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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summery of Tussle

Jeff Smith of American Foreign Policy Council summarizes the ongoing tussle between India and China on China's apparent claim on Arunachal Pradesh in WSJ. He forgets to bring up the promise China made to PM Atal Vajpayee during his official to China on solving the border issue peacefully even as China was digging in with its troops and weapons systems on their side of Arunachal border.

He however posits what Washington's position should be.

What is Washington's role in this Asian rivalry? In the short term, a priority must be to tamp down friction over the border. In the longer term, Washington should leverage its friendly relations with both capitals to promote bilateral dialogue and act as an honest broker where invited. But it should also continue to build upon the strategic partnership with India initiated by former president George W. Bush, and support its ally, as it did at the Nuclear Suppliers group and the ADB, where necessary. Washington must also make clear that it considers the established, decades-old border between the two to be permanent.

Most importantly, though, the Sino-Indian border dispute should be viewed as a test for proponents of China's "peaceful rise" theory. If China becomes adventurous enough to challenge India's sovereignty or cross well-defined red lines, Washington must be willing to recognize the signal and respond appropriately.