India encircled by China’s string of pearls?

July 28, 2009

Many in India believe that Beijing is building special relationships with India’s old foe Pakistan and Sri Lanka and is extending its reach down the Indian Ocean.

China’s ‘String of Pearls’ strategy seems to be surrounding India and has given food for thought to many in New Delhi for quite some time now.

At the G8 summit in L’Aquila recently, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a bid in front of the international community to include India in the United Nations Security Council, which would put it on par with China, which is one of the five permanent members.

Christopher J. Pehrson, author of the book “String of Pearls: Meeting the challenge of china’s rising power across the Asian littoral”, says the ‘String of Pearls’ describes the manifestation of China’s rising geopolitical influence through efforts to increase access to ports and airfields, develop special diplomatic relationships and modernize military forces that extend from the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca, across the Indian Ocean, and on to the Arabian Gulf.

Though India is trying to make a stronghold in South Asia, China seems to have been working consistently over the last four decades to strengthen its south Asian presence and fulfil its ‘String of Pearls’ policy, and that has many in India worried.

Alka Acharya, head of East Asian studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, says that China’s ‘string of pearls’ policy started in the 1980s and its basic aim was to give China increased energy security with refueling stations throughout the world.

But it has helped China project its political and military influence further. Some in India think China’s latest addition to its string of pearls is the Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka.

Construction on the first phase began last year with Chinese funding, and the whole $1 billion project is expected to finish by 2023.

B. Raman, a retired senior government official, has written a paper on the project of Hambantota port in which he mentions that “the Chinese interest is more strategic than purely commercial. It is very unlikely that Sri Lanka would allow the Chinese Navy to use Hambantota against India. But a Chinese naval presence in Hambantota would add to the concerns of the Indian Navy by increasing the vulnerability of the South to pressures from the Chinese Navy.”

Raman also mentions in his paper that China had helped Pakistan with a similar project in Gwadar on the Mekran coast in Balochistan.

The first phase of construction has already been completed and the port was given a nod when Pervez Musharraf was the president.

When it is done, Hambantota is likely to have an aviation fuel storage facility and a liquefied natural gas refinery. The first phase will have bunkering facilities to refuel ships that pass the nearby shipping lanes, among the world’s busiest.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says India has nothing to worry about because the project is strictly a commercial venture.

India though is taking no chances and is increasing its troops along the northeastern border so as to prevent any further infiltration of Chinese soldiers, who had illegally entered Indian territory last year.

A retired intelligence officer who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said China had begun building a road in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the early 1970s.

“We had got hold of a source who told us that China was building a road from China- Gilgit- Neelam Valley, they had also planned a number of tunnels and bridges in places where roads couldn’t be constructed,” the officer said.

The status of the road is not known, some say it is still under construction.

The Karakoram Highway, which connects China’s Xinjiang region with Pakistan’s north, can also be seen as one of China’s pearls. The highway, called the ninth wonder of the world by some because of its altitude, was completed in 1986 after 20 years of construction.

The road opened up China-Pakistan trade and gave both of India’s rivals a fast route through the mountains, not far from the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Should India be worried about China’s String of Pearls, and will the Chinese strategy dampen India’s plans to be the dominant power in South Asia?

60 comments

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Indian’s deserve to be dominated by the Chinese, as what they have done to the Tamils in Sri-Lanka. The ruthless Rajepakse government played the India-China chess game to their advantage. It was a very clever move in their part, but mother India would get the brunt of it later on. May be Indians should have thought about the realities before hand.

Posted by Shane | Report as abusive

Getting back to basics India’s strength comes from people like King Asoka of old times and Mahatma Gandhi of this generation. The fact that India has walked away into materialistic ways has made its neighbors suspect them. India does not have many friends in Sri Lanka, if you look at the Sri Lankan news papers and read the comments from politicians of all parties you understand it. China on the other hand is all business and provide what is negotiated fully and completely and never gets involved in the Internal Politics therefore when the real need is there they seem to be able to prevail.And they also seem to treat their customers well in times of their need. Straight deals no bribes to accept defaults no cutting corners, that’s what is normally expected in a business deal and China provides it.

Posted by Sen Siv | Report as abusive

…if we look through yellow glass,…its obvious that everything will look like yellowish,..and given the current scenario, China and India are developing giants, and future will be witnessing “cold war” in all the spectrum from business to military matters…!!!God bless India….!!!

