India - China cold war

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dawn of the new cold war

US says ready to sell advanced arms to India...

"It is our goal to help meet India's needs in the defence realm, and to provide important capabilities and technologies that India seeks. We are on a path to accomplish this..." George bush on his recent India Visit.

The game is rapidly changing. The lines are drawn - It's in black and white ...Pakistan is China's ally(Gen. Musharaf's visit to China co-inciding with Bush's visit to India) and India is the American ally. A new cold war has begun. The core of it all - the mid-east oil. The first battle ground is the subcontinent.

i. "A nuclear deal between Washington and Islamabad is not possible at this juncture as there were 'concerns' over Pakistan's proliferation record". US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

ii. ...this is not a stage Pakistan is currently in. This is not the time for such an arrangement with Pakistan". On Pak-US Nuke deal.

iii. Musharaf's Live statement [2nd March '06] : "We have other options... namely China"

But this cold war is very different. Everyone wants to trade and engage one another. That is the way of keeping each other at bay. China will go to great lengths as Pakistan is now its energy and trade corridor ( Gwadar ). US will try to restrict this and may even incite India to war or create insurgency situations to disrupt the corridor. But the stakes are very high- with nuclear weapons on each side.

It is not just a question of supplying hi-tech arms to India. There are other factors, which worry china and pakistan.

To begin with, lets look the bigger picture. The Indian IT and BPO/ KPO sectors are integrating with American companies, many people both in India and the US, have started thinking on these lines for the American Military-Industrial Complex.

In some areas, India is increasingly merging all aspects of the military supply chain, which includes joint R&D, joint production, outsourcing from various subcontractors both in US and India, joint marketing, and joint induction in the respective military wings.

It is due to this that India has embarked on this process of enacting Intellectual Property Laws (IPR) and Procurement Guidelines, so that both the military-industrial complexes can work together. India want's to save on cost of R&D and production (many hi-tech Israeli defense manufacturing units migrating to India). Add to this the constantly increasing defence budgets, for the Americans there is market to be tapped here.

In fact India has started doing this with old business partners like Russia. Even as Jacques Chirac was in India, an agreement was signed to move more in the direction of joint production. India is after hi-tech, and is finding more and more partners for doing this - flirting with everybody, who have hi-tech.

Considering that US has been successful in stopping European hi-tech weapon sale to the Chinese, Chinese themselves are being hindered in aquiring hi-tech weaponry. With the departure of Gerhard Schröder and soon Jacques Chirac, it is going to be even more difficult for the Chinese to get the weapon embargo lifted.


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