Preamble of the India China challenge from Wikipedia:- Aksai Chin (Uyghur: ﺋﺎﻗﺴﺎﻱ ﭼﯩﻦ; ) is a region administered by China as part of its Xinjiang and Tibet TAR claimed by India as part of Ladakh.
This is 15th IDF Covid-19 Analysis with Prasun Sengupta on the continuing military Buildup and Stand Off between Galvan’s Finger 4 to 8 (Spurs) on the 20 km thick Line of Actual Control(LAC) near Panggong Tso Lake (See Goggle Earth annotated and LAC). Clashes elsewhere took place between forward Army in Ladakh and Sikkim with injuries. Northern Command and China’s PLA from Tibet TAR and Chengdu Command are involved while IAF’s SU-30MKIs flew over. NTROs Bombardier keeps watch with satellites.
Tactically, Galvan and Depsang may hold entry to the Akasi Chin plateau, and China’s PLA has air mobile Brigades in Tibet. India claims the border is 3400 km but China says it over 2400 only as it considers Pakistan resident in POK where China has CPEC interests. Pakistan ceded 7000 sq km Shaksgam valley to China in 1963. Indian Government will have to negotiate with PRC if it gets POK as per a 1965 treaty.
President Xi has asked the PLA to overcome the ‘Peace Disease’, and Improve Combat Readiness with instructions to PLA to focus training and modernization efforts exclusively on preparations for war in all domains around China’s periphery. Currently China wants India’s top leadership to open its cards in talks. It appears India is playing poker at lower levels, confident of its position as per media statements.
IDF threads the dots of headlines on 2nd June, 2020 as USA’s Secretary Pompeo warned China not to bully neighbours despite riots in USA and HM Amit Shah is clear on Ladakh for India.
1.INDIA TODAY BLAZES:– Following the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, China has been posing aggressively to thwart what it believes is India’s “aggressive design” to take back the control of Ladakh and Pakistan-occupied territories.
2.HOME MINISTER AMIT SHAH ON 6TH AUGUST, 2019 had made a categorical statement that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(POK) belonged to India and Aksai Chin was part of POK (Utube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfYI4dnE-Fk. He repeated it on 1st June, 2020 on CNN TV to anchor Joshi. IDF recalls Pandit Nehru in Parliament had said not a blade of grass grows there, so China assumed ceding and was wrong. HM Shah must have taken the Army Chief now CDS, and Service Chiefs into confidence of whatever are the intentions and plans. China seems concerned as India’s IMD issues metrological reports of India and includes POK.
3.PRINT’S JYOTI MALHOTRA ON NEPAL – Modi govt’s flip flops widened the gap between India and Nepal. Chinese are filling it fast. How New Delhi twice changed its Nepal policy and lost the plot since PM Narendra Modi came to power six years ago. Army Chief Gen MM Narvane also Honorary Chief of Nepal Army, spoke a power is supporting Nepal on the Lipuchek area possession being contested. China’s hand ?
4.The Staging by Indian Army last September of Ex Changthang Prahar by Leh-Based XIV Corps. Changthang reserve is shown in the map appended as a part of plateau between XINJIANG and TAR in Aksai Chin.
Therefore, viewed through China’s eyes, it is a challenging scenario for Beijing, especially since Beijing lacks the kind of military hardware required for fighting high-altitude plateau wars. China mistakenly assumes that while China fights not to lose face, India fights for interests when back to the wall. China still thinks of India’s armed forces as being of vintage, hence China assumes that India’s armed forces cannot enjoy high morale or high levels of patriotism. Most untrue. Indian Army has become stronger and will die for its Regiment and Nation. Op Pawan and Kargil IDF has explained, but suggests enlightened political leadership on China, a risen Cyber war military. India needs a professional Intelligence to offer free and frank advice not only IPS led and manned. Niti Ayog !
