My Authors
Read all threads
THREAD: Referenced in the Indian defence minister's interview today, here's spring 1998 iview w/ India DefMin George Fernandes, where he was v blunt (& prescient) abt China.

Q: China is potential danger no. 1?
A: Potential threat no. 1, shall we say.
1998. Def Min Fernandes: there's reluctance to face the reality that China’s intentions need to be questioned..
Q: What is this reluctance due to?
A: ..primarily rooted in having to face the challenges which accepting this situation or this reality will kind of confront u with 2/
In the 1998, Fernandes agreed that "Chinese military activities are beginning to encircle India." Mentioned:
- nukes, Sukhois, elongated airfields in Tibet,
- nuclear, missile know-how to Pak
- training Burmese military
- Coco Isl facilities
- Harbor construction in Burma 3/
Indian defence minister George Fernandes in 1998: "& there is no doubt in my mind, and I don’t think anybody in the world has any doubt that #China’s fast expanding navy, which will be biggest #navy in this part of the world, will be getting into the #IndianOcean fairly soon" 4/
Fernandes, 1998 re dialogue w/ China: "all discussions can be conducted even while you are prepared to face any eventuality. And what I am pleading, and what I’ve been pleading over these many years is, that we should be prepared for any eventuality." 5/
1998 interview.

Thapar: You are really saying, aren’t you, that the biggest threat comes from #China, not #Pakistan?

Fernandes: Well, any person who is concerned about #India’s security must agree with that fact. 6/
Indian Defence Min George Fernandes's 1998 interview gave rise to the idea he said China was India's enemy no. 1. He was actually careful abt that & said it was "potential threat no. 1"

[my fav bit of this is David Dhawan/Govinda influence: Hero No. 1 = '97 Bollywood film] 7/
This 🚨 exchange in the May 3, 1998 interview w/ the Indian defence min. perhaps got lost cuz of his China comments.

Thapar: Wld this tough decision…this national sacrifice possibly include actually making a set of nuclear bombs?
Fernandes: Well, if it comes to that, yes. 8/
AP cited TOI that PM Vajpayee "perturbed over his defence minister's comments as India and China are in the process of strengthening their ties"

And for all their anti-Chinaness & urging GoI to be blunt now, the Indian newspapers chided Fernandes for his China comments too 9/
Manoj Joshi, now at ORF, wrote in May '98 in @IndiaToday re context for & blowback to DefMin George Fernandes's blunt China stmts

+ had this: "many...charge Washington with fanning anti-Chinese sentiments & using India as a cat's paw to check Beijing" 10/…
Joshi '98 re reax: "views of the experts notwithstanding, there is a body of opinion that believes Fernandes may be articulating the 'silent majority's' views on nat'l sec. As one official put it, 'many of our commentators are busy finding a rationale for China's policies'" 11/
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Tanvi Madan

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!