The Chinese media criticism of Indian defence build-up continues. People’s Daily featured an article today focusing on the Indian motivation. One, India needs to exaggerate the ‘threat perception’ in order to justify its defence budget and arms purchases at a time when the economy is slowing. Two, India is adopting a ‘containment’ policy toward China. Three, India hopes to gain US’s military and political support.
The new angles are: a) the article ridicules that additional Indian manpower on the border could be “eliminated easily” by “precison-guided weapons”; b) it warns that India’s actions will cause tension in the region and ultimately harm its own interests. But the overall tenor is that China has no reason to feel threatened.
The recent Indian moves on increased defence cooperation with “China’s neighbouring countries” (read Japan and Japan) has been mentioned again. The Chinese sensitivity is primarily out of its perceptions of a drift in the Indian foreign policy toward harmonising with the US’s Asia-Pacific strategies. The US-Japan-India ‘trilateral dialogue’, expected to take place within the coming weeks, promises to be the defining moment. China seems to be cautioning India against crossing the “red line”. The PD article is here.
– November 15, 2011