China Still an Enigma and Opaque Closed Nation: Defence Analysts

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: In the coming years, China is going to be India’s biggest challenge and there is need to build a credible nuclear arsenal and have a rethink on the nuclear doctrine, was the view of participants at a seminar.

Participating in a seminar on “China’s Nuclear Modernisation and Strategy,” organised jointly by Amity Centre for Defence and Strategic Analysis (ACDSA), Amity University and Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), the Director of CAPS, Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra in his keynote address said “in view of the Chinese expansion of nuclear weapons, India should counter it though it cannot get into a nuclear weapons race with China.”

He felt that there is an imperative need for India to build up nuclear power including nuclear submarines.

Former diplomat Anil Trigunayat cautioned the need to be “careful as China was rapidly increasing its nuclear weapons,” and that it had refused to attend the Hiroshama G-7 Summit to discuss a minimum deterrent of nuclear power.

Trigunayat who is currently with the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), said “China is going to be India’s challenge in all aspects,” in the coming days and there “is need to be careful.”

Former Deputy Chief of Army Staff and founding Director General of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), Lt Gen (Retd) Subrata Saha said there has been a shift in China’s nuclear strategy and it is “modernising, expanding and diversifying,” its nuclear capability as also its conventional forces.

He was responsible for perspective planning, force modernization and capability development. He created the Army Design Bureau in 2016.

As he said that China was “taking these strategic measures as it perceives US as its main rival.”

Describing China as being “very opaque on many issues and that nuclear China was like a Black Box,” Dr Manpreet Sethi of the Centre for Air Power Studies said that the country was “not transparent and only letting you see what it wants you to see.”

Taking a tough stance, she said that instead of taking side with any nation, “we should arrive at our own conclusion and there is need to revise our nuclear doctrine and build a credible nuclear arsenal.”

Dr Sethi said that China doesn’t regard India as a nuclear weapon state and “so we need to think out of the box in a scenario where both India and China are present.”