Pakistani-American Journalist Questions Modi About Treatment of Minorities in India

Wall Street Journal's White House Correspondent Sabrina Siddiqui, a Pakistani-American Muslim journalist, got to ask the only question posed by an American journalist to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the White House in Washington, DC. This was the first time in 14 years that Mr. Modi took an unscripted question from any journalist anywhere in the world. In fact, it was his first press conference since taking office as the prime minister of India in 2014. 

Narendra Modi (Left), Sabrina Siddiqui (R)

Sabrina Siddiqui asked the Indian leader about rights groups’ assessments that his government is discriminating against religious minority groups and quashing dissent. She asked," What steps are you and your government willing to take to improve the rights of Muslims and other minorities in your country and to uphold free speech?" 

The Islmophobic Indian prime minister feigned “surprise” at the question and said democracy is core to India. He then went to lie in front of the whole world claiming that there's ”absolutely no space for discrimination” in India. 

Cartoonist Mocks Modi's Answer at the White House. Source: Satish A...

Modi’s mendacious answer is in sharp contrast to rising state persecution of religious minorities, including Muslims and Christians, in India.  Modi's BJP-affiliated politicians have called for genocide against Indian Muslims, attacked mosques and churches, and demolished homes, according to The Nation.  The Biden administration has remained silent on these issues, choosing instead to try and strengthen the US-India relationship and deepen the ties between the countries’ military and technology sectors, as a counterweight to rising China.  

For the last four years, the Biden Administration has ignored the USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) recommendation to designate India as a “Country of Particular Concern” and impose strategic sanctions on Indian government officials and agencies involved in religious freedom violations. 

Cartoonist Satish Acharya exposed Modi's lie in a cartoon by referring to a statement he made during the protests against the BJP-sponsored discriminatory CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) in 2019. "They (Muslims) can be identified by the clothes they are wearing," he said without elaborating.

Even though Modi did not know the exact question that would be posed to him at the press conference, he had a readymade answer regardless. Sabrina Siddiqui's question and Modi's answer illustrated how the BJP's lies are being shamelessly promoted and spread in India and elsewhere in the world. The Hindutva rulers of India are living a lie. 

In a recent interview to CNN, former US President Barack Obama has pointed out the consequences of BJP's anti-Muslim policies. “If the (US) President meets with Prime Minister Modi, then the protection of the Muslim minority in a Hindu majority India is worth mentioning. If I had a conversation with Prime Minister Modi, who I know well, part of my argument would be that if you don't protect the rights of ethnic minorities in India, there is a strong possibility that India would at some point start pulling apart,” Obama had said.

“We have seen what happens when you start getting those kinds of large internal conflicts. So that would be contrary to the interests of not only the Muslim India but also the Hindu India. I think it is important to be able to talk about these things honestly,” said Mr. Obama.

Sabrina Siddiqui is one of many high-profile Pakistani-American journalists. Amna Nawaz is the co-anchor of the popular PBS NewsHour. Zohreen Adamjee Shah is a national correspondent for ABC News. Imtiaz Tyab is a foreign correspondent for CBS News.  Asma Khalid covers the White House for National Public Radio. Wajahat Ali writes columns for New York Times and The Daily Beast.  

Sabrina Siddiqui has an illustrious background. She is a great-great grand-daughter of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in India. She has come under vicious attacks by right-wing Hindu Nationalist trolls since Modi's press conference at the White House. 

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Comment by Masood Ahmed Malik Bazmi on June 24, 2023 at 8:17pm

25-6-2023/6-12-1444-Sunday at 8:16am

Very useful important question asked the Pakistani Muslim Journalist Sabrina from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I have copied it & now going to publish it in my Facebook 2 accounts pages. 

Comment by Akhtar Hussain on June 25, 2023 at 1:55am

Salaam Riaz Sb,

America is creating a monster to oppose China, just like they created the Taliban to fight the Soviets.  But China and America are dependent on each other economically.  Modi comes to America and Blinkin goes to China.  I believe the major concern is that India is funding the Russia - Ukraine war by buying oil from Russia, refining it, and selling it to Europe.  I am sure Blinkin has requested China to stop buying Russian oil as well, but China is not reselling the oil. American sanctions on Iran and Libya force even Pakistan to import oil from Russia. America has moved away from the middle east but it has not rebuilt Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Yemen.

