too.

c) India , by choosing a Sethu Samudram Channel alignment running VERY close to international waters, involving damage the Ramar bridge (called Adam's Bridge) is going back on its earlier claims of waters being historic waters.

d) This view of historic waters also means Sri Lanka is free to do what it likes on its side of the waters.

e) A more serious situation arises by keeping the alignment close to the 'international' waters. Coast guard will be handicapped in protecting the channel from the Srilanka side since coast guard vessels will have to constantly get into international waters.

f) It will make eminent sense in terms of the juridical regime of historic and internal waters to choose an alignment close to Pamban island WITHOUT damaging the Ramar Bridge (Adam's Bridge). The relevant extracts from UN documents are given below.

Juridical Regime of Historic Waters, including Historic Bays Bottom of Form

last update: 30 June 2005

The first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1958) adopted, in paragraph 6 of article 7 of the Convention of the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone, a provision to the effect that its rules on bays "shall not apply to so-called 'historic' bays". [1] The Conference also adopted on 27 April 1958 a resolution requesting the General Assembly to arrange for the study of the juridical regime of historic waters, including historic bays. [2]

The General Assembly thereafter adopted resolution 1453 (XIV) of 7 December 1959 ( E, F, S, R , C, A), which requested the International Law Commission, as soon as it considers it advisable, to undertake the study of the question of the juridical regime of historic waters, including historic bays, and to make such recommendations regarding the matter as the Commission deems appropriate.

The Commission, at its twelfth session (1960) requested the Secretariat to undertake a study of the topic, and deferred further consideration to a future session. [3] A study prepared by the Secretariat was published in 1962. [4] Also in 1962, the Commission, at its fourteenth session, decided to include the topic in its programme, but without setting any date for the start of its consideration. [5] At its nineteenth session (1967), the Commission examined the advisability of proceeding actively with the study of this topic. The Commission's report (which also dealt with the topic "Right of asylum") summarized the views expressed as follows:

"Most members doubted whether the time had yet come to proceed actively with either of these topics. Both were of considerable scope and raised some political problems, and to undertake either of them at the present time might seriously delay the completion of work on the important topics already under study [...]" [6]


[1] United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 516, p. 210.
[2] Official Records of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, vol. II, Plenary Meetings , (United Nations publication, Sales No.: 58.V.4, vol. II), p. 145.
[3] See Yearbook of the International Law Commission, I960, vol. II, p. 180, document A/4425, para. 40. (see Analytical Guide )
[4] Ibid., 1962, vol. II, p. 1, document A/CN.4/143. (see Analytical Guide)
[5] Ibid., p. 190, document A/5209, para. 60. (see Analytical Guide)
[6] Ibid., 1967, vol. II, document A/6709/Rev.1, para. 45. (see Analytical Guide)

Paragraphs 4 to 6 of Article 7 of the Convention of the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone read as follows:

4. If the distance between the low-water marks of the natural entrance points of a bay does not exceed twenty-four miles, a closing line may be drawn between these two low-water marks, and the waters enclosed thereby shall be considered as internal waters. 5.Where the distance between the low-water marks of the natural entrance points of a bay exceed twenty-four miles, a straight baseline of twenty-four miles shall be drawn within the bay in such a manner as to enclose the maximum area of water that is possible with a line of that length. 6.The foregoing provisions shall not apply to so-called "historic" bays, or in any case where the straight baseline system provided for in article 4 is applied.

