Sunday, May 31, 2015

How the Chinese fooled Nehru in Tibet

General Zhang Jingwu near Lhasa (August 1951)
While the Indian archives are still jealously kept by the Ministry of External Affairs (and other Indian ministries), the Chinese are slowly (and selectively) declassifying their archives.
A cable from General Zhang Jingwu, 'On Issues of Relations between China and India in Tibet' dating October 21, 1953, is one example.
A translation was recently released by Digital Archive of the Wilson Centre (International History Declassified). It belongs to the History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
Zhang Jingwu was one of the signatories of the infamous Seventeen-Point Agreement between the People's Republic of China and a Tibetan delegation (the so-called local government of Tibet).
Later, General Zhang became the representative in Tibet of the Central Committee of the Community Party of China; in July 1951, Zhang went to Yatung (via Hong Kong) to persuade the Fourteenth Dalai Lama to return to Lhasa. During the following years, he acted as Beijing’s representative in Tibet and was designated as Secretary of the Tibet Work Committee.
A few words about the background of General Zhang’s cable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing: Nehru wanted to re-negotiate the Simla Convention (of 1914) with China, taking into accounts the new situation: Tibet was an independent nation anymore after the PLA invaded the Roof of the World in October 1950
In September 1952, before his transfer to Cairo, K.M. Panikkar, who had been ‘ambassador in Two Chinas’, had several meetings with Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier. The latter told the gullible Indian ambassador that the downgrading of the Lhasa Mission was only the first step to pave the way for negotiations on ‘all outstanding problems’. The conversion of the Indian Mission into a Consulate General in Lhasa was a tragedy in itself; unfortunately Nehru had readily agreed to the Chinese ‘proposal’.
I quote here from my book: Born in Sin, the Panchsheel Agreement.

During the first months of 1953, Nehru may have felt that the situation was settling down in Tibet and slowly the Tibetans were accepting the invasion of their country by the Liberation Army as a fait accompli.
In September 1953, Nehru wrote to his Chinese counterpart that India was anxious to come to a final settlement about “pending matters so as to avoid any misunderstanding and friction at any time”. Quoting a letter sent one year earlier, he said that “No further steps have been taken since then to negotiate a settlement”.
It appears that different visitors and informants were briefing Nehru about the situation inside Tibet. It was reported that everything was quiet on the Roof of the World. In early December 1953, Nehru mentions that, he had received a letter from George Roerich, the Russian painter and scholar living in Kulu giving him more information. After admitting that “our Intelligence has looked upon them [the Roerich] with some slight suspicion although they have never had anything to get hold of,” Nehru told T.N. Kaul, the Joint Secretary in the China Desk in the Ministry of External Affairs: “His [Roerich] general report to me has been that things are very calm in Tibet and both the people and the Lama hierarchy have adjusted themselves to the new order. This is chiefly so because the Chinese have refrained from interfering in anything. The Tibetans are, therefore, not so apprehensive as they used to be.”
As we have seen in the case of food supply to the Chinese troops and the sacking of the Tibetan Prime Ministers, the report was not completely true. The Chinese had begun interfering actively in the life of the Tibetans. In fact, they started meddling in the internal affairs of Tibet almost immediately after the signature of the 17-Point Agreement.
Nehru considered that the time had come to renegotiate the old Simla Convention signed in 1914 between the British and the Tibetans. He therefore decided to take the initiative and propose negotiations to resolve ‘all outstanding issues’. The talks were to begin in December 1953 in Beijing and were scheduled to last a maximum of six weeks. Unfortunately, they would take four months to reach a conclusion. Kaul, one of the main negotiators in Beijing described the preparations for the Conference thus: “Many meetings and discussions were held and it was decided to sound the Chinese. Not unexpectedly they welcomed the idea. It was decided to send a small delegation to Peking to discuss the matter and reach an agreement, if possible. The spade work had already been done by Panikkar, [N.] Raghavan and me in Peking. The new Indian Ambassador to China, N. Raghavan, was appointed the leader and I the deputy-leader of the Indian delegation. Director, Historical Division, External Affairs Ministry, the late Dr. Gopalachari, was a member. His knowledge of history and facts of the Sino-Indian border was an asset. We were authorised to co-opt such other members of the Embassy as we found necessary. It was a small delegation, as delegations go, but convenient and closely knit.”
Most of the correspondence or instructions during the following months was routed through Kaul, one of Nehru’s Kashmiri blue-eyed boys.

The Instructions
In early December, the Secretary General put up a Note in which he defined the main points for discussions at what became known as the Beijing Conference. The points were:
  1. The question of India’s frontier with Tibet,
  2. Indo-Tibetan trade and trade agencies,
  3. Freedom of movement of Indian and Tibetan traders and pilgrims,
  4. Passports and visas,
  5. Telegraph, post office and hospitals
  6. Security guards and escorts and
  7. Special position of Bhutan.
On 3 December 1953, Nehru replied to this Note giving the framework for negotiations to be held in Beijing regarding the relations between India and China and India’s interests in Tibet. He clarified the position to be adopted by the Indian delegation during the Beijing Conference. More particularly on the border question, though he generally agreed with the points made by the Secretary General, he chose to remain faithful to the Panikkar doctrine, which says ‘remain silent about the border’. Nehru wrote: “We should not raise this question. If the Chinese raise it, we should express our surprise and point out that this is a settled issue. Further, during the last two years or so, when reference was frequently made about Indo-Chinese or Indo-Tibetan problems, there has never been any reference to this frontier issue and it is surprising that this should be brought up now. Our delegation cannot discuss it.”
Though Panikkar had been transferred more than a year earlier to Cairo, Nehru was still keen to consult him on China’s affairs. The former Ambassador had suggested a step further, he had written: “if China insisted on reopening the whole issues of the frontier, the Indian delegation could walk out of the conference and break off the negotiations.” Nehru was not as extreme as Panikkar, he did not recommend walking out of the Conference, his instructions were: “We should avoid walking out unless the Chinese insist on taking up this question. If such an eventuality occurs, the matter will no doubt be referred to us.”
To agree to discuss the border issue was for Panikkar an admission that there was a problem. But can wishful thinking take away an issue?
Nehru also believed that it was important to keep the trade marts alive as he envisioned an increase in the commercial exchanges with Tibet in the future. He wrote: “Tibet is our natural market and we should develop it normally.” He was in favour of keeping the trade agencies functional: “Gartok is important. Yatung especially, and, to some extent, Gyantse are likely to become more important as trade between India and Tibet increases. They are on the main route. Therefore, it is eminently reasonable that we should have some trade agents there or at least at Yatung.”

In October 1953, General Zhang sent his perceptions on these questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. At that time, China was getting ready to seat for new negotiations with India.

