Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hosting ASEAN

Last week, India hosted ten ASEAN leaders as chief guests for the Republic Day. This was an  innovative way of showing how important the regional grouping is to us. The chief guest at the Republic Day function has for long been a telegraphic means of conveying the importance Indian foreign policy attaches to a country at a particular juncture. Over the years, we have had the Saudis, Iranians, the French, last year we had the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Many guests have come multiple times. There are some like from Pakistan and China we would not countenance today. The US our good friend was only invited for the first time in 2015.
The media has given its own spin to the event. Briefing the media, an MEA official did not respond directly to a question on weather ASEAN wanted India to play a role against China. Her non-committal response was that “India-ASEAN relationship stands on its own.” Yet the spin given to the report was that the ASEAN wanted India to play a more assertive role in the Indo-PacificActually, if you look at the Delhi Declaration adopted by India and the ten leaders, you will see that the “Indo-Pacific” is not mentioned at all. All that the Declaration says is that the ASEAN and India would cooperate for the “conservation and sustainable use of marine resources in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in accordance with international law, notably the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas.” This is the only reference to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Declaration has the standard text in the issue of freedom of navigation and overflight and peaceful settlement of disputes under the principles of international law, including UNCLOS. It also reiterated support for the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and hoped for an early conclusion of negotiations between China and ASEAN on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
As of now ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner; India is ASEAN’s seventh. It is also a major destination for outbound investments, with some 20 per cent going to ASEAN, mainly Singapore, with whom India has its deepest ties.
ASEAN has been China’s third largest trading partner for the past six years and China has been the ASEAN’s biggest trade partner for the past eight years in a row. More important, many Chinese companies are linked to ASEAN production centres through global value chainsA  big issue in the Indo-ASEAN agenda is the completion of the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which have yet to be completed. Earlier India was seen as the spoiler in the negotiations. But now it is clear that the differing demands of RCEP countries—China, Australia, Japan, Korea, the ASEAN nations themselves—are also responsible for the delay in concluding the negotiations. But if India steps up its political and strategic profile in the region, the ASEAN may be more accommodating to Indian demands in the RCEP negotiations. 
India, of course, has an important trade and investment agenda in the ASEAN region. But given its larger ambitions, it needs to draw in ASEAN into its connectivity plans. But it has not been able to do its bit, for example, in developing the Trilateral Highway, that would link India’s north-east with Myanmar, Thailand and onwards to Malayaia.  But these plans  include not just the developments of ports and roads, but also procedures and agreement for the smooth movement of goods and services. The Japan-India sponsored Asia Africa Growth Corridor will have a meaning only if the ASEAN acts as its eastern anchor.
ASEAN is also interested in connectivity and there are many areas that can be fruitfully explored, including the linkages of India’s east coast ports – Haldia, Paradip, Vizag and Chennai with ASEAN destinations.
Given the strategic nature of the Bay of Bengal, India has, since the 1990s, engaged ASEAN nations in maritime exercises bilaterally and multilaterally. As Modi pointed out in an article published in 27 different ASEAN newspapers, India has no disputes with any of its land or maritime neighbours—Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. This provides depth and transparency to ties between us and forms the basis of a deep relationship.
With China ignoring the verdict of the arbitration tribunal on the South China Sea, there is not much evidence of any effort to push back against China’s brazen tactics. The few weak freedom of navigation operations  have done little to assuage ASEAN fears and the US withdrawal from the TPP  undercut whatever hope there was of a coherent policy response to China in 2017.
Over the past decade, the ASEAN has been significantly weakened. Because it takes decisions only by consensus, certain pro-Chinese countries like Cambodia and Laos have weakened its voice, particularly when it comes to standing up to China.
 Modi’s gesture has, no doubt, been seen as helpful by the ASEAN which has for long sought the role of India as a balancer against the pull of China. But New Delhi needs to be careful not to get sucked into a China-ASEAN quarrel. India cannot make up for the disarray within ASEAN in relation to China. What India needs to do is to step up its economic game with ASEAN,  and perhaps political payoffs will follow.
Greater Kashmir January 29, 2018

