From January 2013, FORCE has started a Reading List. These are the books, which we may or may not review but still believe that they need to be read. In addition to FORCE recommended reading list, we invite readers to share with us what books they feel must be read. The books need not be new or best-sellers. You could send in your recommendations to Please make sure that your recommendations do not exceed 300 words
Inside China Grand Strategy Rise of China
The western world views at the rise of China’s economy as an end to the United States’ hegemony and in turn projects it as the biggest threat to the International peace. Negating all such claims, Ye Zicheng, a professor of political science in the School of International studies at Peking University attempts to present the Chinese view and its grand strategy to become the superpower.

The overwhelming conclusion by Ye, does not vary much from the view of Chinese officialdom: in years to come, China will displace the United States from being the only great power. Fascinating argument, however, is the rise of China apparently will not follow traditional path. The reasons he cited are — one, it will be motivated by the new technological tide of unprecedented depth, breadth and influence; and secondly, China apparently will avoid the error of militarism. “Chinese leaders repeatedly promise that China will never pursue hegemony”, he says.

The book gives a very good insight into the Chinese view of the United States. “China is neither an ally nor an adversary to the United States”, Ye says. Despite the friction between the two countries, he believes strongly that there is nothing inevitable about a large scale war between the two countries. The book argues that China does not present a challenge to the US. Rather, it is the US, via its arms sales to Taiwan and its military alliances and military cooperation with China’s neighbours that constitutes a challenge to China. However, he also points out, “(Sino-US) relationship will reflect both cooperation and confrontation”.

Chinese are suspicious of the US strategic intentions in the long term, especially when they consider the US alliance pattern in East Asia. While the Sino-Japan relations hit the rocky road in the recent times, the Chinese still claim that “there can be two tigers on the mountain top”. The book takes additional interest while talking about the relationship with Japan. It enjoys friendly relations with Russia which is strategically very essential to China’s quest for great power status.

Interestingly, the book claims that the China’s priorities in this grand strategy are economic and not military. And it also puts across the domestic problems that are posing great challenges to the growth of its economy. For all the strategic experts, this book will certainly be a good read, as it explains the roadmap to the shift of power from the west to Asia-Pacific from a different view point.
Ye Zicheng
The University Press of Kentucky
Published in India by KW Publishers, Pg 301

Force Magazine Grey Line

Leap of Faith
India failed to manufacture even the basic trainers for the rookie pilots; obviously there is a systemic problem, is the opening remark of Indian Air Force: The Case for Indigenisation. Aeronautics Development Agency (ADA) was set to design the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) under the DRDO management 30 years ago. Even today, the aircraft has yet to enter service — although the Indian Air Force has ordered 40 aircraft knowing they do not meet the qualitative requirements. Self-reliance in the military aviation industry clearly looks like a distant dream and it will certainly be a long time before Indian pilots would be able to fly a modern Indian designed combat aircraft.

Giving a parallel with the Indian Navy’s model — which indigenously manufactures 95 percent of its warships and submarines, the book questions why the Indian Air Force can’t adopt a similar system. The book also explores the deficiencies in the current policy-making that is hindering the self-reliance efforts of the Indian military aviation industry.

One of the suggestions in achieving self-reliance is to make the design and development integral to IAF. “The best course in the interest of the country even at this stage is to bring the ADA under the Air HQ as its design and development capability”, writes Air Cmde Jasjit Singh (retd), who has edited this collection of essays. At present, ADA which was established as an ad-hoc interim organisation with specific task of developing the LCA, delinked itself from HAL and is now an independent body. “ADA failed to even start a follow-on design project in the early 1990s which could have begun to mature by now”, writes Air Cmde Singh.

Indian Air Force
Such systemic flaws have damaged very important aspects of self-reliance in the country and the book visits every one of them. Retired air force officers with varied interests such as the defence production policy, offsets, research and development, building resources, contributed to the book making it extremely resourceful.

The book speaks of the possibilities. The possibilities, if pursued seriously, can lead to self-reliance in the indigenous defence industry.

Edited by Air Commodore Jasjit Singh AVSM, VrC, VM (Retd)
KW Publishers, Pg 271


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