WASHINGTON – Analysts are becoming increasingly concerned that China may launch a surprise military attack on India in 2012, based on conditions today that are similar to those present the last time China attacked India – in 1962,
says a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
The concerns center on an ongoing border dispute between the two countries and joint energy projects that India has entered into with Vietnam in areas of the South China Sea which China claims as its own territory.
Even today, China continues to hold onto Indian territory it captured in 1962, and it continues to initiate troop provocations along the disputed border, warning India against taking it back, despite attempts at confidence building measures.
The Chinese actions suggest it has no intentions of reaching a peaceful resolution to the confrontation.
According to regional analysts, China claims that the India-China border is 2,000 kilometers long while India asserts that it is 4,000 kilometers. The difference is due to the Chinese challenge to India's claim over territories from Sikkim to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, or POK.
"This is also a ploy to perpetuate the border issue indefinitely," said Bhaskar Roy, regional expert with the think-tank South Asia Analysis Group. "There would be lasting impediments, however, even if the two governments agree to delineation through some small give and take.
"India cannot expect to get back Aksai Chin from China and China cannot expect to get Tawang which it had never held, let alone Arunachal Pradesh," he added. Arunachal Pradesh is a region that also has seen significant military buildup on either side of the disputed border by Indian and Chinese forces in recent months, to the extent that the Chinese are building entire airfields for fighter aircraft.
There also are conflicting positions regarding Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, and those involve not only India and China but also Pakistan. According to regional analysts, the POK is Indian territory as defined by various documents from 1947. While this is a legal agreement, Pakistan nonetheless has been occupying the area.
"In 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded over 5,000 square kilometers of POK to China," Roy said, "and China is currently making good use of it to reach the Arabian Sea and Gulf region through Pakistan."
Another argument between India and China focuses on New Delhi's "Look East" policy of an Indian-Japanese defense relationship. This is in addition to India's longstanding interest in Central Asia, particularly Afghanistan, where it has heavy investments and recently signed an agreement to provide training for Afghan military and police forces once U.S. and coalition troops leave next year.
The United States has supported India in its claims along the border, something which has added to the tension in relations between the U.S. and China.