Saturday, October 17, 2009

India and china recent controversies

There are indications that China may have put the plan in high gear. In April 2009, China's Gezhouba Corporation, one of the country's biggest engineering and construction companies, won a 1.14 billion yuan bid for the hydropower plant in Zangmu, in the middle of the Brahmaputra river. The company's website said it would be responsible for "designing, constructing and running the project that supplies 3.4-million cu m of concrete and 8-million-ton aggregate for the water power station. The project is expected to last until the end of December 2015."
Zangmu is only the first dam to be built. China plans to build four more dams at Jiacha, Zongda, Lengda, Jiexu and Langzhen.
The Chinese are also building another hydropower project with large-scale dams in Tibet, which has already seen tens of thousands of Tibetans protesting againsyt the building of hydro projects on the Brahmaputra.

China has already dammed the Mekong river and the resulting siltation has created a huge problem for lower riparian states in Thailand, Cambodia, etc.
"India and China agreed in November 2006 to establish an Expert Level Mechanism to discuss trans-border river issues in an institutional way.

The Brahmaputra flows for about 1625 kilometre inside the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China and for a further 918 kilometre inside India.China has begun constructing the dam as part of the 540 MW Nagmu hydroelectric project which was inaugurated on March 16.

The Chinese were also told that such a project might have significant impact on the socio-economic condition of people living downstream.

FICCI quoted statistics showing bilateral trade was inching towards the $45-billion mark, making China India's largest trading partner.

“Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir since 1947. The Chinese side is fully aware of India’s position and our concerns about Chinese activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. We hope that the Chinese side will take a long-term view of the India-China relations, and cease such activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan.

Although Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with China, it is a matter of time before it offers its opinion on China’s territorial engagements. Bhutan is one of India’s closest allies in South Asia and has an ongoing border dispute with China. It is another country with whom China has had territorial conflict that is yet to be resolved. China has had 23 territorial conflicts with other states, but has used force in only a few, while in 17 of these conflicts it has compromised or offered concessions.

Agni-V's first test is likely to take place only in end-2010 or early-2011. From there, it will take at least three years before the missile can be dubbed fully-operational since it will require four-five more tests, series production and user-trials.For another, the 5,000-km strike range of Agni-V pales in comparison to already-operational Chinese missiles like Dong Feng-31A, which can hit targets 11,200 km away, or even the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile with a reach beyond 7,200 km.

Agni-V, much like the 3,500-km Agni-III, which has been successfully tested a couple of times, has been designed in keeping with this strategy. The already-inducted Prithvi (150-350-km), Agni-I (700-km) and Agni-II (2,000-km) are more Pakistan-specific in nature.
the solid-fuelled Agni-V, for which the government has sanctioned around Rs 2,500 crore, will be a canister-launch missile system to ensure it has the requisite operational flexibility to be fired from any part of the country.

Though slightly short of true ICBMs, which have ranges in excess of 5,500 km, Agni-Vs will come in special storage-cum-launch canisters, making it much easier to store them for long periods without maintenance as well as to handle and transport.
Agni-V will be capable of being swiftly moved closer to the border with China to substantially enhance its strike range into the country. What has exercised China is the fact this will bring even its northern-most city, Habin, within the missile's strike envelope.

DRDO is also developing MIRV (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles) warheads for the Agni missiles. An MIRV payload basically is a bunch of several nuclear warheads carried on a single missile, which can be programmed to hit different targets separated from each other. Given this, even ballistic missile defence systems can be overwhelmed by MIRVs.

India's Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) has made its forthcoming Agni-5 missile highly road-mobile, or easily transportable by road, which would bring Harbin, China's northernmost city within striking range if the Agni-5 is moved to northeast India,

Difference is visible, even in the confidence levels being exhibited by the two sides. So, while the Chinese do what they wish to, all the time, our Prime Minister, despite the bluster, chose not to go to Tawang when he visited Arunachal last week because the Chinese will not like it. You see, China too stakes claim to Arunachal, and Tawang particularly is a major thorn. Not that it stopped the Chinese from issuing a stinging statement about PM’s visit to other parts of the state, which is an “integral part of India” and has been electing a government through democratic process for years.

While the Chinese have brought the railways, pressurized cabins et al, to Tibet, we are still struggling to link Jammu to Srinagar. As an aside, try to think of one difficult stretch that we have linked with the Railways ever since the British left. You will struggle to come up with one.

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