Some points have to be noted:
•    In 1953, China still needs India, not only ‘for some international’ issues, but to supply the PLA in Tibet [see my post on the supply of Indian rice to the PLA]. It is only a year later that the Qinghai-Tibet and the Sichuan-Tibet roads will be opened rendering the PLA in Tibet non-dependent on the trade with India.
•    General Zhang speaks of China’s “insufficient understanding of imperialist privileges in Tibet”, but during the following months and years, Beijing will learn very fast; at the same time, India will be fooled in abandoning all its ‘privileges’ accrued from the Simla Convention. This is a great tragedy.
•    Zhang understood that the time was ripe to make China’s occupation ‘official’: “delaying the settlement of these issues is not good”. Beijing need to officialize its presence on the Roof of the World through a Treaty/Agreement. A few months later, the Panchsheel Agreement would be sign.
•    Zhang then brings Tawang “which is Indian according to the 1914 Simla Accord”. He says that if Beijing agrees to “the absence of territorial disputes”, China would “implicitly acknowledge and legitimize India’s occupation.” It is a fact that earlier, China has never complained about the Indian administration of Tawang and Kameng Frontier Division. It is probably in 1953 only that Beijing realized the Indian move by Major Bob Khathing and his men.
•    Zhang mentions that in July 1948 (in fact it was in July 1947] India notified the Tibetan government “that it would succeed the privileges of Britain in Tibet”. According to Zhang: “Tibet replied in October [1948] that signing a new treaty was acceptable but India must first return the lands occupied by Britain, e.g. Tawang, Bhutan, and Sikkim.” This obnoxious ‘offer’ is unfortunately true. In fact, Lhasa added Ladakh to the list. The Tibetans were living in another world.
•    Zhang states that “according to the discussions with Ngapoi [Ngapo Ngawang Jigme] and Liushar, such treaties were secretly signed and the Kashag, the Tibetan Cabinet did not know about the maps, when Tibet was forced to sign them”. This is obviously not correct because Lochen Shatra, the Tibetan Plenipotentiary in Simla, had informed Sir Henry McMahon that he had received his instructions from Lhasa to sign the maps. It is however possible that the Kashag in the 1940s was unaware of the details of the Simla Agreement, particularly the pilgrimage area south of the Line. I had dealt with this in detail in my book, 1962, the McMahon Line Saga.
•    Zhang makes 3 propositions to settle the border: abolish the Simla Accord, India’s withdrawal from Tawang and Lower Luoyu [Loyul, i.e. Siang Frontier Division] and China and India must discuss the dividing lines between both countries. Zhang concludes “It is in our interest to delay the settlement of these issues.”
•    Zhang admits that discussions have been held with Ngabo and Liushar, with both expressing their agreement. There is no doubt that, as the Chinese established their presence in Tibet, several Tibetan officials were on the Chinese side against India …and against Tibet. But this is another story.
•    Zhang’s suggestions are that India should drop all its so-called privileges in Tibet and in counterpart China should gain new privileges in India. It is what Nehru agreed to during the following months. It is called ‘negotiations with Chinese characteristics’, 'you lose everything and China wins everything'.

The Dalai Lama with General Zhang Jingwu in the 1950s

Here is General Zhang Jingwu’s cable dated October 21, 1953.

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Your correspondence dated 7 October [1953] and the two types of Indian documents have been received. Research shows that the assumption that “India intends to capitalize this opportunity to have some benefit in Tibet,” as mentioned in your correspondence, is very accurate. Based on the information that we have at hand about Tibet, we still need Indian cooperation in some international issues. However, India is capitalizing on our temporary difficulties in Tibet, particularly our insufficient understanding of imperialist privileges in Tibet and the ideal solution to border disputes, as well as our need for India’s cooperation in various areas, to gain benefits by offering a general solution to the Tibet issue.
As a matter of fact, there have always been disputes on some issues, e.g. commercial exchanges and representative offices, because we have always claimed our sovereignty over Tibet. Delaying the settlement of these issues is not good and therefore a solution to them is applauded. If such disputes continue to occur in the years to come, our relations with India may be aggravated with the instigations of some bad-willed nations. Therefore, it is correct to engage in negotiations with India as mentioned in your correspondence.
According to the Indian documents, they emphasize that “India and China have no territorial disputes” (Nehru, the Indian politician, also stated so during his speech in the Upper House of the Parliament). This is where the plot of India lies. Today, India occupies the Dawang [Tawang] Region according to the 1914 Simla Accord. However, it claimed the absence of territorial disputes just to force us into implicitly acknowledging and legitimizing their occupation. We must stay alert in this regard.
According to the information at hand and the results of negotiations with Ngapoi [Ngawang Jigme] and [Thupten Tharpa] Liushar, they reiterated that there were no public or secret treaties with foreign countries except for the Simla Accord. We assumed the Dalai [Lama] might have purchased arms from Britain and India but it is hard to make sure if they have signed any formal treaty. After its independence, India notified Tibet in July 1948 that it would succeed the privileges of Britain in Tibet. Tibet replied in October that signing a new treaty was acceptable but India must first return the lands occupied by Britain, e.g. Tawang, Bhutan, and Sikkim. In December, India replied and asked Tibet to promise to maintain the status quo then regarding India-Tibet relations before a new treaty was established (i.e. the old treaties should remain effective). Otherwise, trade between Tibet and India would be out of the question (the document has been delivered to me). This is the base of Tibet-India relations.
Other than some conventional practices, the so-called ‘status quo’ is based on the Simla Accord among Britain, India, and China, the Tibet-Britain commercial treaties, and the Tibet-Britain declaration and attached maps (these documents have been delivered to me. Please refer to the correspondences dated 16 September for details). The accord includes eleven articles. It recognizes the effectiveness of the treaties established on 1809 [probably meaning 1890], 1904, and 1906 and repeals the two commercial treaties signed in 1893 and 1908. According to the discussions with Ngapoi and Liushar, such treaties were secretly signed and Xiazha (the signatory [the Kashag, the Tibetan Cabinet] did not know about the maps) when Tibet was forced to sign them. It is also said that “such treaties shall be abolished if India recognizes that Tibet is part of China.” The so-called McMahon Line was established in the Simla Accord. However, Tibet later found that two holy mountains were located in the Indian territory land and raised its demurral. Britain then agreed to shift the line southward and have Sera [Sela?] as the border (some of the documents have been delivered to me). However, this line is already over Sera [Sela?] and reaches Tawang now.
According to the foregoing information, one of the main Tibet issues facing India involves these treaties and the bilateral borders, i.e. the Simla Accord and the so-called McMahon Line. We are of the opinion that:
  1. We must declare abolishment of the old accord, i.e. the Simla Accord, which was not recognized by the former Chinese Government;
  2. India must withdraw from Chinese Tawang and Lower Luoyu [Loyul] which it currently occupies;
  3. China and India may discuss the dividing lines between both countries. It is impossible to fundamentally settle the issues regarding the accord and the border. It is in our interest to delay the settlement of these issues. However, we have to make further declarations. Otherwise, we would be deemed to have implicitly acknowledged the status quo and hence be put in a rather disadvantaged position.
Other than the issues of the accord and the border, we should negotiate with India to settle other issues as mentioned in the correspondences, e.g. trade, troops, pilgrimage (border entry and exit), and commercial representative facilities. These issues can and must be settled. According to the correspondences received from India last February, the two types of documents received recently, and the Indian propaganda in the newspapers, India intends to capitalize on the current situation to gain certain benefits, e.g. legitimization of three representative offices in Gyantse, free entry for pilgrimage, expansion of trade territories, withdrawal of Indian troops, and other issues. In addition to the proposals made on 24 March 1952, we have also come up with the following supplementary solutions according to the present conditions:
  1. Indian troops and officials should be withdrawn.
  2. Postal facilities shall be taken back. The local postal administration of the Tibetan Government has reached Pali [Phari Dzong]. With our assistance, the postal services will not be a problem even after the Indian postal facilities are withdrawn.
  3. Indian radio facilities shall also be withdrawn or transferred to us (at a reasonable price). Cabled facilities shall be transferred to us at a reasonable price. We have established our telecommunication facilities at Yadong [Yatung] , Gyantse, and Lhasa and international telecommunication services may also be established there. The telephones may be withdrawn by India or transferred to us.
  4. All posthouses [Dak Bungalows] relating to posts and telecommunications shall be withdrawn.
  5. The Xiasima [?] administration shall also be withdrawn.
  6. Commerce in Gartok [Western Tibet] cannot be stopped right now and shall be continued. The Indian commercial representative may acknowledge the conventional practice, i.e. conducting trade where designated during a certain period in the year. However, we must dispatch our commercial representative to Simla or Kalimpong in exchange.
  7. As a consulate general already exists in Lhasa, the Indian commercial representatives in Yadong and Gyantse shall be cancelled. If India still asks to maintain them, they may be converted into consulates although only Yadong may be allowed to accommodate them and we must have a consulate or formal commercial representative in Kalimpong in exchange. We believe having one representative facility in Kalimpong is to our benefit.
  8. Regarding the radio stations that the Consulate General of India has in Lhasa and the possible establishment of radio stations by India’s representative facilities at Yadong and Gartok in the future, we believe that our representative facilities in India must also set up radio stations in exchange. Otherwise, neither side shall set up radio facilities. We have a telecommunication bureau (Ngari Prefecture Government has dispatched personnel to the radio station) and we can send the telegraphs.
  9. Trade locations: trade shall be conducted at Gartok and Puguanzong [Purang Dzong] in Ngari Prefecture and in Yadong, Gyantse, or Lhasa. India proposes Kalimpong, Calcutta, Simla, Gandu [Gangtok?], or Siliguri as its trading places.
  10. Regarding frontier entry and exit for trading purposes, we are of the opinion that free entry and exit may be allowed on a mutually beneficial basis, without the need for any passport or visa. However, both countries shall issue a license to their respective merchants as evidence. When it becomes mature one or two years later, relevant rules on entry and exit visas may be established.
  11. Taxation issue: we recommend following conventional practices one to two years before the Customs is established, i.e. no import and export taxes shall be levied.
  12. Locations shall be designated for pilgrimage purpose: we designate Mt. Kailas and Lake Manasarovar in Ngari and India designates Lumbini (where Sakyamuni died) and Varanasi (where Sakyamuni recited sermons for the first time) for pilgrimage purposes. Both countries may further designate the routes of pilgrimage.
  13. It is recommended that both countries establish relevant articles or agreements to replace historical treaties and accords regarding the foregoing issues.
Discussions have been held with Ngapoi and Liushar on the foregoing issues and they both expressed their agreement. In addition, the Foreign Office has collected some materials on Tibet’s foreign relations, imperialist privileges in Tibet, and India’s conditions in Yadong and Gyantse. The Tibetan government has submitted the Simla Accord and other documents as reference materials in the negotiations. We recommend that Yang Gongsu [head of the Foreign Bureau in Lhasa] should take various types of materials and accords to Beijing for negotiations. After any new agreement is reached, he can also return to Tibet and make preparations according to the spirit and provisions of the agreement. It is expected to benefit the foreign affairs work of Tibet.
Please consider the abovementioned proposals and provide your feedback as soon as possible.
[General] Zhang Jingwu
21 October 1953

