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On China

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Attached are a few articles, and in my opinion India should weaponise and
deploy nukes. It is in the best interests of our future strategic interests.

Pioneer, Mar.,02, '00..
China edgy over Clinton s India visit
J Mohan Malik
Subduing India without fighting it is China s long-term strategic plan for
South Asia.
Washington s policy towards India has now emerged as a new source of tension
between the world s reigning
super power and Asia s rising superpower in addition to the traditional
Sino-US frictions over Taiwan and the
theatre of missile defences in Asia.
Concerned over what Beijing sees as a recent pro-India tilt in Washington s
South Asia policy, Chinese
diplomats have been behind-the-scenes pleading with the Clinton
Administration to show a more balanced
approach by putting Beijing s most favoured ally Pakistan on President
Clinton s South Asia itinerary. Secretary
of State Madeline Albright s assurance that China should not be overly
nervous but should take into account the
efforts being made to improve dialogue with the world s largest democracy
has apparently not succeeded in
allaying Chinese concerns.
Interestingly, in 1998 when President Clinton was preparing to visit China,
Beijing had insisted that he was
welcome only if he visited China because a visit to Washington s ally,
Japan, would be tantamount to playing
the Cold War- era balance-of-power politics. However, Beijing s policy
towards the subcontinental rivals has
long been based on the classic strategic principle of make the barbarians
fight while you watch from the mountain
top (zuo shan guan hu dou). After all, the main objective of China s Asia
policy has always been to prevent the
rise of an Asian rival or a peer competitor to challenge its status as the
Asia-Pacific s sole Middle Kingdom .
Since China is effectively checkmated in East Asia by three great powers
Russia, Japan and the US, Beijing has
long seen South and Southeast Asia as its spheres of influence and India as
the main obstacle to achieving its
strategic objective of regional supremacy in southern Asia. Needless to say,
Beijing s gradual but subtle
penetration deep into Southern Asia in the second half of the 20th century
has been primarily at India s expense.
Here it is worth recalling that historically and civilisationally, India
never played a second fiddle to China. It
was the 1947 Partition that broke up the strategic unity of the subcontinent
which goes back 2,000 years to the
first Mauryan empire. Then came the Chinese annexation of Tibet in 1950.
These two
developments have allowed China to extend its reach and influence into a
region where it had historically and
civilisationally exercised no influence at all.
China s determination to keep India and Japan from challenging its claim to
be the only Asian global power has
now made it quite edgy about evolving US ties with Beijing s Asian rivals.
Beijing fears the logic and pull of
geopolitics is pushing New Delhi and Tokyo to strategic alliance with the US
so as to contain China. Many
Chinese strategists even argue that India s nuclear tests in 1998 had the
tacit approval of the US, which wants to
enlist India as a frontline state against China.
The Chinese have told President Clinton what they want him to accomplish in
New Delhi: get India s
signatures on both the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in
accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1972. We are concerned
that the United States will make a
compromise with India, to make the President s visit seem more successful.
But the benchmarks must not be
lowered. We must make sure they will never deploy nuclear weapons, that they
sign the CTBT, never test again
and that they never use nuclear weapons, a Chinese diplomat said recently.
This is so even as intelligence sources claim that Beijing has not only
increased its number of nuclear-armed
missiles deployed in Tibet with India-specific targets but also continues
its nuclear and missile collaboration
with Pakistan. Sha Zukang, Director of Foreign Ministry s Arms Control and
Disarmament Division and
Ambassador designate to India, has long maintained that Pakistan had no
option but to go nuclear because of
But India cannot have nuclear weapons because of China. A strange logic
indeed! At the same time, subduing of
India without fighting in the classic Sun Tzu tradition is critical to the
PLA s long-term strategy of regional
dominance. Beijing fears that if the US-China relationship deteriorates into
a new cold war, India could play the
same role in the US security calculus vis-a-vis China that China had played
against the Soviet Union from 1971
to 1989. China has also let it be known that it will exercise veto should an
international consensus emerge in
favour of expanding the UN Security Council to include India as a permanent
member. Depending on who they
are talking to, Chinese leaders, diplomats and academics have been either
warning about the growing Indian
threat to regional peace or belittling India s military capabilities.
