11 October 2008

Chinese analysis on 'aims behind on U.S.-India nuclear deal'

In a nutshell, Zhang Quanyi, an associate professor at Zhejiang Wanli University in Ningbo, argues:
Geopolitical analysts see this deal as a U.S. move to balance the rise of Chinese influence... In the eyes of some countries, including India, China looks set to resume its historical position as a dominant power in Asia, and is thereby seen as a threat or at least a challenge to the present international system...

Another target of the U.S.-India deal is Russia... U.S. anxiety over India’s engagement with Russia is not unfounded. Under former President Vladimir Putin Russia has sought to exert greater influence militarily and economically on the global level. Russia is viewed historically as an ambitious, if not aggressive, country. Its recent clashes with Western countries over Georgia’s independence and military cooperation with Venezuela, as well as the two 1,000-megawatt reactors it is building in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, have raised concerns in the United States...

Of course, the nuclear deal will also bring economic benefits, opening up a market worth billions of dollars to U.S. companies able to meet India’s huge energy needs... The deal may also have been conceived as a remedy for the current U.S. financial crisis, even though it was conceived three years ago.

Senator Joseph Biden, running mate to Barrack Obama in the U.S. presidential election next month, described the nuclear bill as implicit recognition of India's long-term value to the United States, "as a counterweight to China, as a rising military power, as an energy consumer, as an economic force, as a bulwark against terrorism and extremism, as a cultural beacon throughout Asia and the world."

Whether or not India meets U.S. expectations as a responsible citizen, partner or beacon of democracy, it is still a bold decision for Bush to decide to ignore international regimes and norms by allowing India to flout the NPT. It sets a precedent that other would-be nuclear states may be all too ready to follow.
In case the link above dies, the full text is posted below as well.

October 9 2008
UPI Asia

Aims behind the U.S.-India nuclear deal

By Zhang Quanyi

Ningbo, China — U.S. President George W. Bush signed the long-expected nuclear deal with India into law on Wednesday, following its approval by the U.S. Congress last week. A formal bilateral document will be signed Friday by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

With this deal, the United States is formally embracing India as its nuclear partner, breaking Washington’s three-decade barricade against transferring nuclear technology to New Delhi, which conducted nuclear tests in 1974 and again in 1998.

Critics of the deal say that it undermines years of international efforts in banning weapons of mass destruction, and could weaken efforts to persuade countries like North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear programs.

Before the Senate vote, Democratic Senator Tom Harkin voiced objections to the bill. "If we pass this legislation, we will reward India for flouting the most important arms control agreement in history, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and we will gravely undermine our case against hostile nations that seek to do the same," Harkin said.

Daryl Kimball, head of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, called the agreement “a non-proliferation disaster."

Geopolitical analysts see this deal as a U.S. move to balance the rise of Chinese influence. In addition to its global economic clout, China’s successful hosting of the Beijing Olympics in August and completion of a spacewalk mission last month have raised its profile in the world.

In the eyes of some countries, including India, China looks set to resume its historical position as a dominant power in Asia, and is thereby seen as a threat or at least a challenge to the present international system. In reality China is still a developing country, lagging far behind developed countries in many fields, including governance and rule of law.

Another target of the U.S.-India deal is Russia. While India has been a nonaligned country, in fact it had a quasi-alliance with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, giving it some leverage against its neighbors China and Pakistan. India fought a border war with China in 1962; in 1947 and 1965 it fought Pakistan over Kashmir, and in 1971 over what is now Bangladesh.

U.S. anxiety over India’s engagement with Russia is not unfounded. Under former President Vladimir Putin Russia has sought to exert greater influence militarily and economically on the global level. Russia is viewed historically as an ambitious, if not aggressive, country. Its recent clashes with Western countries over Georgia’s independence and military cooperation with Venezuela, as well as the two 1,000-megawatt reactors it is building in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, have raised concerns in the United States.

Of course, the nuclear deal will also bring economic benefits, opening up a market worth billions of dollars to U.S. companies able to meet India’s huge energy needs. The deal will give U.S. companies an advantage in the Indian market, where other countries with nuclear technology, such as Russia, France, Japan and even China, are also aiming for a piece of the pie.

U.S. companies are expected to have even greater opportunities as India gradually opens its vast market, in areas ranging from investments in Indian real estate to selling soybean oil and fighter planes.

The deal may also have been conceived as a remedy for the current U.S. financial crisis, even though it was conceived three years ago. In 2006, financial writer Peter D. Shiff published a book, “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse,” in which he warned of a looming period of sizeable tax hikes, loss of retirement benefits and double-digit inflation. He compared the United States to a house of cards – impressive on the outside, but a disaster waiting to happen. He predicted that the country would go from the world's largest creditor to its greatest debtor; that the value of the dollar would decline; and that domestic manufacturing would give way to non-exportable services.

Perhaps U.S. President George W. Bush also saw this coming and viewed the India deal as a precautionary measure?

There is also the democracy factor. The United States regards India as a model of democracy in Asia, at least among the developing countries. Despite its numerous problems – including unemployment, starvation, ethnic conflicts and inefficient governance – the United States still sees India as a natural ally in Asia and a model for other countries to follow because of its democratic system.