We have people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa, Indian Punjab, Somalia, Kurdish Iraq, and others drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, as they try to escape to Europe to feed and clothe their families.

America, Britain, and France have a responsibility to rebuild these war-torn countries before they create another problem by arming India to counter China.  Also, giving weapons and technology to the most populous country that is beating the drums of democracy, while killing the minorities is a recipe for disaster.  As this will change the balance in the region. 

America has a moral obligation to do right what it has done wrong.  A man who was banned from traveling to America has been given the red carpet-treatment.

Has America finally realized that it cannot be the only superpower in the world ?

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 25, 2023 at 7:00am

‘Love Jihad’: How India’s favourite conspiracy theory adds to the hatred against Muslims--- France 24 English

For years, Hindu nationalist groups have been spouting a conspiracy theory that claims Muslim communities in India are planning a takeover through “love jihad”. The theory goes that there’s an organised campaign for Muslim men to seduce Hindu women, force them to convert to Islam, and have children to enlarge the Muslim population of India. The conspiracy theory is deeply ingrained: there’s a non-stop flow of disinformation online, and Muslim men who dare talk to Hindu women often find themselves targets of real-life violence.

Using firsthand accounts from victims of love jihad accusations and an analysis of the flood of cartoons, fake stories, news articles and dramatised videos circulating online, the FRANCE 24 Observers team unravels the disinformation and propaganda associated with this divisive narrative.
#India #LoveJihad #Disinformation

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 25, 2023 at 1:22pm

The Biden-Modi Meeting Was a Failure for Democracy | Time

by Knox Thames

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received VIP treatment at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue this week, including a state dinner with President Biden and an address to Congress. Modi’s red-carpet treatment was a significant endorsement of his governance, and one few world leaders have received. However, under Modi’s premiership, India has moved away from shared values and democratic norms, embracing Hindu nationalism and scapegoating religious minorities. While President Biden and Congressional leaders spoke about human rights and religious freedom, talk alone will not move Modi to change course.

Modi accomplished much during his brief time in Washington, at little cost to his political agenda. The Joint Statement from the United States and Indiacovers a laundry list of Indian priorities. While the document references human rights at the beginning, its 58 paragraphs overwhelmingly focus on technology and trade in ways hugely beneficial to India. Modi also scored a renewed pledge to permanently include India in a reformed United Nations Security Council and joint slap down of archrival Pakistan for terrorism.

But did Modi deserve this treatment? The U.S. secured little in hard security commitments from him or other items that could bolster democracy and human rights in the region. For instance, Modi has been lukewarm at best regarding support for Ukraine. During the White House press conference, Modi could only vaguely speak of ending the “dispute through dialogue and diplomacy.” There was no joint condemnation of Russian aggression, a low bar to meet.

In contrast, Modi’s visit vastly exceeded Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent trip, who received neither coveted invitation of a state dinner or congressional speech, “special relationship” notwithstanding. In fact, when Modi took the rostrum before Congress on Thursday, it was his second address before a joint session, while the last British Prime Minister spoke in 2006.

But in the contest with Beijing, commitment to “shared values” was a constant refrain to justify Modi’s lavish treatment. Indeed, a democratic India would be a powerful partner in countering authoritarian China, but these values are under attack in India. Indian activists and political analysts I contacted all expressed deep concern about the state of affairs, most only agreeing to talk off the record. One highlighted, “Serious violations of human rights, especially of Muslims, Christians, and other minorities, and of human rights defenders and dissenters, have been increasing in India over the past years, some becoming widespread and systematic.” Another analyst described the defamation case against opposition leader Rahul Gandhi as “pure vendetta politics.” A third activist spoke of the ongoing “desecration, destruction and torching of over 300 Churches in Manipur [that] is unprecedented in the history of religious violence in India,” which continues in India’s far east.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 25, 2023 at 1:23pm

The Biden-Modi Meeting Was a Failure for Democracy | Time

by Knox Thames

When a journalist asked Modi at the White House about declining respect for human rights and democracy, he dodged, saying, “I’m actually really surprised that people say so.” While Biden acknowledged our shortcomings, demonstrating humility but a commitment to civil rights, Modi offered no such concession, saying Indian democracy has delivered for all “regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender.” He added, “There’s absolutely no space for discrimination,” which would surprise religious minorities in India.

