Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Mountain is High and the Emperor is Far?

The motivation for India to negotiate with China over border incidents is disturbing, if true.

India thinks that the Chinese generals commanding forces on the India-China border are acting on their own:

India and China are still talking about their border disputes but progress is slow. While Chinese government leaders say they are all for a settlement, India has come to believe that Chinese military leaders are acting independently along the border. So India is trying to open discussions with senior generals in hopes of making a deal with whoever is really in charge. All this diplomacy has halted Chinese aggressive use of troops to move across the border into remote areas that China claims. Chinese troops are still more numerous on the border than their Indian counterparts and China has renewed its tactics of not recognizing the passports of Indians living in the areas China claims (since these people are, in Chinese eyes, Chinese citizens who are trying to use Indian IDs and passports). Indian diplomats fear that the current situation is just a truce and that the Chinese will not give up their efforts to take the Indian territory they claim.

Claims that China would never start a war and risk their economic growth miss the point that military leaders might have a very different view than Communist Party leaders on what is important.

Just who can order the PLA to war, anyway? Are the generals more nationalistic than Communist?

Oh, and if China's economy suffers setbacks, the premise for the belief that China's party leaders wouldn't launch a war collapses as the assumption fails. In that case, a war might be seen as rallying people to the Communist Party in the absence of economic growth to provide that acceptance of the party's monopoly on power.