China’s Neighborhood, July 2010

1. Typical Cold-War Thinking

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang‘s (秦刚) Regular Press Conference on July 15, 2010

Q: The ROK and the US are planing to hold joint military exercises both in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, with the US aircraft carrier participating in the drill to be held in the Sea of Japan. How do you comment? Second, US government officials said that US aircraft carrier George Washington took part in the military exercise in the Yellow Sea last October, which did not draw open objections from China. What is the difference between the situations now and then?

A: On the two questions, our position is consistent and clear. We firmly oppose any foreign military vessel or plane conducting activities in the Yellow Sea and China’s coastal areas undermining China’s security interests. Under the current circumstances, we hope relevant parties exercise calmness and restraint and refrain from activities that would escalate tension in the region.

问:韩国和美国打算在黄海和日本海同时进行联合军事演习,特别是美航母将参加在日本海的军演,中方对此有何评论?第二,美国政府官员表示,美“乔 治·华盛顿号”航母去年10月份曾参加过在黄海举行的军演,当时中国并没有公开反对,去年10月份的情况跟现在有什么差别?

答:对于你提到的这两个问题,我们的立场是一贯的、明确的。我们坚决反对任何外国军用舰机在黄海以及其它中国近海从事影响中国安全利益的活动。我们 也希望在当前形势下,有关各方保持冷静和克制,不做加剧地区局势紧张的事情。

[…]

Q: If the US and the ROK forge ahead with the exercise in July, will China and the DPRK hold exercises in the western coast of the Korean Peninsula  in response?

A: I wonder whether this question represent your own opinion or some media’s view which I have already read. This is a typical Cold-War thinking, dividing Northeast Asia and Asia-Pacific into different military blocs and viewing regional security from a confrontational even antagonistic perspective. Now, the situation has changed so much that no single country or military bloc can resolve regional security issues alone which ask for joint efforts of regional countries. Countries should enhance mutual-trust and strengthen cooperation through dialogue and negotiation so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability of the region.

问:如果韩国和美国在7月举行军演,中国和朝鲜是否计划在朝鲜半岛西部海域也举行军演?

答:我不知道这个问题反映的是你自己的观点还是一些人或一些媒体的观点,我确实也看到这种观点见诸报端。这是一种典型的“冷战”思维,把东北亚地 区、亚太地区分割成不同的军事同盟,用冷战那种对立、对抗的眼光看待本地区安全。现在时代已经变化、发展了,没有任何一个国家或军事同盟能够单独解决地区 安全问题,这需要本地区各国共同努力,通过对话、谈判增进互信,加强合作,共同维护地区的和平与稳定。

English: http://www.mfa.gov.cn/eng/xwfw/s2510/t717494.htm
Chinese: http://www.mfa.gov.cn/chn/pds/wjdt/fyrbt/t717282.htm

2. India’s Total Collapse

China entered Pakistan’s nuclear market with a civilian nuclear co-operation agreement in June, to build two reactors there, in addition to two existing civilian ones and one for military use. Pakistan would like a similar deal with the US, according to reports quoted by the BBC, but continued fears over its proliferation record remain a major stumbling block. Harsh V. Pant, researcher at King’s College London, concludes that China is trying its best to maintain nuclear parity between India and Pakistan. Harsh provides his tally of Chinese arms supplies to Pakistan, and points out that

In the last two decades, the two states have been actively involved in a range of joint ventures including JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, K-8 Karakorum advance training aircraft, and Babur cruise missile, the dimensions of which exactly replicate the Hong Niao Chinese cruise missile. The JF-17 venture is particularly significant given its utility in delivering nuclear weapons. In a major move for China’s indigenous defence industry, China is also supplying its most advanced home-made combat aircraft, the third-generation J-10 fighter jets to Pakistan, in a deal worth around $6 billion. Beijing is helping Pakistan build and launch satellites for remote sensing and communication even as Pakistan is reportedly already hosting a Chinese space communication facility at Karachi.

Harsh suggests that

[t]he Pakistani nuclear weapons programme is essentially an extension of the Chinese one. Despite being a member of the NPT, China has supplied Pakistan with nuclear materials and expertise and has provided critical assistance in the construction of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities.

All that, plus Chinese guarantees for Pakistan’s security, thus preventing India’s dominance of South Asia by strengthening Pakistan. As India was rising in the global hierarchy, and America tried to carve out a strong partnership with India, China’s need for Pakistan was likely to grow further, writes Harsh. Therefore,

Indian policy makers would be well advised to disabuse themselves of the notion of a Sino-Indian rapprochement. China doesn’t do sentimentality in foreign policy, India should follow suit.

Ni Qiuluo (泥鳅罗), a Chinese blogger and military enthusiast, translated Harsh’s article, and delivers his own conclusion in a devastating headline:

India's Total Collapse

India's Total Collapse

India’s Total Collapse: Sino-Pakistani J-10 fighter jet trade volume amounts to six billion US dollars (印度彻底崩溃:中巴歼10的交易总额达60 亿美元).

____________

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