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Friday, 25 November 2011

From Today's Papers - 25 Nov 2011




Ashok Tuteja Tribune News Service  New Delhi, November 24 India jitters at the sight of China gaining prestige in Asia, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua said today giving a new dimension to the Sino-Indian rivalry.  In a commentary posted on its website, the Xinhua also observed that New Delhi considers China’s ever-growing influence in recent years as a strategic move to encircle and contain India.  The article in the Chinese media appeared in response to an to an article, "Asia's Giants Colliding at Sea?" written by former External Affairs and Defence Minister Jaswant Singh.  The commentary came nearly a week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Bali on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.  It said that India has been living under the delusion that China lays out a ‘strategic chessboard’ to lock up and contain it. Every act and every move of China could touch a raw nerve of India.  “Jealousy can sometimes be put in the same breath of inferiority. India could trace its sense of being so self-abase to the brief border war with China in 1960s when it was beaten by the Chinese army. And India has since eyed China with deep-seated distrust. The Indian media are always given to wild speculations on what on earth China intends to do. Any move Dragon takes in the region would in all likelihood vex Elephant,’’ it said.  The Xinhua said China has, in fact, sought a win-win model to develop economic and trade relations with its neighbours, including India. “Why India appears so impatient to take more agreeable strategies in its periphery is still beyond understanding. But one thing is certain: today’s India, no matter how anxious it intends to lead the region and even the world, is far potent and prosperous to act of its own accord - by currying favours with China’s neighbours, in particular, those who have brewed disputes with China, India would assume, it could instigate these smaller nations to engage in a gang fight against China and contain China’s growing clout in the region.’’  The article also gives some advice to New Delhi - to build up a real power, neither self-satisfaction nor self-inferiority is a mature and constructive mindset. “In a nutshell, to grow up to be a real power and stand as a sound competitor, India needs to first and foremost break through its own psychological fence,’’ it added.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20111125/nation.htm#10
                    
India's China anxiety an ‘inferiority complex,' says Xinhua
India's “jitters” and fears of encirclement by Chinese influence in South Asia reflected an “inferiority complex” and “loud jealousy” over China's rise, State-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary on Thursday.  India was “living under the delusion that China lays out a strategic chessboard to lock up and contain India,” said the commentary, the latest of a series of editorials in China's State media outlets that have taken a hard line on India following disagreements over ONGC Videsh's cooperation with Vietnam in the disputed South China Sea.  While it struck a similar tone voiced by a number of Communist Party-run papers in recent weeks, including the nationalistic Global Times and PLA Daily, this commentary was unusual because it was issued by the official government news agency, and posted prominently on the front page of its website.  It was authored by Li Hongmei, a columnist known for her particularly nationalistic views.  “India jitters at the sight of China gaining prestige in Asia, in particular, in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and takes China's ever-growing regional influence in recent years as a strategic encirclement to target and contain India,” the commentary said.  “It sounds nothing more than a loud jealousy, for the simple reason that China has done what India could not, especially when India perceives that China's influence has well reached to its doorsteps and created tremendous impact on those who should have banked on India as imagined.”  The Xinhua commentary follows editorials last month by the official People's Liberation Army Daily and the Global Times, which hit out at India for “stepping into the South China Sea issue.”  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in talks in Bali last week, on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, that ONGC Videsh's projects were conducted on a purely commercial basis, and did not mean India was taking sides with Vietnam, one of more than ten countries that contests China's claims of “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea.  The Chinese Foreign Ministry has since taken a more measured tone on relations with India, playing down differences following the meeting between the two leaders. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said this week there was “no power in the world that can prevent the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.”  Chinese officials and analysts had hoped the Prime Ministers' meeting would draw a line over differences over the South China Sea, which they said had created strains, although exaggerated by the media on both sides of the border.  However, analysts acknowledge that a series of editorials in influential Party papers — and now in the official news agency — underscore prevailing views, at least among an influential section of the Party and Army leadership.  The Xinhua commentary, the first of its kind published by the official news agency, said India had “put sand in the wheels of its own progress” by not allowing foreign investment from Chinese companies because of its “iron-clad suspiciousness.”  India's “jealousy” and “inferiority,” it said, were a legacy of the 1962 war which left “deep-seated mistrust.”  “By currying favour with China's neighbour[s], in particular, those who have brewed disputes with China, India would assume it could instigate these smaller nations to engage in a gang fight against China and contain China's growing clout in the region,” it said.  “Today's India,” the commentary added, “no matter how anxious it intends to lead the region and even the world, is far from potent and prosperous to act of its own accord … To grow up to be a real power and stand as a sound competitor, India needs to, first and foremost, break through its own psychological fence.”


