China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sunnoficarus, Mar 25, 2013.

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  1. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    And why should they back down?

    Doubt it's escaped their notice that China built one of the largest high altitude military airfields in the world not terribly far from there. The Tejas indeed has operations from high altitude bases as a key performance metric.

    Nor that the string of pearls and obor seem to rather circumnavigate their borders.

    I'm Also the Indians have more experience of fighting high up than most, they had to rewrite the range tables for their artillery after experience in kashmir.

    With India's economy starting to take off China know that the longer they leave it the less their advantage.

    Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
  2. Well the rhetoric remains high, India and Bhutan claim the area is disputed and subject to trilateral talks, China says that India accepted the border years ago and whatever Bhutan thinks is a matter for China and Bhutan. Much as in the South China Sea. But India is not the Philippines.
    Chinese public pronouncements and newspaper commentary seem, to me at least, to created the situation where even the suggestion in the Indian press of mutually backing off look like a climbdown by China.
    An analysis by @smartascarrots would be useful on this point.
  3. That's a Redbeard Rum moment. British India bequeathed a de-facto border based on the watershed of a line of mountains and known as the McMahon Line. The use of the watershed followed standard practice internationally and both sides were happy with it for the first couple of decades.

    Round about the 60s, the Republic of India's government decided unilaterally that the border actually was demarked by the foothills to the north of the watershed, considerably inside what they'd previously agreed was China. They tried to enforce their claim militarily in 1962 when the PRC was still reeling from the Great Leap Backwards but came second. They've been protesting loudly ever since that the PRC cheated by being better at war than them.

    Interesting point in light of the repeated claims of 'aggressive expansionism' leveled at the PRC - the territory concerned in this dispute doesn't include all of that ceded by the Qing Empire to British India. The PRC cheerfully recognises the remainder as sovereign Indian territory.
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  4. That bit I knew, and as regards " he says, she says", it's all worth investigating.
    I'm wondering what you think the mood and planning is likely to be right now!
  5. For the PRC, the CONPLANs are based around retaining territorial integrity. Xi recently made a speech in which he said, “We will never allow any people, organisation or political party to split any part of Chinese territory out of the country at any time, in any form.“

    The 'any... political party' bit was widely seen as a swipe at Taiwan's ruling DPP but it applies equally to the Indian standoff.

    What's more interesting to a spotter like me is the impact this might have on the 2007 India-Bhutan 'Friendship Treaty' which essentially rendered Bhutan an Indian dependency with Bhutanese foreign policy run from New Delhi. It's not hard to see how this situation benefits India given their unilateral disputes in the region with the PRC.

    Bhutan's in a tight spot and if either side presses an agenda counter to Bhutan's interest they're likely to lose it to the opposition. The PRC for their money like to keep things unilateral as they simply don't see the usual third parties as genuine honest brokers.
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  6. The CBC linked the Chinese statement to the stand-off with India over Bhutan. Here's the story link: China will not permit loss of 'any piece' of territory, president warns . This story was previously referenced in this post: China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

    Here's the relevant bit:
    The sub-heading of the story was even:
    The 2007 treaty was actually a revision of a 1949 treaty. India interpreted that treaty as giving India the authority and responsibility for the defence and territorial integrity of Bhutan. The government of Bhutan held a different interpretation and insisted they were not a protectorate, but there wasn't a whole lot they could do about it considering that India controlled all their outlets to the rest of the world.

    The 2007 treaty revision allowed Bhutan more freedom in areas of foreign policy and in purchasing non-lethal military equipment, provided that India didn't object to either.
    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Bhutan and India sign new treaty
    India, Bhutan sign friendship treaty

    In 1975 India invaded Bhutan's neighbouring country Sikkim, deposed the government, held a referendum under the supervision of India's army to abolish the monarchy, and then annexed the country, making it one of India's states. I imagine that Bhutan drew the appropriate lessons from those events.

    It's quite possible that China may see this as an opportunity to prove to Bhutan that India is a toothless tiger and that Thimphu needs to deal directly with Beijing instead of letting Delhi handle things.

    India has a number of interests in Bhutan including strategic and economic (particularly their hydro electric power resources). It would be a great humiliation to them if Bhutan were to draw further out from their orbit.