Modi is rewriting India's ties with ASEAN

When he is not tied up in winning elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses his considerable energy to push the boundaries of India’s foreign policy. In the past weeks, there have been two important aspects of this — the visit to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos and the hosting of 10 ASEAN leaders as chief guests for the Republic Day.
Both were important in their own ways. The Davos timing was not a day too late. In the past year, the world economy has seen a distinct uptick, even while the foremost economy in the world, the US has sought to undermine globalisation. Modi’s strong assertion of the virtues of globalisation comes a year after Chinese premier Xi Jinping made the same point at Davos.
South China dispute
India and China upholding globalisation will impart stability to the global system, something neither can do without. Not to be left behind, US President Donald Trump, too, has shown up at Davos to declare that even he could live with a selective America First approach to the issue.
Equally important was the Modi move towards the ASEAN. With China ignoring the verdict of the arbitration tribunal on the South China Sea, there was not much evidence of any effort to push back against China’s brazen tactics. The few weak freedom of navigation operations did little to assuage ASEAN fears and the US' withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) undercut whatever hope there was of a coherent policy response to China in 2017.
The net result was an effective breakdown of the ASEAN into countries that were openly pro-Chinese, such as Cambodia and Laos; others leaning to China, such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar; and a few wary of Beijing, such as Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. There is no doubt that economically, China has deeper relations with the ASEAN.
As of now, ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner; India is ASEAN’s seventh. It is also a major destination for outbound investments, with some 20 per cent going to ASEAN, mainly Singapore, with whom India has its deepest ties.
ASEAN has been China’s third largest trading partner for the past six years and China has been the ASEAN’s biggest trade partner for the past eight years in a row. More important, many Chinese companies are linked to ASEAN production centres through global value chains.
The trade factor
Modi’s efforts to woo the ASEAN may not have immediate economic consequences, but it will definitely be a signal to the ASEAN that India is willing to play the role envisaged by Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew in the early 1980s maintaining an effective balance of power vis-à-vis China. In an oped he wrote for 27 newspapers, Modi emphasised the cultural and civilisational links between India and the region, and more importantly stressed the fact that though we share land and maritime boundaries with three ASEAN nations, we do not have disputes with any.
This is in contrast to China which has disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. The last named had been somewhat restrained in getting involved in the South China Sea issue but has now decided to make formal declaration that no part of its waters are in the South China Sea. This is in relation to the Natuna islands which the Chinese recognise as part of Indonesia but insists that the two countries have overlapping claims to maritime rights there.
Countering Beijing
India, of course, has an important trade and investment agenda in the ASEAN region. But given its larger ambitions, it needs to draw in ASEAN into its connectivity plans. India has a $1bn (Rs 6,359 crore) credit facility for infrastructure development in ASEAN region as well as a Rs 500 crore project development facility for the poorest ASEAN countries. The Japan-India sponsored Asia-Africa Growth Corridor will have a meaning only if the ASEAN acts as its eastern anchor. There is need to push ahead and actually implement some of the schemes.
Given its proximity to India and its importance in global value chains, ASEAN is in a vital zone of India’s strategic interests. After speaking of Look East, New Delhi now says we are Acting East. So far, India’s performance has been below par. But there is little time to lose. As China’s Belt and Road Initiative advances, there is a  need for countries of the region to provide an effective riposte.
Relations with ASEAN are not an easy job. It is one thing to have good ties with individual countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, and quite another to synchronise ties with the regional association with a significant history. India has not been too good in working outfits like ASEAN or, for that matter, the European Union.
Mail Today January 29, 2018

Is China the New Ambassador of Globalisation in the Trump Era?