http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2657220.ece
                    
In pursuit of dreams: Six city youths make it to NDA
PUNE: It is nothing less than a dream come true for six city youths who have made it to the National Defence Academy (NDA) for the 127{+t}{+h} course, the final list for which was declared on Thursday. In what speaks volumes for their dedication to a career in the defence services is that all of them will quit coveted engineering courses they are currently pursuing in city colleges.  Of the six youths, aged between 18 to 19 years, five have civilian backgrounds. For Mrugendra Joshi, who stayed close to the NDA in Pashan and spent his childhood years dreaming of being part of the academy, nothing could have been better. Joshi bagged the best ranking of 162 from among the six and is a first-year engineering student. "Although my parents are in private services, they always encouraged me to select this career. I will quit engineering now."  Student Dhruv Verma, who is the only one to have a defence background, secured the 182{+n}{+d} rank in the all-India merit list. His father is a serving Brigadier in the India Army. Verma, who is in first year engineering, said, "My parents and grandparents have defence backgrounds, but they wanted me to pursue engineering. However, I was keen on the defence services and they finally left the decision to me."  In his first year engineering underthe computer science faculty in a city college, Ameya Deshpande has secured the 193{+r}{+d} rank. "Since childhood, I was involved in adventure activities. It was always my ambition to join the NDA and I have studied really hard for it," said Piyush Deshmukh. "I had taken admission in engineering as a back up. I will willingly quit that now to pursue my dream in the Indian Army." Deshmukh stood 199{+t}{+h} in the rankings.  Meanwhile, Shreyas Nitve has a purely medical background with both his parents being doctors and his elder brother pursuing an MBBS degree. Nitve, who stood 219{+t}{+h}, said, "Though my mother wanted me to get into the field of medicine, my father was happy with me pursuing a career in the defence services. I did not get a medical seat in a government college after std XII and joined engineering instead. I am happy that I made it to the NDA."  It was Mayank Bhaware's first attempt at the NDA entrance exam and he is glad to have sailed through. Bhaware, who is originally from Gadchiroli district, said, "I am in my second year of engineering. My core interest is technology and sports. I realised that engineering was only sharpening my technical skills, but there was nothing that I could do about my sporting activities. I thought NDA was the best place to be in, so I decided to appear for the entrance exam." He said that his father is a businessman and he has full support from his family. Bhaware stood 321{+s}{+t} in the rankings.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/In-pursuit-of-dreams-Six-city-youths-make-it-to-NDA/articleshow/10861793.cms
                    
Sino-Pak security cooperation not threat to any country: Army chief
Pakistan's army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Thursday said the Sino-Pak security cooperation should not be perceived as a threat to any country, a statement that comes closely after India said the "close military and strategic ties" impacts its security environment.  Pakistan had strategic relations with China and the ongoing joint military excercise YouYi-IV will further strengthen these ties, Kayani told the media during a visit to Jhelum to witness the drill.  Relations between the armies of Pakistan and China were not based on aggression against a particular country, he added.  Cooperation between the two countries will promote regional peace, he said.  Pakistan is cooperating with China to tackle terrorism in the region, Kayani was quoted as saying.  Back in New Delhi, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai in his recent address at the National Defence College had talked of media reports about the developments in Pakistan's nuclear and missile programmes.  "The close military and strategic ties between China and Pakistan impacts on our security environment," he had said.  Meanwhile, People's Liberation Army deputy chief Gen Hou Shusen, who was present on the occasion in Pakistan today, said relations between the China and Pakistan had been strengthened over the years.  Such exercises are evidence of joint efforts against terrorism in the region, he said.Officials have said the two-week-long exercise is aimed at enhancing the capability of both militaries to tackle terrorism and at sharing of information through a training programme in real time.  The drill will include collective training at the unit and brigade-level for low-intensity conflict operations.


