In the last few days, India has dispatched roughly 60,000 troops to its border with China, the scene of enduring territorial disputes between the two countries.
J.J. Singh, the Indian governor of the controversial area, said the move was intended to "meet future security challenges" from China. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed, despite cooperative India-China relations, his government would make no concessions to China on territorial disputes.
The tough posture Singh's new government has taken may win some applause among India's domestic nationalists. But it is dangerous if it is based on a false anticipation that China will cave in.
India has long held contradictory views on China. Another big Asian country, India is frustrated that China's rise has captured much of the world's attention. Proud of its "advanced political system," India feels superior to China. However, it faces a disappointing domestic situation which is unstable compared with China's.
India likes to brag about its sustainable development, but worries that it is being left behind by China. China is seen in India as both a potential threat and a competitor to surpass.
But India can't actually compete with China in a number of areas, like international influence, overall national power and economic scale. India apparently has not yet realized this.
Indian politicians these days seem to think their country would be doing China a huge favor simply by not joining the "ring around China" established by the US and Japan.
India's growing power would have a significant impact on the balance of this quation, which has led India to think that fear and gratitude for its restraint will cause China to defer to it on territorial disputes.
But this is wishful thinking, as China won't make any compromises in its border disputes with India. And while China wishes to coexist peacefully with India, this desire isn't born out of fear.
India's current course can only lead to a rivalry between the two countries. India needs
to consider whether or not it can afford the consequences of a potential confrontation with China. It should also be asking itself why it hasn't forged the stable and friendly relationship with China that China enjoys with many of India's neighbors, like Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Any aggressive moves will certainly not aid the development of good relations with China. India should examine its attitude and preconceptions; it will need to adjust if it hopes to cooperate with China and achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.