Friday, May 29, 2015

China: internal challenges are increasing

Sun Chunlan visits China Tibet Online office (Sitar on her right, Chen Xiqing on her left)
The recent White Paper (WP) on China's Military Strategy affirms that “China enjoys generally favorable environment for development, but external challenges are increasing.”
Not only external challenges, internal as well, as we shall see.
What are these multiple and complex security threats, “leaving China an arduous task to safeguard its national unification, territorial integrity and development interests?”
Of course, the main villain in Beijing’s eyes is Washington and its ‘rebalancing’ strategy’ as well as its ‘enhanced’ military presence in the region.
Then Japan, which is “sparing no effort to dodge the post-war mechanism, overhauling its military and security policies.”
Beijing believes that it now “faces a long-standing task to safeguard its maritime rights and interests.”
If other nations do not share the same perception about peace and stability in the region, it does not bother the Middle Kingdom. The White Paper says: “Some of its offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China's reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied. Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China.”
Well, there is another side to the coin.
Then, the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia are 'shrouded in instability and uncertainty', says the WP.
And of course, the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces are still “the biggest threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.”
But there is more: “Separatist forces for ‘East Turkistan independence’ [Xinjiang] and ‘Tibet independence’ have inflicted serious damage, particularly with escalating violent terrorist activities by ‘East Turkistan independence’ forces.”
This is an open admission that Beijing is less bothered by a non-violent ‘Tibet’ than a ‘terrorist' Xinjiang.
The conclusion is that “China's national security is more vulnerable to international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, serious natural disasters and epidemics, and the security of overseas interests concerning energy and resources, strategic sea lines of communication.”
This translates a very serious enhancement of the capacity of the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) amongst other things.

The United Front Work Conference
The issues of Xinjiang and Tibet (and Taiwan) were also discussed during the meeting of the United Front Work Department (UFW) of the CPC Central Committee, held from May 18 to 20 in Beijing.
This conference should eventually pave the way for the 6th Tibet Work Forum, which may be held in the coming weeks.
Addressing the UFW delegates, President Xi Jinping asked the authorities to befriend and recruit more non-CPC intellectuals and representatives. He further stressed their role in economic development and ‘cleansing’ the Internet. It appears that he needs the non-Party know-how to help doing the job.
Xi invited the expertise of people like Jack Ma of Alibaba to join the collective efforts to build the Chinese Dream: “To unite the non-CPC intellectuals is basic and strategically important work under the party's efforts to unite the nation and pool strength for realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation”.
According to Xinhua, Xi vowed to “develop the widest patriotic united front” to support ‘the great Chinese renaissance’.
The president added: “Students studying abroad should also be encouraged to return home and serve the country in various ways.”
He asked communist officials to make friends with non-CPC intellectuals in ‘doing ideological work’: “Excellent non-CPC representatives should be guided to grasp the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
Faster said than done!
He concluded by exhorting the cadres to be “sincere, modest and clean so that they can gain respect from non-CPC members and help them work together with the party.”
Xinhua noted that the conference came “against the backdrop of mounting challenges to the party’s agenda, including pro-democracy protests last year in Hong Kong, ethnic unrest in the far western region of Xinjiang and pushback against closer ties in Taiwan.”
Once again, Tibet seems to be a minor affair for Beijing.
Interestingly, at the time of the UFW conference, Madam Sun Chunlan, head of the UFW Department met with some Tibetan Buddhist monks, who graduated as geshe ‘Tho Ram Pa’ [Lharampa].
China Tibet Online reported that the awards ceremony was held at Tibetan Buddhism College of China in Beijing on May 20, 2015.
Regarding Madam Sun, it has to be noted that it is first time in the recent times that a member of the Politburo heads of the UFW. It shows the importance of ‘co-opting’ non-Communist forces into the Chinese Dream.
Will it work is a diffrent question.
Sun said that this Tibetan Buddhist advanced academic degree system is “an important measure in fostering Tibetan Buddhist religious believers to love their country and religion, as well as adapting religion to socialist society.”
In other words, training geshes with ‘socialist and Chinese characteristics’!
Madam Sun believed that the new geshes “would cherish and honor their award, help religious people, promote social development and the fine Tibetan Buddhism tradition of loving their country and religion,” and of course “observe and uphold the law, protect the country and its people, promote economic development and social and religious harmony.”
Xi Jinping during the UFW conference also spoke of the “the positive influence that religious people and believers have on social and economic development.”
He pleaded with the UFW officials to make ‘active efforts’ to incorporate religions in socialist society, adding that ‘religions in China must be Chinese’.
The problem is that even Tibetan religion should be ‘Chinese’!
In the meantime, another self-immolation was reported on the Tibetan plateau: a Tibetan woman set fire to herself protesting against Chinese repression in Gansu province. It is the second self-immolation this month.
The International Campaign for Tibet said Sangye Tso, a 36-year-old mother of two, staged the protest outside a Chinese government building in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. She is believed to have died.
There is still a disconnect between the official speech and the reality in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ajit Doval reminds China of History on border issue

My article Ajit Doval reminds China of History on border issue appeared in NitiCentral.

Here is the link...