The purpose of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ positive comment on Prime Minister Modi’s Davos speech is quite transparent. When the election of Donald Trump had dampened the ardour of globalists at Davos in January 2017, Xi had made a robust defence of globalisation and said that protectionism would be the equivalent of “locking oneself in a dark room”.
Modi’s attack on protectionism is being spun by the Chinese media as confirmation that Xi has positioned China as the champion of this key issue. Nevertheless, they are only one facet of the increasingly complex Sino-Indian relationship.
The Chinese spokesperson hailed Modi’s opposition to protectionism, and said that it conformed to the belief by most countries that economic globalisation is in the interest of all countries.
Asked whether there would be coordination between India and China to oppose protectionism, the spokesperson said that China and India “have a consensus and common interest” in opposing trade protectionism and promoting globalisation.
Speaking of the China-India relationship, he said China believed that India was a big neighbour and that their imperative was to maintain a steady growth in the relationship and enhance “mutual understanding and trust”.
There should be no reason to raise doubts about this posture. Globalisation has been the key to the Chinese economic miracle and will be the key to ours as well. There is therefore a common interest in ensuring that the forces of protectionism are opposed at every turn.
Even so, an important reason for the Chinese posture is the fact that in the era of Trump, Xi Jinping is seeking to make China the leader of the forces of globalisation. Not surprisingly, “globalisation with Chinese characteristics” has its own nuances as is evident from the design of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
But in this one year since Xi seized the standard of globalisation at Davos, we have also seen other aspects of what is being called China’s “sharp power” – the bullying of countries like South Korea, influence peddling in Australia and New Zealand, reports of Chinese heavy-handed tactics to force companies to transfer technology and so on.
In this past year, India and China have also had one of their most serious confrontations in the Doklam area. This is an issue which has not quite gone away, given the fact that China has strengthened its military forces in the area and there is every chance that once the snows melt, there could be tension once again.
2017 has also seen India drawing perceptibly closer to  the US. This has been marked by the revival of the Quadrilateral, a politico-military coalition of the US, Japan, India and Australia aimed at balancing Chinese power in what is being called the “Indo-Pacific”.
None of this should occasion any surprise. For some time now, Sino-Indian relations have featured the 4 C’s in varying measure – conflict, cooperation, containment and competition.
Doklam was the indication of conflict, but so, too, did we have cooperation  manifested by India (and Pakistan) becoming full members of the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in June 2017.
On issues of globalisation and trade, India and China have been closer to each other than India and the US. China and India are joined together with Russia, South Africa and Brazil in BRICS and the Shanghai-headquartered New Development Bank that it set up to promote the growth of developing economies.
Likewise, India is a  founder member of the Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank .
Containment and competition are somewhat more difficult categories to define.
China is seeking to pin down India in South Asia and its chosen instrumentality is Pakistan. As long as Pakistan is hostile to India, China does not have to do much but give strategic assistance to Islamabad to enable it to offset India’s size.
Over the years, China has provided Pakistan with not just economic and military aid, but helped built its nuclear weapons capacity and missiles as well.
The Chinese have now stepped up their efforts to pin India down in its own region by sharply stepping up its activities in South Asia. On one hand, they have developed deeper links with Pakistan through the CPEC programme. On the other, they are stepping up their economic and political links with Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
We can speculate that the reason Doklam occurred was because China wants to push Bhutan away from its close ties with India and decided that shaking up Thimphu a little bit could aid the process.
In turn, the Chinese worry about India becoming part of a US-led containment system aimed at China. The facts are that in the era of globalisation, it is simply not possible to contain large nations like India and China. This is not to say that containment is not present in China’s South Asia policy or American policy towards China.
The challenge for both China and India is to find ways of doing business with each other. Conflict and tension would do them both great harm and is the worst of all options.
Both must work out ways of competing with each other for political and economic influence without getting caught in the kind of negative spiral that characterises their relations today.
The Quint January 26, 2018

