India on January 2 successfully tested nuclear-capable Agni-4 long-range missile having a range of 4,000 km, shortly after its recent test launching of Agni-5 missile having a range of 5,000 km. India media was elated, emphasizing that the country’s nuclear missiles are already capable of covering the whole Chinese territory, even being able to “hit Harbin.” The Times of India commented that these missile tests were designed to “deter China.”
India has already broken through the United Nations restrictions on its developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. The United States and Western countries are also already lenient on India’s nuclear program. For a long time now, New Delhi is not satisfied anymore with just being “nuclear”, and its goal is to eventually have intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) capable of striking anywhere in the world, thus “being on equal footing” with the Permanent Five of the Security Council.
India is the only nuclear power among several countries which are seeking permanent membership in the Security Council. It also has the potential for economic growth, and therefore seems to have “splendid prospects”.
China cannot stop India from developing long-range nuclear strike capability, which is a reality we have to face.
On the other hand, the Chinese also do not feel that India’s development of nuclear weapons pose a great threat to us, and for a long time in the future, the whole of India will not be considered as a major rival by the Chinese. The reason is very simple; the difference in strength between China and India is huge. We believe that Indians have the basic rationale to discern the significance of posing a nuclear threat to China. China and India living in harmony is the best choice for both the sides.
If the West accepts India as a nuclear power and feels indifferent to the nuclear race between India and Pakistan, then there is no need for China to stand up and hold on rigidly to some principles. Moreover if India can get some of the nuclear facilities, Pakistan should also enjoy similar benefits.
China is sincere in its efforts to develop friendly relations with India, but if India crosses the limits, we do not have to be tolerating. If New Delhi is playing a little headstrong, then let it play. India will not destroy the Sino-Indian relations out of geopolitical frenzy, as it is not beneficial to India in any way. If China and India confront, the cards with Beijing are much more than those with New Delhi.
In general, it is not difficult for India to develop an ICBM which can cover the entire globe. If the Security Council has no objection, then let it ahead. Pakistan’s nuclear missiles will also reach farther and farther. If the whole world can adapt to this, then China should also adapt.
As a whole, India is still maintaining a strategic defensive towards China. We do not need to be tricked by the extreme comments like “China will tremble in fear like a rat” on India’s internet. There are radical comments against India on China’s Internet also. The internet users of both sides are six of one and half a dozen of the other, we need not take notice.
India’s current GDP is a little more than 1/5 of that of China. China’s strategic nuclear missile range has long back covered the entire globe, and India cannot match with our overall military industrial capacity and the war potential. The truth is, we sometimes feel quite embarrassed having to compare with India, that is a kind of self-deprecating.
And for the Indian society, China has become one of the most exciting yardsticks. Perhaps we should understand India’s this desire to do better. At this stage of that country, when patriotism is searching everywhere for reasons, it often needs a time to get high.
But we need to remind India, not to be too high just because of having few weapons in hand, and really think that it has become a “nuclear power”. Moreover, India should also know that, even if it really became a nuclear power, tucking the tail between the legs is also beneficial. Probably it will be a long, long time before it becomes India’s turn to through its weight about in the world.