‘The views of the two Governments remain as far apart as before’, wrote Subimal Dutt, the Indian Foreign Secretary in April 1960.
He was addressing ‘all the Indian Missions abroad’ to inform them about the visit of the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, who had come to Delhi to discuss the Sino-Indian border issue.
Tens of hours of talks between Nehru and his Chinese counterpart led nowhere. The transcript of the discussions has recently been declassified in The Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, (Series II, Volume 60). These documents make fascinating reading, particularly in the context of Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to China and the seemingly stuck border negotiations.
Let us return to the present. During the annual K.F. Rustamji lecture, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval (who also officiates as Special Representative for the border talks with China), affirmed that while India's relations with China ‘were looking up’, India needs to remain on a ‘very very high alert’.
Speaking on 'Challenges of Securing India’s Borders: Strategising the Response’, Doval noted: “We have got a very long border, a very difficult and mountainous terrain snow-clad... for the bilateral relations with China, border is the critical and vital issue.”
Considering that Ajit Doval admitted that ‘advancement made in the relationship with China are centred around the settlement of the border’, it makes the ‘partnership’ all the more unstable.
Doval touched upon Arunachal Pradesh: “We are particularly concerned about the Eastern sector where [Chinese] claims have been made on Tawang (in Arunachal Pradesh) which is totally in contravention of accepted principles.”
Obviously, the NSA refers to ‘Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question’ signed on April 11, 2005 between India and China.
Article VII speaks of the ‘settled population’: “In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas.”
Ten years after the signature of the agreement, Doval reminds the Chinese that: “there is [a] settled population in these areas particularly in Tawang and other areas which have been participating in the national mainstream all through.”
But Beijing has forgotten about the 2005 Guidelines!
It is not even mentioned in the Joint Statement signed during Mr. Modi’s visit to China! It is a serious issue: if an agreement is reached after a lot of effort and time and soon after Beijing become affected by Alzheimer disease, it creates a huge problem for the co-signatory.
Doval mentioned another point: he was surprised that while China has agreed to the McMahon line being the Sino-Burmese border in 1960, the same principle was not accepted in the case of India. He added: “So, these are the ticklish issues. But these ticklish issues have to be talked about, deliberated and worked out.”
Doval also readily admitted that the Special Representative talks between India and China on the boundary issue had not made any headway so far: “Special Representative level talks …haven't reached anywhere. But it is also true that for last 30 years we have not exchanged a single bullet. But, it is also true that the number of intrusions have gone up and down. Fortunately, in the last one year the intrusions have become much less."
Beijing was quick to react to the NSA’s statements.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying declared: “The Chinese side holds a consistent and clear position on the eastern section of the China-India boundary: Arunachal Pradesh is a part of Southern Tibet.”
Madam Hua explained: “The Chinese government does not recognise the McMahon Line, which is illegal,” adding: “The Chinese side is ready to work with the Indian side to resolve the boundary question through friendly consultation at an early date."
Hua did not say anything on the McMahon Line and Burma, she just noted: “it is not easy to resolve the China-India boundary question, as it is an issue left over from history."
Minus the 2005 Guidelines!!!
Incidentally, about the ‘left over from history’ theory, Morarji Desai, the then Finance Minister told Zhou Enlai during the 1960 talks, that it was wrong. China has created ‘history’ by invading Tibet: “Our attitude to Tibet has been condemned not only by our people but also by our friends abroad. They say that instead of being neutral in this dispute between Tibet and China, we should not have allowed you [Chinese] to dominate the Tibetans.”
The future Prime Minister added that India “surrendered all the privileges that we had inherited from the British. This was not entirely to the liking of our people but the Government of India and its leaders are convinced that what we did was the right thing.”
As mentioned earlier, Subimal Dutt told the Indian Missions that the Chinese and Indian views ‘remain as far apart as before’.
That was in April 1960. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since then.
After Zhou left Delhi on April 26, 1960, Dutt wrote to the Indian Ambassadors: “The Premier had seven long talks with the Prime Minister.”
Can you imagine today Modi and Xi together for a week and having 7 rounds of talks (of several hours each) on the disputed border?
What was Beijing’s position vis-à-vis China’s border with India in 1960?
It is summarized by Dutt: “The Sino-Indian boundary is not delimited and has to be settled by discussion between the two Governments.”
Delhi has always said the Eastern sector (then NEFA, today Arunachal) was settled in 1914 during the Simla Convention (i.e. the McMahon Line).
Dutt continues to quote Beijing’s views: “The Chinese will never accept the McMahon Line as a valid boundary. The NEFA area was traditionally part of Tibet and in many parts the Tibetans had been exercising jurisdiction. Indian control has extended there during the last 20 or 30 years.” Madam Hua says the same thing now!
China was (and still is) unwilling to acknowledge that in 1914, Tibet, an independent nation, was entitled to sign treaties or agreements with other countries.
According to Dutt, the next Chinese argument was: “The Ladakh area has been historically and traditionally part of Sinkiang [Xinjiang] in China and western Tibet, and has never been disputed until India tried to extend her control during the last one or two years.”
Here again, Beijing rewrites the history, and the Chinese position is as inflexible 55 years later.
Finally, Beijing equates the situation on the East (where the Chinese claim Tawang) to the West (India’s claims over the Aksai Chin) and says: “The position in Ladakh and NEFA is exactly similar in that there is a line upto which Indian control extends in NEFA and there is a line upto which Chinese control extends in Ladakh. The Indian claim to Ladakh must be treated in exactly the same basis as the Chinese claim to the NEFA.”
Dutt’s conclusion was: “We have disagreed with the Chinese stand on every single point,” however he told the Ambassadors, that it was “quite obvious that the Chinese aim is to make us accept their claim in Ladakh as a price for their recognition of our position in NEFA.”
In another words, a swap.
Today, Beijing is not even ready for a swap as it has added Tawang and the ‘populated’ area around, to its claims, in total contradiction of the 2005 Guidelines.
An Alzheimerish China is dangerous for India and Delhi ‘needs to remain on a very high alert’.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

1960: The views of the two Governments remain as far apart as before

Nehru, Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Swaran Singh (April 1960)
During the annual K.F. Rustamji lecture, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, (who is also Special Representative for the border talks with China), affirmed that while India's relations with China ‘were looking up’, but there was a need to remain at a ‘very very high alert’.
Speaking on 'Challenges of Securing India’s Borders: Strategising the Response’, Doval admitted: "We might have to see China border in a different way once the boundary is settled.”
According to PTI, he explained: “We have got a very long border, we have got 3,488-km [?] long border, a very difficult and mountainous terrain snow-clad... now for the bilateral relations with China, border is the critical and vital issue.”
After he affirmed that ‘advancement made in the relationship with China are centred around the settlement of the border’, he touched upon Arunachal Pradesh: “We are particularly concerned about the Eastern sector where the claims have been made on Tawang (in Arunachal Pradesh) which is totally in contravention of accepted principles."
Doval refers here to ‘Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question’ signed on April 11, 2005.
Article VI says: “The boundary should be along well-defined and easily identifiable natural geographical features to be mutually agreed upon between the two sides.”
And even more importantly, Article VII speaks of the ‘settled population’: “In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas.”
Doval rightly said: “The fact is there is settled population in these areas particularly in Tawang and other areas which have been participating in the national mainstream all through.”
Apparently, Beijing has forgotten about the 2005 Guidelines!
It is a serious issue, because if an agreement is reached after a lot of efforts and time and soon after, Beijing become affected by Alzheimer disease, it is a problem.
Doval mentioned another point: he was surprised that while McMahon line was agreed till Burma by China (in 1960), the same principle was not accepted in the case of India.
He concluded: “So, these are the ticklish issues. But these ticklish issues have to be talked about, deliberated and worked out …there was a need for working out a larger plan for tackling China.”
He also admitted that the Special Representative talks between India and China on the boundary issue had not made any headway so far: “There have been a series of Special Representative level talks, about 17 rounds and they haven't reached anywhere. But it is also true that for last 30 years we have not exchanged a single bullet. But, it is also true that the number of intrusions have gone up and down. Fortunately, in the last one year the intrusions have become much less and some of the intrusions which have been made were controlled."
Beijing was quick to react.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying declared:  “The Chinese side holds a consistent and clear position on the eastern section of the China-India boundary: Aunachal Pradesh is a part of Southern Tibet.”
She explained: “The Chinese government does not recognise the McMahon Line, which is illegal,” adding: “The Chinese side is ready to work with the Indian side to resolve the boundary question through friendly consultation at an early date and create more favourable conditions for the development of the bilateral relations."
Hua did not mentioned directly the McMahon Line and Burma, she just said: “it is not easy to resolve the China-India boundary question, as it is an issue left over from history. …During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to China, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question by pressing ahead with the process of the special representatives' meeting."
Minus the 2005 Guidelines!!!
It is interesting to look at China’s position 55 years ago, when Premier Zhou Enlai came to India with a large delegation to try to resolve the dispute.
As Subimal Dutt, the then Foreign Secretary wrote to the Indian Missions abroad: “The views of the two Governments remain as far apart as before.”
That was in April 1960.
The Foreign Secretary’s note makes interesting reading.
Nothing has changed 55 years later.
Will it change one day?
Subimal Dutt to Heads of Missions
Premier Chou En-lai and his party left Delhi 26th morning. The Premier had seven long talks with the Prime Minister. He and Foreign Minister Chen Yi had also separate talks with Vice-President and several senior Ministers. The views of the two Governments remain as far apart as before.

