…who needs ignorant masses? The Times of India (h/t CDT) reports that Bharat Verma, editor of the Indian Defence Review, has suggested that China is going to attack India before 2012. Not may, will: “China will launch an attack on India before 2012.” Interesting. We suspect this is the first China has heard of it.
Mr. Verma does offer some reasons why China will attack India sometime in the next three years: “There are multiple reasons for a desperate Beijing to teach India the final lesson, thereby ensuring Chinese supremacy in Asia in this century […the recession has] shut the Chinese exports shop [and the Chinese are facing] unprecedented internal social unrest.” Other reasons listed included: rising unemployment, a decrease in foreign investment, depletion of its foreign exchange reserves, and a bunch of other things that basically come down to the economy.
Good points, except that the Chinese economy is already recovering faster than anyone expected. Also, the whole idea is sort of batshit crazy.
First of all, the idea seems predicated on the idea that China is on the brink of collapse because of massive social unrest. Many would characterize that as inaccurate. Despite the recent riots, things in China seem fairly calm, and with the economy looking up, they could stay that way. Even if they don’t, the day when things have devolved to the point that China starts randomly attacking countries to distract people seems a long way away. It would also be a bit of a diversion from the traditional CCP model, which would seem to indicate they might instead attack (figuratively, one hopes) some group within China.
Verma’s idea also assumes that the Chinese government doesn’t care what the international community thinks; nor does it hope to resume any kind of international trade in the future, as an invasion or attack on India would almost certainly lead to the cessation of all trade relations between those two countries and probably tighter restrictions or ever embargoes from many other horrified countries (assuming they didn’t decide to respond militarily).
It’s probably also worth mentioning that China has never invaded another country since the Communist takeover. This is an important piece of government propaganda becuase it helps sell stability. Of course, it isn’t entirely true, but a lot has happened since 1979. If the news about riots in Urumqi can be all over the internet, with photos, within hours, one suspects that the Chinese government would be hard pressed to cover up an invasion of its gigantic, democratic neighbor. Invading India, one suspects, is as likely to cause more domestic unrest as it is to reduce domestic pressures.
The idea that China poses a serious military threat to India has come up before, but that Nation article probably explains the reason best: “India faces a greater threat from China than Pakistan because New Delhi knows little about Beijing’s combat capabilities.”
It’s understandable that India is nervous, of course, but is anyone else out there really convinced China is definitely going to attack them by 2012, or even going to attack them at all?