Ever since April 19th, when India claimed it had successfully test fired its AGNI-V missile from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha state in eastern India, the arms race in Asia has drawn international attention for many reasons.
The Islamic republic of Pakistan, which fought three and a half wars with India, responded with five nuclear-capable missile tests within several weeks. Because Pakistan has already achieved enough delivery capability for a nuclear strike in any part of India, the tests were just saber-rattling of little strategic significance.
Quite notably, AGNI-V, with its 5000-plus kilometer range,has been viewed as "China centric;" capable of reaching Beijing and Shanghai along with the Chinese financial hub concentrated in its northeast. Indian officials called it a "game changer" in characterizing the success of their first ICMB. The Chinese media, voiced in English by The Global Times was cautious and conscious in responding to the AGNI-V test, stating that India lags far behind China in its military potential. On the other hand, Chinese strategists and top scientists alleged that the Indian missile had a range of more than 8000 kilometers, but had been downplayed by India under NATO pressure.
It is rumored AGNI-V will be equipped with multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs) by 2014, but given India’s track record in the timely delivery of indigenous defense armaments, this is an unlikely scenario. In light of India's successful placement of a record number of satellites into orbit atop a single missile, the country probably does have the necessary technology for MIRVs. But India's complicated, politics-ridden bureaucratic system, oxymoronically blessed by democracy, is obviously a hindrance to achieving this.
The Global Times was right in assessing India’s military imbalance vs China’s. China successfully tested its first nuclear device in 1964, and detonated its first thermonuclear device just thirty two months later, in 1967; an unbeatable record. In contrast, India’s assertion of the status of its H- bomb with a yield of 45 KT, which she claimed to have imploded in 1998, twenty four years after its first nuclear explosion of 1974, is incredible. India’s ability for nuclear weapon simulation with the data available from just six nuclear detonations is questionable, whereas China has tested their nuclear weapons into perfection.