Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Friday, 5 July 2013

From Today's Papers - 05 Jul 2013
China hosts Sharif, Antony in a rare diplomatic tango

Beijing, July 4
China today hosted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and India Defence Minister AK Antony in a rare diplomatic tango between its all-weather friend and emerging strategic partner, India. As both Sharif and Antony arrived here, state-television projected it as a rare diplomatic event by China hosting top leaders from both the countries, setting off a new phase with cordial ties with them. "Both India and Pakistan are very important countries in our neighbourhood," Wang Shida, a researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary Relations, told CCTV news.

"China and India have established strategic cooperative partnership since 2005. China and Pakistan have enjoyed an all-weather partnership for half a century. It means both India and Pakistan are important diplomatically to China. Premier Li Keqiang's visit to both the countries last month sets a very good example," he said.

Though their visits were a coincident, the two were not expected to cross paths here. Antony, who is the first Indian Defence Minister to visit China in seven years, arrived here on a four-day visit.

The recent border incursion by China's People's Liberation Army troops, finalisation of the Border Defence Coordination Agreement (BDSA) to maintain peace at the disputed borders as well as resumption of bilateral military exercises top Antony's agenda for talks with the Chinese leadership.

The Pakistan Prime Minister, who arrived here on his first foreign visit after returning to power, met Chinese President Xi Jinping and sought assistance in energy, transport and infrastructure projects. — PTI
Chinese General warns India against ‘new trouble’

Beijing, July 4
Hours before the arrival of Defence Minister AK Antony, a hawkish Chinese General today warned India against provoking "new trouble" by increasing its military deployment at the border. China played down the warning and said it was not reflective of the official view.

"There is no denying that there are tensions and problems between China and India, particularly at the border areas," Major General Luo Yuan, executive vice- president and secretary-general of the China Strategy Culture Promotion Association, said.

"There is still problem of 90,000 sq km of territory still occupied by the Indian side. These are the problems left over from history and we should look at it with cool head," he said here.

point of dispute

    The General’s 90,000 sqkm remark referred to China’s claim to Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls southern Tibet
    India asserts that the border dispute covered 4,000 km along the Line of Actual Control while China states the dispute was confined to the 2,000 km that is Arunachal Pradesh
Army’s crucial role in Egypt
In 2011, the ‘people’ were against Mubarak. Now, the ‘people’ are against each other. The army is built from both sides of Egypt’s divide – yet must now keep them apart.
Robert Fisk
THE army’s in charge. Call it a coup, if you like. But the Egyptian military — or the infamous “Supreme Council of the Armed Forces” as we must again call it — is now running Egypt. By threat, at first — then with armour on the streets of Cairo. Roads blocked. Barbed wire.

Troops round the radio station. Mohamed Morsi — at the time still the President — may have called it a ‘coup’ and claimed the old moral high ground (‘legitimacy’, democracy’, etc) but long before we saw the soldiers in the city, he was pleading with the generals ‘to return to barracks. Ridiculous; the generals didn’t have to leave their barracks to put the fear of God (metaphorical or real) into his collapsing administration.

Morsi talked of shedding his blood. So did the army. This was grim stuff. Miserable was it to behold a free people applaud a military intervention, though Morsi’s opponents would claim their freedom has been betrayed. But they are now encouraging soldiers to take the place of politicians. Both sides may wave the Egyptian flag, which is red, white and black. The colour of khaki is no substitute.

Nor will the Muslim Brotherhood disappear, whatever Morsi’s fate. Risible he may have been in power, lamentable his speeches, but the best organised political party in Egypt knows how to survive in adversity. The Brotherhood is the most misunderstood — or perhaps, the most deliberately misunderstood — institution in modern Egyptian history.

Far from being an Islamist party, its roots were always right-wing rather than religious, its early membership under Hassan al-Banna prepared to tolerate King Farouk and his Egyptian landlords providing they lived behind an Islamic fa├žade.

Even when the 2011 revolution was at its height and millions of anti-Mubarak demonstrators had pushed into Tahrir Square, the Brotherhood was busy trying to negotiate with Mubarak in the hope they could find some scraps on the table for themselves. The Brotherhood’s leadership never stood alongside the people during Egypt’s uprising. This role was fulfilled by Egypt’s strongest secular base — the trade union movement, especially the cotton workers of Mahalla north of Cairo.