Absolutely, India should be worried. We Tamils are saying this to India for very long time. Tamils in Sri Lanka are friends of India. But Indian intelligence community refuse to hear us and helped Sri Lanka kill more than 100,000 Tamils. NOW India cannot count on Tamils in Northern Sri Lanka to help her in anyway. Sri Lanka became another province for China. I think it is too late for India to bully Sri Lanka now. Sri Lanka became another Myanmar. Only STOPPING GENOCIDE of Tamils in Sri Lanka and recognize Tamil Eelam will be beneficial to India. Otherwise China will dominate South Asia. Just my opinion

Posted by Ananth | Report as abusive

I would love to see a good all or nothing Asian war Ala WWIII, to think every one always thought that it would be NATO Vs Warsaw.This explains the Question I posed over why in gods name would India want modern nuclear subs?

Posted by Boom | Report as abusive

Yes we need to be worried. If we are contained within the South-East Asia region and not allowed to develop as a Regional Power by China then how do we expect to be accepted as a super power.China’s focussed approach since 60′s has paid rich dividends and I feel a major flaw with us is a weak Political will, which often lead to frequent shifts in National Policies.U.S may prop us as a strategic ally to counter growing influence of China.But, if India do not live upto behaving like a regional power, then it won’t take much time either for U.S to shift and strike strategic relationship with China itself.Military aims have become secondary in today’s world, and so has been truly identified by the China’s policy makers , who have rather gone for controlling the major energy resources (both static as well as shipping lines) all around the South Asia. On the other hand, it seems India still remains woven in its 1962 debacle and thus expecting China to yet again try an all out classic military aggression.A very well written and thought provoking article, it does leave behind questions that we need to answer. Choice is ours whether to do it now as a although delayed but yet proactive measure or sleep on it till we have to once again set committees to retrospect and right reports which will never ever get declassified.

Posted by viga | Report as abusive

May be China’s ‘String of Pearls’ strategy provide better stability and security for the whole region than Indian domination. India never took a leadership in a fair and consistent way. Indian political system is highly corrupt and can not provide a stable security. And also, we all know, China is going to be the next superpower like it or not. I think, it may be good for India to work with China as Japan does with US for its own and global benefit. It is impossible to stop brake in China’s emergence and it is the time to accept the reality. As we all know, US economy is bailed out by Chinese currency not by Obama’s policy.

Posted by Lin | Report as abusive

ah and then they can all get some fair and lovely cream

Posted by NANDAKUMAR | Report as abusive

@Raashi Bhatia”Should India be worried about China’s String of Pearls, and will the Chinese strategy dampen India’s plans to be the dominant power in South Asia?”-Before we ask these questions, we should ask:1. What is the definition of “dominant power”?–militarily or economically?2. Did India really want to be dominant power? If India had plans India would have done something along these lines, I see no such signs. Gifting away the UN permamnent membership to CHINA (ROC; PRC got it later), COCO Island to Burma is an evidence that India of Nehru did not care if India is a dominant player.@”Should India be worried about China’s String of Pearls, and will the Chinese strategy dampen India’s plans to be the dominant power in South Asia?”-Yes India should be worried–into action. China is an established economic power in the world, so also in Asia. All this “dominant power in South Asia” or elsewhere is based on the economic growth of India in 1990s. But that was due to India with its back against the wall, not due to its careful planning to be the dominant power.The worry is that whether a nation wants to be a dominant power or not, it should maximize its geo-political-ecomical advantages. Here comes the worry since China, which obviously is not a friend of India, is breathing down its neck and in India-China confortation this commercial interests of China will come handy. I do not think India lost on economic front so far or has it?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Sonya and her family was only focussing on eliminating the LTTE leader whilst putting India’s interest to the second. The Chinese have quietly been working on their long term goals, one which is the ‘String of Pearls’ concept. Their involvement in development and preservation of future food, water and energy supplies, in anticipation of economic and population expansion of the region explains why they are suddenly finding ‘new friends’ in the African continent. Securing shipping lanes for the movement of the above will be realized by way of their String of Pearls approach. India has missed the boat and wasted an excellent opportunity by letting Srilanka into the clutches of China.

Posted by Mayamaan | Report as abusive

India has no friends in its neighbors thanks to appointed leaders of India’s traditional culture of family bandism, cronyism and nepotism. India helped in the dirty war in Sri Lanka and is directly responsible for the 1000s of deaths and sufferings of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. If at all India pursuades Sri Lanka to distance itself from China(which is very unlikely) then the Tamils of Sri Lanka can turn to China for mutual benefits. Bottom line- China is in Sri Lanka to stay for good!India has more worries than just that. They are busy quelling a rebellion by the 300 million or more Dalits who are up in arms over discrimination. Until India begins to respect human rights, it should not be granted a place in the already useless Security Council.