The Chinese took the following stand.

(1) The Sino-Indian boundary is not delimited and has to be settled by discussion between the two Governments.

(2) The Chinese will never accept the McMahon Line as a valid boundary. The NEFA area was traditionally part of Tibet and in many parts the Tibetans had been exercising jurisdiction. Indian control has extended there during the last 20 or 30 years. The Chinese however recognise that the area is now under full Indian control. This area has always been disputed between China and India.

(3) The Ladakh area has been historically and traditionally part of Sinkiang in China and western Tibet, and has never been disputed until India tried to extend her control during the last one or two years. The dispute in this area has therefore arisen because of attempted penetration by India. Chinese have always been in control of this area which has been shown as part of China in Chinese maps.

(4) Neither side should make a territorial claim as a precondition. China is not making any such claim to the NEFA and undertakes not to cross the line upto which Indian control has extended. Similarly, India should recognise that Chinese control extends upto the line shown in the Chinese maps and should not try to cross that line. The position in Ladakh and NEFA is exactly similar in that there is a line upto which Indian control extends in NEFA and there is a line upto which Chinese control extends in Ladakh. The Indian claim to Ladakh must be treated in exactly the same basis as the Chinese claim to the NEFA.

(5) A joint committee of officials should meet, examine the material in the possession of both sides and make recommendations for border adjustments.

2. We have disagreed with the Chinese stand on every single point. In regard to point (2) we have reiterated that the NEFA area south of the McMahon Line has always been part of India by custom, tradition and exercise of jurisdiction and there is no similarity between the Indian stand in respect of NEFA and the supposed Chinese stand in respect of Ladakh. We have also made it quite clear that officials cannot be entrusted with the task of making proposals involving the sovereignty of a country.
Top Secret
3. It is quite obvious that the Chinese aim is to make us accept their claim in Ladakh as a price for their recognition of our position in NEFA. Throughout the discussions they have invariably connected Ladakh with NEFA and stressed that the same principles of settling the boundary must govern both these areas. It was also obvious that if we accepted the line claimed by China in Ladakh they would accept the McMahon Line. There might be need for minor frontier rectifications, but that would not create much practical difficulty.

4. The only substantive agreement in the joint communique is that officers of both sides should examine the maps, documents etc. in each other's possession and send a joint report to the two Governments listing the points on which they agree and the points on which they either disagree or which, in their view, need further clarification. It is not known whether the Chinese will implement this agreement sincerely. Whatever be it, it leaves the way open for further consideration of the border problem by the two Prime Ministers. It would however be entirely incorrect to give the impression, that each side appreciates the other's point of view better or that prospect of reasonable settlement is even remotely in sight. The Chinese might try to give that impression to the world.

5. You should use the information contained in this telegram discreetly for rebutting any misleading Chinese propaganda and to give a correct appraisal of the Delhi talks. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

The PLA Digest - April 2015

U.S. Speculation on China’s ASAT Missile Exposed U.S. Combat System's Fatal Flaw
Source: People’s Daily
Date: March, 27, 2015
The People’s Daily reported a CCTV interview of Chinese military experts who commented on U.S. officials’ public statements on China’s anti-satellite missiles. The report said, “On March 25, U.S. media stated that there are two Chinese anti-satellite missiles that can hit satellites that are in high orbits. Cecil Haney, the Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said that, in future conflicts, the United States needs to be prepared for satellite attacks. The U.S. media also pointed out that with 12 Chinese anti-satellite missiles, there could be a severe limit to the U.S. military's long-range operations, such as its defense of Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.”
“Military expert Du Wenlong responded, during an interview with CCTV, that the U.S. amplifies the China threat, in order to find excuses to finance more funds to develop its strategic advantage in space. At the same time, the U.S.' remarks also exposed a fatal flaw in the American combat system. If the U.S. military reconnaissance and early warning system fails completely, its combat capabilities may return to the ‘Stone Age'."

China orders military to keep barracks simple, guard against excess
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: March, 31, 2015
China ordered its military to build barracks as simply and economically as possible and avoid using ostentatious or imported building materials, as part of a broader crackdown on graft and excess.
China’s armed forces, the world’s largest, have become a focus of President Xi Jinping’s campaign to root out deeply-ingrained graft including bribery, which often takes the form of lavish gifts to officials or extravagant spending of government funds.
The guidelines on construction were in line with demands for the military to be thrifty and 'guard against luxury', the Defence Ministry said in an update to building rules carried on its website.
Colours used should be sober, plain and uniform, and new barracks must be well-connected to the Internet and be energy efficient, it said.
“Materials used should be economical, last a long time, look good and be useable,” the ministry said. “High-end materials and luxurious construction is banned; put priority on using Chinese products, and high-end products from abroad are banned.”
The anti-graft drive in the military comes as Xi steps up efforts to modernise forces that are projecting power across the disputed waters of the East and
South China Seas, though China has not fought a war in decades.

Day-night drill conducted in Xinjiang
Source: Xinhua
Date: March 31, 2015
Photo taken on March 30, 2015 shows helicopters formation flying at night during a drill in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. An army aviation brigade under the Xinjiang Military area command of the Chinese PLA conducted a day-night drill under actual combat condition.

PLA Air Force conducts first training stint in West Pacific
Source: Global Times
Date: March 31, 2015
The PLAF conducted its first military training above the West Pacific Ocean.
"The training was held to promote the air force's combat capability," Shen Jinke, spokesman of the PLA Air Force, said in South China's Guangzhou Province.
Warplanes flew to the West Pacific on Monday for training through the Bashi Channel, an international waterway linking the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and returned the same day after completing the training and achieved their goal, according to Shen.
Shen added that the military training is part of the annual plan for the PLA Air Force and also a requirement of China's national defense development.

US ‘targeting China’ in seeking more active role for Japanese navy in Pacific
Source: South China Morning Post
Date April 2, 2015
The United States is hoping that Japan can quickly free up its navy to play a more active role in the Pacific, an appeal echoing its recent efforts to encourage the navies of Southeast Asian countries to unite and patrol the disputed South China Sea, where China has increasingly flexed its military muscle.
Vice-Admiral Robert Thomas, commander of the US Seventh Fleet, said that he expected revisions headed for approval in Japan's parliament would make it easier for the Japanese and US navies to cooperate more smoothly in the Indian and Pacific oceans and in "multilateral exercises across the region".
Japan, America's closest ally in Asia, has already shifted its defence priorities from its northern reaches near Russia to the East China Sea, where Tokyo and Beijing are locked in a dispute over a chain of uninhabited islands.
Analysts said China's military expansion in recent years, especially around sensitive waters in the South and East China seas, had not only unnerved Japan, but also the US, as was evident in a series of patrols and joint drills in those areas to warn Beijing against any military action.

China, France agree on boosting naval cooperation Source: China Military Online
Date: April 3, 2015
Senior Chinese and French military officials have reached a consensus in Beijing on enhancing cooperation in exchange of ship visits, joint drilling and countering terrorism at sea.
Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of general staff of the Chinese PLA, met with Admiral Bernard Rogel, chief of staff of the French Navy, in Beijing on April 3, 2015.
Gen. Fang made positive comments on the smooth development of the Sino-French military relations, saying that along with the healthy development of the bilateral ties, the relations between the Chinese and French militaries have showed the good momentum of development, especially the two navies have carried out communications of multi-professions in various forms by taking the opportunity of exchange of ship visits.
China is willing to strengthen cooperation with France in the fields of exchange of port calls by naval ships, joint drilling and training and anti-piracy actions, Gen. Fang said.
Admiral Bernard Rogel said the rapid development of Chinese Navy's armaments and the excellent personnel quality left a deep impression on him during his visit to China.

