China and India are the engines of world’s economy. They are the shining spot in otherwise stagnant world economy. Global economy is growing at less than 2% while India and China are growing at around 7%. A war between China and India will collapse the world economy, sending it to free-fall.
China is wise enough to understand that “a war with India” can lead to the destruction of its own country. They are at their peak, on their way to become a superpower. A war can bring a lot of uncertainties, China won’t take this risk.
1. India’s Military Strength is far advanced:
Some might think that China’s superiority in Defence forces could give nightmares to Indian Armed Forces. So is it true? The answer is NO.
China has over 2000 fighter and bomber aircrafts belonging to categories such as Jian, Jianhong, Chengdu, Hong 6, FC-17, Sukhoi 27 and Sukhoi 30 MKK. (It has to be noted here that over 60% of these aircrafts are second and third generation aircrafts and a large number of those may not even be combat ready. The Sukhoi 30 MKK aircraft which is the premier fighter craft for China is technologically much inferior compared to the Sukhoi 30 MKI version that “Indian Air force” operates. Sukhoi 30 MKK can actively engage two targets simultaneously whereas the Sukhoi 30 MKI being a generation 4.5 aircraft that can actively engage upto 20 different targets simultaneously.
Besides these, India also operates over 380 UAV’s that can perform various roles including missile attacks and bombings.
Experts say that if India and China were to come to blows, the real war would be fought at sea. China imports large amounts of foreign oil, and two thirds of that must pass through the Indian Ocean. India sits astride the sea lanes providing China with energy. In the event of increased tensions, the Indian Navy could impose essentially a blockade on China of vital shipping from the Persian Gulf and Africa.
Very recently, Indian Army General announced that Indian Army is now ready for a two and a half front war i.e. a simultaneous war on both its border against China and Pakistan along with dealing internal threats.
He said that a new strike corps known as the 17 Strike Corps is being raised specifically for mountain warfare.
2. Trade Relations:
China is widely dependent on India for its trade practices. India is a huge market for Chinese Goods with bilateral trade in 2016 of about US$ 71.18 billion.
China exports more goods to India than India does to China. The Chinese Economy is heavily dependent on its exports and degrading relations with one of its key trading partner could prove detrimental.
If these two giants get involved in a war, it would be too bad for China.
3. China’s Slowing Economy:
In 2016, China grew at its slowest pace since 1990. In the first quarter of 2016, the country recorded a GDP growth of 6.7%. What happened?
There was a strong decline in manufacturing and construction output, the main drivers of China’s growth until now. But a few other issues came into play, considering the three main ingredients for long-run growth.
1. Firstly, “LABOUR” which is now declining as China has already peaked its population in 2012.
2. Secondly, “PRODUCTIVITY”, as China is catching up economically with the rest of the world and is approaching the innovation frontier, leaps in productivity can no longer stem from knowledge transfers but must increasingly be driven by domestic innovation.
3. Third comes “CAPITAL”, China’s already high investment levels of around 50% of GDP will be difficult to sustain in light of total debt has reached 237% of GDP, up from 148% at the end of 2007.
China due to its trade surplus over the years collected a whopping 3 trillion dollars of Forex Reserves which it invested in the US Treasury Bonds. Due to the low returns China had started diverting its Forex Reserve into projects like “One Belt One Road and Maritime Silk Route” instead of the US Treasury Bonds.
With a slowing economy and huge amount of money already invested in development projects, it is highly unlikely that China would dare to engage in a full-fledged war as it might either push China one step ahead towards bankruptcy or halt the projects in between for years to come.
4. India’s Strategic ties with other Countries:
This one is definitely worth thanking our Prime Minister. India over the last few years has strengthened strategic bilateral ties through Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s State visits to various countries such as USA, Russia, Israel, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Gulf Countries and the South East Asian Countries which is enough to surround and pressurize China whenever needed.
5. South-China Sea:
China is very possessive about its claims over the South-China Sea where it is already facing resistance by Taiwan and the South-East Asian Countries especially Philippines over Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.
• The Hague Tribunal recently ruled against Chinese claims of the South China Sea and asking it to follow the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea.
• China’s involvement in a war with India will only escalate the South China Sea issue with many countries joining India to contain China and stopping its meaningless claims over the water body which is a key route for world trade.
These were the few among the various factors that would force China to think twice before attacking India. India cannot be underestimated for its military and diplomacy for sure, as it is well-built with its army forces.
After analyzing all the above factors, the only conclusion possibly made is “China is definitely playing smart by not attacking India”.