As the visit approached, many feared officials would overlook these issues, and 75 Democratic Members of Congress wrote Biden to urge him to raise human rights. To his credit, the President did so repeatedly, but always as a joint endeavor. For instance, he said, “Equity under the law, freedom of expression, religious pluralism, and diversity of our people—these core principles have endured and evolved, even as they have faced challenges throughout each of our nations’ histories, and will fuel our strength, depth, and future.” At another point, he noted, “Indians and Americans are both peoples who … cherish freedom and celebrate the democratic values of universal human rights, which face challenges around the world and each—and in each of our countries but which remain so vital to the success of each of our nations: press freedom, religious freedom, tolerance, diversity.”

While understandable Biden wouldn’t be too pointed with his guest, Modi is savvy enough to know that nods towards human rights will be shunted aside for commercial and military relations. He’s seen it before, as silence towards problems in India is not unique to this administration. Then-President Trump ignored riots against Muslims in New Delhi during his 2020 visit, and his administration resisted calls to designate India a “country of particular concern” for the persecution of Christians.

Consequently, to counter India’s drift away from shared values, the U.S. must decide to visibly support Indian civil society, publicly discuss our concerns, and establish consequences for abuses. Aakar Patel, Chair of Amnesty International’s India Board, stressed to me the importance of U.S. human rights advocacy. Amnesty’s India office was forced to close in 2020, and the Indian government tried to prevent him from traveling internationally in 2022. Patel underscored how “India’s friend must press it to do the right thing because often it works.” Jesuit Priest Cedric Prakash, a long-time human rights and peace activist, also agreed. Despite our complicated history in the region, Fr Prakash said, “it’s imperative that the U.S. raise these sensitive issues with the PM and stop pretending that all is well in India.”

India is too important for U.S. policymakers to ignore these trends, and Modi’s damaging policies should not lead to self-censorship. The U.S.’s recent criticism of important partners like Poland, Bangladesh, and Israeldemonstrates we can raise concerns and deepen relationships simultaneously. In addition, we can learn from our disastrous all-carrots-and-no-stick approach to China in the early 2000s. Many believed preferential trade could encourage China in a positive direction when the Senate voted for most-favored-nation status in September 2000. Instead, the Chinese Communist Party gained technology and resources while nose diving on human rights and consolidating power. Modi’s windfall of trade policies absent consequences for rights abuses risks repeating the same mistake.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2023 at 7:30am

Modi’s US Visit Has Increased India’s Vulnerabilities

by Pravin Sawhney

As strategic autonomy makes way for a tighter military embrace with Washington, India will find that its room for manoeuvre in the face of emerging challenges has narrowed.

Geopolitical rivalry with China has brought India and the US into the tight strategic embrace which was on ample display during the recent state visit to Washington of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The US needs India for global geopolitics while India wants the US for regional geopolitics.

The only problem is that the US, having identified China as its sole geopolitical competitor in this century – with the capability to match it in economy, technology, diplomacy, and military – has failed to accept that its deterrence (military power) model of the Cold War is unsuitable against the Chinese geopolitical model, which is based more on global cooperation for prosperity than military power alone.

Even in a fragmented world, the Chinese model cannot fail. Changing the game from free trade to weaponised trade by ‘decoupling’ or ‘de-risking’ value chains and supply chain networks from dependence on China – still the world’s biggest trading partner – will only add to geopolitical tensions with the global economy heading towards recession.