    For Beijing, I imagine that securing Bhutanese neutrality would be a great diplomatic coup which could possibly be used to advantage as an example elsewhere.
  7. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    We can read ordinary print you know.
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  8. I'm crap at copy & paste computer stuff on Saturday nights for obvious reasons.
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  9. Sikkim joined Bharat as per the refendrum not because Bharat invaded it!
    Naah,Chinese sended 80,000+ Soldiers to fight against our 10-15 thousand soldiers and that dumbass nehru didn't used IAF(The Iaf was better than PLAAF That time).During that time the Pla didnt had any airstrips in Tibet.Nehru refused to station more soldiers near China border.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  10. This is a rather interesting story with some non-obvious diplomatic consequences. China sees new world order with oil benchmark backed by gold- Nikkei Asian Review

    To make a long story short, China will soon launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in yuan and backed with gold. This could change the oil industry in major ways, and also have important international consequences as I will get to later.
    This could become the most important Asian crude oil benchmark, since China is the world's biggest importer of oil. Up until now, oil has usually been priced in US dollars.
    The way this will work is that buyers will purchase oil priced in yuan. The seller can either use the yuan or convert it to gold on exchanges in Shanghai or Hong Kong. Foreign companies such as investment funds and oil companies will also be allowed to trade the contract. In addition, Chinese oil companies and refiners are expected to use the contract between each other.

    The diverse number of parties involved and the growing number of participants in China's oil market have increased the likelihood of success now compared to in previous years.
    Now we get to the diplomatic consequences. China has an interest in reducing the dominance of the US dollar in international commodities markets.
    Yuan denominated oil contracts backed by gold mean that countries such as Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Venezuela are less vulnerable to US pressure. For example, Russia could sell oil to China priced in yuan, spend some of the yuan in China, and take the balance in gold. At no time will Russia have to switch any assets into US dollars.
    Saudi Arabia will be in a difficult position. Oil producers who are willing to sell to China in yuan will be favoured over those who do not. Saudi Arabia's market share in China has fallen from 25% to 15%.
    Saudi Arabia position in China has fallen from first to third as Russia and Angola have taken business from them.
    However, if Saudi Arabia were to accept payment in yuan as well as dollars, this would anger Washington.
    The alternative though is for Saudi Arabia is to get squeezed out of the Chinese market and have increasing difficulty selling their oil on the international market without dumping it at low prices.
    Saudi Arabia is looking at other ways of getting closer to China. They are looking at issuing bonds denominated in yuan, and also a joint investment fund with China.
    If China were to secure a major share of the piece of the Saudi national oil company Saudi Aramco which is expected to come on the market, then if Russia, Iran, and several others start trading oil in yuan that would give China influence over 40% of the world oil market.
    I doubt that the share would be so high, since all of those countries have other customers, many of which would have no interest in pricing their oil imports in yuan.

    However, China is looking at other commodities contracts as well, including copper and natural gas.
    This is part of China's effort to turn the yuan into an international trading currency.
    Various major western banks have registered to trade in the new oil contract.
    I have previously posted a story about how a number of western countries, including Canada, are opening currency markets in yuan to allow trading with China directly in yuan instead of going through another intermediate currency (usually US dollars).

    China establishing their currency as one used for international trade makes sense from a cost and economic efficiency standpoint because they are a major trading nation.

    However, it will also give China a kind and degree of soft power which was previously the exclusive domain of the largest western countries. It's another example of the ongoing shift in global power to Asia.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
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  11. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Cunning. Chinese are thinking outside the box.

    To me it also seems that gold has found itself a new job, so will the price of gold go up permanently if this catches on, as large amounts will be needed?
  12. No gold at all will be needed if the sellers of oil are content with receiving yuan instead of gold. The gold option is there as a means of reassuring the oil producers that they won't find their money locked into excess yuan if circumstances change. The same sort of circumstances - say a world crisis - would probably drive up the price of gold anyway.

    I'm not going to base any investment plans on this set of news, as there are just too many imponderables involved.
  13. Just read this article on the 19th party congress

    Got to say, that I it quiete there seems to be growing "messianic" sentiment in the Party over the "chinese socialism" model.
    Or do I(and the bbc) read that wrong?
  14. It's the BBC reporting China. Give you three guesses...

    The only radical departure from previous is that there's no obvious factional rival to Xi unlike his predecessors. Even Mao had them, hence the Cultural Revolution.

    The BBC likes setting its hat on two hairs about whatever happens at Party congresses. Carrie Gracie has, to my certain knowledge, reported one potential policy unfavourably then reported the failure to implement same equally unfavourably.

    Basically, whatever they do will be found to be Bad regardless because it's the journalism-unfriendly CCP doing it.