‘India should build n-deterrent against China’

India will be able to forge durable relations with China only when it emerges as a stronger, with a nuclear deterrent, says a new book.

New Delhi: India will be able to forge durable relations with China only when it emerges as a stronger, if not an equal, military and economic power with a nuclear deterrent, says a new book.

Former foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey also says that India should not expect China to change its negative position on or seriously address the issues of concern to India.

To stand up to China, India must maintain and impart momentum to the dynamism acquired by its economy and strengthen its military power, Dubey says in "India`s Foreign Policy: Coping with the Changing World" (Pearson).

"Without getting involved in a nuclear race with China, India must factor the threat to its security emanating from that country into the building of its nuclear deterrent," he says, dealing with India-China relations.

"India should have adequate nuclear prowess in order to make China feel threatened enough not to take it for granted.

"India has also a long way to go towards enhancing its conventional warfare capacity," he says. "The country also needs to build a credible defence against ballistic missiles. There is a need to expand and upgrade the Indian Navy."

Dubey, who retired from Indian Foreign Service in 1991, says it is necessary to deploy air power in greater strength along the Sino-Indian border.

"Finally, India also needs to rapidly expand and upgrade its military infrastructure in general and in the border areas in particular."

Although Chinese leaders talk endlessly of peace, "India should proceed on the assumption that China`s moves abroad will be propelled by a desire to attain supremacy in Asia and a dominant position in the world".

Dubey wants India to comment if there are "massive" human rights violations in China.

"Normally, there is no need to question the socio-economic and political system prevailing in China.

"However, India may have to speak out if there is a persistent and massive violation of human rights in this country.

"Moreover, India may have to speak in a voice different from that of China when it comes to violations of human rights in other parts of the world."

The book says that the most effective way to counter China from creating problems for India in South Asia is to bring about a qualitative change in relations with Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and The Maldives in particular.

According to Dubey, in the coming years, India and China will compete for mobilising political support, expanding access to markets and securing energy, metals, minerals and other natural resources in Asia and Africa.

"This competition will intensify with the passage of time, mainly because of the rising demands for natural resources in both India and China and the exhaustible nature of most of these resources.

"India should, therefore, gear itself up to the inevitability of competition with China in this area."

Despite growing economic ties, China attempts to keep India unsettled by building Pakistan`s military might.

"China has prevented Pakistani terrorists from being blacklisted by the UN," he says.

The Chinese nuclear arms build-up threatens India, which has a long way to go to build a nuclear deterrence against Beijing.

China has not only supported Pakistan on Kashmir but it backs India`s other neighbours in their disputes with New Delhi.

All of this, Dubey says, is aimed at undermining New Delhi`s position in its own neighbourhood and to prevent it from emerging as a rival Asian power.

IANS

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