Agni-V shows India intention to become major power

Beijing: As India gears up to test its 5000 km range Agni-V missile in February next year, Chinese official media here said that the "killer" missile with potential to reach several cities in China showed New Delhi`s intention to become major power in the region.

"Indian officials and scientists claimed that their Agni-V missile is the `killer` for a certain country, which obviously shows the intention of seeking regional balance of power", an article in the state-run People Daily titled `Risks behind India`s military build up` said today.

It added that India has strategic ambitions and hopes to play an important role in world affairs, "so it cannot tolerate these internal and external security environment constraints".

"It is the Indian goal to continue to strengthen the military and possess a military clout that matches its status as a major power", the write-up in the daily, which is the official organ of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), said.

"However, how many missiles is enough is a question for all governments in the missile era", it said. Chinese media reported the last month`s successful test flight of the 3000 km range Agni-IV missile.

DRDO Director-General V K Saraswat had announced that Agni -V will be test fired in February. Defence analysts say that the two together has the potential to reach several top Chinese cities, though far off regions could still be out of range for Indian missiles.

Analysts say that while short range missile Agni-I and II are regarded as Pakistan-specific, Agni-III, IV and V are perceived to be China-specific.

For its part China already has a variety of long and medium range missiles which according to US media reports were deployed in Tibet and Xinjiang provinces.

US Department of Defence Report on Chinese military said last year that China has now replaced older liquid-fuelled, nuclear capable CSS-3 IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fuelled CSS-5 MRBMs.

The People`s Daily also carried a similar write up last month terming India`s decision to beef-up defence preparedness at borders with China with one lakh troops as a "sensitive move".

"It will result in a tense situation in the region and harm India`s own interests. Increasing troops on the border area is always a sensitive move and it is especially sensitive to increase troops on a disputed border area", it said.

"In an era when precision-guided weapons are developing rapidly, everyone with common sense knows that concentrated troops could be eliminated easily", it said.

Today`s write up referred to India`s plan to spend USD 8.2 billion equipment from foreign countries to improve its defence capabilities in the 11th plan.

"The Sweden Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a recent report hat India has become the world`s largest arms importer, a veritable arsenal made up of imports from many different countries", it said.