Beijing is also watching with interest economic developments, especially
India s growing prowess in
information technology, as the country could emerge as a
potential competitor for foreign investment, technology and markets. If the
21st century s first decade indeed
turns out to be India s decade (in terms of a rapid increase in its economic
and military might) just as the 1990s
belonged to China and the 1980s belonged to Japan, Beijing will have to
devise new strategies to keep India in
For more than half a millennium, Asia has not seen the two giants
simultaneously economically and militarily
powerful. That time seems to be approaching fast. And it is likely to see
new geopolitical realignments in the
region. Much as India would like to remain an independent power picking and
choosing its own friends, China s
grand strategy, especially Beijing s choice of allies to achieve its broader
strategic goals, is likely to push India
into the coalition of anti-China states.

Pioneer, Mar. 4, '00
China plays the proliferation card
J Mohan Malik
Nuclear non-proliferation is high on President Bill Clinton s agenda during
his visit to South Asia.
So it should be on India s agenda too. Mr Robert Walpole, the National
Intelligence Officer for Strategic and
Nuclear Programmes, told a US Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee in
February that both China and
North Korea are continuing their missile technology transfers to Pakistan
and Iran. This testimony came few
months after the CIA had acknowledged that despite China s participation in
the non-proliferation regime,
Beijing still continues to sell dual-use technology, hardware, and
expertise, which are not always explicitly
controlled under the multilateral control regimes. The Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientists recently quoted PLA
generals as saying that if India is accepted into the nuclear club, China
would retaliate by continuing the
proliferation of nuclear technology and devices that are restricted by the
NPT either intentionally or because of
loopholes in its export-import system. In other words, the Chinese are not
only exploiting loopholes in the
non-proliferation treaties but are also threatening to step up their
proliferation activities and this has serious
security implications for both India and the US.
These revelations challenge the view that China has now completed the
transition from a challenger to the
upholder of the global non-proliferation regime. The intelligence reports of
Chinese transgressions also constitute
a violation of undertakings under the Clinton-Jiang Joint Statement on S
Asia of June 1998 which required
China and the US to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology
that could assist programmes in
India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles.
That China was the chief instrument by which Pakistan got its bomb is
well-known. Some US intelligence
reports even claim that one or two nuclear devices that Pakistan tested in
May 1998 were actually Chinese. This
would amount to the violation of the CTBT that Beijing has signed but not
ratified. One reason why China
does not require full-scope safeguards by the recipient country as a
condition of nuclear exports even after joining
the Zangger Committee in 1997 is that this would oblige Beijing to
completely terminate nuclear cooperation
with Pakistan.
Likewise, decade-long US efforts to win Chinese compliance with the
guidelines of the Missile Technology
Control Regime (MTCR) have come to naught. Despite repeated verbal and
written assurances since 1990,
China continues to violate the MTCR by exporting missile equipment and
technology to Islamabad and
Teheran. Interestingly, Beijing has come up with a unilateral, flexible
interpretation of certain MTCR guidelines
to serve its geo-strategic interests as well as those of its allies. That
North Korea now serves as a conduit for
Chinese supplies to Pakistan and Iran was also confirmed by a 1999 Pentagon
intelligence report, which said the
Chinese are proliferating on a consistent basis without technically breaking
agreements with the US .
Interestingly, Pakistan s missile tests are usually preceded by its
scientists paying a pilgrimage to the Middle
New Delhi also needs to closely watch developments in the Taiwan Straits
because Beijing has always expressed
its displeasure over the US arms sales to Taiwan by increasing the flow of
nuclear/missile technology to
Pakistan. Indian policy makers should note how Beijing has paid lip service
to the non-proliferation objectives
or made only those concessions absolutely essential to (a) mend fences with
the West; and, (b) to secure access
to advanced technology but without accepting terms which would substantially
constrain its policy options or
restrict China s nuclear/missile exports. This ambivalence has been
accompanied by deliberate attempts to
exploit the grey areas ( differences of interpretation as in the MTCR case),
ad hoc decision making based on
mixed or contradictory policy preferences and poor export controls. The end
result is that China remains a major
proliferator of weapons of mass destruction.
