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Terrorism & Security

India tests missile that can reach China (+video)

The successful test launch of India's Agni-V missile means that India now has a long-range missile that can reach China's population centers, giving it a new level of deterrence.

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Mr. Saraswat pointed out that "80 percent" of the missile was developed in the country, and the chief scientist for the Agni-V project called the launch a "great event" for India.

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Meanwhile, the editorial "India being swept up by missile delusion" from the Global Times, a daily newspaper owned by the ruling Communist Party, warned India that it would be "unwise" to seek a balance of power with China by developing missiles and urged Delhi to pursue cooperation with Beijing instead. 

India should not overestimate its strength. Even if it has missiles that could reach most parts of China, that does not mean it will gain anything from being arrogant during disputes with China. India should be clear that China's nuclear power is stronger and more reliable. For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China.

India should also not overstate the value of its Western allies and the profits it could gain from participating in a containment of China. If it equates long range strategic missiles with deterrence of China, and stirs up further hostility, it could be sorely mistaken. 

The editorial continued:

China understands the Indian desire to catch up with China. China, as the most appropriate strategic target for India, is willing to take India as a peaceful competitor. … But objectively speaking, China does not spend much time guarding against India, while India focuses a lot of attention on China. 

China hopes India will remain calm, as this would be beneficial to both giants.

Today's missile test comes only a week after North Korea's unsuccessful launch of a missile of its own, which earned Pyongyang widespread condemnation.

The international response to India's test was markedly muted because, according to a New Delhi-based Western diplomat, "India is not considered a global threat," AP reports. Indian officials cited Delhi's "no-first-use" policy as reassurance, emphasizing that missile stores are intended to be merely deterrence.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that while the US encourages all nuclear-capable countries to act with restraint, "India has a solid non-proliferation record. … They’re engaged with the international community on non-proliferation issues.”

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