Future military balance likely to tilt in favour of China against India, says US expert

December 15th, 2007 - 8:03 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudhakar Jagdish
New Delhi, Dec 15 (ANI): India’s military power vis-a-vis China is presently relatively balanced, but in the next decade or two, New Delhi would find it difficult to counter any offensive from Beijing, considering the fast pace of modernisation being undertaken by the Chinese forces.
“Sino-India military balance is relatively stable…, but it would not be true in a decade or two,” said noted US strategic expert Dr. Ashley J. Tellis during a seminar titled ‘Chinese Military Modernisation And Asian Security’, here on Saturday.
Dr. Tellis, who played a crucial role in initiating the talks between India and the United States on the civil nuclear cooperation agreement and has carried out research on China’s military strength, said that Beijing in its pursuit of fast economic growth would not like to spoil existing international peace, though it will not be deterred from being involved in small tactical operations.
In his opinion, India is threat number two for the Chinese and follows Japan, which remains Beijing’s arch-rival in the region.
Dr. Tellis discounted fears of Chinese using nuclear missiles as artillery fires against India in a future conflict. He said that any future Sino-India conflict would remain a limited one, but skirmishes would occur along the disputed 3700-km long border.
He said that as per his inference China is not keen to resolve border or territorial disputes with either Japan or India, since Beijing thinks that in the days ahead as it emerges as a powerful nation, it would be able to get a better deal.
“They still think that they can wait, and they can have a better deal when they become strong,” he said.
On the issue of concerns being raised in New Delhi that China is trying to carve out its sphere of influence in the sub-continent and contain India, Dr. Tellis said that evidences to indicate such a plan is a ‘mixed’ one and theories of ‘encirclement strategy’ could be overstated.
China is maintaining the option of adopting encirclement strategy, he said, adding that as of now, it could also be diversionary tactics.
“India needs to neutralise Chinese influence in the region,” he said.
He lauded the Indian Air Force (IAF) for producing the best pilots in the world, but added that they need to fully utilise the technologies of the aircraft flown by them and should train for high altitude operations.
He said to maintain the balance with the Chinese military; India should concentrate on three aspects- improvements in its firepower capabilities, increased logistic mobility and enhancement of its communication network. (ANI)

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