Neither inducements offered to China by the West (in the form of recognition
of its status as a major power and
the access to world trade, capital, and technology) nor sanctions have
failed to bring a complete end to its
dangerous liaisons with present and would-be bomb makers. Beijing s
customary denials notwithstanding,
China continues to deliberately undermine the non-proliferation regime so as
to achieve its broader strategic
First and foremost is the strategic objective of limiting the US dominance
worldwide. Post-1991 Gulf War,
China made a strategic decision to move closer to Iran and to build up its
defences as a counterweight to US
influence in the Middle East. From China s perspective, the emergence of
additional power centres, albeit far
from its borders (for example, Iran in the Middle East), will provide a
valuable US hostage and preoccupy the
United States, leaving South and South-East Asia to be dominated by China s
growing might. In China s
strategic calculations, faced with two or three regional crises
simultaneously, the US would have to choose
which one is more important for its national security interests, leaving the
other to China to sort out.
Second is to ensure China s pre-eminence of the Asia-Pacific by containing
India and restraining Japan . To take
the heat off its proliferation activities, Beijing has encouraged its
military allies, Islamabad and Pyongyang, to
establish closer nuclear and missile cooperation links since early 1990s. As
per Sun Zi s advice of subduing the
enemy without fighting , China has played something of a double game in
South Asia and Northeast Asia,
having earlier contributed to their destabilisation by transferring nuclear
and missile technologies to its allies
(Pakistan and North Korea) and later offering to help contain the problem of
nuclear/missile proliferation in South
Asia and the Korean Peninsula. Such tactics have buttressed the point that
China s centrality in regional security
issues must be recognised as essential to their resolution. In other words,
proliferation has afforded Beijing the
unique opportunity to successfully play the dual role of a troublemaker and
troubleshooter in South Asia and
North-East Asia. Such a strategy obviates the need for China to pose a
direct threat to Japan or India and allows
Beijing to wield its prestige as a global nuclear power on a higher, calmer
plain while playing the role of a
regional arbiter.
And third is the strategic need to build a network of close allies (Iran,
Pakistan, Burma, North Korea) because all
great powers have strong allies . Just as the US can count on the support of
its allies (Australia, Canada,
Germany, Japan, UK) in times of crisis, so the argument goes, China also
needs the support of strong allies to
secure its interests, particularly in Asia.
Obviously, China s nuclear and missile transfers are motivated by the
strategic considerations of countervailing
India, Japan and the United States, gaining useful allies and securing
access to critical energy resources. Some
transactions may be purely commercial ventures, but most are meant as a
leverage or a bargaining chip to extract
concessions in the form of military assistance or diplomatic influence and
to contain its rivals. The end of the
triangular (US-USSR-PRC) diplomacy of Cold War years has seen China
increasingly playing the proliferation
card because unlike the West, Beijing cannot use international financial
institutions, such as the IMF and World
Bank, or the G-8 clout to bring about desired changes in the behaviour or
policies of other states.
Given China s long record of broken promises, it is safe to conclude that
the Chinese nuclear and missile
cooperation with Pakistan (and Iran) will continue in a substantive manner.
The Chinese play the proliferation
card because it serves their strategic interests. Therefore, Beijing s
denials of any wrongdoing must be taken with
a grain of salt. To Indian defence planners, Chinese foreign ministry
spokesman s assurances of we do not engage
in proliferation with Pakistan have begun to sound very similar to Bill
Clinton s assurances to the American
public: I did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky. Well, we all know
the truth.

The author is a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for World
Peace. In assessing the likelihood of instability in China, he focuses for
short-term purposes more on economic than political factors.His conclusions
point up the need in his view for domestic reform.~ Ed.
Western attitudes toward China tend to oscillate between two extremes, often
with confusing rapidity. Not too long ago China was widely portrayed as an
emerging military and economic threat to the West. Its total economic output
was projected to surpass that of the United States in two decades. Its
military modernization was expected to provide China the capability to
project its power far beyond its borders (and the recent Cox report on
nuclear espionage has revived those concerns). And its authoritarian regime
was supposed to be able to retain its grip on power for a long time.
Nowadays, however, the speculation about China’s future has generally
inclined toward pessimism. The influential British magazine The Economist
openly speculated about the break-up of China in its last issue of 1998. Not
long before that, the same publication ran a cover editorial opining about
the imminent collapse of the Chinese economy. And in a speech delivered in
April of this year, President Bill Clinton warned of the dangers of an
unstable China which failed to reform.
