Tuesday, October 31, 2006

National Security Policy: September 2006

National Security Policy: September 2006

In reply to a post made on 9/01, this is a re-post of an earlier comment.

If by the question, “is China planning an Indian invasion?” you mean that they are planning to retake the disputed border territories, then I think the question wrongly assumes that the territory in question, Aksai Chin (阿克赛钦) meaning “desert of white stones”, is Indian in the first place. While the territory is currently controlled by the PRC, it is also claimed by India. It was this border dispute that began the Sino-Indian War of 1962. There are two major border disputes now between India and China, the roots of which can both be directly traced to British Colonization of the Indian Subcontinent. The British were pushing as far as they could to claim territory. Upon gaining its independence, the Indian government placed its borders at the furthest extent of British Colonial expansion. These borders have been disputed between the British Empire and Qing Dynasty for over a century. The line that is respected for practical purposes since the end of the Sino-Indian War is called the “Line of Actual Control”. Currently, the Aksai Chin dispute is not a border dispute that either the Indian or Chinese governments are considering fighting over.

If you mean however, do they plan to invade India proper, then I will respond first by saying that the Chinese have never in their history pushed expansion beyond the realm of what territory they consider to be innately and historically Chinese. Does the PLA have plans, installations, and personnel in place for the defense of its borders with India? Of course they do. Even a government with the best of peaceful intentions should be prepared for a conflict with any of its neighbors to ensure its own territorial sovereignty. However, thanks to the common sense of atomic peace, these two nuclear neighbors will in all probability never come to armed conflict again over this almost uninhabited “desert of white stones”.

If googlers want to be looking for Chinese military build up, they need to scroll down to the Fujian province. Since the end of the Cold War, the People’s Republic of China has been focusing the majority of its military build-up and modernization on a possible conflict with the United States in the South China Sea in a dispute over Taiwan. The only seriously considered plan for expansion on the desks of military strategists in Beijing is a move of the significant forces built up in the Fujian (福建) Province across the straights into Taiwan. Such a Chinese invasion, Beijing claims, would only happen if provoked by Washington or Taipei making any move towards Taiwanese Independence that would alter the regional status quo. It is no secret that the People’s Liberation Army conducts regular drills of marine invasions along in the South China Sea that often even include the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps (The PRC’s Strategic Conventional and Nuclear Missile Division).

9:06 PM

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