中國和平崛起的想法，總是想像多於事實，過去幾個月，中國的所做所為足以粉碎亞洲的和平希望。中國今年3月採取史無前例的行動，阻撓亞洲開發銀行貸款印度 29億美元，理由是部分貸款將用於印度東北部阿魯納查省（Arunachal Pradesh），中國聲稱該地區是其領土，中共喉舌《人民日報》還對印度猛烈抨擊。中國針對印度的領土完整和多原民族主義發動外交攻擊，支持軍事入侵印 度：中國駐印度大使開始對喀什米爾的印度人發簽證，試圖讓分離主義合法化，不久前，中國政府還正式譴責印度總理辛格走訪阿魯納查省。
印度政府仍聲稱，與中國仍維持良好關係。中國的挑釁只會引發印度的失望。辛格本週將在泰國舉行的東南亞國協高峰會上會見中國總理溫家寶，兩人預料會 表達雙方關係友好的談話，但陳腔濫調無法掩飾中國想要扼殺印度的事實。中國一手拿棍棒，一手拿胡蘿蔔，在印度四週劃了一個不友善的影響圈，這個圈圈始於西 北方的巴基斯坦（提供核子技術），經過東方的尼泊爾（輸出毛澤東主義）和緬甸（支持該國獨裁政權），結束於南方的斯里蘭卡（提供武力）。
中國對印度如此「念念不忘」有兩個原因。首先與歷史有關：中國是踩在印度背上爬上世界舞台。印度不僅是全球第二個承認毛澤東政府的非共黨國家，也成 為中國應在聯合國扮演一定角色的熱情辯護者，當美國總統艾森豪有意讓印度取代台灣的蔣介石政府，擔任聯合國安理會的常任理事國，印度前總理尼赫魯‧甘地婉 拒，還呼籲美國應把位置讓給中國。但過沒多久，中國就對支持該國不遺餘力的印度展現暴發戶的自大。毛澤東無法容忍一個多權力中心的亞洲，印度決定提供達賴 喇嘛政治庇護，挑戰北京，確定了印度的競爭者地位。中國在1962年對印度發起令人震驚的多波攻擊，佔領西藏高原大部分有爭議的領土，在美國軍援印度後， 中國才撤兵。今日，中國積極與印度在氣候變遷等利益相關的議題結盟，但仍視印度為競爭者。
第二個原因與中國當前形勢有關。西方的北京觀察家著迷於中國的浮華，已不再檢視中國共產黨的衰敗。很多西方人士辯稱，中國經濟繁榮是中國人政治自由 的前兆，但如卡內基國際和平基金會中國資深研究員裴敏欣（Minxin Pei）所言，這種理論忽略了重要的事實，即富有國家的獨裁政府較不可能放鬆控制，貧窮國家的獨裁政府更可能放棄控制。中國10月大肆慶祝建國60週年印 證了裴敏欣的看法：中國共產黨充滿了不安全感，正如章家敦（Gordon Chang）所觀察，中國在天安門廣場部署了一百萬人的部隊，禁止民眾觀看60週年慶祝典禮，可以眺望典禮過程的飯店旅館全被中國政府租下，廣場附近的居 民不得開窗觀看。
中國民族主義是服務中國的大魔神。由於中國共產黨的統治基礎相當脆弱，因此不時得乞靈於這個大魔神，以尋求民眾的支持。日本過去一直是中國民族主義 的目標，但今日的印度更讓中國頭痛。如果印度能在維持不下於中國的經濟成長率之際，仍能確保多種族民眾基本權利、媒體自由、定期選舉和獨立機構，很多人就 會問，中國為何做不到？
在未來幾年，中國可能對印度更具攻擊性，印度必須拋棄中國無敵迷思所可能生成的姑息政策，構思奠基於三個層面的中國政策。首先是，印度應繼續在中印 邊界加強防禦工事，升級基礎建設、派遣軍隊和建立空軍基地。其次，印度必須加強與澳洲和日本的關係，擴大與美國的軍事演習，與對中國戒慎恐懼的東南亞國家 建立聯盟。最後，印度必須讓達賴喇嘛的信眾從事政治活動，為了安撫中國而鎮壓西藏抗議人士根本沒有道理。
Superpower rivalry, Sino-Indian style
China's aggressive stance is set to leave a deep mark on the century. India must stand firm against its expansionist neighbour
阅读中文 | Read this in Chinese
The idea of China's "peaceful rise" has always represented the triumph of imagination over reality. But over the last several months, Beijing has done enough to shatter every hope of peace in Asia. It began with an unprecedented attempt by Beijing in March this year to block a $2.9bn Asian Development Bank loan to India on the grounds that some of the cash was intended for use in the eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, a region China claims as its own. This was followed by a gratuitous broadside against India in the People's Daily, the Communist party's mouthpiece.
