statesman news service
KOLKATA, 27 JULY: India must build and strengthen its infrastructure in its North eastern states to balance what China has done in Tibet and northern Myanmar. This was stated by retired Lt-Gen. Nirbhay Singh, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh here while inaugurating a seminar on Issues on Sino-Indian relations and leadership change in China organised by the Observer Research Foundation at its new premises in Rajarhat. Compared to the massive infrastrcuture built by the Chinese in Tibet and northern Myanmar, the problem of connectivity still stares the strategically located North east in the face. Other than Assam, only 66km of railway line has been built in the region since Independence, he rued poor connectivity and infrastructure have posed serious problems for Arunachal Padesh’s development.
Lt. Gen. Sharma (file photo) said India faces serious challenges from an economically powerful and developed country like China. Beijing’s core interest was to safeguard its national security, territorial integrity and sustain its development process. India has to look at China in a pragmatic manner because of a wide gap in the capabilities of the two countries. He said despite the 1962 border conflict and both the countries being unable to resolve their border dispute, not a single shot had been fired in anger by either side since 1967 which was a big achievement.
Mr C Raja Mohan, strategic expert, said India has to bear in mind that China was not only a communist country but also has very strong nationalist feelings. He regretted that India had invested very little in knowing China. "We must end our ignorance of China. Our knowledge base on China was so abysmally small that we did not know or understand the intricacies of China’s internal politics which was posing a serious problem for us to manage our relations with Beijing. Mr Raja Mohan wanted India to engage China both at the diplomatic and economic level. He cautioned the government of India that if Delhi did not have a good and sound south Asian policy, Beijing will make deep inroads into the region at India’s cost.
Mr Manoj Joshi, defence analyst said China nibbling India in Ladakh was seemingly in response to India developing Agni 3, acquiring nuclear capability and raising a 50,000-strong strike corps and the Indian build up along the border. The Chinese conveniently forget that they too have resorted to build up along the border. He said that so long India and China failed to reach a key agreement on defining the Line of actural control intrusions of the kind which have recently taken place in Ladakh will continue to take place.
Prof. Sobhanlal Duttagupta of Calcutta Univesity speaking on leadership change in China said that the fight against endemic corruption was being given top priority by the party leaders who have warned that if the Communist party was unable to handle corruption, entire China and the party would collapse like a house of cards.