Even within China, signs of danger and nervousness abound. Arguably, the
Chinese government now faces the most severe challenge since the Tiananmen
Square demonstrations a decade ago. Unemployment is rising at a frightening
rate. Several key anniversary dates fraught with symbolic and real political
dangers (such as the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic, the 10th
anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, and the 40th anniversary of
the uprising in Tibet) have prompted the government to maintain a tight
watch over the country’s tiny dissident community lest something akin to the
1989 movement break out again.
In my judgment, the current pessimism about China's short-term prospects is
as exaggerated as the previous optimism about its long-term economic
outlook. In fact, China is likely to retain its short-term political
stability despite many signs of potential turmoil, but will face rising
instability if the regime fails to undertake significant political reform in
the next decade.
While parallels between the problems China faces today and those it
confronted during the Tiananmen crisis a decade ago may be alluring, they
are misleading. In 1989, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) faced a genuine
crisis of political legitimacy, which had its origins in 1978-79, when the
leaders promised, but repeatedly failed to deliver, political reform. By
contrast, the challenges confronting the Chinese government today are
primarily economic, although weaknesses in the political system make
potential solutions more elusive.
Specifically, China’s economic difficulties today originate, externally,
from the aftermath of the East Asian financial crisis (falling exports and
foreign direct investment) and, internally, from weak consumer demand and
severe structural problems. The internal problems are far more daunting than
the external.
It is well known that China’s two most perilous economic challenges are an
insolvent banking system (which has total bad loans of between 25 and 30
percent of gross domestic product) and rising unemployment due to the
restructuring and privatization of the loss-making state-owned enterprises
(SOEs). Many analysts believe that the latter poses the clearest threat to
the Chinese government, because any unrest by the unemployed, who are
concentrated in urban areas, would lead to a political crisis akin to the
Solidarity movement in Poland in 1981-82. Given the sheer numbers of
unemployed and underemployed people in China, this analysis is not without
merit. The official China Daily reports that, among urban dwellers,
unemployment is about 11 percent (or 16 million people). In addition, as
many as 120 million rural laborers are considered underemployed.
However, unemployment alone is unlikely to generate a high level of
political instability and is even less likely to bring down the regime. (Can
you recall the last time a regime was toppled by unemployment?) In analyzing
the political consequences and implications of economic crises, we must
understand that not all economic crises are created equal. Although all of
them are nasty and harmful to the societies they hit, they produce different
political outcomes because their effects are filtered through the political
system differently.
In the case of high unemployment, its impact on political instability tends
to be limited for two reasons.
First, unemployment principally affects only one segment of society, namely,
manufacturing workers. It would be difficult for these workers to find
political allies in other sectors. In China, workers being laid off from
SOEs are viewed as industrial aristocrats who have had it pretty good for
the last fifty years at the expense of the other segments of society.
Second, the ranks of the unemployed are relatively fluid. Many unemployed,
especially the most able, can find alternative employment. This leaves the
ranks of the unemployed without permanent leaders and unorganized.
By contrast, a full-blown banking crisis is far more lethal, because it
triggers hyperinflation and a massive run on banks. Unlike unemployment,
which tends to hit one segment of society especially hard, a banking crisis
would hurt virtually everyone (except the very wealthy). Such a crisis sends
out a political signal to the majority of the population that something is
terribly wrong, thus facilitating unity and coordination among all the
disaffected elements, from the peasantry to the unemployed to the
middle-class. A broad anti-regime coalition is therefore more likely to
emerge following a banking crisis than high unemployment.
This reasoning leads us to question the conventional wisdom about the
connection between the recent crackdown on dissidents and the country’s
economic problems. Most analysts believe that the government’s crackdown was
motivated by the fear that dissidents would form a Solidarity-type coalition
with the unemployed to challenge the Communist Party’s rule. This analysis,
while appealing, overlooks another probable explanation. The government’s
crackdown could well have been motivated, not by the fear of unemployment,
but by the fear that any signs of political instability would shake the
population’s confidence in the government, and hence in the security of
their assets. Fearing the loss of their life savings, ordinary Chinese (who
have over 80 percent of their total assets deposited in the banks) would
unleash a run on banks, which would force the government to print more money
to cover the withdrawals, in turn sparking hyperinflation and massive
popular discontent.