Pakistan likely to buy China’s Z10 helicopters
Source: The Nation (Pakistan)
Date: January 03, 2015
Pakistan’s closest friend China is expected to give another gift this year, in shape of their famous helicopter Z10. According to reports, three Z10 helicopters are expected to be included in Pakistan Army aviation fleet, which will be helpful in cleaning the terrorism in the county.
Pakistan showed interest in purchasing Z10 helicopters, sources said. The helicopter is capable of targeting the enemy with a range of 3 to 4 kilometers without coming in reader. It is also capable of targeting in the air as well as on ground from air.
With the induction of Z10, Pakistan Army’s capability of targeting the terrorists will increase. Pakistan is already using the helicopters effectively in the war against terrorism.

PLA's J-11 fighters carrying missiles in drill
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: April 02, 2015
In this photo taken on March 29, 2015, J-11 fighter jets carrying missiles join an actual combat drill conducted by a division under the Air Force of the Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese PLA.

China, Pakistan to Sign Largest Military Contract: Reports
Source: CRI Online
Date: April 03, 2015
It's been reported that the Pakistan government has approved a deal concerning the purchase of 8 submarines worth around 5 billion US dollars from China, Financial Times reported.
It will be the largest military trade contract between the two countries and also China's largest arms exporting deal if successfully implemented.
These submarines will fill in a strategic gap for the Pakistan military, according to a former Pakistan high-profile navy commander.

Soldiers patrol the border line in snow
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: April 03, 2015
Soldiers patrol the China-Kazakhstan border line below the Tarbagatai Mountains, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on April 1, 2015.
Heavy snow hit northern part of Xinjiang recently; soldiers braved the cold of minus 10 degrees Celsius in guarding the security of the border line.

PLA wants Party organs to help improve combat training
Source: Xinhua
Date:  April 03, 2015
The PLA asked Party departments to play a bigger role in improving combat capacity, a document published by the PLA General Political Department said.
CPC organs attached to the PLA have various missions ranging from ideological education, human resource management to discipline work.
They should work to 'forge the soul' of the armed forces and train "a new generation of servicemen with soul, skill, personality and integrity", said the document which was reported on Friday's edition of PLA Daily.
The promotion and assessment of officers and soldiers should also reflect that priority so that servicemen will be encouraged to improve their own skills and capable ones will be promoted, it said.

Navy to get 3 new nuclear subs
Source: China Daily
Date: April 3, 2015
Three cutting-edge nuclear-powered attack submarines have been manufactured and will soon be commissioned by the Chinese navy, according to media reports.
China Central Television showed a satellite picture earlier this week of three submarines anchored at an unidentified port, saying the vessels are China's most advanced Type-093G nuclear-powered attack submarines, just completed by a Chinese shipyard and a waiting delivery.
With a teardrop hull, the submarine is longer than its predecessor, the Type-093, and has a vertical launching system, the report said.
Another article carried by the PLA navy's website said the Type-093G's wing-shaped cross-section is designed to improve speed and mobility as well as reduce noise, and that the vertical launcher is capable of delivering the country's latest YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missile.

PLA chief of general staff meets with Myanmar military delegation
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 3, 2015
General Fang Fenghui, chief of general staff of the Chinese PLA met with Lt-Gen. Aung Than Htut, chief of the Second Bureau of Special Operation (BSO2) of Myanmar Army, in Beijing on April 2, 2015. Aung Than Htut came to China together with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, who is paying a visit to China as Myanmar President U Thein Sein's special envoy.
Appointed by Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Defense Services Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, Aung Than Htut is making a special trip to China to apologize to the Chinese military over a Myanmar warplane bombing that killed five Chinese in China's Yunnan Province on March 13.
Aung Than Htut will also hold consultations with the Chinese military on the disposal of following related issues of the bombing incident.
Fang Fenghui spoke highly of Aung Than Htut 's China visit by saying that it indicates that Myanmar side attaches importance to the bilateral state and military relations between the two countries and it also shows the sincerity of the Myanmar side to deal with the incident in a proper way.

Four more PLA weapons to worry the US Navy: report
Source: Want China Times
Date: April 7, 2015
The website of the US-based National Interest magazine published an article on April 4 laying out four more Chinese weapons that the US Navy should be concerned about, following a previous piece published in March detailing three weapons.
The three weapons listed in March were the DF-21D "carrier killer" anti-ship missile, combined missile strikes and sea mines.
The first weapon mentioned in the April piece, penned by freelance defense-aerospace reporter and consultant Dave Majumdar, was the J-20 fighter. The fighter, developed in Chengdu, is China's first attempt at building a fifth generation stealth fighter and could challenge US control over Pacific airspace, the article said. Although many details about this new fighter are unclear, the little that has been revealed so far may concern the US Navy, the piece stated.
Here are the 4 Chinese weapons
•    J-20 Stealth Fighter
•    YJ-12 Anti-ship Cruise Missile
•    HQ-9 Anti-aircraft Missile
•    Type 039A Diesel-electric Submarine

WeChat group chats of PLA soldiers and spouses infiltrated
Source: Want China Times
Date: April 7, 2015
The WeChat group chats used by Chinese soldiers and their wives have become the targets of spies seeking information on the PLA's operation and locations, reports Duowei News, a news outlet operated by overseas Chinese.
The group chats were created as a means for soldiers and their spouses to exchange information. Posts in the chat are usually about trivial things such as "I heard the army is going to XX for an exercise. The weather usually turns cold at this time of the year so I will pack some sweaters and thick pants for my husbands" and "It is about half a month before the peacekeeping team leaves. Have you packed for your husbands? Show us what you packed."
The posts however inadvertently reveal information regarding the military's conditions and times and locations of exercises.

China's peacekeeping troops leaves for South Sudan
Source: CRI Online
Date: April 8, 2015
An additional 130 Chinese peacekeeers are due to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan later on this Wednesday.
The troops from the Jinan Military Command Area in Shandong are set to join 570 of their colleagues who are already stationed there.
"On top of our regular small arms, we are also equipped with light machine guns. This weapon is not only light and portable, but it also has a clip which can carry 50 rounds. The weapon has a relatively fast rate of fire. This has filled the gap between pistols and rifles."
Among the new group of Chinese peace-keepers are 13 female soldiers, representing China's first female light infantry squad taking part in a peacekeeping mission abroad.

Howitzer troops in night training
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 8, 2015
A soldier of a howitzer battalion is preparing for a firing training. A howitzer battalion of an artillery regiment under the Tibet Military Command (MC) of the Chinese PLA organized its troops to conduct training on the late night of April 1, 2015.

PLA weaponry procurement costs "significantly" less
Source: Xinhua
Date: April 9, 2015
Five bidders, both military and civilian, won the first open tender for 2015 organized by the PLA for weaponry purchase.
The process was concluded, and the total purchase price was 'significantly below' the budgets in previous years, according to a statement by the PLA general armament department.
This is the first time that, the PLA military weapon procurement website, has been used for open, competitive bidding.
The items released for tender, valued at around 90 million yuan (14.5 million U.S. dollars), fell into eight categories including supply containers, protective masks, weapon kits and lighting equipment.

Birth of truly global Chinese navy
Source: China Daily
Date: April 10, 2105
It is not difficult to imagine the tremendous relief of the Chinese workers when they got on board the two Chinese frigates that rescued them from war-torn Yemen. The rescue was just a fresh example of the increasingly sophisticated operations of the PLAN in the Indian Ocean.
Apart from its primary mission of fighting pirates, Chinese ships have escorted vessels loaded with chemical weapons out of Syria and helped provide fresh water to people in the Maldives. A submarine joined the Chinese task force in September 2014, and the Chinese hospital ship Ark Peace sailed along the east coast of Africa to provide medical treatment to African people.
Thanks to concerted international efforts, piracy in the Gulf of Aden has been curbed. But it has not been eradicated. Besides, piracy in the Strait of Malacca, once curbed by the littoral states, is rising again.
The proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and China-Bangladesh-Myanmar-India Economic Corridor, two mega-projects of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, will be close to the rim of the Indian Ocean.
Chinese gas and oil pipelines pass through Myanmar's west coast to China's hinterland, and many Chinese nationals work in the littoral states.

