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  • Tibetan Waters: A Source of Cooperation or Conflict?

    Lower riparian countries likely to be affected by China’s construction of dams and river diversion projects in Tibet need to initiate a bilateral or multilateral dialogue with China.

    September 30, 2011

    Diversion of the Brahmaputra: Myth or Reality?

    Lower riparian countries must develop sound strategies to bring China to the negotiating table with a view to stopping it from further damming or diverting the waters of the Brahmaputra or any other river originating in Tibet and flowing into South Asia.

    August 09, 2011

    Decoding the Dalai Lama’s Political Retirement

    By devolving political functions to an elected leader, the Dalai Lama is guaranteeing the self-sustainability of the Tibet Movement.

    March 14, 2011

    India-China Relations: It’s the economy, and no one’s stupid

    This Brief uses irony to communicate five propositions, that can be found in several discourses on Sino-Indian ties. It evaluates these propositions in the light of the tangible and intangible gains from Premier Wen Jiabao’s second official visit to India.

    December 28, 2010

    Revisiting China’s Kashmir Policy

    China’s moves concerning Kashmir evoke apprehension regarding retrogressive changes in its Kashmir policy, designed to give it a hold over India. The best case scenario for China is that the Kashmir issue is never resolved; and if this issue inches towards any kind of resolution, that China should be considered a party to the Kashmir dispute.

    November 01, 2010

    Climate Change and Environmental Degradation in Tibet: Implications for Environmental Security in South Asia

    Both the Chinese government and the Tibetans are in agreement over the impending issues relating to the adverse impact of climate change on Tibet while the India-specific data on glacier melt is as yet inconclusive. There is, however, a difference of perception in Sino-Tibetan discourse over the capitalist model of economic development being undertaken by China which is at variance with the cultural practices of Tibetans, informed and regulated as they are with the Buddhist values of oneness with nature. Nomadism is also fundamental to the preservation of the ecology of Tibet.

    September 2010

    Sanket Telang asked: About unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang and Implications for India

    Jagannath Panda replies: It is unwise to use the term “unrest” with regard to Tibet and the situation in Xinjiang. Both are different types of conflicts and could be termed probably as ethnic crisis-driven areas of China. The Tibet issue has special importance for Indian security as almost 120,000 Tibetan exiles live in India; and also because the Tibetan factor is inextricably linked with the Sino-Indian border dispute. At the same time, the Xinjiang issue also came to the fore when violence broke out between Uyghurs and Hans and the consequent crackdown on Uyghurs by the Chinese government. India of course is naturally more concerned about the situation in Tibet because of the large Tibetan exile community living in India and how their activities might evolve in the post-Dalai Lama period. As for Xinjiang, Indian worries centre on the connections between Uyghur militants and transnational jihadist groups. Above all, the most important implication for India is in terms of the geographical proximity of both Xinjiang and Tibet. Xinjiang borders Ladakh region of India. The eastern part of Ladakh became a disputed area between China and India in the wake of the Chinese occupation of Aksai Chin in 1962.

    Nitin asked: Present Chinese Military force structure in Tibet & implications for India?

    Jagannath P. Panda replies: Though China’s military build-up in Tibet is primarily to take control of the region and make it one of China’s most powerful province; some of its new reach in terms of strategic bombers and long-range missiles would easily enable it to overcome India’s existing detection capabilities. The current plan of missile deployment is attached to the Chinese strategy of its rail linkages offering advantages to the Chinese troops to deploy the rail-car missiles along the border. The PLA’s capacity to move these missiles on wheels and aircraft easily in the Tibetan region indicates the logistical and mechanical revolution that is undergoing in PLA. The completion and execution of the Qinghai–Tibet railway and the expanded railway network up to the Nepal border poses some concerns too. On the Tibetan plateau, a number of new major airbases along with the innumerable newly developed satellite airstrips provide the Chinese Air Force capability to execute offensive operations over the Himalayas. In the west, the Chinese military has invested in logistical build-ups like a metallic highway capable of carrying battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and other technological equipment in Lhasa.

    As China prepares for post-Dalai Lama Tibet, what is India to do with the Tibetan Exiles?

    While China has shown eagerness for the Dalai Lama’s return to China, it has categorically refused to take back the exiled Tibetan population based in India.

    March 25, 2010

    The 51st Anniversary of the Tibetan Struggle: What is the future?

    China has to accept that the long term solution to Tibetan discontent lies in granting greater autonomy to Tibetans instead of pursuing assimilation oriented policies.

    March 12, 2010