08 February 2012

US Not Only Power WIth a Wary Eye on China

India is also upgrading its military with China in mind.

In recent weeks, India has decided to buy 126 fighter jets from France, taken delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine from Russia and prepared for its first aircraft carrier — modernizing its military to face a rising China.
India and China have a long history of tension, dating back to a 1962 border war, and New Delhi has watched with dismay in recent years as Beijing has increased its influence in the Indian Ocean.
China has financed the development of ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar, virtually encircling India. Beijing's recent efforts to get access to facilities in the Seychelles have prodded New Delhi to renew its own outreach to the Indian Ocean island state off its west coast.
With its recent purchases, running into tens of billions of dollars, India is finally working to counter what it sees as aggressive incursions by neighboring China into a region India has long dominated.
"The Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean," James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, told a Senate committee last week.
India has created new infantry mountain divisions and plans to raise a strike corps aimed at countering aggression by China. Their border still has not been agreed upon despite 15 rounds of talks, and patrols from the two sides frequently face off on the ground.
Analysts say that although the probability of a conflict between the two Asian giants is remote, a short, sharp conflict in the disputed Himalayan heights can't be ruled out.
"Over the last couple of years, the Chinese have been acting more and more aggressively in the political, diplomatic and military arena," said retired Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal, director of the Indian army-funded Centre for Land Warfare Studies in New Delhi.

By: Brant

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