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Saturday, May 17, 2008

China Appeasement Not Working So Well

Two unofficial reasons can usually be parsed out from India's refusal to take a tough stand when Chinese claim Arunachal Pradesh or when they go back and forth on border pronouncements or when they don't negotiate on Siachen that Chinese continue to occupy: one, a more immediate need for Chinese support to U.S.-India nuclear deal, especially during the NSG approval stage; and, two, to a Chinese nod to India claim to the U.N. permanent Security Council seat with veto power, whenever that may happen.

Of course, the official reason for not standing up the aggressive Chinese is avoiding disruption of the booming bilateral trade - nothing should be done slow the growth of trade. As though trade is more important than national security. It could also be just the people at the helm currently - weaklings with hazy idea of what national interest is and with a delusion that appeasement actually work!

It appears that appeasement is not working.

YEKATERINBURG: China blocked Russia’s proposal to express support for India and Brazil’s U.N. Security Council bids in the joint communiqué adopted by the BRIC Foreign Ministers here on Friday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jechi dug in his heels against the Russian initiative, informed sources said. Crisis talks continued till Friday morning and the compromise formula made no reference to the Security Council.

“The Ministers of Russia and China reiterated that their countries attach importance to the status of India and Brazil in international affairs, and understand and support India’s and Brazil’s aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations,” the communiqué said.

China has therefore backtracked on its earlier support for India’s membership in the Security Council that was articulated during a bilateral summit in Beijing. [China backtracks on U.N. Council issue - The Hindu]

Knowing the Chinese history for the past seventy years, why is this a surprise to anyone (except perhaps to The Hindu editorial)?

Getting together as a BRIC group itself is great idea, although the group may not work out in the long run, because the Chinese sees themselves as an alternative superpower (to the U.S.) and the rest as secondary nations.