To be sure, the current economic difficulties have caught the Communist
Party in a particularly vulnerable state. Specifically, the ruling party
faces the following structural and institutional weaknesses:
1. Narrower base of support.
Despite the Western media’s caricature of the ruling regime as a communist
dictatorship, the nature of the Chinese regime has changed profoundly in the
last two decades. If we may call the pre-reform Chinese regime a socialist
one with a broad base of support among workers and peasants, pro-market
reforms have seriously eroded the broad social base of the CCP. This change
has come about, ironically, precisely because of the relative success of the
economic reform under Deng Xiaoping. For the peasantry, market-oriented
reforms have resulted not only in direct economic benefits and independence
from the state; they have fundamentally eroded the Communist Party’s
political control in rural areas and left the regime without means of
mobilizing political support there. As for urban SOE workers,
market-oriented reforms have begun to hurt their interests by making their
jobs insecure and benefits less generous. They blame their plight on the
government and have begun to display their discontent openly and violently.
The regime’s political support today comes primarily from only four groups:
the bureaucracy, the military, the security forces, and the rapidly
increasing urban middle-class that will have much to lose (such as the value
of their stocks and real estate) in the event of political instability.
2. Organizational deficit.
The CCP previously controlled a vast network of social organizations,
including the official labor unions, women’s associations, the youth league,
and many professional associations, which in turn controlled most segments
of the population. But that is no longer the case. Official organizations
closely tied to the party have lost credibility, enjoy little grassroots
support, and cannot be expected to serve as instruments of control or
political support. Other organizations, notably, religious groups and
professional associations, have become more independent and will likely
resist manipulation by the party.
3. Weak institutional channels of resolving state-society conflict.
A related weakness of the present political system is the absence of
credible institutions that would allow individuals and groups to articulate
and pursue their own interests. In democratic systems, electoral and
legislative processes do this, hut in China, no institutions perform such
functions reliably. In their absence, collective grievances will accumulate,
leading in the long term to political instability. In the short term,
collective grievances are increasingly expressed in violent protests. In
fact, the government admitted there were 5,000 collective protests in 1998.
4. Absence of effective institutions to resolve conflicts within the state.
China also has no functioning institutions that might resolve conflicts
among the various components of the state. The absence of such institutions,
which would typically he provided for by federalism, causes cyclical
opportunism characterized by frequent policy changes by the central
government and resistance to those policies from local governments.
Consequently, the policy environment is uncertain and law enforcement weak.
In fact, the most serious problem facing China is not that it does not have
democracy, but that it does not have federalism. That is, it lacks a clear
division of responsibilities between the central and regional governments.
I have listed a series of structural weaknesses of the party-state in China.
However, it would be wrong to conclude from the above observations that the
system is about to collapse, for there are several strengths that help
offset these weaknesses.
Weak opposition. Domestically, the CCP faces no real threat. Because
opposition to the regime is unorganized and dispersed, for most people there
is simply no credible alternative. This is perhaps the most important factor
working in the CCP’s favor. A party song states, “Only the CCP can save
China,” but it should be, “Only the CCP can govern China”—at least for now.
Relative elite cohesion. Political turmoil in China in the last 50 years has
always come from disunity and power struggles at the highest level of the
regime. Today’s top elite is much more unified than during any previous
period. The political differences between top elites today are mainly over
policy and personality, rather than over ideology.
The CCP remains a formidable force of control. Because the party maintains a
relatively effective system of control in dealing with top-priority issues,
in the short term it should be able to confront any challenges to its hold
on power. The CCP has also learned a key lesson from the 1989 movement:
never to allow a minor incident to develop into a full-blown political
crisis. That explains why the government reacted swiftly and harshly against
the leading dissidents in the last few months.
The Chinese are beginning to tackle their long-term problems. It is
encouraging to see that some of the top leaders seem to have realized the
long-term threats to the current system and have begun to take some
tentative steps to address them. It seems that ideas of federalism are
beginning to influence institutional designs in China. Among the most
promising steps taken so far is the reform of the central bank along the
lilies of a Federal Reserve-style system. Moreover, the 1994 tax reform,
although far from perfect, was the first step toward fiscal federalism.
Although localized incidents of social unrest, sparked mostly by economic
difficulties, are likely to increase, the Communist Party should be able to
avert significant political turmoil in the near future. However, even if the
Chinese government gets through 1999 without a repeat of 1989, it must
confront the issue of political reform more seriously, because the
challenges it poses will only increase as time passes. If no significant
institutional change is undertaken, China will experience rising tensions
that its current political system will be incapable of handling. Failure to
implement political institutional reforms may lead to rising instability
through three mechanisms, either simultaneously or sequentially.