Some Staff Visited Tibet Military History Museum
Date: April 10, 2015
Staff members from Tibet National Defense Education Office and Tibet People’s Broadcasting Station visited Tibet Military History Museum on April 9.

Chinese defense minister meets with Indian defense secretary
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 10, 2015
Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan met with Indian Defense Secretary Shri R.K. Mathur, who came to China for attending the 7th China-India Defense and Security Consultation in Beijing on April 10.
China is committed to pushing forward the bilateral strategic partnership between the two countries and the Sino-Indian relations have basically remained a good momentum of development in recent years, Chang said.
The militaries of the two countries are expected to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, control divergence in a proper way, strengthen strategic mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and make contributions to safeguarding the regional and world peace and stability, Chang added.
Mathur said that good relations between India and China have great influence on the prosperity and development of the two nations and even the whole world. He pointed out that the bilateral ties between the two nations rest on the relations between the two militaries as well as the peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas.

Tibetan soldiers brave chill weather to guard border
Source: Xinhua
Date: April 11, 2015

Development of PLA's battlefield rations
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 10, 2015
During the [Korean] war, the officers and soldiers of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) mainly ate simple solid foods including fried rice, parched flour and fried bean.
After that, the logistic supply departments produced a batch of compressed biscuits so as to provide better food support for CPV's tactical operations, forming the earliest prototype of the PLA's standard military rations.
The PLA's first-generation military rations in the real sense appeared in 1970s.
At that time, the military rations consisted of three staple foods, namely the No. 761 compressed solid food, dehydrated steamed rice and dehydrated noodle, and three auxiliary foods, namely three kinds of canned foods.
The No. 761 compressed solid food was the PLA's first-generation standard personal combat rations. And the PLA soldiers depended on the 761 compressed solid food for energy supplement during a self-defense war in 1979.

China's army warns corrupt officials are 'keeping it in the family'
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: April 13, 2015
The Chinese military's newspaper has warned officials against enlisting family members in corrupt practices, amid heightening speculation a former top figure in the PLA has been caught up in the anti-graft drive.
A commentary in the PLA Daily said officials should not abuse their power to fulfill their family's needs, and urged them to teach their children proper moral values.
"It is reasonable for cadres and leaders to take care of their families and help their families, but family needs should not override moral principles," the commentary said.
It warned that those who violated moral principles would "lose all their political standing and reputation, and their family fortune".
It said that many family members of those officials already caught up in the anti-corruption drive had also been implicated in corrupt practices.
In March, the PLA announced investigations into 14 senior officials, including Guo's son Guo Zhenggang.

J-20 to sacrifice attacking power and range for stealth
Source: Want China Times
Date: April, 13, 2015
China's J-20 fifth-generation fighter will likely sacrifice its attacking power and range for added stealth capability, reports the website of China's state newswire Xinhua.
PLA Rear Admiral Yin Zhou said the J-20, currently being developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, will install its weapons on the inside of the aircraft to increase stealth, much like the US F-22.
The downside of this decision, Yin said, is that the length and diameter of the J-20's weapons could face restrictions, which could affect the range of its missiles.
However, Yin believes this is not a significant concern given that the main purpose of the J-20 is to seize control of airspace and protect other powerful but non-stealth attacking aircraft from the enemy.

China can fight modern war for 4 reasons
China Military Online
Date: April 13, 2015
Perhaps the biggest question about China’s rise is whether it will inevitably lead to a military conflict with other powers, particularly the existing superpower, the United States.
It is undoubtedly true that no one wants to see a general war between China and the U.S., though in reality both countries might be dragged into a war that they do not want to fight in areas like the East China Sea. If that happens, many analysts believe that the PLA does not stand a chance against the mighty U.S. military for a series of reasons, ranging from poor training to lack of war experience.
Such an estimate might be true, but it might also truly underestimate the fighting power of the PLA, thus contributing to misjudgment and poor policy-making overall. Thus, accurately assessing the power of the PLA is a critical part of any serious military planning by the U.S. and other countries.
•    First, equipment is essential.
•    Second, training is also important.
•    Third, military experience is overvalued.
•    Fourth, resolve is absolutely critical.
This factor has not been given adequate attention by military analysts when estimating the PLA’s ability to fight a war. If the PLA does enter a war, then it most likely will be a defensive war for China in areas near its borders. This is about defending China’s sovereignty and territories and this is fundamentally different from conquering others’ territories. Thus morale will be high. If history is any indication, the Korean War tells us that the weaker Chinese army could repel and defeat a stronger U.S. army. The fact that China then was fighting for its sovereign integrity is a key factor in explaining the defeat of the United States.

Chinese arms production to partially open to the market
Source: ECNS.CN
Date: April 13, 2015
The Chinese government will open part of its weapons research and manufacturing to the marketplace, including military technology transformation and industrialization development, to promote industry resource sharing, The Beijing Times reported.
The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has issued a document on the transformation of Chinese weapons manufacturing. It stipulates that authorities will encourage the transfer of intellectual property rights related to the science and technology of the national defense industry and promote scientific achievements.
Priority has also been given to the nuclear fuel cycle industry.

Snapshots of China-Sri Lanka Silk Road Cooperation-2015 joint drill
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 14, 2014
The Chinese PAPF and the Sri Lankan Army kicked off a joint drill codenamed "Silk Road Cooperation-2015" in a comprehensive military training base under the Guangdong Contingent of the Chinese APF on March 29, 2015. The contents of the joint drill mainly focus on anti-terrorist skills and tactical trainings.

Retired military officials lose undeserved benefits
Source: ECNS.CN
Date: April 14, 2014
The Beijing Military Area Command has taken back all undeserved housing and public cars used by retired former military officials, according to relevant rules, and also addressed overstaffing at regimental level, the PLA Daily reported on Monday.
The PLA and the PAPF are pushing ahead with the special cleanup campaign as required by military authorities.
Last July, officials published a notice with regard to undeserved housing and public car use by retired former military personnel, ordering a complete removal of such benefits.
For those who refuse to return their undeserved housing, a rent equitable to the highest market price for the same location will be collected by being withheld directly from their monthly pay and all services and benefits they enjoy will also be halted, according to the notice.

PLA commissar says lax discipline at top invites disaster
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: April 13, 2015
Failure to strictly discipline generals would bring 'endless disasters' to the army, a Communist Party newspaper quoted the political commissar of the Lanzhou military command as saying, amid renewed speculation over the fate of retired military chief Guo Boxiong.
Asked by People's Daily how the PLA's Lanzhou Military Area Command - Guo's former power base - had beefed up its discipline after recent graft cases, Lieutenant General Liu Lei said such cases had underscored a perception that some leading generals felt they were above the law.
"The key to governing a country is to manage its officials, just as the key to governing an army is to manage the generals. Being lax in administering officials would bring endless disasters," Liu told the newspaper, which is seen as a mouthpiece for the party.
"For a general to manage his men, he has to manage himself well first."
The comments are likely to fuel speculation over the fate of Guo, whose son Guo Zhenggang was among 16 major generals snared this year in President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption in the military.

Photos of 10-day-old infant in military uniform
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: April 15, 2015
A boarder guard officer in Tibet takes a series of photos for his newly born son before he goes back to the army. His son, just 10 days old, was dressed in the mini military uniforms, presenting the touching love between father and son

New generation of PLA soldiers in cartoons
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: April 15, 2015
A series of cartoons featuring the new generation of PLA soldiers are released recently by China Military Online.

New rules to shine PLA top brass
Source: Xinhua
Date: April 15, 2015
With new standards for recruiting Party members, China is trying to clean up its armed forces, following the exposure of corruption in the PLA.
The PLA general political department in earlier this week published new rules on recruiting CPC members, giving political standards top priority. The number of CPC members in the military will be kept under strict control and their personal qualities carefully scrutinized.
The image of Chinese army has been seriously damaged by corruption and many generals have fallen from grace. Earlier this year, it was revealed that 30 generals were being investigated or had been convicted.
Late last year, CMC Chairman Xi Jinping convened a meeting of top generals in an old revolutionary base in southeast China's Fujian Province, where the army's political system was formally established in 1929. The meeting laid out a new strategy for the political work of the PLA.
The more modernized and normalized the armed forces become, the more they must be institutionalized. As China experiments with the rule of law, governing the army with rules is imperative.

