Project Aurora, part 2

Yesterday I blogged about the unfolding scandal known as Project Aurora. I’m following the story closely so I thought I would post a follow up.

When Google initially announced the breach of security, the Chinese government remained silent. Following Secretary of State Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom, however, the Chinese government has begun to fiercely defend itself. According to a report from Reuters, China believes the U.S. government is politicizing the breach of security, which it claims it had nothing to do with. Google claims that they are no longer going to censor search results on (although as of today they are STILL filtering searches) and have threatened to pull out of China completely.  China is calling their bluff.

“Perhaps Google has already realized that China can do without Google, but without China, Google does not have a future,” the People’s Daily retorted.

China might be onto something. Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Delhi to pressure Indian officials to hitch their wagon to Washington’s strategy.  Gates made a clear case for Indian support:

What I see happening is these groups operating under the umbrella of al-Qaida in the Northwest Frontier Province, probably in North Waziristan, is orchestrating attacks using one element in Afghanistan, using another element of the Taliban in Pakistan to attack targets in Pakistan to try to destabilize Pakistan, and again, working with al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba, planning attacks in India.

I believe this operation under the umbrella of al-Qaida, working with all of these different groups, is intended to destabilize not just Afghanistan or not just Pakistan, but potentially the whole region by provoking a conflict perhaps between India and Pakistan through some provocative act or terrorist act, or provoking instability in Pakistan itself through terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

For more on Gates’ choreographing of foreign policy, I strongly suggest you read this article by M K Bhadrakumar at the Asia Times.

To be sure, China is back with a bang in the US strategic calculus. That was also the thrust of Gates’ mission. The Obama administration is reverting to the George W Bush-era doctrine regarding the potentials of an unbound India as a junior partner in the US’s geostrategy. By accommodating India’s interests in Afghanistan and by expressing support and understanding for India’s security concerns vis-a-vis Pakistan, the US is “freeing” India to play a bigger role.

If Google pulls out of China, India could benefit dramatically from capital investments, infrastructure and jobs as Google reallocates resources to other major markets.  As William Pesek of Business Weekly explains,

India has a track record of innovation and a stable of internationally competitive companies that China doesn’t. India also has far superior laws on intellectual property and corporate governance. And China’s willingness to blow off Google plays to India’s relative advantage in these areas. China’s ultra-wealthy are growing in numbers. It’s better, though, for one’s billions to come from new ideas than from bubbles in the Chinese stock market, which rose 80 percent last year. What China lacks is a growing roster of homegrown knowledge-based and technology outfits creating jobs, pushing the country up the value chain and inspiring young people to become the next Bill Gates.

More to come…


One Response

  1. Interesting caveat!

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