Posted by Bellcurve | Report as abusive

India’s real friends are the Eelam tamils – and not the Sinhalese. Yet, the present administration foolishly sided with the Sinhala government in Srilanka. I only wish they had looked in to the past history of Srilanka. Sinhalese hate the Indians- whether it is north or the south Indians. This has been their behaviour for so many centuries.it is mind boggling how the pundits at the South block in New Delhi get cheated by a small country like Srilanka all the time. What India did was a short term ploicy. They will reap for this colosal blunder very soon. By that time, it will be too late – to get the support of the Tamils.This policy was nothing but stupid

Posted by shan haran | Report as abusive

In my opinion India should take over Sri Lanka as its next state. China has already stepped in to Sri Lanka. Delay will have further damage to India. Its also a bad move how India co-operated with Sri Lankan government again the Tamils

Posted by karan Paul | Report as abusive

Sri Lanka is not India’s friend at all. Sri Lanka always an allies of China, S L supported China and Pakistan in the last wars. Sri Lanka used India to destroy LTTE and thousands of Tamils along with them. There was an article published, in Defence Ministry of Sri Lanka which was written by Jeyasooria who is a friend of the Defence Minister Gotapaya Rajapakse, said that India should mind its own business, who are they to tell us What to do with Tamils and what how to treat them and so on.Sinhalese afraid that India will make Sri Lanka as their colony, this was the reason when Rajive Ghandi visited to Sri Lanka to sign agreement with previous President J R Jayawardene, the soldier hit Rajiv with in gun, and he narrowly escaped. Later, the soldier said in the courts that he doesn’t want India to interfere in our country’s matter that was the reason he hit him. Apparantly, that was set up by a high Sinhalese Officials. Sri Lanka always is friend of China and will be. India lost its diplomacy battle, not Tamils, but sadly thousands of them were killed by the brutal Sri Lankan army with the help of 20 countries as Sri Lanka says, including China, India, Pakistan and many other countries.

Posted by Vani | Report as abusive

Most of the time actions you do comes back to bite you. India deserve this very much.

Posted by Mano | Report as abusive

Dear Raashi, the topic that you discuss here is fascinating. I would like to find out more about Sri Lanka’s geopolitical importance in this Indian-Chinese rivalry in the Indian Ocean. Specifically I’m interested to know your thoughts about the American factor in all of this, and how the U.S. might approach the new post-war era in Sri Lanka to advance America’s own geopolitical and strategic interests.Your blog did not mention anything about the Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee, the third deepest natural harbor in the world, long believed to be coveted by the U.S. Navy as a potentially prime parking lot for American nuclear submarines. Could the Chinese and Americans be competing against one another to establish rival naval bases in Sri Lanka?In the meantime, I shall post a link to your blog to my new blogging site about Sri Lanka. I invite you it check it out and contribute any comments at http://www.lankapeacewatch.com. IMRAN VITTACHI.

Well, China & India are two countries with 110 + Million people and both of them trying to uplift their population out of poverty. One being doing it in a Communistic way other being in Democratic way, this will again go into a similar situation as we have seen in cold war era. World would have to decide which way they want to go, being Communism already dead, I don’t think personally, world would welcome China as a super power whole heartedly, may be some oppurtunistic poor countries in South-east Asia would for short term gains, this is where India should work.Pakistan is a maniac country who tends to participate and play in every dispute across the world, and has a special love for India, so no suprise.

Posted by foolsparadise | Report as abusive

The Tamils who have been betrayed over & over by India, now has the chance to turn the situation in favour to them. Tamil Nadu should extend its hand to China, and become more strategic players in the current geopolitics. Tamil Nadu dravidians who has been subjected systematic discrimination by the aryans and brahimns dominated India. Now it is the Tamil Nadu’s chance to turn the situation in favour by establishing new relationship with China.

Posted by Wong | Report as abusive

Divided we fall. United we stand.India needs to align closely with Japan, S. Korea, Australia, US and Russia. When big transparent powers transact openly, evil commi forces will hide in the dark.China will only create failed rogue nations like N. Korea, Pakistan, Burma and hide behind them.People and Governments of Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka are wiser and they are only playing Chinese as long as they need money. But it will be hard for Chinese to kill muslims at Xinjiang, Buddhists in Tibet and make friends with Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Sooner or later, Pakistan is going to explode on Chinese face in Xinjiang.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

Originaly Sri Lanka is part of India. India should takeover Sri Lanka and govern as a 2 seperate states so India will have 27 states Sinhela State for Sinheles and Tamil State for (North, East & Upcountry of Sri Lanka) for tamils, before China took control over Sri Lanka. If India fail to do this ASAP the whole India would be taken over by Chiness by surprise. India!!! open you eyes and act decisivly now, before your throt geeting choped off by chinees.

