Border issue between India and China since Independence – Aksai Chin & Arunachal Pradesh. Reasons for it. What are the measures/steps taken by Government of India (GOI) in this regard? What was the outcome of such measures? What is LAC?
What was the objective with which BDCA was signed?
How do the recent transgressions of the Chinese troops effect/impact India-Chinese Relationship? How can this issue be solved?
For more about India-China relationship & Border Agreements refer our Insights Current Events Analysis, October 2013.
China launches moon rover
China has launched its first moon rover mission (Chang’e-3 rocket), the latest step in an ambitious space programme seen as a symbol of its rising global stature.
The probe is due to land on the moon in mid-December to explore its surface and look for natural resources.
It is the world’s third lunar rover mission following those by the United States and former Soviet Union decades earlier.
China hopes for ‘conducive’ India-Japan ties
China has hoped for conducive India-Japan bilateral ties that would help in regional peace and stability, against the backdrop of rising tensions between China and Japan and a high-profile visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to India.
The ongoing week-long and rare visit to India by the Japanese royal couple has underlined the deepening ties between the two countries. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had stated that Japan’s relationship with India would not only boost economic ties and investment, but also expand the strategic relationship.
The Japan’s keenness to push ties with India comes amid renewed tensions with China over the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. In recent days, China’s move to set up an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) that includes the disputed islands has further strained ties.
China had strongly defended its move on setting up an ADIZ, pointing out that several countries, such as the U.S and Japan, had established such areas beyond their territorial airspace to track aircraft. And according to China, Japanese ADIZ, established in the 1969 illegally included the Diaoyu islands, and China firmly opposes this.
ADIZ areas are not territorial claims, but defined zones in international airspace within which countries monitor aircraft heading towards their territorial airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from coastlines.
It is said that, China was willing to increase dialogue and communication to safeguard flights in overlapping areas of the two countries’ defence zones, but Japan has refused any dialogue, which has created frictions and has undermined regional stability.
Whereas, Japan on the other hand, has warned that China’s unilateral move to set up an ADIZ over disputed areas could trigger ‘unexpected incidents.’
China’s ADIZ announcement has also caused concern among several countries in the region, including Japan and South Korea, as the air defence zone stretches over strategically important areas in the East China Sea. Both countries, as well as the U.S., have made it clear that their air patrols will not follow Chinese demands of filing flight plans in advance.
Now, South Korea is contemplating on widening its air defence zone to include the Leodo reef, which is under South Korea’s control but falls within both the Japanese and newly set up Chinese air defence zones.
Taiwan too has opposed this move saying that it would also not comply with the rules.
South Korea and Japan have carried out a naval drill in the East China Sea, deploying destroyers and maritime helicopters in a region where both countries are involved in a dispute with China.
A biennial naval drill took place in a part of the sea that lies within China’s newly established Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ).
The drill has signaled that both the countries will not follow China’s regulations by deploying helicopters without filing flight plans with China.
The drill took place near the Leodo reef, which is controlled by South Korea but lies within the exclusive economic zones of China and South Korea. The area also falls within both Chinese and South Korean air defence zones (which are not territorial claims but a defined airspace within which countries track aircraft heading towards their territory.)
China has reiterated that its move was ‘just, reasonable and complying with international practices’. While China has hit out at Japan’s criticism of the zone, pointing out that Japan had established a bigger ADIZ in 1969, it has taken a more measured reaction to South Korean concerns.
China has said it would deploy ‘emergency’ defensive measures if aircraft entered the zone without filing plans. Civilian and other aircraft that were not seen as posing a threat would merely be ‘identified’ and ‘tracked’.
Relations of the 3 nations among themselves; importance of the region for each of them; historical evolution of the relations.
Indian relations with the 3 nations, Indian concerns in the region in terms of transit, energy, strategic importance etc.
What are the steps taken by India in recent times to balance the conflicting interests of the 3 Countries?
China offers freebie in strategic push
China has shown its willingness to offer its neighbouring countries, use of its home-grown satellite navigation system free of charge. The strategic move, has already garnered interest from a number of countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand.
The Chinese officials had intended to widen use of the Beidou satellite network, which already has 16 satellites serving the Asia-Pacific and has been promoted as an alternative to the American Global Positioning System (GPS). The focus will be on countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly in South and Southeast Asia, where the satellites offered the highest accuracy.
China has already agreed deals with Pakistan and Thailand on use of the Beidou network. Also it had consultations with Sri Lanka, for which it has already launched a satellite, and Bangladesh, over cooperation on satellite use. While China was open to any country using the system, so far there was no specific cooperation between the Indian and Chinese governments.