China wary of India’s strategic potential

China appears to be coming around to the view that India, despite having a much smaller economy and military, is emerging as a strategic competitor of sorts by aligning itself with Japan and the United States.
Ironically, the US has come to the same conclusion about China. Its recent National Security Strategy noted that China and Russia challenge American power, influence and interests, and are attempting to erode American security and prosperity. In other words, like the erstwhile Soviet Union (Russia), China, too, must now be seen as a strategic competitor rather than a country that would, over time, liberalize.
So far in South Asia, China has followed a convenient model of offsetting India’s advantages by backing Pakistan to the hilt. Given their enhanced clout in South Asia, and the fact that their economy is five times that of India and their military considerably stronger, they seek a situation where India quietly accepts Chinese primacy, or is subdued through the Chinese politico-military policy in the South Asia and Indian Ocean region (SA-IOR).
However, India has a sense of its own self-worth and place in the global scheme of things and accepting Chinese primacy in its own neighborhood is not part of it. And so it is seeking to offset Chinese power through growing proximity to the US and Japan, who have their own reasons for wanting to keep China in check. Ever since Modi has come to power, India has accelerated these efforts.
The signs of a Chinese shift are visible in many different ways.
Within days of his re-election as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in October 2017, the Chinese media published a letter by Xi to a Tibetan herder family praising them for their effort “to protect the Chinese territory” by living for decades in an isolated region on the border with Arunachal Pradesh. This is as clear a signal you can get that the very top echelons of the Chinese leadership are concerned about issues relating to their border with India.
Another sign came from an opinion piece in the South China Morning Post by Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, an honorary fellow with the PLA Academy of Military Science. Zhou, who speaks fluent English, is a familiar figure in the international circuit, attending seminars, forums and workshops, mounting a strong defense of Chinese positions on a range of issues. Zhou says he has served on the Indian border and was one of the people who articulated a tough line on Doklam to a group of visiting Indian media personnel in Beijing even as the crisis was unfolding.
In his op-ed, Zhou said that the Doklam incident may have been the outcome of India’s “strong sense of hopelessness” with regard to being outstripped by China in terms of economic and military power and “its hallucination of being encircled by China.”
He maintained that the Doklam outcome “was not even a tactical victory for India” because the Chinese have continued to remain there and have resumed road construction activity, albeit in another area.

Sharp rise in China’s border defense activity

But perhaps the most important part of Zhou’s article was his declaration that India is going to be the net loser now because “the disputed border was not on China’s strategic radar” but now, the Doklam standoff has “provided China with a lesson on reconsidering its security concerns.” As a result, China would enhance its infrastructure construction.
Zhou is right. Indian military sources confirm a sharp uptick in China’s border defense construction. Till now, comfortable with their economic and military lead over India, China did not really categorize India as a competitor of any kind. In any case, support to Pakistan was sufficient to keep India off-balance. On the border, taking advantage of the relatively easier terrain and India’s lackadaisical pace, the Chinese were able to build high-quality roads to every part of the border.
On the Indian side, road construction has plodded along. Contrary to claims, China’s deployments in Tibet were modest simply because it would require enormous resources. But China maintained a significant surge capacity amounting to some 30 divisions that could be deployed, if necessary.

Indian mountain corps, ballistic missile Agni V

But over the years, India’s infrastructure has improved and its border posture has become stiffer and ready to counter China’s incursions in places like Depsang and Chumur. Some years ago, India reached a point where it began to think of raising a mountain strike corps. Traditionally, given the terrain, India has maintained a defensive posture in the Himalayas, but the raising of a strike corps, of a type that would carry the battle into Tibet has rung alarm bells in China.
What we are now seeing is that China is enhancing the permanent presence of the People’s Liberation Army at various points on the border and constructing permanent cantonments or residential areas.
Another interesting signal as to just how this is working is available from the report, following testing of the Agni V missile on January 18. The test of the medium-range ballistic missile was hailed by the Indian media because it could cover most of China.
A CCTV programme reported for the first time the existence of a base in northwest China with a huge X-band phased array radar which is usually part of a ballistic missile defense system. According to the report, the radar, which is on the Qinghai plateau, would cover any possible launch from the Indian subcontinent and pass it on to a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system which would be the equivalent of the American Patriots or Russian S300s.
Whether these SAMs can actually knock out a missile like Agni V is a big question. And in our nuclear age, would a country risk everything on the reported efficacy of its ballistic missile defense system?
Asia Times, January 24, 2018

Beijing’s Trajectory in Science and Technology Shows India Is Far Behind in the Game