Posted by Davis | Report as abusive

It was India which was heavily lobbying in favour of Sri-Lankan government to conduct the genocidal war against the Tamils. Tamils are now being, locked up Nazi alike concentration camps, subjected sexual abuses, torture & killing with full backing of IndiaTamil Nadu should extend an olive branch to China, and become strategic partner. Tamil Nadu has been for centuries being ill treated by India, and India would keep Tamils as 2nd class citizens both in Tamil Nadu, as well in Sri-Lanka. China has strategic interest in Kanniyakumari to secure the oil route. Tamil Nadu has a chance to become a strategic players in the South Asian region

As a Moderate I shared the views to some intelligent youths in Bangalore. What India should worry really than the petty Rajeev past! Only reaction I saw in those tallented youths were arrogence.The way Tamils see India as a grandma and the way India behaved as a stepma. If Bahavat Gitta is right India deserves anayalation by it’s neighbours Pakistan, China and Srilanka for Karma it brought upon it self.

Posted by Sami | Report as abusive

India is a great country. We do not need to be a super power. We want to be a good regular country. Let the Chinese have Sri Lanka. We do not want to worry about all these unwanted issues. Lets the Chinese spend their money. Who cares.

Posted by Suresh | Report as abusive

Indian congress must be punished for the Tamil Genocide. Still helping for sri lanka in UN human right councle, IMF loan… Congress has bloodstain hand, over 50,000 tamils blood. Sri lanka is puppet of india & china.

Sino-Indian factor forces US to help Lankahttp://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/ story.aspx?Title=Indian%20factor%20favou rs%20Lanka&artid=9WLggu98AcY=&SectionID= oHSKVfNWYm0=&MainSectionID=oHSKVfNWYm0=& SectionName=VfE7I/Vl8os=&SEO=LTTE,%20Hil lary%20Clinton,%20IMFChina Crosses the Rubiconhttp://www.kosovotimes.net/projec t-syndicate/570-china-crosses-the-rubico n.htmlWithout that Chinese backing, Rajapaska’s government would have had neither the wherewithal nor the will to ignore world opinion in its offensive against the Tigers. So, not only has China become central to every aspect of the global financial and economic system, it has now demonstrated its strategic effectiveness in a region traditionally outside its orbit. On Sri Lanka’s beachfront battlefields, China’s “peaceful rise” was completed.

India trying save sri lanka from war crime, but it can’t save itself from china.

for every reaction there is a opposite reaction,india lost its natural allies in srilanka and baluchistan.

Posted by karan | Report as abusive

nobody in China give a damn about INdia, except warn each other don’t behave and think like INdian do.So, indian friends, don’t boasting that China even the the trouble to “encircle” india.Comeone, have some commonsense for a change, China has bigger fish to fry.Isha

Posted by isha | Report as abusive

India has submitted to the US recently, both in politiawcal and military terms. It’s politicians will now behave no better than Karzai, in running India for the benefit of the US rather than the locals. US bases in India within the next decade?

Posted by Ram2009 | Report as abusive

This story is an old story for Tamils of Eelam.Chck an old discussion…http://www.tamilnation.org/in tframe/indian_ocean/index.htm

Posted by Thamil Mainthan | Report as abusive

I frankly dont get it. Was the above opinion about Chinese designs in the Indian Ocean region or was it about Indo-Lanka relation? To settle one thing first. We Tamils have always been an integrated part of the Indian mainland. Make no mistake.. the interests of Tamilains better served by staying integrated rather than by rabble rousing hotheaded talk of making an alliance with China. Nothing can be more ridiculous. Especially when we know the Chinese are like parasites. Their interest is in furthering theie national cause than that of Tamils.Coming to the main issue of Chinese intentions…well.. they seem to be working to a plan and they have been consistent. They take every oppurtunity they get wether in Nepal (support for the commie govt) or Pakistan (Gwadar naval base), Myanmar (Coco island has virtally been handed over to them for their naval base), Bangladesh or now Sri Lanka. A military confrontation would be foolish and should be ruled out given the present state of our armed forces. Under the circumstances the best solution would seem to industrialisation and development at a faster pace. Economic and industrial strength would eventually lead to military strength. All this provided government thinks longterm and not untill the next election. This will take a long time has a better chance of success.-Arun

Posted by Arun Rajan | Report as abusive

Should India worry about Chinese encirclement?Yes, but only from the point of view of startegic business interests. In the coming years, the competition is economic rather than militaristic. On this front India is way behind China. India will take atleast 10 more years to be truly an economic giant, the way China is seen today and this is primarily because liberalisation in China started almost 10 years before India’s. But in the long run when people will have to choose between two economic giants for business then they will choose India over China as the processes are transparent here (though very corupt in the current state). But you won’t have a Rio Tinto case in India. That is one thing that can scare business partners.Militarily, to an extent fomenting seperatist attitute will play a part in destabilising a nation but all countries involved will be vulnerable to this problem. China can also burn like Kashmir in Xinjiang. And a defeat there will go a long way in giving a moral boost to Tibet. India is vulnerable in Kashmir and North East. So both countries will tread that path very carefully.A full scale war between the two countries is a bit too far fetched.