China’s deepening cooperation with these countries prompted the Indian government, earlier in 2013, to push ISRO in being more active in providing technological assistance to countries in the neighbourhood in launching satellites.
The system, which was first launched in 2011 for use only by the government and military, has over the past year begun to be widely deployed for civilian uses domestically with 80% of passenger buses and trucks in China using the system. For China, granting use of its 16-satellite Beidou network which would be expanded to 35 satellites by 2020 to provide global coverage offers an added advantage.
What implications would this strategic move have on India? What steps should be taken by the Indian Govt & ISRO in this regard?
Navigation system used in India?
Do you think India should also align with other countries and make use of the China’s navigation system?
BCIM corridor gets push after first official-level talks in China
India and China have taken the first step towards pushing forward an ambitious corridor linking the two countries with Bangladesh and Myanmar, as representatives from the four nations held the first ever official-level discussions about the project recently.
For the first time the four nations have come up with a schedule/timeline on taking the plan forward.
The corridor would run from Kunming (Chinese city which borders Myanmar) to Kolkata, linking Mandalay in Myanmar as well as Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh.
The plan would “advance multi-modal connectivity, harness the economic interests, promote investment and trade and facilitate people-to-people contacts.
The recent talks saw the four countries come up with an ambitious proposal that included developing multi-modal transport, such as road, rail, waterways and airways, joint power projects and telecommunication networks.
The BCIM project was also discussed during the Chinese Premier Li’s meet to India recently. The corridor would not only boost strategic ties with India, but also as a means to inject vitality into its landlocked south-western provinces, which have the highest poverty rates in China.
As a first step, the four countries will identify realistic and achievable infrastructure projects to boost physical connectivity. Over the next six months, each country will come up with a joint study report proposing concrete projects and financing modalities, before the next meeting of the four nations in June 2014, hosted by Bangladesh.
The hope is that before the holding of the third joint study meeting, in India towards the end of 2014, the four countries would have agreed upon a cooperation framework including modalities of ‘financing projects’ that will pave the way for the actual implementation.
Why was BCIM corridor mooted? What are the advantages of this project to India?
China defends nuclear cooperation with Pakistan
China would continue to provide support for civilian nuclear energy projects in Pakistan, despite concerns voiced by some countries that recent agreements have violated international guidelines governing nuclear trade.
China has argued that, the nuclear power projects would help Pakistan alleviate power shortage and serve the interests of local people.
In November, 2013 Pakistan had formally inaugurated two 1,100 MW projects at the second and third phases of the Karachi nuclear power project. The deals follow Chinese support to the nuclear complex at Chashma, where two reactors have been constructed with China’s assistance.
The agreements for third and fourth reactors in Chashma, signed in 2009, triggered controversy as they were the first deals signed by China following its joining of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The nuclear trade body forbids members from transferring technology to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India obtained a waiver from the body only after undertaking various commitments.
However, the Chinese have defended the deal saying that it was for peaceful purpose and it meets their respective international obligations and is subject to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
More about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
The IAEA is the world’s center of cooperation in the nuclear field. It was set up as the world´s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
The IAEA Secretariat is headquartered at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria.
IAEA Mission & Programmes
The IAEA’s mission is guided by the interests and needs of Member States, strategic plans and the vision embodied in the IAEA Statute. Three main pillars – or areas of work – underpin the IAEA’s mission: Safety and Security; Science and Technology; and Safeguards and Verification.
As an independent international organization related to the United Nations system, the IAEA´s relationship with the UN is regulated by special agreement . In terms of its Statute, the IAEA reports annually to the UN General Assembly and, when appropriate, to the Security Council regarding non-compliance by States with their safeguards obligations as well as on matters relating to international peace and security.
With closer nuclear cooperation between China and Pakistan- what are the concerns raised by the international fora and especially with respect to India? Do you think such a co-operation would de-stabilize Asia?
What are the objectives of NSG and NPT? How did India get a waiver with regard to nuclear trade, though India not being a member of NPT? Why is India reluctant to get into the agreement?
To know more NSG, NPT refer our ‘Insights Current Events Analysis Magazine’ (OCTOBER, 2013)
Call for demilitarization of Siachen (India-Pakistan)
Pakistan has said India should pull out its troops from the Siachen Glacier as waste disposal by Indian soldiers was threatening the glacier (which it claims is one of its largest sources of water) and posed a serious environmental threat.
The implications of water scarcity were grave in view of climate change.
The issue of demilitarising Siachen has often been discussed and both India and Pakistan have debated the question of troops’ pullout but in vain.
Civil society groups too have been debating the issue and there are demands to declare Siachen a protected area.