Military incursions into India by Chinese forces were backed up by Beijing's diplomatic assault on India's territorial integrity and pluralistic nationalism: the Chinese embassy in New Delhi began issuing irregular visas to Kashmiri Indians in an effort to legitimise separatism. And last week, Beijing officially condemned prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
Officially, India maintains that it is on good terms with Beijing. China's outrageous provocations manage only to elicit "disappointment" in New Delhi. This week, Dr Singh will even meet with his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Thailand; warm words about friendship will be exchanged. But platitudes can no longer conceal the fact that China is strangulating India. Using a combination of aid and ammunition, Beijing has drawn a hostile circle of influence around India: beginning in Pakistan (to which Beijing supplied nuclear technology) in the north-west, it runs through Nepal (to which it exported Maoism) and Burma (where it shields a dictatorship) in the east, ending in Sri Lanka (where it armed a genocidal state) in the south.
Two reasons account for China's obsession with India. The first is historical: China crawled on to the world stage on India's back. India not only became the second non-communist country in the world to bestow recognition on Mao's pariah state; it was also, in Nehru's words, the most passionate pleader of China's "cause in the councils of the world". When President Eisenhower offered India the UN security council seat held by Taiwan, Nehru, ever the idealist, turned it down, urging the US to offer it to China instead.
But soon, Beijing developed the arriviste's disdain for its most forceful supporter. Mao could not abide an Asia with multiple centres of power. New Delhi's decision to grant asylum to the Dalai Lama in defiance of Beijing's bullying confirmed India as a contender. China initiated a surprise multi-pronged attack on India in 1962, occupying a substantial portion of contested territory on the Tibetan plateau. Beijing retreated just as American jumbo jets, flown to aid India's assault, began landing in West Bengal. Today, Beijing actively aligns itself with India where its interests are involved – on climate change, for instance – but on a bilateral level, it views India as inconvenient competition.
The second reason goes to the heart of China's current condition. Western observers of Beijing, enraptured by the glitz of China, have long stopped examining the decay of the party that runs it. Many in the west still argue that China's economic prosperity is a precursor to political freedom for its people. But this theory, as Minxin Pei has argued, ignores the important fact that an authoritarian state is less likely to loosen its grip on a wealthy country than it would be to forego the control of an impoverished one. Last month's celebrations in Beijing bore out Pei's point: so insecure was the Communist party that, as Gordon Chang reported, a security force more than a million strong force was put in place to keep ordinary people away from the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the "People's Republic"; hotel rooms overlooking the procession were booked by the government; and residents in nearby houses were barred from looking out of their windows.
Chinese nationalism is a genie that serves the state. With such a fragile hold on the country, the Communist party has to invoke monsters in order to rally support. Japan has been the traditional target, but today's India vexes Beijing even more. If India can guarantee fundamental rights to its diverse citizens while managing a growth rate not far from China's – and more than make up for the low numbers with a free press, regular elections, and independent institutions – why, someone is bound to ask, can China not do the same?
In the coming months and years, Beijing is going to become even more aggressive with India. New Delhi must now discard the myth of China's invincibility that has led it into appeasement, and devise a definitive China policy featuring at least three elements.
First, India should continue fortifying its side of the border with China by upgrading infrastructure, deploying troops, setting up air bases; New Delhi must yield to the overwhelming patriotic sentiment in Arunachal Pradesh and allow the formation of a local military regiment.
Second, India must deepen its engagement with Australia and Japan, broaden its military exercises with the US, and build active alliances with south-east Asian countries wary of China.
Finally, India must allow the "Dalai clique" to engage in political activity. It makes no sense for New Delhi to suppress Tibetan protesters in order to mollify an expansionist monster that has sponsored anti-India insurgencies for at least 50 years. Tibet's restive population is a time bomb whose detonator, the Dalai Lama, is with India. New Delhi must stop gagging His Holiness.
The Sino-Indian conflict will define the 21st century in a more complicated manner than the Soviet-American conflict characterised the second half of the 20th. So far, this clash has received very little attention in the west. In the not-too-distant future, people everywhere are going to have to pick sides. The troubled peace of today is necessarily a prelude to the impending war.