Posted by Aman | Report as abusive

i find the various tamil postings incredulous; despite legitimate tamil differences with india, china’s track record on minority rights is orders of magnitude worse than india’s, and it is hard to conceive of china not exploiting tamil markets for its own purpose irrespective of any benefits for tamils – witness africa and xinjiang. the “string of pearls” is a euphemism for the hangman’s noose.

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

As a Sri Lankan, let me say that there is no chance that China or any other country will use us against India. China is a friendly country. But India is like our brother. We do not have a habit of going against family.This article has been written from the ‘white’ perspective. The West wants to encircle China and they are trying the scare India in to allying itself with them. The Indian elite is not stupid to believe such stories. In the 21st century, competition will be for commercial rights and there will be two great Asian nations – China AND India – both winners. The rest of us, the small countries will be happy to see both Asian giants succeed, so that the white colonialists can be kept out.

Posted by Chat | Report as abusive

There are three powerful paraya nations in the world. Two already have veto power (Russia & China) and one wants the veto power. These paraya nations should be outcaste. Never trust parasites!!

Posted by kari de silva | Report as abusive

A very insightful and timely piece. This article is a good kaleidoscopic view of the shrewd power games within Asia and it raises some valid issues that Indian policy makers are already dealing with but common masses are unaware of.The Indian state is certainly worried about China’s moves on the chess board. After all, in the entire region, China and India are the two major rivals and competitors. Because of their huge sizes, population and growing economies, the two will continue struggling for greater power. If India were not worried, it would not work laboriously to advance its naval defense and ballistic missile program. However India is also cautious in antagonizing China directly just the way US and USSR chose to fight indirectly during the cold war. Nuclear and economic powers can’t afford to go for a full-fledged war, therefore this constant upping of the ante. The concerns about China’s String of Pearls is as real as this article suggests. India will have to respond strategically and cautiously so that it doesn’t end up in a bigger confrontation with China but at the same time manage its security, access to resources and economic progress.

Posted by Singh | Report as abusive

@Make no mistake.. the interests of Tamilains better served by staying integrated rather than by rabble rousing hotheaded talk of making an alliance with China. Nothing can be more ridiculous. Especially when we know the Chinese are like parasites. Their interest is in furthering theie national cause than that of Tamils.”-posted by Arun—At last someone finally got it right. My sympathies with Tamilians in SL but Arun, you got it right.Trust and Chinese are mutually exclusive. China is going around with 1 billion $ cash in pocket, states with a line that is much familiar to Indians the “five principles for peaceful coexistence in international relations” to small states. China has one policy—their own interests and they are on it ruthlessly.Am I the only one who has trouble with some thickheads who fail to understand that Chinese planes given free to SriLanka, Chinese Arms, China/Pakistan collaborative effort killed the Tamilans much like Uighur Muslim crackdown and Tibet Buddhist crackdown by China and ruthless killing of civilians using helicopter gunships and planes in SWAT and elsewhere in Pakistan. India is out of the scene. The only interpretation is that India did not support Tamils but that does not mean India killed them or is it a rocket science to understand?China attacks India type stuff is all trash talk. With globalization, the stakes for everyone are such that even if one wants to attack, the consequences are such that it pushes the countries behind by many years. The India-China trade size is monstrous. No powerful nation for its own sake likes to see other one sink. Just think if any one of India, USA, China totally collapses. have not you heard these days leaders going around wishing that the economy of the other country bounces back–no altrusim here only self interest. Wall street down fall hits Japanse stock exchange. It is the economy that matters these days.But I agree that Indian diplomats are not very crafty. India needs a who fleet of diplomats–both quantity and quality. These guys are the one who will help India do successful mulitasking not time passing and filling the chairs.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Too late.India\’s foreign policy is a reactive one. After Indra Gandhi, Indian foreign policy is hijacked by visionless and worthless heads. For e.g. Nehru and Indra\’s plan on non-aligment movement is headed by India as a third force. But now Indian heads are sleeping in the NAM while few others trying to make it themselve inroads.As many people says India\’s policy towards Sri Lanka made the world laugh at India. After WWII it is a common world order that damage to the people are minimal on any issue. But on Sri Lankan issue, India\’s voice went against the humanity.