Section 7 of President of the Republic of Srilanka in Presidential Proclamation of 15 January 1977 in pursuance of Maritime Zones Law No. 22 of 1 September 1976 reads as follows:

(7) (i) that the historic waters of Sri Lanka shall comprise the areas of sea in the Palk Strait, Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar bounded by:

(a) the coast of the mainland of Sri Lanka;

(b) the maritime boundary between Sri Lanka and India as defined in Section 8 of the Maritime Zones Law, No. 22 of 1976;

© the arc of Great Circle between the following positions defined by latitude and longitude in the Gulf of Mannar:

(i) 08° 15' 0" North, 79° 44' 0" East,

(ii) 08° 22' 2" North, 78° 55' 4" East; and

(d) the arc of Great Circle between the following positions defined by latitude and longitude in the Palk Strait:

(i) 09° 49' 8" North, 80° 15' 2" East,

(ii) 10° 05' 0" North, 80° 03' 0" East;

(ii) the historic waters in the Palk Bay and Palk Strait shall form part of the internal waters of Sri Lanka;

(iii) the historic waters in the Gulf of Mannar shall form part of the territorial sea of Sri Lanka.

Agreement between Sri Lanka and India on the Maritime Boundary between the two Countries in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal and Related Matters 23 March 1976

The Government of the Republic of Sri Lanka and the Government of the Republic of India, Recalling that the boundary in the Palk Strait has been settled by the Agreement between the Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of India on the Boundary in Historic Waters between the Two Countries and Related Matters, signed on 26/28 June, 1974, And desiring to extend that boundary by determining the maritime boundary between the two countries in the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal, Have agreed as follows:

…Article 5

(1) Each Party shall have sovereignty over the historic waters and territorial sea, as well as over the islands, falling on its side of the aforesaid boundary.

(2) Each Party shall have sovereign rights and exclusive jurisdiction over the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone as well as over their resources, whether living or non-living, falling on its side of the aforesaid boundary.

(3) Each Party shall respect rights of navigation through its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone in accordance with its laws and regulations and the rules of international law.



Juridical Regime of Historic waters including historic bays - Study prepared by the



Juridical régime of historic waters, including historic bays

Extract from the Yearbook of the International Law Commission:-

1962 , vol. II

38. In summary, the concept of "historic waters" has its root in the historic fact that States through the ages claimed and maintained sovereignty over maritime areas which they considered vital to them without paying much attention to divergent and changing opinions about what general international law might prescribe with respect to the delimitation of the territorial sea. This fact had to be taken into consideration when attempts were made to codify the rules of international law in this field, i.e., to reduce the sometimes obscure and contested rules of customary law to clear and generally acceptable written rules. It was felt that States could not be expected to accept rules which would deprive them of considerable maritime areas over which they had hitherto had sovereignty.

India and US - III - Guest - 03-25-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-kalyan97+Mar 25 2007, 11:10 AM-->QUOTE(kalyan97 @ Mar 25 2007, 11:10 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Document:-

A/CN.4/143Juridical Regime of Historic waters including historic bays - Study prepared by theSecretariat

Topic:Juridical régime of historic waters, including historic bays

Extract from the Yearbook of the International Law Commission:- 1962 , vol. II

38. In summary, the concept of "historic waters" has its root in the historic fact that States through the ages claimed and maintained sovereignty over maritime areas which they considered vital to them without  paying much attention to divergent and changing opinions about what general international law might prescribe with respect to the delimitation of the territorial sea. This fact had to be taken into consideration when attempts were made to codify the rules of international law in this field, i.e., to reduce the sometimes obscure and contested rules of customary law to clear and generally acceptable written rules. It was felt that States could not be expected to accept rules which would deprive them of considerable maritime areas over which they had hitherto had sovereignty.

A map showing the present channel alignment and intl. medial line is attached.

This alignment should be CHANGED immediately since the choice of the alignment is arbitrary, apparently under US pressure which does NOT recognize historic waters and without evaluating scientifically the impact of a tsunami if this alignment is implemented.

"The mood is grim among the fishermen of Rameswaram, Mukundarayapuram, Dhanushkodi, and Pamban in Ramanathapuram district and Thracepuram in Tuticorin district. If a substantial number of them firmly oppose the project today, it is because they fear that once the canal is a reality, it will become an unofficial boundary line on the sea between India and Sri Lanka. The catch is that it is in the Sri Lankan waters that fish thrive. The canal would seal their entry into those waters for fishing, they fear. "

Arulanandan is right.

