Olympic Torch: China's Power Projection and India

Implications for the US, Japan and Allies

Tibet, Nepal, Arunachal and Burma Fault Lines

London, UK - 10th April 2008, 09:26 GMT

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

It is important to understand the underlying reasons -- and geo-political implications -- for the vehement protests that have taken place in regard to the China Olympic torch relay in Athens, Istanbul, St Petersburg, London, Paris and now San Francisco. China's power projection strategy merits a vital Socratic dialogue and we are grateful to the distinguished ATCA Contributor, Dr Harsh Pant, from the Department of Defence Studies, King's College London, for his submission, "China's Power Projection and India -- Implications for the US, Japan and Allies -- Tibet, Nepal, Arunachal and Burma Fault Lines." Dr Pant writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: China's Power Projection and India -- Implications for the US, Japan and Allies -- Tibet, Nepal, Arunachal and Burma Fault Lines

Last month China announced that its military budget for 2008 will increase by 17.6 percent to about USD 58.8 billion. This is not really surprising as it follows a 17.8 percent increase in 2007 and double-digit increases in China's annual defence outlays most years in the last two decades. But what is causing concern in Asia and beyond is the opacity that seems to surround China's military build-up, with an emerging consensus that Beijing's real military spending is at least double the announced figure. The official figures of the Chinese government do not include the cost of new weapon purchases, research or other big-ticket items for China's highly secretive military and as a result, the real figure may be much higher than the revealed amount. From Washington to Tokyo, from Brussels to Canberra, calls are rising for China to be more open about the intentions behind this dramatic pace of spending increase and scope of its military capabilities.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

Warm regards

Harsh Pant

Dr Harsh V Pant teaches at King's College London in the Department of Defence Studies. He is also an Associate with the King's Centre for Science and Security and lectures at the UK Defence Academy. He joined King's after finishing his doctorate at the University of Notre Dame (USA). He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Delhi and MA and M Phil degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (India). His current research is focussed on Asia-Pacific security and defence issues. He has been published on these issues by a number of academic journals and other publications across the world including the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Journal, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Asia-Pacific Review, Asian Survey, Armed Forces and Society, Middle East Quarterly, Strategic Analysis etc. He is also involved in consultancy work with organisations such as Oxford Analytica, Power and Interest News Report, and South Asia Strategic Stability Unit.


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