India made a terrible mistake by participating Sri Lanka’s genocide of Tamils. Just to avenge the killing of Rajiv, Sonia and other Congress party members have done a heinous crime against humanity by aiding to kill tens of thousands of Tamil women and children. India also protected Sri Lankan war criminals from international investigation. India’s foolish act of siding with Sri Lanka will only strengthen China. India would pay a big price for its mistakes. It would be too late for India when China surrounds India, and India sinks under mushroom shaped clouds…

Posted by John Alagiah | Report as abusive

it is possible china can colonise srilanka and pakistan.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

India is the biggest looser by supporting Sri Lanka in the Eelam Sri Lanka conflict. Last Indo Pakistan war Sri Lanka openly supported Pakistan, where as Tamils supported India and Indra Gandhi rewarded them by providing military training. Today Sonia Gandhi has made India very weak country. India should realise that China cannot be trusted as China attached Northern India and captured vast land after it signed a peace accord with Nehru. India should wake smell the cup of coffee before it is too late. India may bank on USA but she will do nothing as she is heavily indebted to China. She too will loose her secret base, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Tamils will rise from ashes but India and USA are doomed.

Though by birth I am Indian I admit Chinese may survive not the Indians. why? Chinese leaders will little care about their people & their country however Indian leaders are very much worried about their party & their own pocket. I bet with that much corruption and greed for money they can very well sell the whole country in part or whole to anyone who is ready to buy or pay the politician, no fight and all. It may be bitter to many fellow Indians but that is the bitter reality!

Posted by Karikaalan T | Report as abusive

While officially nonaligned, India `leaned` towards the Soviet Union during cold war years. Like most small nations next to a giant and powerful neighbor, Sri Lanka distrusted and feared India. It needed some powerful friends, even if from far off, and thus leaned towards the United States of America. It also tilted towards India`s archenemy in the north, Pakistan. During the 1971 India-Pakistan war over the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan to refuel its Air Force planes on way from West Pakistan to East Pakistan at Trincomalee a clearly anti-Indian stance. India could not do anything about it.Sri Lanka views the much larger and powerful neighbor India with suspicion and fear ever since independence, and its attitude was hostile or at best `unfriendly.` There was a change in Sri Lanka`s attitude towards India around the mid-1980s. This was the time that Tamil freedom fighters gained enough strength capable of challenging the Sri Lankan Army. Suddenly Sri Lanka changed its stance towards India from `unfriendly` to `friendly` because it wanted India to stop helping the Tamil freedom fighters and start helping the Sri Lankan military. Now the rebellion is defeated, We can see Sri lanka shift towards China and remain a huge threat to India. Historical evidence shows that clearly.

Posted by Arul | Report as abusive

The Indian Betrayal! ………….is it too late!As the Communist ideology has been flourishing in Kerala for many years, the Chinese interest in that State is undoubtedly obvious.Under the Chinese Intelligence, the Keralites were subtly advised to take up Hindi and English more seriously in its Education system.These had been the base level strategy to infiltrate as many government services in order to have a firm intelligence gathering and tacit decision making in favor of Communist China since Krishna Menon (time of Nehru) until Shiv Shanker Menon.The Chinese connection has been tilting the favors towards China against India in the geopolitical sense. One can say this by assessing the damage in dealing with Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Katcha Theevu and Arunachal Pradesh.History will speak for itself the involvement of Keralites on all the said issues in shaping the Indian foreign policies which had inclination towards Chinese long term needs. They have set India at receiving end from all their neighbors. India was set to realize a bit too late of the domino effect!Obviously India is facing the final phase of this domino effect!The Four classic examples are:-1] India’s’ currency being printed in Nepal, China and Pakistan2] The growing feeling of alienation that the people of Arunachal Pradesh feel towardsIndia so much so that they asked in Delhi if they are from China.3] The tacit support of both the Keralites, Shiv Shanker Menon and MK Narayanan forChinese to make strong Inroads into Sri Lanka in the pretext of “War againstTerrorism”.4] A Chinese consortium had won the initial contract to develop Vizhinjam Kerala in2006. The bid was eventually denied security clearance by the Indian authorities.Even to win the initial contract by Chinese speaks volume of undergroundChina-Kerala Connection.India’s fundamental flaw for not placing an effective monitoring machinery to avoid one particular race/state/caste domination in the national essential services and Intelligence bodies had worked against India’s security from within.Apparently the Chinese had noticed and exploited this gap from the time Krishna Menon.The current appointment of Ms Nirupama Rao from Kerala in replacement of Shiv Shanker Menon is another continuity of the Indian Stupidityl. It only reflects weakness in Indian internal machinery in safeguarding India’s regional security policies.Will India ever wake up to notice the enemy within………………..or is it too late!

Posted by CLIPS | Report as abusive

A very nice article. China is slowly increasing its presence in the Indian subcontinent which is unfortunately marred by political and religious unrest. While India\’s so-called secular government is happy receiving applause from western countries for criticizing political and religious unrest in neighboring countries, China is using these events at its best by providing financial, militarily and political assistance. I just hope that one day we don\’t end up landlocked by the hostile string of Chinese pearls.

