Bharat Verma, Editor of the Indian Defence Review, made a controversial statement today. He predicts that China will attack India by 2012 in order to distract its massive populace from rampant internal unrest. He stated:
“China will launch an attack on India before 2012. There are multiple reasons for a desperate Beijing to teach India the final lesson, thereby ensuring Chinese supremacy in Asia in this century.”
Could it really happen? Or is this an example of India expressing its lack of ease with Beijing’s massive prowess? Example: this interesting analysis in Qatar’s Peninsula Online. The authors James Lamont and Amy Kazmin relate a host of worries for India, including Chinese links in Sri Lanka and Pakistan along with Chinese opposition towards and interference in the US’ nuclear deal with New Delhi.
Whether China attacks India before 2012 or not, as Verma claims, the 2 massive rising powers will need to cultivate their relationship so as to avoid a gross outright conflict. Even if China were to attack India (presumably with regards to disputed border lands that have been fiercely contested in the past – Sino-Indian War of 1962), it would be on a very small scale. Neither nation would profit from a war (India would especially be hurt), as much as it might distract from internal unrest. China, for one, would be much better (although perhaps unrealistically) served by more investment in civil institutions and promotion of democratic demands of disgruntled citizens. Wishful thinking, yes.