Archive for November 7th, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Advice to India: “You will only Harm Yourself”

American companies may lose civilian business in China, because of arms sales to Taiwan – and China is usually no legal market for American arms exports anyway, as America (as well as the European Union) operates restrictions on such sales to Beijing.

But there aren’t too many misgivings when it comes to arms exports to India. There may be more concerns on the Indian side, given that America did impose a ban on arms exports to India after the country’s nuclear tests in 1998, and only lifted most of it in 2001. “There is an entrenched view in bureaucracies in India that these guys will turn off the tap”, the New York Times quotes K. Raja Menon, a retired admiral.

Last month, India was in negotiations to buy up to 10 Boeing Co. military transport aircraft (C-17 Globemaster III aircraft), according to a Bloomberg report on October 18. The deal has been completed by now, according to the White House, as cited by kentucky.com / McClatchy Newspapers on Saturday. Boeing and larger rival Lockheed Martin had made their first defense sales to India in the past 2 1/2 years as the country boosts its military and civil-nuclear relationships with the U.S., Bloomberg wrote on October 18. In 2009, Boeing had won an order from India to supply eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. 51junshi.com (or some other source), on October 26, quoted Indian media as reporting that

with support of the American government, American arms manufacturers are enthusiastically selling advanced arms to China [Update/Correction, November 8: Indiathank you, peachpeach!] – “such conditions, whichever way, are unattainable for China”. 印度媒体得意地称,在美国政府的支持下,美国军火商踊跃向印度出售先进军备,”这样的条件是中国无论如何都得不到的.”

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev was preparing a trip to India, with a long list of avaliable arms in his hand, too, writes 51junshi.com.

If the – duly concerned – Chinese reporter is right, both the American arms industry and the Indian government are keen on striking big deals – and India would carefully balance its sources, trying to make sure that neither American nor Russian suppliers would become monopolists in the Indian arms market. (Contrary to this perspective, much of the international coverage doesn’t yet seem to see that many long-term and smooth deals ahead.)

But even if concerned, the 51junshi.com article also points out that neither America nor Russia would want the Indian arms industry to absorb their respectively most advanced technology, and thus become a competitor. Besides, America’s preparedness to work with India on nuclear issues had not only been driven by business interests, but by the desire to control the country’s nuclear policies, too. If things were to continue this way, the technological level of India’s arms industry wouldn’t be able to enter the global top ranks. In times of peace, America’s and Russia’s arms industries would happily sell arms to India – in times of war, supplies for their own countries’ armed forces would take precedence. Therefore, India had no reason to be complacent. The current availability of American and Russian arms could turn out to be its Achilles heel (死穴).

As China could rely on its own arms development and manufacturing capacities, India could only lose an arms race, says the article.

This is our suggestion to India: China and India are big countries and they are also neighbors. Only if they live in peace with each other, they can rise for the benefit of their peoples. The times when there was a need to lean on arms purchases for a desire for hegemony are gone. If India wants to turn South Asia into a powder keg, it will only harm itself. 对印度我们提个建议,中印两国都是大国,又是邻居,应该和平相处,才能造福人民,使两国和平崛起。靠购买几件武器就从想称霸的时代已经过去了。印度如果想让南亚成为火药桶,受害的只有印度自己。

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Related
France, Britain: Unprecedented Military Cooperation, Washington Post, November 2, 2010
Taiwan Arms Sales: “A Fly-Head-Sized Benefit”, January 8, 2010

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