Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Close to 400 incidents of border intrusion have occurred in the last three years, according to the Yearbook, with over 140 in 2007 and many more in 2008.
It had become customary for China to reiterate its claims on Arunachal Pradesh before every high level visit or event. Even Sikkim was back in controversy with China having surprised India by laying claim to a small tract of land in North Sikkim referred to as the Finger Area. The Indian Defence Yearbook has detailed the importance of the Ladakh-Aksai hin area, the Finger Area of Sikkim, the India-Tibet-Bhutan Tri-junction and the Siliguri Corridor.
Tibet, the Yearbook says, is at the heart of India-China rivalry for dominance in Asia. ‘When Tibet was occupied, it changed the asymmetry between the two sides’, it says. China was able to exercise geo-strategic influence over much of south Asia and challenge India’s dominance in the region. India recognizes that the loss of Tibet as a buffer zone crippled the security of its northern borders forcing it to maintain thousands of soldiers on the frontier.
The Indian Defence Yearbook, now in its fourteenth year of publication, says China’s foreign policy and material assistance provided to Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh is clear proof of its strategy of strategic encirclement of India.
A deep water port being developed at Gwadar with 12 multi-purpose berths and associated facilities, a road and rail link from Gwadar to Pakistan’s north-south Indus highway and Pakistan’s sovereign guarantees for Beijing’s use of port facilities is a pointer to Beijing’s military strategic intent, according to the Yearbook.
In Myanmar, China has helped to upgrade road, rail, air & sea links. Myanmar has also permitted the Chinese to have a permanent Chinese presence in some of its ports. Myanmar has approved a proposal to build a 1200-km long oil pipeline from Sittwe to China’s Yunnan province. The Yunnan-Irrawady road-rail-river corridor is already operational.
Bangladesh has been negotiating with China and South Korea to develop its Chittagong military and civilian facilities. This adds to reports that Bangladesh intends to build a second naval base at Chittagong in addition to its Isa Khan naval base.
The Yearbook says that China has agreed to supply millions of dollars worth of non-lethal military aid to Nepal.
In Sri Lanka, China is to provide financial and technical support to develop Hambantota port located at the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Hambantota is of little value to China for its energy security.
Similarly China has been building bridges with Seychelles and Maldives.