In Aurangabad, Satyapal Singh, the minister of state for human resource development which oversees the country’s higher education system, has questioned Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, arguing that no one has actually seen an ape turning into a man.
In Jaipur, thousands of women brandishing swords took out a ‘Chetavani Rally’ and threatened to commit jauhar or ritual collective suicide by jumping into a fire.
If you get the depressing impression that the country is rapidly regressing to the medieval ages of ignorance and superstition, you would not be wrong.
In contrast, US’s National Science Foundation and National Science Board have recently released their biennial science and engineering indicators which provide detailed figures on research and development (R&D), innovation and engineers. But its true message is in a different direction, “China has become,” concludes Robert J. Samuelson in a column, “or is in the verge of becoming – a scientific and technical superpower. This is not entirely unexpected given the size of the Chinese economy and its massive investments in R&D, even so, he says, “the actual numbers are breathtaking”.
  1. China is the 2nd largest spender in R&D after the US, accounting for 21% of the world total which is $2 trillion. It has been going up 18% a year, as compared to 4% in the US. An OECD report says that China could overtake the US in R&D spending by 2020.
  2. China has overtaken the US in terms of total number of science publications. Technical papers have increased dramatically, even if their impact, as judged by citation indices, may not be that high.
  3. China has increased its technical workforce five times since 2000 to 1.65 million. It also has more B.Sc. degrees in science than any other country and the numbers are growing.
  4. The US continues to produce more PhDs and attract more foreign students. But new international enrollment at US colleges was down for the first time in the decade in 2017. The Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric and actions are scaring away students.
  5. China has begun shifting from being an assembler of high-tech components, to a maker of super computers and aircraft and given the pattern of its investments in R&D and technology development, it is focusing on becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum communications, quantum computing, biotechnology and electrical vehicles.
  6. As of now, the US still continues to lead in terms of the number of patents and the revenue they generate.
China has also become a more attractive destination for foreign students and is now occupying the third slot after the US and the UK. This year, it is likely to gain the second spot.
China now has a serious programme to attract its own researchers back to the country. The thousand talents plan targets scientists below the age of 40 who have PhDs from prestigious foreign universities. The government offers 500,000 RMB ($80,000) lumpsum to everyone enrolled in the programme and promises research grants ranging from one to three million RMB ($150,000-$300,000). The funding for the programme is growing and in 2011, China awarded 143 scientists out of the 1,100 who applied, and in 2016, 590 from 3,048 applicants.
Individual Chinese universities are offering several times that sum. One specialist in advanced batteries from an MIT post-doctoral programme was offered a salary of $65,000, $900,000 as research grant and $250,000 to buy a house.
The report also flagged the serious deficiencies in US higher secondary education where in 2015, average maths scores for the 4th, 8th and 12th graders dropped for the first time. In the field of R&D and patents and revenue accruing from them, the US remains ahead, but the recent anti-immigration trends pose a serious long-term risk to the American supremacy because in essence, the US has been the best in harvesting talent from across the world.
Of course, the quantity of money or the number of research papers by itself does not automatically translate into leadership. The US remains the world leader in investment in basic research (17%) versus 5% in China. It remains the leader in top quality research, attracting the best and the brightest of international students and in its ability to translate basic research into revenue-generating intellectual property.
But the Chinese have been putting serious money into key areas which they aim to become world leaders in the next decade or so. One of these is AI where the government and Chinese corporates are moving in a big way. Just recently, Chinese tech major Baidu announced its decision of setting up two more AI labs in the US, one focusing on business intelligence and the other on robotics and autonomous driving.
There is little point in flagellating ourselves by putting the Indian figures alongside those of the US and China. Given the profoundly anti-science attitude of our government leaders, things are not likely to change in a hurry. But it is worth looking at the latter’s trajectory because some in India still see themselves as competing with China. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Davos to attract investment, presumably in high-tech areas, it is worth reminding ourselves that science and technology is the core of the economic foundations of an advanced country, which China says it intends to become by 2050.
The Wire January 23, 2018

