Sunday, July 19, 2009

India has well wishers in Sydney!!

Do pardon my ineptitude with technology.Its a battle that I'm fighting alone and don't seem to be winning or loosing.For the past few days I've been hit with some kind of influenza that's making the rounds of Sydney and did emerge more or less unscathed but my usually healthy wife,fell prey this time around.when you are sick,you are miserable,but when a loved one is rendered sick,it kills you even more.Anyway,shes a fighter and is back at work.So the issue that was killing me was the report in the Times of India about a prediction that China would attack India and that really bothered me.I read a lot about the issue and posted my comments also on various sites and discussion forums,but nothing reassured me like the two articles that I'm reproducing below.One of it is by a common man like me in Sydney,yet who one who has foresight.His short letter to the editor is worth reading and uplifting for all Indians,second is an article by Dr John Lee who is the foreign policy fellow at the Centre for Independent studies,Sydney.Both the letter and the article were very enlightening and threw light on why China is just the other bully on this side of the globe.If all goes well,then India should gain favour with countries like Australia and be prepared for a fruitful partnership,that could result in a trade partnership.Not that fast,as China won't go down without a fight and its vengeful nature is well known.Like I said before I tried to insert these articles but they were too large in size as attachments,so do pardon my ignorance.But the article and the letter are worth reading.Hillary Clinton's visit also is something to look forward to,but lets be warned that the US is primarily a big enterprise,which looks primarily at it's interest,and rightly so.They never said they were a charity organization,but we have to tread very carefully as we don't want to end up as a strategic point like Pakistan or China,only trading partner.Read on and do excuse the few errors that crept in whilst pasting the documents.So,first is the letter that was published in "Opinions" in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald and the second one is an article which came in the same edition.Very interesting!!

Court India and spurn China's advances(Letter)

Wade highlighted a serious foreign policy failure by successive Australia governments ("We must not squander Indian links", July 14):why China and not India?Australians have a right to ask why,over the past two decades, Our politicians have fostered such,close trade dependence on China, a country with a totalitarian government devoid of democratic principles, no respect for the rule of law-as has been Bone out by the detention of Stern Hu for more than a week without charge and no regard for human rights or respect for minorities such as the Tibetans orthe Uighurs. India,on the other hand,a democracy governed bytherule oflaw,hashardly been onthe radar screen with our governments when it comes to trade and political ties.
Why have they not Pursued,stronger and closer relationship with India?

India's economy is growing almost as fast as China's,and with a similar population its market would demand similar amounts of our raw materials,not to mention endless
possibilities for other Australian goods and services.As Wade points out,we share so many more interests with India than China, such as cricket, the English language and the, Commonwealth.'

For too long the Chinese Government has believed it can dictate to other countries'
politicians who they can or Cannot meet,including the Dalai Lama and Taiwanese Government officials, while it happily carries on arming the Robert Mugabe regime
The Hu case should be a to Our politicians to stop behaving as though China was the only market for Australian products: We should be Pursuing our wealth ethically by tying Our future
to democratic India and moving away from trade dependence on totalitarian


China not ready to lead the world(Article)
Ina speech given just before the
17Th Chinese Communist Party
Congress in 2007, Premier Wen
Iiabao rebuked those agitating for
political reform and told a domestic
gathering of policymakers and
intellectuals that China would not be
ready for democracy for 100 years.
Maybe Wenwas merely stating a fact but
events over the past week suggest that
China might not be ready to assume
leadership in the region, let alone the
world, for perhaps almost as long.
Several months ago, a group of state sponsored
Chinese scholars released a
best-selling new book entitled Unhappy
China - The Great Time, Grand
Vision and Our Challenges. It argued
that given the growth of Chinese national
strength, China should put prudence
aside, break away from Western
influence and come to recognise that it
has the power to lead the world.
But one high -profile critic of the book
is Hu Xingdou, a highly respected
economics professor at the Beijing Institute
of Technology. Hu called its publication
a sign of the "ideological
chaos" in China. According to Hu, extreme
nationalism is not the answer.
More than this, he argued that China is
not ready to lead. In Hu's opinion,
China cannot yet exercise international
leadership because its "value systems"
- cultural, political and ideological- are
not yet part of the regional or international
mainstream. Beijing's example
is not an attractive one for other
countries. Subsequently, reserves of
"soft power" required for leadership are
far from adequate.
Two events in the past week bring out
Hu's arguments.
First, tensions in Xinjiang, as in Tibet,
are complex. There were acts of violence
against both Han Chinese and indigenous
Uighurs. But the root cause is
China has a long way to go until it convinces
Asia it has the credentials to be a benevolent
leader and constructive dominant power.
a combination of historical animosity,
as well as the systematic cultural and
economic suppression of ethnic
minorities. In China, Beijing has a
genuinely held stated goal of social
"harmony" but this is defined as harmony
under the dominant Han culture.
Beijing's respect for the different minority
cultures within its country is still
superficial and for show.
There is no better example than the
children in traditional dress, representing
the 56 different ethnic groups
within modern China, who were
paraded to the world at the Olympic
Games opening ceremony last year. It
was subsequently discovered that the
children were all from the majority Han
Chinese race.
Second, the detention and arrest of the
Australian mining giant Rio Tinto's
Shanghai-based executive, Stem Hu, an
Australian citizen of Han Chinese heritage
on charges of espionage for illegally
attaining commercial information, is
deeply worrying. The fact that the arrest
comes shortly after a failed bid by the
Chinese state-owned company Chinalco
to increase its stake in Rio Tinto is unlikely
to be purely coincidental .:
Moreover, although details of what Hu
is alleged to have done have still not been
revealed, the fact that he has been arrested
for spying and charged with causing
grave economic loss to the Chinese
state, thereby causing harm to China's
national interests, is indefensible. It
merely confirms again that Beijing has
grave difficulty separating the public and
the private - differentiating national and
security interests from normal commercial
and business ones.
The fact that Chinese courts at all
levels explicitly remain under the ultimate
jurisdiction of the Chinese Communist
Party also means that judicial due
process in China which Hu will be subject
to has a very different meaning to
what we call "rule of law".
For China to displace America as the
regional hegemony, other Asian states
need to accept the legitimacy and desirability
of Chinese pre-eminence and
leadership. Although Asian states generally
use a "realist" framework in their
foreign policy outlook, they still recognise
that what Hu Xingdou calls domestic
value systems - cultural, political
and ideological ~ have strategic and
practical significance. Asian populations
can sometimes find American
rhetoric about values shrill and annoying,
but they also accept that America
has largely delivered on its rhetoric and
has provided a stable, fair, open and
liberal order for the region to thrive
since World War II.
Unless compelled by the threat of
overwhelming existential force or left
no option by American withdrawal,
Asian states will not accept Chinese
leadership, let alone dominance, in the
region while Beijing's value systems remain
closed, intolerant to differences,
vengeful and overbearing.
Much has been said about Beijing's
advances in building its soft power. This
is overstated. In soft power terms, China
has plucked what diplomats might call
"low-hanging fruit". It has convinced
the region it is a legitimate rising power
- that its re-emergence should be
accommodated. But it has a long way to
go until it convinces Asia it has the
credentials to be a benevolent leader
and constructive dominant power.
If Premier Wen gets his way this
could take 100 years.
Dr John Lee is the foreign policy fellow at the
Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and a
visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in
Washington. The second edition of his book Will
China Fai/?was released last month.

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