Chinese nukes in Tibet

Dealing with a Himalayan consternation

Daniel Brett points out that Tibetan groups are raising the issue of China’s deployment of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles on the Tibetan plateau as a potential security threat to India and South-East Asia. They also argue that modern road and rail links will make Chinese military movement easier.

Even without these moves, China has possessed the capability to threaten India militarily. Given relative sizes and strengths of India and China, either country cannot base its defence posture based on capability alone. Correctly, India-China relations in recent years have been focused on neutralising the hostile intent on either side. It is precisely for this reason that bilateral relations have been focussed on putting contentious issues on the back burner while trade and economic relations bring the two economies closer. Tragically, one casualty of this pragmatic security policy is the Tibetan freedom movement.

Yet, pragmatism may hold the solution for the Tibetan struggle against the People’s Republic that idealism has failed to deliver for so long.