[quote] At Pamban, some distance away, U. Arulanandam, president, Singaravelar Fishermen's Forum, calls it "an anti-fishermen project" that will "destroy a hard-working community". Like other fishermen, he suspects that the project is being implemented to enforce the international boundary line in the waters. "They are executing a scheme at a cost of Rs.2,000 crores to draw a border and tell us that we cannot cross the border to fish. This scheme will destroy the fishing community," he says.[unquote]

India and US - III - Guest - 03-26-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-kalyan97+Mar 25 2007, 02:01 PM-->QUOTE(kalyan97 @ Mar 25 2007, 02:01 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->A/CN.4/143Juridical Regime of Historic waters including historic bays - Study prepared by theSecretariat<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Please tell me a way for me to send to selected members of india-forum a copy of my powerpoint show on the subject, flagging the project parameters.


Fwd: Sethusamudram Channel alignment: Views of Prof. Tad S Murthy

I am attaching herewith the email from Prof. Tad S Murthy ji of March 25, 2007. He has reiterated his earlier comments on the impact of tsunami on Kerala and the coastline if the present channel is commissioned. This is a very serious issue and should force the Govt. of India to re-evaluate the alternative alignments which had so far been considered taking all factors mentioned in the 16-points raised by Prime Minister's Office on 8 March 2005. Any alignment should avoid impacting the Ram Sethu, a heritage mandiram of Hindu civilization.

Namaskaram. kalyan

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kalyan97 <>
Date: Mar 26, 2007 5:13 AM
Subject: Re: Sethusamudram Channel alignment
To: Tad murty <>

Respected Prof. Tad Murthy ji,

Namaskaram. Thanks a lot for your kind response. It is indeed a privilege that Bharatam has produced scientists like you. I feel so proud that a bharatiya is there to guide us in coping with a phenomenon such as the tsunami.

Thanking you again, with the best regards and dhanyavaadah.


On 3/25/07, Tad murty <> wrote:
Dear Dr. Kalyanaraman, Thank you for your two e-mails. I will briefly outline below the chronology of the events.
1. After the tsunami of 26th December 2004, the Department of Science and Technology invited me to a brain storming session in Delhi during the third week of january 2005. In that connection I was in Delhi at around that time.
2. On 17th January, a reporter from the Times of India asked me about the possible influence of future tsunamis in India due to the Sethu Samudram Project. I told him that there is some possibility that tsunami energy could be funnelled into the chanal and could affect the sothern part of kerala. I pointed out to him some similarity to the Alberni canal on Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia in Canada. During the tsunami of 28th March 1964, outside ot Alaska, where the tsunami was generated, the maximum tsunami amplitude anywhere in the pacific ocean occurred at Port Alberni located at the head of the Alberni canal. Eventhough the tsunami amplitude was small in the deep ocean, it was amplified considerably through quarter wave resonance in the Alberni Inlet.
3. The reporter asked me can I suggest a solution to this problem, and I told him that as long as the entrance of the chanal on the Bay of Bengal side does not face towards east, the chances of tsunami energy getting in to the chanal will be minimized.
4. At the invitation of Mr. Raghupathy of the Tuticorin Port Trust I met him in Chennai some time towards the end of 2005(I do not remember the exact date). We had a very cordial meeting and Mr. Raghupathy told me that he will look into the issue of re-orienting the Bay of Bengal entrance of the chanal.

What I outlined above is my only connection to this project. I am a Physical Oceanographer and I only commented about one very minor aspect of this big project(when asked by a reporter). I do not have any expertise to talk about the ecology, engineering, environment and archeological issues. Infact I do not know much about this project, except what little I read in the indian news papers. I have absolutely no official connection to this project.
I hope this clarifies my position. Regards,Tad Murty

