21.08.09 14:13Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections - Myanmar lost to China: India's encirclement completeSeite 2 von 3http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/nts93315.htm
Let no one be in any doubt that it is only a question of time before China gets Myanmar to give it a permanent Navalbase on its soil. On land too, the Chinese will get proactively involved in protecting the pipeline and the rail and roadtraffic, necessitating the stationing of at least some military personnel in Myanmar.In any case, thanks to these excellent lines of communication, the Chinese Army, known as the People's LiberationArmy (PLA), will be in a position to roll straight into the Brahmaputra Valley through Myanmar, bypassing the harshand high Himalayas completely. Winter will cease to India's friend against China, forcing it to physically deploy alarge number of troops in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to meet this new threat.What the Chinese might do to inflame insurgency at that stage or get into some sort of a military pact withBangladesh is anybody's guess. One thing is sure: they will do whatever it takes to hem India militarily and make iteasy for China to simply lop the North East off.It is not an accident that China has supported the military junta since it came to power 21 years ago and vetoed allSecurity Council resolutions against it. It foresaw long back that it needed Myanmar in its national interest and stuckto the task of securing that without wavering.India, on the other hand, has remained completely confused, as always. It has been gripped and weakened evenmore by vague but "supreme" moral pangs that have caused it to place democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi above allelse. Thatis why, it has done nothing except resorting to a weak "engagement" with the junta that has got it nothingand has allowed Myanmar to fall right into the lap of a Dragon that is fully alive to its strategic interests that dictatethat it should build and display its military might in the region.The Chinese may have given up Mao's disastrous economic and social policies but they have not for a momentforgotten his immortal quote: power grows through the barrel of a gun. India, on the other hand, despite havingfoolishly placed itself at the business end of that barrel once, still hates power as being something "immoral". As aresult, over the last 47 years, as China has grown stronger, India has meekly allowed itself to grow comparativelyweaker.This had to happen and will continue to unless India completely overhauls, professionalises and contemporises itsnational security set up which has been hijacked by selfish and greedy generalist career bureaucrats who advisepoliticians who themselves have not even a clue of this complex subject. They have proved time and again over thelast 62 years that they are no more than ham-handed amateur middle-men who are more interested in assertingtheir "superiority" over the military -- usurped deviously after the British left, thanks to ignorant politicians -- thanletting accountable professionals and political leaders respond with alacrity to meet the nation's security needs.Myanmar never wanted to go into the arms of China; it was always wary of the dragon. It wanted India to be itspartner. But India, as one Myanmar leaders said, did nothing and just "sold" it to China. The same India that hasbeen embracing a series of military dictators in Pakistan because its national interest demanded it, found it verydifficult to apply the principle to Myanmar, ostensibly because of democracy.More disturbingly, however, it seems that it is the obsession of India's career diplomats with the West and itsglamour, coupled with their continuing strategic blindness, that has ensured that India's far away East has alwaysremained neglected. The mindset that led Nehru to quickly bid goodbye to the people of the region from India whenChinese troops reached the outskirts of Tezpur in 1962, remains essentially unaltered.That is why, while China is securing deal after deal in Myanmar and making the country increasingly dependent onit, India which had a large number of Indians living and working in Myanmar till the fifties, initially only helplesslywatched them being thrown out, and has since done the same as China has shown increasing interest in thatcountry.As a result, focused and result oriented Chinese government officials working with a clear strategic vision, havebeaten India comprehensively to acquire not just a foothold but what is going to turn out to be near complete controlover Myanmar.See the irony? China is going to start building pipelines, highways and railways through the length of Myanmar soon.India, on the other hand, has not yet been ableto finalise a contract for a gas pipeline from there either overlandthrough Bangladesh/Assam or across the Bay of Bengal. Now that the Chinese have beaten them to the contract,they will undoubtedly buy up any spare gas that Myanmar might think of selling to India, killing India's projectcompletely.While the Chinese have been making inroad after inroad into Myanmar, some Indians led by former PetroleumMinister Mani Shankar Aiyar, once a career diplomat, have been pushing for a gas pipeline from Iran throughPakistan to India, despite the fact that it will prove to be a huge security disaster. Criminal neglect of the East byIndia continues.The British had envisaged Tibet as India's buffer to the North. In the East, that role was to be played by Myanmar (then called Burma). In the fifties, India lost Tibet to China. Almost half a century later, the same script is beingwritten in Myanmar. India's obsession with a much smaller country, Pakistan, its puppy love for all things Westernand its inward looking mindset that has cost it heavily all through history have led it to lose Myanmar too to theChinese. India's encirclement is now complete.