Unmindful of the disastrous fall-out of the Ukraine war on the global economic order led by the US dollar, the reluctance of its regional allies to openly confront China and the own recent experience of its top diplomat being lectured by Chinese supremo Xi Jinping, the US has decided to bet on India to build it as a military bulwark against China in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The long-term bet is based on the assumption that Prime Minister Modi will win the 2024 general elections and will not normalise India’s relations with China in this decade — the time it would take for deliverables promised by each side to take shape. The other assumption is that, if push comes to shove, India, as claimed by its political and military leadership, will be able to take on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in a border war.

Ironically, the huge jubilation in India regarding the Modi visit missed the point that under the new transactional arrangement, India would end up giving far more, including its strategic autonomy, than it will get in return – which will be further accentuated by the US’s irrepressible urge (as seen during the 2005-2008 civil nuclear deal negotiations) to shift the goalposts.

So, what does the US want from India?

It wants commonality of military equipment by slowly weaning India (the largest arms importer in the world) away from Russia, its traditional, affordable, and trusted partner. It wants to improve Indian naval dockyards to serve as temporary military bases for its assets (vessels of all hue, including nuclear submarines and carriers) in the IOR. It also wants the Indian military (especially the navy) to do advanced exercises bilaterally and multi-laterally with the Quad navies for developing interoperability for combat in the IOR, which India considers its backwaters. Since the character of war has changed with new-age technologies, the US wants to pull up the technological level of the Indian military through the newly crafted India-United States Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X), which is part of the bigger Innovation on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET) framework whereby it will be able to operate within the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) defence network under its ‘integrated deterrence’ strategy by the end of this decade.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2023 at 7:31am

So, what does the US want from India?

by Pravin Sawhney

It wants commonality of military equipment by slowly weaning India (the largest arms importer in the world) away from Russia, its traditional, affordable, and trusted partner. It wants to improve Indian naval dockyards to serve as temporary military bases for its assets (vessels of all hue, including nuclear submarines and carriers) in the IOR. It also wants the Indian military (especially the navy) to do advanced exercises bilaterally and multi-laterally with the Quad navies for developing interoperability for combat in the IOR, which India considers its backwaters. Since the character of war has changed with new-age technologies, the US wants to pull up the technological level of the Indian military through the newly crafted India-United States Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X), which is part of the bigger Innovation on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET) framework whereby it will be able to operate within the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) defence network under its ‘integrated deterrence’ strategy by the end of this decade.

All this has become possible as India (which is neither a military ally nor a non-NATO ally) has signed the US military’s four foundational agreements which qualify it to be part of the US’s new age networks. Thus, by 2030, India will fulfil all the requirements for interoperability: commonality of equipment, advanced military exercises, combat support facilities like MROs (maintenance, repair, operations) from the US, and familiarity with various war contingencies in the IOR.

Moreover, as part of iCET, India will adopt US rules, regulatory, norms, and standards in the new age fourth industrial technologies for trade and commerce since US companies will have first user advantage in India. Thus, given the certainty of the splinternet (bifurcation of the Internet and the value supply chains) based on US and Chinese technologies, India will get strategically isolated from its South Asian neighbours, all of which are onboard the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), which will be based on the Chinese internet by 2030.

GE engines and technology transfer

Let’s now examine the deals individually, starting with General Electric’s memorandum of understanding with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

According to the GE press release, it will deliver 99 F-414 engines for Indian Air Force (IAF) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk2 programme. GE will also help with the ‘prototype development, testing, and certification of the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) programme with its F-414-INS6 engine’. Moreover, GE will provide 99 F-404 engines for the LCA Mk1 programme. Both GE engines (F-404 and F-414) have already been part of the development of LCA Mk1 and LCA Mk2 programmes.

