Dr Subramanian Swamy, a Harvard-trained economist and China scholar and has made significant contributions to promoting India-China relations since 1978. He is a former Union Law Minister. He also knows Mandarin. In this article in The Hindu, 19 Sept 2009, Dr Swamy notes,
The most frightening myth in currency today is that China and Pakistan will co-ordinate an invasion of India, and balkanise the nation, or at least destroy our economy. This is expected no later than 2012, as precise as that! This we are hearing in some think tanks of Delhi populated by former officials of the government.Increasing trade will play a big role in promoting economic development, building communication and improving understanding between the people. And Economic development is critical if military capacity is to built and sustained. Hopefully, with prosperity and political confidence to meet strategic challenges, there would be a growing recognition of the futility of military conflict. It is this process of marginalisation of military threat, which, I think, will determine the relationship between China and India. Would very much like to hear from others on this.
This mythical scenario is bogus because, first, China and the rest of the world learnt by the events of 1962, and by subsequent unconnected events, that if anything, the Indian people unite and India nationally consolidates when attacked from abroad. This Chanakya had noted as the concept of Chakravartin. Secondly, with Tibet and Sinkiang simmering, attacking India is not a one-way street or a picnic. On our borders and contiguous areas, moreover, the Indian Air Force is far superior while the terrain on our side of the border provides a much shorter and friendlier supply chain. China’s is very long and through more hostile terrain. Invasion therefore cannot be in the mind of the rational Chinese strategist. Most of these inflamed reports and the surrounding hysteria in India is because the propagators have been brought up on the British Imperialist version of our history, which is that India is a sitting duck for anyone who wants to invade the country.
The most potentially dangerous reality of the Sino-Indian relation today is India’s abdication of vital national interests for the domestic political survival of ruling coalitions. To counter China, some in India are advocating strategic bonding with the U.S. This is not in our national interest because the U.S. will then make us another Australia or Japan, a concubine, so to speak. The bottom line in U.S.-China relations at present is that China has a veto over U.S. actions in South Asia. Unless we can change that bottom line, the U.S. partnership is not going to mitigate our hysteria about China. In the meantime, China has us ringed in like a circus lion. It does not need to invade us when we are in such a state of impotence.
Shorn of the myths, the realistic and appropriate policy course for India is to match Chinese military capacity by concrete action (for example, spending 7 per cent of GDP on defence) and be conciliatory in policy, attitude, and words. Or to put it bluntly, take full care of national security but work for peace and good neighbourliness. At present we are doing precisely the opposite.