PLA to buy advanced missiles from Russia
Source: China Daily
Date: April 17, 2015
The deployment of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system will substantially improve China's air defense capability, military experts said as Russian media reported that China has bought the cutting-edge weapon.
"The S-400 is definitely one of the top anti-aircraft weapons in the world. It will greatly supplement the PLA's air defense system, which now has some loopholes in long-range, high-altitude defense of airplanes or ballistic missiles," said Wang Ya'nan, deputy editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine.
"The system has multiple types of missiles with various ranges, enabling it to safeguard a very large area of airspace. Some of its missiles are even specifically designed to intercept ballistic missiles," Wang said. "Moreover, some of its launch tubes can store and launch several different missiles, which makes it very convenient and fast to use."
Russia has a long history of developing anti-aircraft and missile defense weapons, so the S-400 is a concentration of some of the most advanced missile technologies Russia has, such as an active electronically scanned array radar, according to Wang.

China stresses discipline for CPC members in military
Source: Xinhua
Date: April 16, 2015
The CMC issued a circular requiring efforts to strictly discipline CPC members in the army.
The document, which has been approved by Chinese President and CMC Chairman Xi Jinping.
The circular called on CPC members in the army to strictly follow the Party's instructions in their practices and maintain firm and correct political faith. "Political liberalism must be prevented and corrected and the organizational rules of the Party must be strictly observed," it said.
The document said problems with personnel affairs in the army should be redressed and discipline rules regarding financial matters must be abided by stringently.
The campaign to fight undesirable work styles should be carried forward, it said.

China 'decides to investigate' retired general Guo Boxiong
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: April 20, 2015
Beijing has decided to launch an investigation into retired military chief Guo Boxiong and has briefed serving top brass on the general's alleged problems, two independent sources close to senior military officials said.
Speculation over Guo intensified early last month after his son, Major General Guo Zhenggang, was detained in a graft probe, amid President Xi Jinping's high-profile crackdown on corruption in the PLA.
If pursued, Guo, formerly a vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, would be the second top officer from former president Hu Jintao's administration to fall.
One of the sources told the South China Morning Post that leaders of the PLA's seven key military area commands were ordered to attend an ideological workshop in Beijing on April 9, with an internal document saying the CMC and the army's anti-graft watchdog had decided to investigate Guo and his family.
"The large military area commands' two top leaders - commanders and political commissars - were requested to take part in the meeting," the source said.

PLA General Political Department to Develop Team of Cadres with Absolute Loyalty to the Party
Source: Xinhua
Date: April 19, 2015
Xinhua published an article which reported that Xi Jinping, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, approved a notice that the PLA General Political Department issued on April 19. The title of the notice was, “Opinion to Develop a Political Team of Cadres That Will Demonstrate Absolute Loyalty to the Party, Has a Strong Capability to Fight in Wars, and Displays a Good Work Style and Image.”
According to Xinhua, the Opinion directed that all levels in the political department within the PLA should focus on “strengthening the ideology work to build a strong Party spirit; strictly abide by the political rules and requirements; display devotion to the Party; and ensure absolute obedience to the Party Central Committee's directions, to the PLA General Political Department, and to Chairman Xi.”

S-400 Strengthens China's Hand in the Skies
Source: Want China Times
Date: April 20, 2015
A deal between Russia and China for procurement of the new S-400 air defense system will serve as a force multiplier for Beijing in its quest to dominate the skies along its borders, experts said.
The 400-kilometer-range system will, for the first time, allow China to strike any aerial target on the island of Taiwan, in addition to reaching air targets as far as New Delhi, Calcutta, Hanoi and Seoul. The Yellow Sea and China's new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea will also be protected. The system will permit China, if need be, to strike any air target within North Korea.
The S-400 will also allow China to extend, but not dominate, the air defense space closer to the disputed Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, said Vasiliy Kashin, a China defense specialist at the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Moscow. China refers to the islands as the Diaoyu, and tensions between Beijing and Japan have been increasing for several years as China continues to claim the islands.

Changsha research team develops brain-controlled robot
Source: Want China Times
Date: April 20, 2015
A Chinese research team has developed a robot whose movements can be controlled by the human brain, reports the Chinese-language Changsha Evening News.
The award-winning team of researchers at the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha, the capital of south-central China's Hunan province, recently tested the self-made brain-controlled robot, which was able to move forward and backwards and make flexible turns with its body through brainwaves sent from an electrode cap worn by the controller.
According to Jiang Jun, a doctoral student on the team, the cap strengthens weak brainwaves before sending them back to their computers, which effectively reads the mind of the controller from the brainwave signals.
The experiment has been compared to the technology in the 2009 film Avatar, in which a paraplegic marine was able to control an alien avatar body with his brain.

China, Pakistan to deepen military cooperation
Source: Xinhua
Date: April 21, 2015
China and Pakistan should deepen and broaden military cooperation in such fields as joint exercise and training, so as to enrich the strategic cooperation between the two countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said.
The visiting Chinese president made the remarks in his meeting with Pakistani Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Rashad Mahmood, and the chiefs of the army, navy and air forces of the South Asian country.
Hailing the important role the Pakistani military has played in the development of China-Pakistan relations, Xi said that the understanding and support of the Pakistani military is necessary for the two countries to forge a community of shared destiny.

Aviation regiment conducts air-to-ground live-fire drill
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 21, 2015
A fighter jet fires air-to-surface missiles at ground targets. An aviation regiment under the air force of the PLA Lanzhou MAC carried out an air-to-ground live-fire drill at a high-altitude firing range on April 17, aiming to enhance its pilots' combat skills.

Aviation troops conduct air-to-air confrontation drill
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 22, 2015
The crew member and pilot prepare for an air-to-air confrontation drill. Aviation troops from the air force of the PLA Chengdu MAC carried out a realistic air-to-air confrontation drill on April 21, 2015. During the drill, several J-10 and J-11 fighter jets conducted such air-to-air confrontation subjects as electromagnetic interference and dogfight, etc.

Beijing eyes bigger arms exports, experts say
Source: South China Morning Post
Date: April 26, 2015
Vows by China and Pakistan to deepen security and defence ties will reinforce Beijing's ambitions to increase its arms exports, which could create unease among some countries in the region, especially India, security experts say.
President Xi Jinping made his first state visit to Pakistan last week and met Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, with the sides agreeing to boost their partnership to 'all-weather levels'.
The two nations also decided to step up dialogue between their armed forces, and expand cooperation in defence technology and production.
Three weeks before Xi departed for the trip, Sharif approved a US$5 billion deal to buy eight submarines from China, Reuters reported, quoting an unnamed Pakistani government official as saying, but added the deal had not been finalised. It would be China's largest single sale of submarines, experts say.
The deal would likely encourage Beijing to expand arms exports, said Mathieu Duchatel, head of the China and Global Security Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks global military spending and arms sales.

Su-27 fighter jets in confrontation training
Source: China Military Online
Date: April 28, 2015
A Su-27 fighter jet takes off for confrontation training. An aviation regiment under the air force of the PLA Lanzhou Military Area Command organized its Su-27 fighter jets to conduct confrontation training at a military airport on the snow-covered plateau, April 26, aiming to enhance its pilots' combat capabilities under complex weather conditions.

China's rescue materials arrive in Nepal
Source: Xinhua
Source: April 28, 2015
Photo taken on April 28, 2015 shows a plane carrying members of Chinese PLA Air Force arrive in Nepal to provide aid following the recent earthquake, at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Frontier soldiers repair communication equipment for emergency use
Source: People's Daily Online
Date: April 29, 2015
A frontier soldier dismantles satellite phone antenna for emergency communication use on the roof of a damaged building of the frontier inspection station of Gyirong County in Xigaze City, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, April 27, 2015. A 7.9-magnitude quake shook Nepal at 2:11 p.m. (Beijing Time) killing at least 4,555 people. The quake also strongly affected Kyirong County in Shigatse City, adjacent to Nepal.