The alleged diversion of water of Tsangpo-Bramhaputra river by China does not pose any threat to India, Former Army chief General (retd) Shankar Roy Chowdhury said. Even if the charge is true, the river, which is the mighty Brahmaputra in India, has enough tributaries with adequate rainfall in catchment areas after coming down to the plains to bring in water to it, he said. “Even if China diverts water of the river, India does not need to worry,” Roy Chowdhury said at a symposium ‘India-China relations – Ways to resolve contentious issues’. China has denied reports that it is diverting water of Tsangpo to Xinjiang province.
Former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, however, took a stronger view of the issue, saying China is trying to start a water war with India. “China is actively considering a water war over the Brahmaputra,” he said. Gen Roy Chowdhury blamed the laziness and lack of on the part of the Indian economic sector for lagging behind the Chinese in the industrial and manufacturing front.
Referring to the dumping of Chinese goods in India, including even the Lord Ganesha idols, he said it is India’s fault not to have pursued a three-pronged approach of “cooperate, compete and confront.” “It is the lazy and greedy Indian economic sector to blame, and not China. We should manufacture good quality products cheaper than China,” he said.
He said ‘Made in China’ products have overtaken India a long ago and asserted that the Indian manufacturing sector should be strengthened in order to compete with that country. With the Asian economy outgrowing the western economy, focus has shifted from the USA and Europe to Asia and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, Narayanan said.
“Rarely has the world seen the rise of two populations at one time and that too in the same region and the results have not been benign; China and India are competing on several counts – political, economic and military,” Narayanan said.
Though the USA is at present their main adversary, the Chinese feel that the real challenge they will face will be from India, the former NSA said at the two-day symposium organised by the Research Centre for Eastern and North Eastern Regional Studies, a Kolkata-based think-tank, that ended yesterday.
Former Indian Air Force chief Air Marshal (retd) Arup Raha said, to counter the Chinese threat of befriending our neighbours, India should engage more with these countries by selling them military hardware and also by holding joint military exercises, both bilateral and multi-lateral.