Even Nasser’s war with the Brotherhood was less about religion than it was about security; the leadership of the original Free Officers Movement found that the Brotherhood was the only party able to infiltrate the army — a lesson which today’s Egyptian generals have taken to heart.

If the Muslim Brotherhood is banned again — as it was under Nasser and under Sadat and under Mubarak — it will not lose its support within the armed forces. Sadat was assassinated by a non-Brotherhood Islamist called Khaled el-Islambouli — but he also happened to be a lieutenant in the Egyptian army.

Sayyed Qutub, the Brotherhood’s leader, attacked Nasser for leading his people back into a pre-Islamic age of ignorance (‘jahiliya) but the party was more exercised by Egypt’s growing relationship with the atheistical Soviet Union. Qutub was hanged. But persecuted, officially banned, the party learned — like all underground organisations with an ideology — how to organise, politically, socially, even militarily.

The army, as they say, belongs to the people. Mohamed el-Baradei, the former UN nuclear inspector and Nobel laureate and now opposition leader, said during the 2011 rising that “ultimately, the Egyptian army will be with the people…And at the end of the day, after anyone takes off his uniform, he is part of the people with the same problems, the same repression, the same inability to have a decent life. So I don’t think they are going to shoot their people.”

But that was then, and this is now. Morsi may have adopted the pseudo-trappings of a dictator — he certainly talked like Mubarak on Tuesday, complete with threats against the press — but he was legally elected, as he kept telling us, and legitimacy is what the army likes to claim it is defending.

In 2011, the ‘people’ were against Mubarak. Now, the ‘people’ are against each other. Can the Egyptian army, the heroes of the 1973 crossing of the Suez Canal, stand between the two when they themselves now come — let us face it — from the ‘people’ on both sides?
Chinese general warns India against 'new trouble' as AK Antony visits Beijing
Beijing: An outspoken Chinese general known for his nationalist views warned India today against stirring up "new trouble" in a long-running border dispute, just as Defence Minister AK Antony was set to visit Beijing.

"The Indian side should not provoke new problems and increase military deployment at the border areas and stir up new trouble," Major General Luo Yuan told reporters.

Major General Luo, the deputy-director general of the world military research department at a People's Liberation Army academy, described himself at a briefing as a "reasonable hardliner".

He made waves last year with comments questioning the legitimacy of Japanese sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, a chain that includes Okinawa and hosts numerous United States military bases.

"India is the only country in the world that says that it is developing its military power because of China's military threat," said Major General Luo, who was wearing a business suit.

"So I believe that India should be very cautious in what it does and what it says."

A high-altitude frontier dispute between the nuclear-armed giants in the Himalayas has simmered for decades but intensified in May over troop movements in the region.

New Delhi alleged Chinese troops intruded nearly 20 kilometres into Indian territory.

A three-week standoff ensued and was resolved after talks between local military leaders and a withdrawal of troops from both sides.

The border situation was now generally "under control" following a visit to India in May by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Major General Luo said.

His comments came as defence minister AK Antony was due to arrive in China later today for three days of talks, the first such trip in seven years.

Mr Antony's visit, on which he is accompanied by top Indian military commanders, coincides with a trip to China by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Pakistan, India's nuclear-armed neighbour and arch-rival, is a longstanding close ally of Beijing. Chinese officials describe their relationship with Islamabad as one between "all weather friends".
Situation on border with Pak tense: Army
Smaller Default Larger

Jhangar (Rajouri), July 3: Firing, ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts from across the border have increased and the situation along the LoC is tense, the Army said today.
"The situation on the border (with Pakistan) is tense but under control," General Officer Commanding (GOC) 16 Corps, Lt Gen D S Hooda, told reporters here.
"Firing (from across the border) has increased in the past two to three months. Ceasefire violations have increased. The situation on the border is tense," he said.
"Whatever you say on the ground is true. Infiltration attempts are going on. Two attempts -- one in Keri (Rajouri) and another in Poonch have been foiled recently," Lt Gen Hooda said.
"Infiltrators are now attacking our security forces, targeting our posts more openly as they are desperate to infiltrate.
"But in Kashmir, they are able to infiltrate because of heavy snowfall which damages the fencing erected for checking infiltration," he said.
"Attack on security forces to inflict more and more casualties is the new strategy of infiltrators," the army officer said.
On Border Action Team attacks from across the border, the Army Commander said "there are strong possibilities of BAT strikes on our forces from the Pakistani side as experienced prievously."
Replying to a query, he said "it is premature to attribute escalation in tension on the border to the change in government in Pakistan."
He said the Army is vigilant and troops have been asked to remain alert round-the-clock.
India's Move To Expand Local Firms' Role in Defense Falters