Three observations are in order. One, there will be no transfer of technology (ToT) of turbofan and casting technologies and even metallurgy formulae which make up almost 95 per cent of the engine’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). It stands to logic that GE, which has spent huge amounts of time, resources, and talent creating the engine, cannot hand over its IPRs to India and create a competitor for itself. All India will get is engine assembly rights (called indigenous production in India), like we have for Russian AL-31FP engines for the Su-30MKI, which are being made in Koraput since 2004. The remaining five per cent ToT which includes tools for engine maintenance may be allowed by GE after the US Congress clears it. Thus, the IAF will be saddled with the burden of maintaining yet another engine besides British, Russian, and French.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2023 at 7:31am

So, what does the US want from India?

by Pravin Sawhney

Two, the US will make a strong bid for the IAF’s urgent operational need of 114 fighter jets under the Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) and the Indian Navy’s carrier-borne fighter programmes, in both of which Boeing’s Super Hornet, powered by GE-F414 engines, is a contender. Cheaper than the Rafale, the Super Hornet has been in US military service since 1999 with various upgrades. The IAF will be saddled with one more fighter, when it wants to reduce its types of combat aircraft. The Super Hornet, if it comes to the IAF and the Indian Navy, will be Prime Minister Modi’s choice rather than the Services’ Headquarters, which favours Rafale.

Three, while care will be taken by the Indian side to make an impregnable legal case against US sanctions on GE F-414, the US is not known to care much for legalities. A case in point is the freedom of navigation patrols by US Navy vessels in the South China Sea (SCS) and Taiwan Strait citing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) when the US has not even ratified the universal convention.

Why drones are no big deal

Regarding drones, India has agreed to buy 31 General Atomics (GA) MQ-9B (Sea Guardian and Sky Guardian) armed and unarmed drones under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for the price of approximately US$3 billion. The offset amount of this deal will be used by GA to establish an MRO facility in India. These drones (also called Predators and Reapers) are extremely expensive, slow-moving, and completely out of sync with present and future trends in warfare. On the positive side, these drones carry big payloads, and have good range and mission capability since they are equipped with electro-optic video cameras, laser designators, good communication relay with ground stations, good electromagnetic systems, and signal intelligent equipment. They also have endurance of 40 hours. On the downside, with slow speed they are vulnerable and can be shot down by enemy air defence systems. Moreover, they lack autonomy (AI), are not stealthy and, most of all, require a lot of people on the ground to operate them.

In his book Army of None, US analyst Paul Scharre writes, ‘Predator and Reaper drone operations require seven to ten pilots to staff one drone orbit of 24/7 continuous around-the-clock coverage over an area. Another 20 people per orbit are required to operate the sensors on the drone, and scores of intelligence analysts are needed to sift through the sensor data. In fact, because of these substantial personnel requirements, the US Air Force has a strong resistance to calling these aircraft unmanned.’

The irony is that when these UAVs had a lucrative market in the early 2000s, US laws did not allow their sale. Now, when the US has approved their export, many more cost-effective and better-performing drones with AI options are available. Incidentally, China is a leading exporter of military drones. There can only be two reasons for India buying these outdated and expensive drones: US pressure and the Indian military’s tendency to conflate capability with sophisticated weapon platforms.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2023 at 7:32am

So, what does the US want from India?

by Pravin Sawhney

What iCET and INDUS-X really represent

The US pressure for this purchase is for its Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) under the Indo-Pacific partnership which was announced in Tokyo in 2022. Under this, the Quad members are to do data collection and sharing of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) feeds with partners in Southeast Asia and Pacific nations. India, given its location, has a special responsibility which is evident from two things: It is the only country which has operational interaction with three US theatre commands namely, INDOPACOM, Central Command, and Africa Command. And the Indian Navy’s Gurgaon-based Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), whose software has been supplied by US companies CISCO and Raytheon, will be the nerve centre of the MDA project. To keep data cyber-secure, new undersea cables will be laid connecting all Quad members.

To understand the iCET framework and the INDUS-X scheme – which have been touted as the biggest US offering to India since the civil-nuclear deal – it is essential to first understand the context. Following the 2012 discovery of Deep Learning which revolutionised AI, and conscious that most emerging technologies including AI were being incubated in the commercial sector, the Pentagon in 2015 opened its outpost called Defence Innovation Unit (DIU) in Silicon Valley. Staffed with mostly civilian software experts and a few retired and active-duty military officers, the DIU was to help identify advanced commercial technologies for military use.

