A war between India and China is unlikely, despite many issues that often lead to tensions, says India’s best known Sinologist Srikanth Kondapalli.
During a recent presentation at a seminar on ‘Engaging China’ organized by CENERS-K and Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata, Kondapalli said that China has much stake in not backing the UN resolution to brand Jaish chief Masood Azhar as ‘global terrorist’.
Kondapalli, who heads the Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said Chinese military intelligence teamed up with Pakistan’s ISI to train the jihadis in the Afghan War against Soviet Union.
“They continue to retain close ties with the Taliban and other jihadi groups in the AF-Pak region. By that the Chinese ensure that these jihadis dont back the Uighur rebel groups in its Sinkiang province, so this is some kind of an insurance against trouble in its own territory,” said Kondapalli.
He said it was highly unlikely that, despite much global pressure, the Chinese would back off and agree to brand Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’.
Kondapalli, however, feels that any conventional or nuclear war between India and China is unlikely , though China sees India’s military ties with US and Japan with much suspicion as an effort to contain its rise and India’s sees China port building in her neighborhood as a ‘string of pearls’ strategy to contain her influence.
China is a rationale actor and it is aware of India’s growing military strength, both in conventional and nuclear sphere.
“Therefore it will try and control tensions when they threaten to spill out of control and India will do the same because it cannot afford a conflict with China,” Kondapalli said.
He pointed to an effective military deterrence that India has already build up against China both in conventional military capabilities and in the nuclear domain adding that that is what will prevent a war like 1962.
To a proposal by some speakers at the seminar that India and China would do well to consider a No-War pact , Kondapalli said the 1993 Treaty of Peace and Tranquility signed by the Narasimha Rao government with China contains clear provisions to prevent a war between the two countries.