China and one of its Biggest Threats team up for Copenhagen and Against even Bigger Threats

China and India are hardly the greatest friends. In June last year, the Asian Development Bank approved a loan for India which included $60 million for a flood management, water supply and sanitation project in Arunachal Pradesh, despite opposition from Beijing. Arunachal Pradesh, a member state of the Indian Union, is what Beijing considers “Southern Tibet” – and the ADB’s decision to finance a project there was criticized by China as an unwise move. And in November, truly reflecting the diversity of world cultures and civilizations, All India Radio (AIR) informed its listeners (Chinese included) that the Dalai Lama is a spiritual guest in the country and free to visit Arunachal Pradesh, an integral part of India.

Copenhagen Summit: Innocents Abroad

Copenhagen Summit: Innocents Abroad

And a new survey carried out in China reveals that India is seen as a security threat, second only to America, writes Huanqiu Shibao. According to the Indian Express, the paper  Huanqiu refers to, the survey was carried out by Sydney-based Lowy Institute of Foreign Policy in September, both in urban and rural Chinese communities. That said, environmental issues like climate change and water and food shortages were seen as the biggest threats to China – even ahead of America and India.

Besides,  a variety of challenges requires a variety of flexible alliances, depending on the issues at hand. When it comes to climate control, India is no less anxious than Beijing to counter the traction an existing Western draft could otherwise unfold in Copenhagen this month. The Hindu quotes India’s Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh as saying that the Sino-Indian screenplay includes their possible exits from the Copenhagen negotiations at certain stages of their scenarios. Brazil and South Africa also signed the draft which was agreed to in Beijing on Saturday last week.

The Four (or five) Non-Negotiables include the positions that the four countries would never accept

  • legally binding emissions cuts
  • unsupported mitigation actions
  • international measurement
  • reporting and verification of unsupported mitigation actions
  • the use of climate change as a trade barrier.

JR understands that these look like five non-negotiables, but they are named four non-negotiables anyway. The point about using climate change as a trade barrier stands in the tradition of a similar alliance during the collapsing  Doha Round in July 2008, when China postured as the developing countries’ good shepherd, and India’s trade minister defended India’s role as an emerging country in the global economy.

It’s not so easy to tell who will suffer (or gain) most from the Doha Round’s failure. Who will be among the first victims of a Copenhagen failure is somewhat easier to predict.

The Copenhagen summit is scheduled to begin on Monday.

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Footnotes

About twice as many men as women see India as a threat, and more respondents with university or college education felt that India and Japan posed a security threat to China, according to the Indian Express.
Hat tip to Adam Cathcart and his extensive Huanqiu Press Review of Saturday.

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Related

» Obama Admin encouraged by recent announcements from China and India, Daily News, December 4, 2009

» Where Countries stand on Copenhagen, BBC News, citing official positions and opinion polls

» Hermit: India is an Unharmonious Serf, June 25, 2009

8 Responses to “China and one of its Biggest Threats team up for Copenhagen and Against even Bigger Threats”

  1. India a threat to China? Competitor? Yes. But a threat? I ishard to see in what way India could threaten China. The gender difference I think reflects the net-based aspect of this kind of paranoia.

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  2. The paranoia is certainly there, on both sides. Chinese media observe every troop movement on the Indian side with a lot of suspicion (not to mention a splittist monk visiting Arunachal Pradesh), while Chinese netizens at the same time discuss how to split up India.
    Chinese often criticize India for being too “westernized”, and for not teaming up with China for all the good causes.
    But yes – it is paranoia, as in most cases. And after all, they do business with each other.

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  3. P.S.: there’s an armchair Sunzi in every second Chinese man who is connected to the internet.

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