http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_sino-pak-security-cooperation-not-threat-to-any-country-army-chief_1616911
                    
Indian SEALs Seek Competitive Gear
November 24, 2011: The Indian Navy is seeking modern infantry equipment for its elite MARCOS unit (India's SEAL teams which perform special ops on the high seas). MARCOS wants equipment similar to what other commandos, especially the U.S. Navy SEALs have. The Indian government and defense procurement bureaucracy is aware of this need, not just from MARCOS and other special operations troops, but for all Indian infantry as well.  The government tries. Two years ago, with great fanfare, India announced an effort to design and create its own version of the U.S. Army Land Warrior system. Countries around the world (including Britain, France, and Germany) have been designing, trying out, and testing similar combat systems for over ten years now. The Indian effort is not going well. The Indians version is INSAS (Infantry-Soldier-As-A-System). One of the major things the Indians want to build as part of the program is a domestically produced multi-caliber individual weapon and a programmable airbursting grenade launcher for the infantry. This is basically the exact same thing that the U.S. Army's OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) was supposed to be. The Indians are hoping their weapon will be more successful. But so far, progress, much less success, has been scarce.  Other plans include introducing new anti-tank weaponry, laser rangefinders, a new carbine/submachine gun, new combat uniforms for the infantry, better communications, and improved body armor. The new platform, the Indians are hoping, will reduce the load carried by the individual soldier by 50 percent. The helmet device the Indians are designing is equipped with video cameras, thermal sensors, and a visor set-up that contains two computer monitors. Plans to issue each infantryman with a "palmtop" computer are a high priority. But there's little to show for all these ambitious plans.  The first set of INAS equipment is supposed to appear next year, and by the end of the decade, some 500 infantry, paramilitary and special operations battalions will have this gear. But MARCOS knows that these projects never deliver on schedule, and are instead seeking foreign sources. There are several, including the U.S., France, Germany and several other European nations. If MARCOS gets away with this, it will encourage other Indian special operations forces to do the same.  India actually has lots of special operations outfits. These include;  Para Commandos form the parachute infantry of the Army, but have been given additional training and equipment to enable them to carry out commando type operations.  The Special Protection Group is assigned the task of protection for India's Prime Minister and VIPs from terrorist attacks.  The primary counter-terror unit in the country, however, is the 15,000 National Security Guards and the ones who have borne most of the responsibility for tackling India's persistent insurgent problems over the last couple of decades.   The army has created a force of over 7,200 commandos so that each of the 359 infantry battalions in the army has a twenty man Ghatak (commando) platoon. While this gives each battalion some shock troops, it also increases discontent among the rest of the troops, who now see modern equipment up close, and wonder why they don't have it.  India has been increasing spending on equipment for its ground forces over the last decade, but these efforts have been uneven. Some of this has been caused by corruption. Like many other nations, India has long had problems with kickbacks and favoritism in defense procurement. But it's been worse with India, which ranks 87 (out of 180) in an international survey of least corrupt nations. Last year India was 84. India has responded with a major effort to halt corruption in defense matters, but this has stalled some procurement efforts.  The end result of this is that India is under increasing pressure, from below, to honor promises to upgrade the weapons and equipment of the infantry forces. These troops have fallen far behind other armies, and the troops, and especially their officers, are not being quiet about it. But government plans to upgrade infantry weapons and equipment have not amounted to much. The troops are not happy with this.  While India spends a lot of money on its fighter aircraft, naval vessels, and heavy ground equipment like tanks and APCs, very little is spent on taking care of the infantry. This isn't unique to the Indians, it just happens that the infantry historically doesn't get first grab at funds within the military and are usually at the bottom of the list when it comes to spending in general.


http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20111124.aspx

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