India and US - III - Guest - 03-26-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-kalyan97+Mar 26 2007, 05:22 AM-->QUOTE(kalyan97 @ Mar 26 2007, 05:22 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> On 17th January, a reporter from the Times of India asked me about the possible influence of  future tsunamis in India due to the Sethu Samudram Project. I told him that there is some possibility that tsunami energy could be funnelled into the chanal and could affect the sothern part of kerala. I pointed out to him some similarity to the Alberni canal on Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia in Canada. During the tsunami of 28th March 1964, outside ot Alaska, where the tsunami was generated, the maximum tsunami amplitude anywhere in the pacific ocean occurred at Port Alberni located at the head of the Alberni canal. Eventhough the tsunami amplitude was small in the deep ocean, it was amplified considerably through quarter wave resonance in the Alberni Inlet.
3. The reporter asked me can I suggest a solution to this problem, and I told him that as long as the entrance of the chanal on the Bay of Bengal side does not face towards east, the chances of tsunami energy getting in to the chanal will be minimized. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Please see a map of the Alberni canal.

It ain't NO straight tube. Yet, the maximum amplitude of the tsunami wave was said to have been recorded at this canal inlet.


India and US - III - Guest - 03-26-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Hauma Hamiddha+Mar 16 2007, 06:36 AM-->QUOTE(Hauma Hamiddha @ Mar 16 2007, 06:36 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Indeed they only want us to counter China, and perhaps feel as a Xtian/Moslem nation it may be easier to control us to reach China.[right][snapback]65685[/snapback][/right]

I want to raise an issue. Why should Bharatam succumb to US pressures and align the Sethu channel almost on the international waters, thus effectively giving up our historic waters claim? What will be the implications of choosing, say, alignment 5 (close to Pamban island) instead of the present alignment, to counter the China port triangle being set up to strangle Bharatam?

Here is B. Raman's backgrounder.

Paper no. 2158


By B. Raman

Very few would have heard of Gwadar in Pakistan, Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Sitwe (Akyab) in Myanmar before 2002. These were essentially fishing harbours used by the fishermen of these countries. Sometimes, there used to be references to these places in articles on fishing rights, but rarely in articles on possible threats to India's national security. Since 2002, studies on maritime security have started making references to these places. Initially, the focus was on Gwadar. Now, it is also on Hambantota. In the months to come, it will be on Sitwe too.

2. What made these sleepy fishing harbours suddenly become areas of strategic concern to India's maritime security experts? The growing Chinese interest in these places and China's generous offer of assistance to these countries for converting these sleepy fishing harbours into maritime ports of international standards. What explains the Chinese interest in these places?

3. China's economic and strategic interest in Gwadar and Sitwe is obvious. It is worried over the possibility of disruptions in the movement of oil and gas tankers to China from the Gulf and Africa through the Malacca Straits due to attacks by pirates and/or terrorists. It wants to reduce its dependence on the Malacca Straits for the movement of its oil and gas supplies. It, therefore, makes eminent sense for it to develop alternate routes. It has prepared two contingency plans for this. Under the first plan, some of the oil and gas tankers will go to Gwadar and from there the supplies will be sent to Xinjiang by pipelines via Pakistani territory, including Kashmiri territory under the occupation of Pakistan. The second plan envisages sending some of the supplies to Yunnan by pipelines from Sitwe.

4. In addition to reducing the vulnerability of energy supplies, Gwadar would also serve as an outlet for the external trade of Xinjiang and the neighbouring provinces of China. Sitwe would serve as an outlet for the external trade of Yunnan and the neighbouring areas. Pakistan has also agreed to let China set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Gwadar, exclusively for the use of Chinese industries manufacturing goods for export to Africa. The manufacturing and transport costs would be less if these industries are located in Gwadar instead of in China. There is presently no proposal for a similar SEZ in Sitwe.

5. The Chinese interest in Gwadar is not just economic and energy supplies related. It is much, much more. It is of immense interest to its Navy---as a port of call, as a refuelling halt and as a listening and watch tower to monitor developments in the Gulf---particularly the movements of the US Navy.