Posted by beedu | Report as abusive

This is a very well written article!

Posted by Ssaanya | Report as abusive

Man, Human race is paranoid by birth.This is a competition in the business sense and not a war. And in this competition, India is competing with China while China is competing with US. For all those who want to compare India and China, there is only one similarity growth rates. But still China is a much much bigger giant than India is. So if our neighbors are scared of India because of its size then I don’t understand why are they comfortable with China.Also, communism in India as well as Nepal is democratic in nature. More in the lines of a welfare state. Communism in India and Nepal is not like a totalitarian government, which will crush any dissent with excessive opression the way it happens in China.China will not attack India for simple reason of economics.1. The trade volume is huge and they can’t let go of a huge and very lucrative market.2. Though they have military superiority, India is no pushover and this is not 1960′s. So they themselves will suffer a lot.Though there have been aggressive posturing by both the sides but they have not captured and retained each other’s territories. China voluntarily marched back and gave the entire captured north east regions after the war in 1962. Aksai Chin in their control was given to them by Pakistan, so they didn’t take it forcibly from India.Moreover, the main distrust between India and China is regarding Tibet moreso since the Tibet government in Exile operates from India and China doesn’t see this a friendly gesture. In return of this favour, China has provided support to Pakistan and Burma, who in turn are known to provide support to seperatists. I don’t know the involvement of China in supporting these networks.As for Sri Lanka, India has good enough ties with the country and Chinese influence is limited to business deals.India has lagged behind diplomatically in getting into business agreements with its neighbours, whether be it bilateral or multilateral. China has influence over the world because of its huge forex reserves and manufacturing prowess (because of lower costs). India will also compete in this in the longer run but as of now it will have to contend with the tag of soft power.

Posted by Aman | Report as abusive

Sri Lankans including many Tamils do not forgive India for training and supporting the Tamil Tigers which caused so much destruction. When Rajiv Ghandi was blown up by a Tiger they said ” he got what he deserved”.India should act like a decent neighbour and not as an imperialist thug to win the hearts & minds of Sri Lankans.And that is in India’s strategic interest. Indian help to defeat the Tigers is well appreciated.Indian Government must ensure that RAW is kept in check and sack any Edgar Hoovers (FBI).CIA, MI5, KGB,ISI, RAW , FBI etc tend to ignore their temporary political masters and persue their own agendas.So India should push for the 13th Amendment imposed by Rajiv and back off.India can bomb Sri Lanka but never control it. The Sinhalese were good guerilla fighters in the past and can bleed India to its economic death a la Vietnam.Indian Army was defeated by even the Tigers causing over 1000 Indian casualties. Many Tamils hate the Indian soldiers who had robbed them of jewellery etc.Iran,China,Pakistan,Bangla Desh,Nepal & Burma all will support Sri Lanka agaist India.So let’s share our common heritage and live with mutual respect.

India should not be paranoid about the Chinese helping Sri Lanka with a new port at Hambantota. It is a normal commercial transaction and anyway it is not India’s business. India’s jitters – if she does feel any – are probably due to her own record of meddling in the affairs of her neighbours – as for instance in helping the formation of Bangladesh and training, financing and arming Tamil terrorists in India. Does she suspect China of being as untrustworthy as she has been? If India is true to the virtues she so loudly preaches and desists from playing Big Brother to her smaller neighbours she will be able to rely on their loyalty. It is up to her to choose the role she wants to play.

Posted by cassandra | Report as abusive

Why do people think economics will prevent war? Historically, war is most likely to erupt between major trading partners. China is imperialist. The Han dominate many foreign cultures right now and force them to remain a part of China. They will spread their influence around India and then make India a puppet state.

Posted by Remembers | Report as abusive

China is not competing with India, she is competing with rest of the world. Chinese are well aware of the big players in this world and their hold on energy. For countries like India and China, unfortunately we will have to look for energy sources outside of our countries, for that to achieve we have to be financially, strategically well positioned. It is just a game of survival, they will protect their interest no matter what, and if anyone thinks war is not possible option then they are mistaken. If not a direct war, it will be proxy war.Call it a String of Pearls or Global Presence or World police, these exist with different names throughout the history of humans. China is determined to get what she wants to survive. Unlike western world where people understand the importance of energy and the demand for water and food, Chinese and Indian citizens still need to understand that mother earth cannot produce unlimited resources. To survive and live a comfortable life we have to work hard and have great discipline to achieve it, and Chinese are achieving that by communism and twisting the arms of their citizens. Unfortunately Indians cannot do that in democratic society, we have to understand that for greater good of India and her people, we will have to come out of this precarious situation soon, we will have become self sufficient in science, engineering and agriculture.

