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Pentagon warns India of Chinese build-up

August 28, 2011

timesofindia

NEW DELHI: The Red Dragon is spreading its wings and sharpening its claws at a rapid clip. From deadly long-range nuclear missiles and an expanding blue-water Navy to potent space and cyber warfare abilities, China will have a “modern” military capable of prolonged high-intensity combat operations by the end of this decade.

Pentagon’s latest assessment of the expanding military might of China, released on Thursday, paints a scary picture of the frenetic pace at which the 2.25-million People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is being modernized, in the backdrop of uncertainty over its long-term intentions.

Though the US report holds that thwarting any American intervention in Taiwan remains PLA’s “main strategic direction”, New Delhi can ill-afford to ignore China’s increasing trans-border military capabilities, its assiduous strategic encircling of India and hardening posture in the border talks.

The report itself notes PLA has replaced its older liquid-fuelled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 intermediate range ballistic missiles with the “more advanced” solid-fuelled CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile systems along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to “strengthen its deterrent posture” against India.

“A high level of mistrust continues to strain the bilateral relationship…India remains concerned over China’s close military relationship with Pakistan and Beijing’s growing footprint in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and Africa,” says the report.

All this might not startle the Indian defence establishment, which also keeps a close tab on PLA, but the fact remains that China can now move over 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) to the LAC within a month to outnumber Indian forces by at least three-is-to-one due to the huge military infrastructure build-up in Tibet.

India has taken some steps in recent years to counter China, which range from planning a new mountain strike corps (over 35,000 combat troops) in 2012-2017 after raising two new divisions (over 15,000 soldiers each) in Nagaland and Assam to deploying Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, missile batteries and spy drones in the North-East, as reported by TOI earlier.

But a lot more clearly needs to be done. China, after all, is fast steaming ahead with its projects to build its first stealth fighter, the J-20, and multiple aircraft carriers after its first, the 67,500-tonne Varyag acquired surreptitiously from Ukraine, began sea trials recently.

Moreover, China has a hyper-active ballistic and cruise missile programme to add to its already huge nuclear arsenal. They include missiles like the DF-21D ballistic missile to kill aircraft carriers or large ships over 1,500-km away, the road-mobile DF-31A capable of hitting targets 11,200-km away, and the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile with a reach beyond 7,200-km. “China’s nuclear arsenal currently consists of 55-65 ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), apart from (5-20) IRBMs, (75-100) MRBMs and (1,000-1,200) SRBMs,” says the Pentagon report.

China, of course, also helps Pakistan to boost its military capabilities, with the clear intention to bog down India in South Asia. Pakistan remains China’s primary customer for weapons, with sales ranging from JF-17 and F-7 fighters, F-22P frigates and early warning and control aircraft, tanks and missiles, says the report.

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  1. December 30, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I think its time were we stop playing a joke on the humans, money spawned from people putting there gold and valuables in the bank, and the bank made up paper that represented the gold in the bank.

  2. August 28, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    India is like how China was about 20 years ago. They are rapidly industrializing and recognize the threat they face. India has already begun to update it’s military, recently placing orders for new submarines and partnering up with Russia in the development of their new stealth air superiority fighter. If America forms a loose alliance with India then the regional balance will be restored.

  3. Mark Rabone
    August 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    what are we scared of, I think its time were we stop playing a joke on the humans, money spawned from people putting there gold and valuables in the bank, and the bank made up paper that represented the gold in the bank, and they realized that not everyone took all there gold out at the same time so the banks gave this paper to other people saying it represents gold and by the time you pay it back they won’t even know and with the little bit you pay back on top of what you payed back will help the bank give more next time. so what is money, its good faith, I pay that plumber paper so he can go and get his gold, but that plumber never sees gold, he pays the farmer to eat so that Farmer can go
    get his gold, the farmer never sees gold. so everyone who works is really working on good faith that one day they will be able to
    get there gold out of the bank, But its not there gold they can’t
    real touch it, faith is for free, I guarantee no war if we govern
    peoples faith in others to keep thows services coming and to keep
    there word or they will be homeless,and food less, it will not brake down, they’ve been going for 1000 years on faith, faith that
    one day if they need to and if all governments and currencies brake down they will get there gold to bribe someone to feed them
    or to work for them, but this is not necessary, money is not
    necessary, war is not necessary, If we follow the laws of nature
    everything can be free and that my friends is true freedom the
    fuel to any war. I’m going crazy, but at least I know yea. We have tricked a force of nature I think we’ed better let them know before they eat us with there blind folds on, because if they get to this gold and realize its ineatable they will eat us.Joke mate, I was joking when I said it cost money to make things grow, take it easy.

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