First, failure to reform will reduce economic efficiency as the costs of
insecure property rights, poor contract enforcement, and exorbitant rents
become more baneful. This will inevitably reduce the rate of growth, which
will further exacerbate social tensions and damage the legitimacy of the
Communist Party.
Second, failure to reform will allow corruption to worsen, inequality to
rise, and poor governance to persist, eventually causing a massive social
explosion such as occurred in Indonesia in May 1998.
Third, failure to reform will cause rising division within the current
moderate-conservative ruling coalition as the more liberal elements become
disenchanted and frustrated with the slow pace of reform. A split within the
elite has led to political instability be{ore, and could easily do so again.
Indeed, although China is unlikely to become another Indonesia today, it is
very likely to become one in ten years’ time if its leaders are lulled into
Dr. Pei’s most recent book is From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of
Communism in China and the Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 1994).

2141 GMT, 000127 – Myanmar: Where the Indian and Chinese Navies Meet
To the West, Myanmar is a backward nation, tyrannized by a military regime.
But to China’s military, the nation is an increasingly valuable strategic
asset. The People’s Liberation Army/Navy is gaining access to Myanmar’s
coast, and this isolated region will likely become a become a focal point
for competition with the Indian Navy. Officials of the Indian military have
recently held talks with their counterparts in Myanmar.
For more than a decade, Beijing has sought to develop ties with the
government in Yangon, supplying equipment and reportedly assisting in the
construction of naval bases in Sittwe and several other locations. As well,
press reports in the region have claimed that the Chinese government is
funding road construction, including a route that would link Yangon to
Sittwe, providing the shortest route to the Indian Ocean from southern

Myanmar: Where the Indian and Chinese Navies Meet
China values Myanmar for one reason: its 1,930-kilometer coastline bordering
the Andaman Sea. Access to this shoreline would give China an alternate
outlet to the Indian Ocean. In the event of conflict, this would make it
more difficult for an enemy to sever China's sea lines of communication.
But more importantly, the freedom to operate in ports like Sittwe would
enable China to maintain a presence on both sides of the Straits of Malacca,
the major shipping route into Asia. Currently, China's navy is undergoing
the first stage of a green-water naval strategy
<http://www.stratfor.com/SERVICES/giu2000/012600.ASP>, which seeks to
project force as far south as the contested Spratley Islands. If its
foothold in Myanmar were secured, China could exert pressure from the
western side as well.
But ties with Myanmar offer another prize: They facilitate a Chinese
presence in rival India's territorial waters, not far from the major port
city of Calcutta. Even the presence of a few Chinese patrol boats with
missile capability diminishes the security of India's shipping routes. China
could at least briefly interfere with shipping in the Straits. It is
important to note, though, that in a straight-up conflict, India’s navy –
which includes naval aircraft and Type 209 submarines – would likely
India has watched China's creeping influence for years and is reinforcing
its own ties to Myanmar. Last April, the Indian navy established a new Far
Eastern Naval Command (FENC) based on the southern tip of Andaman Island. It
is likely a direct response to China’s increased influence. Just south of
Yangon, the island is a key asset for the Indian Navy.
In January, New Delhi sent both military and ministerial delegations for
talks with Myanmar. And there appears to be a sense of urgency in official
Indian sentiments. The New Delhi daily, The Hindu, claimed that the
government would “resent” increased presence of foreign forces.
India's anxiety is not misplaced. And for the moment, Beijing's foothold in
Myanmar seems fairly secure. It remains the most generous supporter of
Yangon's ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), a military junta
that the West continues to spurn. And while Japan – with its own concerns
<m9912220031.htm> about China's growing influence – has also expressed
interest in helping Myanmar, it has joined the West in pressuring the SPDC's
political agenda. Whatever enticements Japan may offer to sway Yangon's
position, they'll likely find it difficult to outdo China's many years of
As Asian nations intensify their attempt to define their regional position
<http://www.stratfor.com/asia/specialreports/special104.htm>, Myanmar's
importance will increase – as will China's efforts to exploit it. Meanwhile,
India will likely continue diplomatic efforts, but continue its new
approach, slowly fortifying its own naval presence at Andaman Island.

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