7. Pakistan's interest in having Gwadar developed as a major international port and a naval base dates back to 1971. The successful raids by the Indian Navy into the Karachi port during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 made the Pakistani military planners realise the folly of over-dependence on Karachi. Their plans for developing Gwadar into a naval base, which would give a strategic depth to their Navy, were drawn up in the years after the war. These plans did not have an economic component at the time they were drawn up. The economic component was integrated into the plans only after the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of its Central Asian provinces as independent States. The economic component of the integrated plans provided for the construction of an international port, which could serve as an outlet for the external trade of the Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan and the Xinjiang region of China. The military component provided for the construction of a naval base, which would provide a strategic depth to the Pakistani Navy.

8. These plans could not be taken up for implementation till 2002. Pakistan did not have the funds or the technical expertise to implement them on its own. There were no takers fior the plans in the Gulf countries. The Governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were reluctant to approach China for assistance lest US concerns be aroused. Even at the risk of causing concern to the US, Gen. Pervez Musharraf sought Chinese assistance for the implementation of the plans when Zhu Rongji, the then Chinese Prime Minister, visited Pakistan in 2001. China immediately responded positively and started the implementation.

9. The construction of the international commercial port at Gwadar was completed ahead of schedule by Chinese engineers in the beginning of 2006 and handed over to the Pakistani authorities. It is expected to be commissioned later this month by Musharraf. The construction of the naval base by the Chinese engineers has started and it is expected to be completed by 2010.

10. The initiative for the development of Sitwe as an international port would seem to have come from China and the Myanmarese Government, facing economic difficulties due to Western economic sanctions, readily agreed to it. Details of the plan for the Chinese-aided development of Sitwe are not yet available. As of now, it seems to have only an economic component and not a military component too.

11. The initiative for a Chinese role in the development of Hambantota would seem to have come from Sri Lanka during the tenure of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga . A joint communique issued on April 10,2005, at the end of a visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabo to Sri Lanka had referred to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Development of the Hambantota Bunkering System and Tank Farm Project between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation. Its implementation, which did not make much progress since then, has now picked up momentum during the recent visit of her successor President Mahinda Rajapakse to China.

12. A joint communique on his talks with the Chinese leaders issued at the end his visit on March 3, 2007, did not refer to the Hambantota Project. A statement by the Hsinhua news agency on the various agreements signed during the visit merely referred to the signing of an Agreement between the City of Guangzhou and the District of Hambantota on the Establishment of Friendship City Relationship. However, Priyatha Bandu Wickrama, the Vice-Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, who had accompanied Rajapakse to China, has told accompanying Sri Lankan pressmen that China has agreed to begin the implementation of the project within two months. According to him, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao have promised to provide financial assistance for the Hambantota port development project after Rajapaksa emphasised the need to commence the implementation of the project immediately.

13. According to him, the work of implementation will be entrusted to the China Harbour Engineering Corporation and the Syno Hydro Corporation. He added that the project is estimated to cost US $ 420 million, of which US $ 375 million would be given by China. He did not specify how much of this would be a grant and how much a loan. During the first phase of the project, an industrial port with a 300m jetty and an oil terminal would be constructed at Hambantota and it would be expanded to a container handling port in the next two stages to handle 20 million containers per year. The first phase of the project would be completed within the next three years and the whole project within 15 years. Source reports say that Rajapakse has agreed to give the Chinese the same facilities at Hambantota as Sri Lanka has given or proposes to give to India at Trincomallee.

14. Presently, the Colombo port enjoys a better reputation in international shipping circles than the ports in South India for its modern facilities and efficiency. The turn-over time for ships in Colombo is much less than in the ports of South India. As a result, about 60 per cent of the container traffic to and from South India is reportedly trans-shipped at Colombo. The Sri Lankan authorities are worried that the Colombo port might lose the advantages presently enjoyed by it vis-a-vis the ports in South India when the construction of the Sethusamudram Canal and the work of modernisation of the ports in South India undertaken by the Government of India is completed The Sethusamudram Canal would reduce the distance to be traversed by ships going from West to East and vice versa and the modernisation of the South Indian ports would increase the efficiency and rapidity of their cargo handling. To neutralise these advantages, Sri Lanka proposes to undertake a crash programme for the further modernisation of the Colombo port and for the construction of an equally modern and efficient port at Hambantota capable of handling container traffic. And the Chinese have agreed to help it.