Senator Joseph Biden, running mate to Barrack Obama in the U.S. presidential election next month, described the nuclear bill as implicit recognition of India's long-term value to the United States, "as a counterweight to China, as a rising military power, as an energy consumer, as an economic force, as a bulwark against terrorism and extremism, as a cultural beacon throughout Asia and the world."

Whether or not India meets U.S. expectations as a responsible citizen, partner or beacon of democracy, it is still a bold decision for Bush to decide to ignore international regimes and norms by allowing India to flout the NPT. It sets a precedent that other would-be nuclear states may be all too ready to follow.

--

(Dr. Zhang Quanyi is associate professor at Zhejiang Wanli University in Ningbo, China, and a guest researcher at the Center for the Study of Non-traditional Security and Peaceful Development at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. His research interest revolves around the creation of a world state. He can be contacted at qyzhangupi@gmail.com. ©Copyright Zhang Quanyi)

3 comments:

Sukla Sen said...

Quite perceptive, insightful and realistic analysis.

Compare this with the following:

I.
Quote
A transformed bilateral relationship that makes the United States, as Rice put it, "a reliable partner for India as it makes its move as a global power" will ultimately advance America's own global interests in defeating terrorism, arresting nuclear proliferation, promoting democracy, and preserving a stable balance of power in Asia over the long term.
Unquote

[Ashley Tellis in Indo-US Relations Headed for a Grand Transformation? 14 July 2005,
at http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=5999]

II.
Quote
The president's gamble is premised on the conviction that whatever specific Indian policies at any point may be, India's national interests converge fundamentally with that of the U.S. Consequently, India will remain a friendly state whose growth in capabilities ought to be assisted because it comports with larger American interests in Asia and globally.
Unquote

[Ashley Tellis in American Giver, Sep 29 2008
at http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/09/29/bush-singh-nuclear-oped-cx_at_0929tellis.html]

III.
Quote
[Q:] What does the Indo-US nuclear agreement really mean for India?

[A:] I would say it means three things. (One) It is a changing of a very powerful set of global rules to accommodate India; it is a recognition of India’s responsibility and its rising capabilities; and the importance of the US-India partnership. Two, it gives India access to something it has never had for the last 30-odd years, and that is nuclear energy cooperation with a whole range of countries, which is going to be vital if India is going to meet its developmental goals. The third is more symbolic, in that it means the end of the nuclear apartheid regime to use (former external affairs minister) Jaswant Singh’s famous phrase, that kept India out of the group of elite countries. I think it is truly a transformative event and when historians write about in the coming decades, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this will have been one of those turning points in India’s march towards becoming a great power.
Unquote

[Ashley Tellis in an interview, Sep 28 2008
at http://www.livemint.com/2008/09/28220522/De-facto-not-de-jure--India.html]

IV.
Quote
From the Indian side, the main driver is its elite's mindless obsession with attaining a full-scale nuclear status – global recognition of its nuclear weapon capability and continuing programme, and also safeguarding and promoting its nuclear energy industry. From its point of view, a closer relation with the US, even as a sub-junior partner, will also serve the other major 'strategic goals' viz. emerging as a mini-hegemon in Asia / South Asia, firmly establish its clear superiority over Pakistan, the traditional rival and neighbour – one-sixth of its size in terms of population, and neutralise (much stronger) China – to whatever extent possible. India will, however, not like to completely surrender its autonomy of options within this broader framework, in so far as these are perceived to be in alignment with these 'strategic goals', and engage with other regional/global powers – including Russia, France and even China, who pose varying degrees of challenge to the global hegemon. Indian Prime Minister's recent sojourn to Russia goes to further underscore this aspect and the complex nature of the game it is out to play in the global arena.

By offering this sop, Washington evidently wants to coopt India as a (sub-junior but nevertheless valuable) partner in its global gambit for unilateral domination(8). To demonstrate its power and sincerity it has already engineered India's inclusion as a member of the (highly prestigious!) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project. Evidently this would have had not been possible without aggressive string pulling by the Bush administration(9).

It goes without saying that from the perspective of the peace movement, this is a very worrying development. On the one hand, it aids, abets and further encourages the neocon coterie-led US drive for an unfettered global Empire and, on the other, signifies India's transmutation from a champion of the global underdogs and consequent emergence as a continually growing threat, as exemplified through its earlier rejection of the CTBT in 96 culminating in the May 98 nuclear explosions, to the prospects of global peace and nuclear disarmament in its own right – US, or no US.
Unquote

[Excerpted from 'Indo-US Nuke Deal: Disturbing and Destabilising Development' by Sukla Sen, Jan. 20 2006 at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/india-unity/message/8159]

Renjith Nair said...

http://renjithmn.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/a-camouflage-nuclear-deal/

Anonymous said...

China is definitely in the picture both from the US and Indian perspective..whatever be the purposes of the US-India deal. Now that Pakistan has managed to pull of an offer from China to build two more Pak reactors without even signing a separation agreement with IAEA; it will interesting to see how exactly this Indian separation plan arrangement with IAEA works out and nuclear technology buying agreement evolves when the US-India kind of separation deal is not going to be unique arrangement but a uniform global nuclear trade system. India may very well lose a lot of flexibility and freedom.