India Fears Encirclement By An Electronic String Of Pearls

Word from our man in Delhi that Indians are getting in a tizzy about their country being ringed by Chinese-built IT infrastructure and communications networks, already being likened to an electronic  string of pearls. India’s intelligence agencies have raised concerns that contracts awarded to Huawei and ZTE to build telecoms networks and data centres in India’s neighbours such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives pose a threat to national security because they could compromise the integrity of India’s telecom and internet networks. Intelligence officials suspect Huawei and ZTE of maintaining close links with the PLA. A similar concern has been expressed in the U.S. and Europe.

Indian intelligence services want Delhi to offer technical expertise and assistance to countries like the Maldives to forestall the advances of China, which many Indians also suspect of being behind the islands’ recent decision to terminate the  contract of an Indian company developing  an airport there. India’s communications ministry also is pushing Indian companies to bid for telecoms and IT infrastructure contracts, and presumably is lobbying for financing and diplomacy to support them.

Our man tells us that last year the ministry quietly told Indian companies not to buy Chinese made telecoms equipment, regardless of how cheap it is, for fear it had spying capabilities built in to it. With China friendly not only to Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives but also Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Pakistan, it doesn’t take much for Indians to feel encircled.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under China-India

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s