December 19, 2011

China: India using Agni-V to increase clout in Asia

The proposed February launch of India's Agni-V missile has ruffled feathers among Chinese policy makers with Communist Party organ, the People's Daily, saying the move reflects India's "intention of seeking regional balance of power".

It quoted Indian officials and scientists describing Agni-V missile as a "killer" for a "certain country" without mentioning which.

India "cannot tolerate" internal and external security environment constraints that come in the way of its developing military clout, the article said. However, it made no mention of China's massive missile build-up and development of air strike capabilities including the recent launch of an aircraft carrier.

"It is the Indian goal to continue to strengthen the military and possess a military clout that matches its status as a major power," the party mouthpiece said.

The article comes in the wake of remarks by Chinese experts expressing concern about the strengthening India-US relationship in military affairs.

They have voiced concerns about India joining the American game plan of "encircling China" by playing on the grouse of it s sea neighbors like Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. Beijing has vehemently opposed an ONGC deal for oil exploration in South China Sea that China regards as its own.

The article in the People's Daily added that India should stop putting too much faith in the new US policy on the Asia Pacific region because "thinking this move will contain its imaginary enemy would be naive". It also said, "India should cooperate with the neighboring countries instead of being hostile to them and reduce its own persecution mania to play a role on the world stage in the future."

The newspaper said, "There is no real winner in wars and peace opportunities must not be wasted". The article recorded Indian official thinking that Agni-V will not pose a threat to any country as India has a policy of never being the first to attack anyone.

Times of India

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