IDF’s assessment is that worried PLA troops have moved ahead of their perceived LAC worried about Indian developments and after severe clashes that COAS Gen Narvane admitted, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Military Diplomatic talks are in progress and Internet is full of Videos showing both sides holding where they are, and cheerful India soldiers camped in the open if videos are faithful. Here is one.
IDF TABLES WEBINAR VIEWS OF AMB GOKHALE- NSA MK NARAYANAN -JAMES CRABTREE -TANVI & MAHAJAN MODERATED BY ANANTH KRISHNAN OF HINDU
Ambassador Vijay Gokhale who knows China, stated despite USA’s large military power he opines it is the beginning of the end of US hegemony and gave his reasons. Heexplained how China has infrastructure and leapt ahead technologically to challenge USA and has reserves. China’s ambition is to capture the current world order, not change the world order. IDF notes China thinks it has social democracy as all leaders are authoritarian these days.
On alignments, Gokhale suggests a new sort of strategic autonomy for India and to agree with nations on issues that are common, and not forget Russia. He is convinced Russia offers some technologies that no nation can offer(nuclear) and will be a trusted friend in Cold War-2. India should not neglect Russia as Kapil Sibal and Navy preach.
India’s Intelligence Guru former NSA MK Narayanan admitted China does not play by the rules, but is going to be a Covid beneficiary, and explained how unclear the LAC agreed is and his experience in dealing with State Councillor Dai Binggou for Foreign Affairs in border talks with little progress. It helped to keep the peace as India grew. Today India is stronger for that. IDF offers Deng’s advice, lie low till you are strong.
From following 22 border talks, it seems both Governments Central Sector LAC maps were acceptable, but for some reason both sides refused to even countenance the Western where Galvan valley lies, and Eastern sector maps where Tawang lies presented by India and China. This explains a lot as someone said they were thrown out ! The facts are not known.
Journalist John Crabtree known in India, now in Singapore opines China cannot be beaten as it may have many weaknesses but has a healthy economy and a comparative lower debt it can bear. India has become more confident to challenge China’s designs on the Indo-China border and asserting its role in the world. This is becoming a new normal. But it will be hard for India to break all trade links with China if it pursues the same path, as India’s economy has been hit. On China’s economic recovery from COVID, Crabtree says China will have a V shaped rise.
Author Tanvi Madan Brookings, opines handling COVID by China is being questioned but feels that the economic and geo-strategic effect on USA post Covid is unpredictable and unsure what will happen to the alliances. A lot will depend on the election results. USA is all set to de-couple from China but both Gokhale and Tanvi felt it will not be as easy as a lot will depend on private economies. The political pitfalls will have an impact on India and Tanvi was more than confident USA has opportunities to reach out to India for health care workers, share technology and India has its own reform conflicts to sort out.
Ashwani Mahajan felt India’s rise of economy is largely thanks to China even though it was $ 53 billion in China’s favour but the ill effects were China was not investing in FDI per se, but in many startups and filling tenders with cheap rates as a policy and now is the time to roll back in favour of Indian manufacturing. IDF states it is time to to renew private industry’s Animal Spirits with reforms like 1991 and get India’s investigative agencies and tax regulators to walk back, and reform to a professional service.
IDF is a great believer India has leaders who are savvy but must not be over taken by Nationalism, which is good in balanced ways. India can mechanise agriculture and agriculture deliveries for farmer income. Indian leadership will have to allow a bit of informal economy to breathe for the poor as PM Modi has well bottled high level corruption. Mahajan agrees India has a bright future only if Indian industry is fired up.
MKN questioned Mahajan whether the large world supply chain provided by China can be taken by India. It was music to IDF’s ears and like our car industry blossomed the Mantra for PM Modi and BJP/NDA should be Buy Global But Make In India and Allow FDI with orders and remove L1 for repeat orders too. Let Navy teach India with BrahMos, Barak and Arihant successes in next post ! Shan Na Varuna.