15. Hambantota would have no economic significance for China either from the point of view of its energy supplies or external trade in the same manner as Gwadar or Sitwe. Despite this, they have agreed to help Sri Lanka mainly because of its potential significance for their Navy as a port of call, as a port for refuelling purposes and as a listening post and watch tower on India's nuclear, space and naval establishments in South India. The details of the proposed project as known till now do not speak of a military component, but the Chinese assistance to the project does not make sense except from a military perspective. The Chinese Government is trying to give its Navy a greater visibility, operability and rapid action capability in the Indian Ocean region than it enjoys now. Gwadar, Hambantota and Sitwe form important components of its maritime security strategy. At the conclusion of his recent visit to Africa, Hu Jintao also visited Seychelles. It is important to monitor the growing Chinese interest there too in any study of China's maritime security strategy.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre for China Studies. E-mail:

India and US - III - Guest - 03-26-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-kalyan97+Mar 26 2007, 05:34 AM-->QUOTE(kalyan97 @ Mar 26 2007, 05:34 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Please see a map of the Alberni canal.

It ain't NO straight tube. Yet, the maximum amplitude of the tsunami wave was said to have been recorded at this canal inlet.

Momoi, Takao, "Tsunami in an L-shaped Canal [IV] - ... Wigen, S.O., "Tsunami Threat to Port Alberni."

Half-baked knowledge, even 'intelligence' is dangerous <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->--


India and US - III - Guest - 03-29-2007

<b>US study lays stress on "critical need" languages like Hindi </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Washington, March 29: A new US study seeks more support from all levels of the US education system to develop an integrated approach to learning certain "critical need" languages, including Hindi and Chinese.

The Federal government should contract out for a project to find new ways to measure foreign language proficiency and to use technology to improve language instruction, says the report from the US National Research Council.

Last year President George Bush announced his National Security Language Initiative, which calls for new and expanded measures to help increase the number of Americans learning "critical need" languages like <b>Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and Farsi. </b>

India and US - III - ramana - 05-04-2007

Book Review, Pioneer, 4 may 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Theocons and theocrats

According to Phillips, <b>the United States faces three major perils in the 21st century: Reckless dependence on shrinking oil supplies, reliance on borrowed money and religion getting increasingly radicalised.</b> Americans are slowly moving towards Christian theocracy, writes MV Kamath

American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips, Viking, $26.95

It is fashionable among intellectuals, mostly Hindus, to damn Hindus and Hinduism, the religion of their forefathers, in no uncertain terms. One cannot speak of Hindutva without being called a fascist, communalist and fundamentalist, in stinging terms. <b>The White man - forget the Islamic countries which are beyond the pale of criticism - is secular, free of religious extremism and, therefore, commanding instant respect.</b> The only despicable people for our secularists are Hindus, unless they openly swear by secularism and bid goodbye to their past.

But now we are told that Americans are no better, and that not only are they "recklessly dependent" on a milieu of "radicalised religion" and "religious fundamentalism" but "the rapture, end-times and Armageddon hucksters in the United States rank with any Shia ayatollahs, and the <b>last two presidential elections mark the transformation of the GOP into the first religious party in US history".</b>

Worse, Phillips writes that his book sums up "a potent change... in the country's domestic and foreign policy-making" and "religion's new political prowess and its role in the projection of military power in the Middle Eastern Bible lands".

According to Phillips, the US's pre-occupation with West Asia has two dimensions, in addition to oil and terrorism. He says <b>"The White House is courting end-times theologians and electorates for whom the holy lands are already a battleground of Christian destiny"</b>. In what way, then, are Christian fundamentalists of the US different from Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and other similar Islamic fundamentalist - and terrorist - outfits?

