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June 12, 2009

The Great Game

Alan Cullison sees Russian meddling - and political violence - in Kyrgyzstan as a continuation of the Great Game between Moscow and Washington.

Fair enough. But a rather more dramatic example involves a Indian troop build up on its border with China.

China on Thursday rejected suggestions that incursions by its troops into the Indian territory were on the rise, and cautioned India that any move to increase troop presence along the disputed border in Arunachal Pradesh “would only lead to a rivalry between the two countries.”

Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.J. Singh said earlier this week that two Army divisions of around 30,000 soldiers each would be deployed along the disputed border as part of a “planned augmentation of [India’s] capabilities to defend the country.” Mr. Singh’s statement followed reported claims from officials that Chinese incursions into Indian territory had become more frequent in the past one year.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters on Thursday that China “cannot accept such an allegation.”

Nor keep its story straight. A Chinese news source belittles India's influence and makes vague threats.

Indian politicians these days seem to think their country would be doing China a huge favor simply by not joining the “ring around China” established by the US and Japan.

India’s growing power would have a significant impact on the balance of this equation, which has led India to think that fear and gratitude for its restraint will cause China to defer to it on territorial disputes.

But this is wishful thinking, as China won’t make any compromises in its border disputes with India. And while China wishes to coexist peacefully with India, this desire isn’t born out of fear.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 12, 2009 08:59 AM