Taking a cue from the Pentagon’s DIU, the Indian defence ministry, in April 2018, launched the Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme under the defence secretary for incubation of new age technologies development in defence and aerospace from within the industry, start-ups, civilian laboratories, academia and so on. Unfortunately, iDEX has not delivered for four reasons: it is headed by bureaucrats with little domain knowledge, many start-ups that get good funding are owned by former military officers with questionable links in the system, deserving start-ups with few resources are bought by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, and projects are time-bound, which stymies creativity, ideas, and innovations.

Worse, there is little clarity on new-age commercial technologies prioritisation and how to harness them for military use. For instance, there are 20 advanced commercial technologies to choose from for military use. These are AI (where all new age technologies converge), 5G wireless and advanced networking, sensors with edge computing, Internet of Things, biotechnology, robotics and autonomy, semiconductors, blockchain, virtual reality (for simulation), metaverse, star-link internet, natural languages processing, space, cyber, advanced manufacturing, energy storage technologies, quantum computing, brain-computer interface, genomics, and exoskeletons.

Meanwhile, aware that talent is the most important pillar of AI alongside data, hardware (microelectronics), and software (algorithms), and with many talented Chinese AI researchers leaving the US for China following the tech war, the US, which attracts talent from across the world (mostly Chinese and Indians) to remain the global innovation hub, seemed to be losing the competition for talent to China.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2023 at 7:34am

So, what does the US want from India?

by Pravin Sawhney

Against this backdrop, the Indian and US National Security Advisors met in January 2023 to launch the ICET framework to be the bridge between commercial and defence sectors. Under the ICET, the two sides launched the INDUS-X scheme chaired jointly by the Pentagon and India’s iDEX to identify Indian defence start-ups which will work with the US start-ups organised by the civilian US-India Business Council (USIBC) to design, prototype, test, and produce commercial technologies with application in ‘integrated deterrence’ network. While in theory, the money for identified start-ups will come from a joint development fund, in practice they will be funded by the Pentagon. This way, the US military will be able to match, if not beat, the PLA’s 2035 deadline of robotic war (called intelligentised war) and make up for its talent shortage using Indian researchers to meet the Chinese challenge of becoming the world’s primary AI innovation centre by 2030.

It is for this reason that the US is easing H1B and L1 visas procedures for Indian STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates and research scholars to work in the US. This is a good thing for Indian scholars and start-ups who will gain knowledge by working in world-class innovation hubs. Of course, it would have been better if the Indian civilian start-ups could work directly with the DIU (instead of through the iDEX and the Pentagon) for the understanding of all advanced commercial technologies.

However, for India which prided itself on its strategic autonomy in foreign policy, allowing Indian shipyards to emerge ‘as a hub for maintenance and repair of forward deployed (in the IOR) US navy assets (navy ships and naval fighters)’ is too big a price to pay for Modi’s rousing welcome in the US. Taking forward the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) signed by the Modi government in 2016, which allowed re-fuelling and other turn-around facilities to the US naval assets on a case-to-case basis, the present arrangement will permit the US to upgrade Indian shipyards to berth US warships for long periods. Shorn of rhetoric, India has agreed to provide military basing to the US military.

The impact on China

The big question now is: How will China assess India’s tight embrace of the US? China will conclude that normalisation of relations with the Modi government will not be possible since India has sacrificed its strategic autonomy to accommodate US military interests in the IOR.

Worse, India has become the US’s first line of offence against Chinese interests and infrastructure in the South Asian region (by denouncing its Belt and Road Initiative as a debt trap). Moreover, in cahoots with the US, India will be seen to threaten China’s commerce and trade worth over US$4 trillion annually which passes through the 3,000 nautical miles IOR from the Strait of Hormuz to the Strait of Malacca. This, at a time when the Chinese deterrence in the IOR is a decade away.

Xi Jinping’s directive to the PLA was to prepare capabilities (deterrence) to meet the (US) challenge in West Pacific and the Indian border by 2027, and across Asia Pacific (including IOR) by 2035. The PLA has already achieved deterrence (and capabilities to fight if deterrence failed) ahead of its timeline in the West Pacific and is working on the entire region.


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