Monday, February 22, 2010

India-China aerial war games in 2012:

There are two ways one can view this news. First, despite the recent border tensions and a host of other issues (eg. bombastic editorials), cooler heads from both governments prevail. Or, is the Sino-India mistrust so deep that no amount of CBM can overcome it? Either way bragging rights from a "dog-and-pony" show is preferable to the real thing.

The historical baggage has a greater burden in North Asia than in the Himalayas and if the Chinese, Korean and Japanese can plan a regional security framework (here), then it's possible such a framework could be established elsewhere.

China is becoming a great power and like all other great powers--even those under a different political system--it's power is subject to abuse. However, long term and complicated regional issues require a grand vision from all sides to push policy above politics. Cheap opportunistic pandering to bolster relations with one's constituency produces no long term impact and is not productive to the ultimate goal. Of course, the Chinese government's passive-aggressive overreaction to such pandering doesn't help either.

While the "new aerial war games" may not improve regional security issues, it could be better than attending some contentious meeting.

India-China aerial war games in 2012: IAF chief
2010-02-22 17:50:00

In yet another sign of the growing India-China military ties, the air forces of the two countries will stage their first joint war game in 2012, the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief said Monday.

'The planning has commenced. We are expecting political approval soon. In all probability, the exercise will be conducted in 2012,' Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Naik told reporters here.

With this, all three wings of the armed forces would have engaged in joint exercises with their Chinese counterparts.

The Indian and Chinese navies had initiated the process in November 2003, holding their first joint exercise off Shanghai. Subsequently, two ships of the Indian Navy made port calls at Qingdao and participated in a joint exercise with the Chinese navy in 2007.

The first bilateral army exercise between the two countries was organised in Kunming China late in 2007. The next joint army exercise was held in India in December 2008. The next round of these will be held in either country in 2011.

The year 2008 also saw high level visits of armed forces officials and defence ministry officials.

In January, Defence Secretary Padeep Kumar had led a 10-member delegation of senior armed forces officers and defence ministry officials to China. He had met, among others, Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie. The delegation also visited an armoured division of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Academy of Military Science.

'The two sides have identified a number of areas in which further action will be taken for military cooperation. For 2010, both sides have discussed high-level delegation visits, exchanges between military training institutes and reciprocal exchanges for various courses, including language courses,' a defence ministry official said after Kumar's return.

India and China had fought a bitter border war in 1962 and their relations remained frosty till the mid-1980s, when Rajiv Gandhi, who was then the prime minister, made a path-breaking visit to Beijing.

Since then, there has been a steady warming of ties with exchanges in the political, economic and cultural fields. The two countries have also named special representatives to work out a roadmap for resolving their border row.


Chuckles said...

It's better to have a war game, than a real war. Besides, the U.S. policy of using one country to "contain" another country never really works. They tried using China to "contain" Russia. Then they tried using India to "contain" China. Then they tried using Pakistan to "contain" India. Then they tried using Japan to "contain" China. And so on ....

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