Phillips asserts that the Bush legacy has "added close ties to evangelical and fundamentalist power brokers of many persuasions". Further, he adds, <b>"For the first time in our history, ideology holds a monopoly of power in Washington." </b>

As Phillips sees it there are three major "perils" to the Union States in the 21st century: Reckless dependence on shrinking oil supplies, a reliance on borrowed money and a milieu of radicalised (and such too influential) religion. <b>How does it meet these three 'perils'? </b>

<b>To meet oil needs, efforts are made to seize militarily portions of West Asia expected by 2020 to have two-thirds of the world's remaining oil reserves.</b> By 1950 Americans were consuming more than one-third of the world's energy output and nearly half of its oil. Now, world oil production is expected to peak in only two or three decades. So Ford and General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) are going in not into enhanced production of cars, but in loan services. Says Phillips, "Without that financial backstop, the two firms might have become historical artefacts by the end of the 20th century"

As for radicalised religion, Phillips says that it is as "American as apple pie". According to him, religious extremism has now become common in the US. He notes, <b>"In its recent practice, the radical side of US religion has embraced cultural anti-modernism, war-hawkishness, Armageddon prophecy and, in the case of conservative fundamentalists, a demand for Governments by literal Biblical interpretation."</b>

Indeed, Phillips adds: "Evangelical fundamentalist and Pentecostal demonstration began the new millennium verging on the juggernaut status." It is not that secularism is disappearing in the US. The author says that a "large and growing secular culture" is to be seen and that among northern university graduates and cultural elites, it is dominant. But he also adds, quoting from David Domke's God Willing (2001) that the <b>"Bush Administration's worldview is one grounded in religious fundamentalism - that is, it emphasises absolutes, authority and tradition and a divine hand in history and upon the United States". </b>

Still later he writes, <b>"Since 1980 religious Americans of all faiths - fundamentalist Protestants, observant Catholics, even orthodox Jews - have been moving towards the Republican Party. This is something new in American politics. We have never had a religious party in this country."</b> Now, apparently, it has. To cite examples, the author says that between 1977 and Ronald reagan's first year in office, half-a-dozen national organisations linked to religious conservatives emerged - the National Federation of Decency (1977), evangelist Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority (1979), the Religious Roundtable (1979), the Christian Voice (1979), The National Affairs Briefing (1980), the Council on Revival (1980) and the Council for National Policy (1981). By 2004, Some 43 to 46 per cent of Americans described themselves as born-again in Christian faith. <b>But everything is being kept secret. As Phillips puts it, "The Christian Right usually does not like to acknowledge what it is doing or where."</b>

The point is to minimise public attention to its influence and back-stage power (at least the RSS or the Bajrang Dal does not resort to such tactics). No less than Bill Moyers has been quoted as saying: "One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come from the fringe to sit down in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington."

The essential political preconditions fell into place in the late 1980s and 1990s with the emergence of the Republican Party as a powerful vehicle for religiosity and church influence, while State Republican parties, most conspicuously in the south and south-west, endorsed so-called Christian nation platforms.

<b>To read this book is to get a fresh idea of what politics and religion in the United States are all about. America today is a vastly changed nation. Phillips calls the new development as "American Theocracy".</b>

The crusade against Islam is a fact of life. <b>According to national public poll, evangelicals and their leaders far exceed other Americans in their disapproval of Islam. Which may explain the cruelty imposed in Iraq. Antagonism to Islam is fast replacing hatred for the Soviet Union. Today, the enemy is Islam. But India must take precaution. Who knows it could be the next in line for attacks from American fundamentalists.</b>


India and US - III - Guest - 05-06-2007

<b>Resolution on India's untouchables introduced in US Congress</b>

<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo-->

India and US - III - Guest - 05-06-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-k.ram+May 6 2007, 06:50 PM-->QUOTE(k.ram @ May 6 2007, 06:50 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Resolution on India's untouchables introduced in US Congress</b>

<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo-->

May be US should provide some financial assistance to Indian Govt to deal with this oppression of untouchables in India. Not much: just a few billion dollars.