NEW DELHI — Two Indian companies have declined to participate in a US $1 billion tender to supply quick reaction surface-to-air missiles (QRSAMs), dealing a setback to efforts to expand domestic involvement in big-ticket defense projects.

Defence Ministry sources said the domestic companies do not have the necessary technical know-how to team with overseas companies.

An executive with Indian company Punj Lloyd said the firm tried negotiations with overseas companies but found the project commercially unviable. The executive refused to give details.

Although it is the country’s primary defense electronics manufacturer, Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) has no experience with QRSAM systems and did not enter the competition.

BEL officials declined to discuss the subject, but MoD sources said BEL had not filed papers for the tender.

The QRSAM tender was given in January to Russia’s Rosoboronexport, US company Raytheon, Israel’s Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael, Tetraedr of Belarus, South Korea’s Doosan Group and LIG Nex1, France-based Thales and Eurosam, Diehl Defence of Germany and pan-European MBDA, in addition to BEL and Punj Lloyd.

Following a helicopter scandal involving Italy’s AgustaWestland this year, the MoD decided to encourage participation by domestic companies in defense projects.

Last month, domestic companies for the first time were asked to participate along with foreign companies in a $1.6 billion air defense program involving integrated gun and missile systems for the Indian Army.

The domestic companies that were invited had never developed such a system, and only by teaming with major overseas defense contractors would these companies be able to meet the Army requirements.
Bidding for QRSAM

The MoD in January floated the tender for the purchase 54 QRSAM systems along with 1,485 missiles on a “buy global” basis.

The QRSAM systems will be used by the Army and will include combat vehicles, transport loading systems, missile-guiding radars, surveillance radars and repair vehicles. The successful vendor will have to transfer technology for the maintenance of the systems.

The Army requires that the QRSAM be able to attack targets at a range of up to 30 kilometers and a height of at least six kilometers.

Some analysts here said involvement by domestic defense companies in these kind of tenders will help build their capabilities, but others said India’s domestic defense industry is still in its infancy and needs time to mature before participating in big-ticket projects.

Asking domestic companies to participate in large projects will encourage collaboration with foreign companies, thus strengthening partnerships, said K.V. Kuber of Sugosha Consultancy Services, based here.

However, local analyst Nitin Mehta said, “The government will have to increase the limit of foreign direct investment [allowed by law] from the current level of 26 percent to around 50 percent to enable big-ticket overseas companies to tie up with domestic defense companies.”
Rude welcome for Antony, Chinese general warns India
India should stop provoking China and end stirring up trouble in the region to maintain peace along the long and disputed border, a senior People's Liberation Army (PLA) general said on Thursday, striking a controversial note hours before defence minister, AK Antony was to land in

Making strong comments before Antony's arrival, Major General Luo Yuan warned India that it should be careful with words and deeds. "India should be very cautious in what it does…in what it says," Lou said, adding that India was the only country in the world that was enhancing its military prowess citing China as a threat perception.

Lou repeatedly indicated that the onus was on India to maintain peace along the border between the two neighbours.

"Particularly, the Indian side should not provoke new problems and increase military deployment at the border areas and stir up new problems," Lou said.

Lou, with the Department of World Military Research of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army, was speaking at a function organised by All-China Journalists Association (ACJA); the topic: China's Path of Peaceful Development.

He said tensions and problems existed between the two countries, particularly in the border areas.

"There is also the problem of 90,000 square kilometre of Chinese territory still occupied by the Indian side. It's a problem leftover from history…(but) India should not provoke, stir up new trouble," Luo said.

The general said Premier Li Keying's visit to India enhanced political relationship. "Now your defense minister is coming. The situation is within control. Up to India not to stir up new trouble," Lou said.