The Doklam dimension

Reports of a Chinese buildup in the Doklam area should be occasion for worry. This was an area where the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had a prolonged standoff between June and August 2017, which was resolved only on August 28, 2017. At the time India had issued a statement that both sides had agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” at Doklam. The face-off had started after Bhutanese and Indian troops had stopped a Chinese road construction team at Doklam, which India considers Bhutan’s territory.
However, Google Earth imagery as of December 10, 2017 revealed that the Chinese withdrawal was literally of tens of metres from the point where Indian and Chinese troops had faced off and since then they have built up significant strength adjacent to  the site. In some ways it is in response to the fact that India, too, has had significant forces at around 150 metres away up the ridge at Doka La. These were the forces that blocked the Chinese efforts to build a road to the Jampheri ridge.
In response to a question on developments in Doklam at the annual Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat said  on Wednesday,  “They [the Chinese] have carried out some infrastructure development, most of it is temporary in nature. But while their troops may have returned and the infrastructure remains, it is anybody’s guess whether they would come back there, or it is because of the winter they could not take their equipment away that.”
Earlier in his annual Army Day press conference, the General Rawat had said that the August 28 agreement had been aimed at separating the two forces. “We have come back from where we had stepped in, (back) to our own territory. We are now back on the watershed. And the Chinese too have gone back that much distance. But behind that, they have continued to maintain themselves.”
Given that Indian forces had entered around 100-150 metres into the territory disputed by Bhutan and China, the presumption is that the Chinese pull back also amounted to that distance. And that is what the December 10 imagery reveals.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar strongly reiterated the government’s position that there has been no change in stance since the disengagement in August. He said that “there was no basis for such imputations” to repeated questions about the presence of Chinese troops at Doklam. “The government would once again reiterate that the status quo at the face-off site has not been altered.” He went on to add, “ Any suggestion to the contrary is inaccurate and mischievous” .
In August, at the time of the disengagement, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that India had withdrawn their troops, but remained silent on the status of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers. “China will continue to exercise its sovereign rights and maintain territorial sovereignty in accordance with the provisions of the historical conventions.”
This time around, another Chinese spokesman Lu Kang rejected implications of the Indian reports that China may be preparing for another standoff with India. Lu, declared that: “China’s position on the Donglong (Doklam) area is quite clear. Donglong always belonged to China and (was) always under China’s effective jurisdiction.”
He said China’s construction there was “ legitimate and justified. Just as China will not make comments on India’s construction of infrastructure in India’s territory, we hope other countries will not make comments on China’s construction of infrastructure in its own territory,” he said. He said China is building infrastructure for its troops and the people living in the area. “In order to patrol the border and improve the production and lives of border troops and residents, China has constructed infrastructure including roads in the Donglong (Doklam) area,” Lu said. He said China was exercising sovereignty in its own territory.
Referring to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s comment that Doklam is a disputed territory between China and Bhutan, Lu said: “The Indian senior military officer has recognised that it was the Indian border troops who crossed the border… This incident has put bilateral relations to… severe test. We hope the Indian side can learn lessons from this and avoid the incident from happening again.”
Clearly, the Chinese are not backing off and neither is India. This, then, has the potential for a more serious clash between the two sides unless the issue is diplomatically resolved. That resolution is, of course, complicated by the fact that India has no claim on Doklam; the claimants are China and Bhutan. Given the latter’s lack of state capacity, China began nibbling on Doklam since 2005. Last June they sought to occupy their entire claim area and Bhutan would have been unable to resist but for the Indian intervention.
For the Indians, the issue relates to its friend Bhutan and its own security. There is no treaty that automatically commits India to Bhutan’s defence. But given the country’s location it is clear that the security of India’s north-east is inextricably tied to that of the little Himalayan Kingdom.
India’s security is also affected directly in the Doklam region. If China occupies the entire area up to the Jampheri ridge it will get  an overview of the Siliguri corridor, a narrow neck of land that joins the north-east to the rest of the country. Just as China does not countenance countries that are seeking access to islands close to its mainland, India cannot accept the Chinese presence in this area.
Greater Kashmir January 22, 2018