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With Chinese high-handedness and provocations against India steadily increasing, is it time for a paradigm shift when it comes to dealing with our giant neighbor? The UnReal Times spoke to leaders, foreign policy pundits and professors to explore alternate policy options to transform Sino-indian relations.
According to noted Professor of Foreign Policy at the Center of Punditry and Pontification, Dr. Subramanian Draman, India’s only practical option is “to be sweet and nice to China and hope that China is considerate enough to not help Pakistan too much, or go and occupy Arunachal Pradesh”. Since this is not very reassuring and is imbued with a sense of fatalism, The UnReal Times spoke to some other foreign policy experts about alternate policies. Here are a few ‘highly impractical and bordering on the ridiculous’ strategies that India can formulate to thwart nefarious Chinese designs against India:
Divert water from the Indus and annoy Pakistan: Since no rivers flow into China from India, the next best thing is to dam the Indus and pain Pakistan. Won’t that add to India’s woes by provoking a rabid Pakistani retaliation? Actually it just might help India’s case based on a highly convoluted theory “The enemy’s friend can be used to counter the enemy” propounded by noted Harvard Professor, Dr. Samuel Killington. In laymenesque terms, this theory predicts that Pakistan will then tell China to not pain India so that India can stop paining Pakistan. Disclaimer: Dr.Killington has only uploaded his theory on his department’s website as a working paper and it has not been peer reviewed yet.
Do to China what Pakistan does to India India can learn some tricks from its belligerent western neighbor on how to “keep kicking your giant neigbour in the balls without inviting retaliation”. According to ex-ISI chief, Hamin Bul, “India could transform the peace loving Tibetan refugees in Dharmashala into a ferocious, fundamentalist militia – the Tibetan Taliban – and kick China’s butt.” Hamin Bul has offered to relocate to Dharmashala on a full time basis to implement this daring plan. Hamin Bul has also suggested India mounting a Kargi like operation against China. This will entail Indian troops occupying Mt. Everest and other commanding heights from where our short range ballistic missiles, due to favorable topography, can reach economically sensitive targets in Southern China. When asked about punitive Chinese retaliation, Hamin Bul stared back blankly.
Threaten China militarily after increasing defense expenditure three-fold or catch up with the Chinese economy: If the first two options seem impractical or too daring, we could just hunker up and upgrade our military capabilities. If we want to look China in the eye on a priority basis, some short term sacrifices are required. Here is the math: China spends approximately $114 billion in contrast to India’s measly $34 billion annually on military expenditure. To match China missile for missile, Sukhoi for Sukhoi, tank for tank, and solider for soldier, India will have to increase expenditure on defense to nearly 10% of GDP from the current 3%.
Since that seems politically infeasible – non deficit financing will entail roll backs on PDS, public health, NREGA etc and force millions of Indians to subsist on grass – a more realistic option would be to grow faster than China. A persistent 2% differential in annual growth rate will allow the Indian economy to match China’s in the year 2070 and at that point, India can tell China “to go take a hike”. Until then, we’ll just have to ‘grin and bear’ Chinese pinpricks.