Till the end of 1970s, China was a very backward country.? Sometime in 1981 or 1982 in an Economic Times (ET) issue I read an article about a military exhibition held in a European city that also carried a Chinese delegation?s picture inspecting armaments and hardware on display there. Since it is many years, I cannot recall the city or the ET issue where I had read the article.China?s per capita income then was lower than India?s. This article made me sit down and ponder as to what would happen if these advanced countries manufacturing highly advanced arms and other military (and non-military goods produced for civilians) start doing business with China? I was then thinking of the long-range consequences the countries would have in dealing with China, which is a bully and does not believe in fair play? I have observed that majority of countries and humans act immediately to get immediate gains which, I believe, is selfish, rather than considering issues with foresight, long-term vision and considering the pros and cons of the decisions they are going to take. I had told my friends then that if these countries are going to open their economies to China and allow it to freely import and export, they would have manifold problems with her, once her economy grows and she is cash rich and has considerable foreign exchange reserves. The countries could face manifold problems, be it trade, copyrights, presence of Chinese spies in their countries and many other things.
In 1979, under Deng Xiaoping?s reign,China opened their economy for foreign investment, resulting in many countries, their multi-nationals and companies pumping in their money to set up manufacturing units, taking full advantage of cheap labour. In China workers cannot strike, however genuine may be their grievances or else they will face punitive actions, i.e. losing their jobs and livelihood and being prosecuted in Chinese kangaroo courts and being prisoned.
Time has proved me right, because China, which is a totalitarian country, is the world?s fastest growing economy and a leading military power that, with its newly found wealth, is bullying its neighbours. China has raked up territorial disputes with Japan, a nation after the World War II is among the most peaceful countries. China has territorial disputes with hosts of other countries and also lays claim over Spratly islands in the South China Sea, has gobbled Tibet and has had border skirmishes with the erstwhile U.S.S.R. (in 1969), Vietnam (1979-1990) and India(in 1962, 1967) and keeps on threatening to take over Taiwan. With India it is having territorial disputes over Arunachal Pradesh and other territories and also interferes in its internal affairs. During the UPA regime it had warned India to not allow the Dalai Lama to visit the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as hers. Dalai Lama is one of the most peace-loving personalities in the history and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace (1989). Nevertheless, the Chinese call him a criminal and use other derogatory terms.
Chinese patrols constantly encroach into Indian border and have to be told to go back.? Further, they warn India not to do any construction work, i.e. build posts, roads, bridges, etc. within her side of the border, which is preposterous and behaving like a bully.?
China is the third largest country in terms of territory and why does it covet other countries? territories and creates disputes? Fortunately for India, there is presently a new Government and whatever his detractors and I may accuse him of, however, one has to admit that Narendra Modi is firm and decisive. He may not necessarily do everything right, however, he is fast in thinking, taking decisions, acting upon those decisions and has administrative acumen. He simply is not a wimp.
China has become such a threat to world peace, so much so that Japan, a pacifist nation, has been forced this year to drastically increase its defence budget. Pakistan is the only country that China is very friendly and cooperates with her in production of tanks, aircrafts, etc. and construction projects, etc. Pakistan will continue singing praises of China till such a time the cobra bites and injects too much venom in her before she can react.
Before 1990s, USSR and USA were the two super powers, but due to Mikhail Gorbachev?s openness, restructuring policies and the liberalisation and democratization process lead to the break-up of USSR with 14 territories seceding, though erstwhile USSR or present day Russia is still the largest country in the world in terms of territory, though with a population of just 147 million, it is amongst the countries with the least density of population. Now, China has replaced the erstwhile USSR or the present day Russia as the super power and has become a threat to its neighbours and also to the world and especially to Taiwan, India and Japan.
After Russia and Canada, China is the third largest in the world in terms of territory, though Canada, China and the U.S.A. are all 9,000,000 odd square kilometres in area and there is not much difference because between them, considering the vastness of their territories.
Why does China not introduce human rights and grant freedom to its populace, instead of continuing to maintain a gigantic security and spy apparatus? The answer is simple. If the Chinese democratise and give freedom to their people, many regions would secede, including Tibet, ethnic regions and the regions where Muslims dominate. There have been reports in the media that China has brought their nationals in from far-flung places and settled them in Tibet in order to make the sons-of-the-soil a minority in their own or land of their birth and to destroy their culture and traditions.
Why does China, in spite of economically having made immense progress, does not enjoy a healthy per capita income?? Whatever progress China makes, but it will still not at any time have the per capita income of advanced economies, because it is the most populated country in the world and so her per capita income will not increase phenomenally. The same reasons are also applicable to India also.
Then, why does China have the second largest military budget in the world, after the USA and the largest Army? The reason is simply because, 1) they rake up territorial disputes and are the world?s biggest bully and 2) They have a restive population clamouring for freedom and looking for opportunities to secede. Therefore, they need a strong military machine to bully other countries and illegally grab their territories by sheer force and again, within the country, to control riots and kill and wound the rioters and people. The Government is not answerable to anyone or its people and does not believe in human rights.? All decisions are taken by the few most powerful politicians at the top and put to voting in their parliament, where all the deputies are mere rubber stamps. They will all vote without anyone dissent or otherwise they will be in deep troubles.? Why destroy one?s career, princely earnings and perquisites they enjoy, other than being a rubber stamp and voting ?Yes? to whatever is put in motion.
People who always keep in touch with international news and modern history may be aware of the Tiananmen Square massacre that took place when the Chinese Government mobilized 3,00,000 men, backed by tanks, to quell this peaceful protest by attacking and killing and injuring thousands of students. Since China is a totalitarian regime, it is not answerable to people, who cannot take their government to courts. If such bloodbath had occurred in any democratic, there would have been a hue and cry, enquiries and probes to find who were wrong and punish the guilty and compensate those who were killed or injured.
India cannot defeat China in war, but can contain it and give it a bloody nose by bolstering its defence forces, manufacturing all arms, including combat and transport aircrafts and naval ships and other military products in the country. Only that military hardware. Considering the urgency or lack of know how cannot be manufactured or manufactured at short notice, should be imported. Defence production in India should not be the exclusive domain of the public sector undertakings, including DRDO., but should be made open to huge undertakings in the private sector.
Secondly, India should allocate 3.5% of its budget for defence spending and being prepared to face both China and Pakistan. If Pakistan keeps on unprovoked firing across the border and trying to infiltrate terrorists into India, then India should respond firmly by using superior force and using high calibre and heavy weaponry, so that the enemy gets badly hurt and constantly bleeds.?
Money for defence can be arranged by taking decisive actions, rather than increasing the taxes, which will burden the people, especially the poor and middle classes. The Indian Government has many employees on its payroll and an unwieldy bureaucracy and with modernization, automation and retaining the best employees and getting rid of excess force in all its departments, the Government can cut down its spending and some of this money can be diverted for defence, education, health, family planning, etc. After the Chinese Liberation Army, the Indian Railways with 1.7 employees is the world?s second largest employer. Does Railways really require 1.7 million employees on its payroll, especially when a lot of irregularities are taking place at its workplaces??
Author: Nelson Lewis- Bahrain