Posted by Satish | Report as abusive

Up untill today the Indian Government hasn’t found its position in the geopolitical world. It blindly follows what the west tells it. Like its Govt., media channels accept whatever the West media feed them. Indian Govt is not an independent Govt in essence. Indian people still largely live in a colony mentality. Look at how they admire the rich and discriminate the poor. There is no basic amenities for the majority rural population in this country.

Posted by Straight-talker | Report as abusive

China clearly has aspirations to have a strong naval presence to protect its energy supply routes. This implies it anticipates a conflict in that area. We need a strong and independent India that can protect its sea routes and deter China from future aggression or coercion.

Posted by bart | Report as abusive

@India should act like a decent neighbour and not as an imperialist thug to win the hearts & minds of Sri Lankans.- Posted by Asoka Kuruppu-Buddy, I see you are trying to act like a little bully here.I also think India should act like an imperiliast power and justify your allegations. Stay within your limits and know them. It is due to India that SL is free of LTTE trouble and India govt is facing problems at home for that. Blame them for good reasons and have a sense of gratitude for good reason. Just know your strengths and limitations and depending upon foregn powers does not make you any strong. Just remember that Golden crutches look beautuful but at the same time tell how handicapped you are. In a real war type sitution, you do not even have those crutches yet. Just behave.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@Why do people think economics will prevent war? Historically, war is most likely to erupt between major trading partners. China is imperialist. The Han dominate many foreign cultures right now and force them to remain a part of China. They will spread their influence around India and then make India a puppet state.-Posted by Remembers-would you like to give several examples to support your statement?Rest is mostly laughable.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

China is out to get India. And the our neighbours will join the fun. For them, its an opportunity to hedge against India and for China its a great opportunity to protect its energy routes, get access to the Indian Ocean and keep India under check.

Posted by GoonerDP | Report as abusive

So all these talk about India shining was a farce.Only rich are shinig in India.Why all our neighbouring countries including Hindu Nepal have strategic ties with China is definitely a need for soul searching for us.Now our defence minister is going to Muslim Maldives for strategic ties to counter china. Will BJP if comes to power reverse this decision or will they swallow their pride and continue this relationship with this muslim country ?

India’s progress in Industry and Software and general economic progress worries China which indulges in acts of cheap desperation. I agree with Indian Patriot that in the next decade India will hold its own in this World.There will not be an unprovoked 1962 like aggression as India will not take it lying down this time.I think as a nation we must boycott cheap Chinese products anyway and ensure that they do not gain from us.China is to a large extent is influenced by Buddhism which took roots in India and spread from here. Hence their people are likely to be peaceful in nature – except the Communist driven Army which acts under orders not neccessarily out of reverence for the nation but due to compulsions on the other hand the Indian Army is committed with Passion, Patriotism and Honor which boost the quality of our forces over the Chinese numbers.We have seen Indians outperform the Chinese in American Universities. China is jealous of India’s progress and fears being overtaken economically.I would urge the world to unite against the Chinese and boycott their cheap goods and products to ensure they are stifled economically.Sateesh S Magal

Posted by SATEESH MAGAL | Report as abusive

Chinese irrevelant strong cliams on India’s northeastern most province of Arunachal Pradesh & a part of Kashmir, objecting the seperate visits of Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and Dalai Lama, frequent deep intrusion in the Indian territory, Sailing in the Indian Ocean near Indian teriirory, Supporting Pakista, its Army and helping build them infraqstructure in the disputed Indian Kashmir. Pushing opium and fake money in the Indian market, has made India to take the dialogue process seriously with China. India’s deployment of 200 Su 30MKI in the Arunachal Pradesh was an answer but we don’t want any military action.
Developing ports in the neighbouring countries, supporting Pakistan to develop infrastructure on disputed Indian territory is what China doing. If China doesnt recognize Kashmir, then we should also not Recognize tibet as Chinese part, and should declare Taiwan independent

~With Regards
Sanskar
http://enewsreport.blogspot.com

Posted by sanskar27 | Report as abusive

[...] Beijing is now building a special relationship with Sri Lanka, and it is believed China is now further projecting its political and military influence within the region through the construction of the Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka.  Construction is expected to be completed by 2023, and will cost the Chinese government $US1 billon. [...]

China’s containment policy against India is just part of its larger geo-political struggle against the U.S in Asia.It’s no secret that the main purpose of the recent strengthening of alliances between the U.S and the rest of Asia such as those with south korea Japan and India is to deny China dominance of Asian affairs. Since India is seen to be the largest power within Asia within the next 30yrs alongside China. Straddling India before they get out of hand is China’s best counter-strategy.

Posted by rc231 | Report as abusive