Policy makers need to look at China's track record: Brahma Chellaney

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): Noted Indian strategic affairs expert, Brahma Chellaney on Saturday cautioned policy-makers of China's neighbourhood countries over taking China's claim of peaceful rise on its face value.

Drawing attention to China's track records, Dr. Brahma Chellaney noted that People's Republic of China began its international debut through wars even when it was weak and poor in 40s and 50s.

Inaugurating a seminar on "China - South Asia", organised by Observer Research Foundation, a prominent public policy think tank headquartered in Delhi, Dr. Chellaney asked: " What did they (China) do even when they were poor and weak? They annexed Xinjiang in 1949, occupied Tibet in 50-51, joined Korea war and invaded South Korea in 1950, attacked India in 1962 and took on the Soviet Union in border conflict in 1969 and invaded Vietnam in 1979."

"I don't want to comment on whether the rising China will be benign or the security threats it can pose. There is lots of debate going on this. But one should, especially the policy-makers, should look at its track record," Dr. Chellaney said.

Saying he wasn't talking of containing China, Dr. Chellaney, said "but creating necessary checks and balances so that the might of China is forced to balance itself. And China remains on the positive side of the ledger, and not on the debit side."

He noted that military muscle is a must before amassing wealth and not even a single country in the world has done the other way round.

Dr. Chellaney said while China steadily pursued its military policy set in the 50s and developed thermo-nuclear capacity and ICBMs in 1978, India does not have an ICBM not even on paper.

He informed India is the only large country in the world which is dependent on imports for its defence needs - whether it is rifles, tanks, aircraft or any other ammunition.

Taking a dig at the Government's celebrations of India-China relations, Dr. Chellaney said: "Reality is always two sided. To me, this means 60 years of China becoming our neighbour by annexing Tibet. Why should we celebrate this? But for the Government of India it is time to celebrate," he said.

Other scholars, who study China's relations with countries in South East Asia, foreign policy experts and former Ambassadors on this occasion said India have the right policy and strategy, but blamed poor implementation and delivery for its failure in effectively checking Chinese influence.

The two-day seminar discussed China's approach and policy towards India and India-China relations, China's approach and policy towards Pakistan and China-Pakistan relations, China-Pakistan military relations, including the nuclear and missile aspects, China's policy approach and policy towards Bangladesh and China-Bangladesh relations, Chinese approach and policy towards Nepal/Bhutan, China's approach and policy towards Sri Lanka and Maldives, China's strategy and activity in the Indian Ocean and implications for India.

The participants included former foreign secretaries M.K. Rasgotra, K. Raghunath, Salman Haider, former Deputy National Security Advisor Leela Ponappa, former ambassadors Ranjit Gupta, C.V. Ranganathan, TCA Rangachari, academics Prof. Alka Acharya, Prof. Madhu Bhalla, Prof. Sangeeta Thapliyal, Dr. Ravni Thakur, Prof. V. Suryanarayanan, Dr. Ajay Darshan Behera, Dr. Sreeradha Dutta, Dr. Shalini Chawla, Dr. K. Yhome and Bhaskar Roy. (ANI)

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