On the recent incident at Deposing, in which India had said that Chinese troops had crossed the Line of Actual Control to cross over to the Indian territory, Lou said media - presumably the Indian media -- had exaggerated the incident.

Lou's words could cast a shadow on Antony's visit who is the first Indian defense minister to visit China since President Pranab Mukherjee - then defense minister - visited in 2006.

Antony is expected to meet Premier Li Keying besides Chinese defense minister, Chang Yangquan; foreign ministry officials had earlier indicated that Antony might meet President Xi Jinxing if the latter's schedule permitted.

Lou said the border issue should be tackled with "calm head", adding that there are common interests between the two countries. He said that it was worth mentioning that China and India had jointly floated the five principles of peaceful coexistence.

He said as a person from the military it was his "sacred mission" to protect China's territorial sovereignty. "I have the eyes and claws of a hawk but the head and heart of a dove," Lou said.
Lt Gen Saxena takes over as Director General of Army Air Defence
New Delhi, July 3 (IBNS): The Indian Army on Wednesday said Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Saxena has assumed the appointment of the 8th Director General of the Corps of Army Air Defence on Monday.

"The General Officer has taken over the reins from Lieutenant General Kuldip Singh who superannuated from service on 30 Jun 2013, after a distinguished career of nearly 40 years," the Indian Army said.

Saxena is an alumni of National Defence Academy 1975 batch.

He is also an alumni of Defence Services Staff College, College of Defence Management and the coveted National Defence College.

Saxena has had to his credit, two tenures in the Military Operations Directorate, instructional experience in India and abroad and command experience of his unit and formation in active Counter Insurgency Operations in the Northern Command.

"The Gen Officer has also had a stint as Brigadier General Staff (Information Warfare) at HQ Northern Command besides serving as Deputy Director General Equipment, as well as, Operations in Army Air Defence Directorate and Additional Director General of Army Air Defence at Army HQ," read the statement.
India worried over PLA's expanding transborder military capabilities
NEW DELHI: India is likely to raise the expanding transborder military capabilities of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), including its stepped-up exercises in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, when defence minister A K Antony leads a top-level delegation to China from July 4 to 7.

Sources said while India will "reassure" China that it has absolutely no intention of joining any multi-lateral strategic grouping that seeks to "contain" Beijing, it will also underline several "bilateral concerns" that need to be addressed.

"There are legitimate concerns about PLA's military capabilities, assertiveness and intentions, its massive infrastructure build-up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and, of course, incidents like the Depsang incursion in Ladakh in April," said a source.

India, however, is keen to progressively enhance military ties with China, keep "communication channels open" and "eliminate potential" for Depsang-like incidents to reoccur.

The two sides will also discuss resumption of the joint Army "Hand-in-Hand" (HiH) counter-terrorism exercise towards end-2013 after a five-year gap as well as explore establishing the fourth border personnel meeting (BPM) mechanism near Lipulekh-Mana Pass in the "middle sector" after the existing ones at Chushul, Nathu La and Bum La.

The keenness to "constructively engage" with China's military leadership can be gauged from the fact that Antony's delegation, apart from defence secretary R K Mathur, will include Eastern Army commander Lt-General Dalbir Singh Suhag and Southern Naval commander Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, who are slated to take over as the next Army and Navy chiefs in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Indian delegation will visit Shanghai, Beijing and the Chengdu Military Area Command, which controls Tibet and almost the entire disputed LAC.

Though the need to fortify de-escalatory mechanisms to prevent face-offs between the two armies will be stressed during the trip, India is in "no hurry" to ink the new Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) proposed by China earlier this year.

"The revised BDCA draft submitted by China is being examined," said a source. MoD was perturbed by the earlier draft since it suggested that both sides should freeze troop and infrastructure levels along the LAC.

MoD is in the process of getting the Cabinet Committee on Security's (CCS) final nod for raising a new mountain strike corps (40,000 soldiers), apart from two "independent" infantry brigades and two "independent" armoured brigades, to plug operational gaps along the LAC as well as to acquire "some ground offensive capabilities" against China. Moreover, India is belatedly trying to counter the major infrastructure build-up by China over the last couple of decades.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal