War That China Will Thrust Upon India

Post-Galwan brutalities, there appears to be an uneasy calm, but a major armed conflict or even full-scale war may not be too far from here

Post-Galwan stand-off, the massive military build-up by China along the Line of Actual Control produces an alarming situation for India. Analysts apprehend this time the dragon may involve even Pakistan and Nepal in its sudden blitz, where the primary aim of the war will be ‘dominating’ India, for the Chinese strategy has been first to ‘warn’, then ‘threaten’, then ‘intimidate’, then ‘attack’ and finally ‘dominate this largest democracy of the world. President of China Xi Jinping had proposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Mamallapuram meet in October last year, rather menacingly, to speedily resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue “trilaterally among India, Pakistan and China”. Modi rightly ignored Xi’s veiled warning. And why not? What had Pakistan to do with the dragon’s dispute with India? A wily Xi then managed to camouflage his chagrin and called the Mamallapuram one-on-one meeting offering a “heart-to-heart” dialogue of understanding.

 India May Fight Brilliantly In War

Modi’s unexpectedly “negative response” may have offended the Chinese leader, but he went back wearing the cloak of a pleasant mood. What happened in consequence subsequently was, indeed, terribly shocking.

The PLA started crossing the LoAC in large numbers, posing a veritable threat to Indian security. Most foreign security analysts believe that one day the dragon will inevitably provoke Pakistan to attack India and then will itself join in soon, possibly along with communist-ruled Nepal. Their intent would be to grab the whole of Kashmir and other territories along the LoAC.

However, a few defence analysts do think that India now has the capability of “brilliantly” fighting its neighbouring enemies, even in simultaneous battle operations.

High Chinese Stakes In PoK

China has already colonised Pakistan and invested heavily in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and other key projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The dragon’s stakes in the rogue state are apparently very high and it’s generally believed in the outside world that China will not let India capture PoK and ruin the Sino-Pakistani joint projects there.

Amid Indo-Pak exchanges of fire along LoC several times, Chinese nationals working on many projects, including a in a dam being constructed in PoK along the confluence of the Neelam and Jhelum rivers, were moved to safer places several times. These evacuations confirm Beijing’s presence in the illegally occupied Indian territory.

Let Nepal Not Become A China Colony

Nepal is angry over India’s inauguration of a Himalayan link road built in a disputed territory that falls at a strategic three-way junction with Tibet and China. To New Delhi’s annoyance, Nepal’s parliament has approved a new map of the country, including areas disputed with India. Nepalese masses broke into celebrations after their parliament approved the new map. India has, however, rejected this map, calling it a ‘unilateral act’ that is not based on historical facts or evidence.

The move signals a hardening of Nepal’s position over a decades-long border dispute that has strained ties between the South Asian neighbours. This has made Kathmandu falling easy prey to China.

Meanwhile, Nepal says it is still waiting for a response from India on holding talks to resolve the border row.

Doklam Stand-Off Had Irked Nepal Too

The standoff between India and China over the Doklam plateau had been greatly disturbed Nepal for, just like Bhutan, Nepal is precariously sandwiched between its giant neighbours. Like the Doklam tri-junction point between the three countries involved in the current dispute, there are two tri-junction points between Nepal, India and China — one at Lipulekh in western Nepal and another at Jhinsang Chuli in eastern Nepal.

The tri-junction point of Lipulekh, which has been used since ancient times for trade between Nepal, India and Tibet, is considered key to Nepal developing itself into a vibrant economic bridge between India and China.

Why Did Russia Mislead India Over China Build-up?

India, however, believed dubious Russian assurances that the reported ‘incursion’ into the Indian territory was merely a “PLA military exercise” close to the LoAC, which would cool down soon. But the dragon started intimidating at patrol point 14 on the Galwan heights right on 15 June when the PLA launched a premeditated attack on an unsuspecting Indian patrol, killing 20 soldiers and injuring many more.

In the attack, PLA soldiers used iron-spiked clubs and stones. In the bloody duel in which Indian jawans fought bravely, 30 Chinese soldiers were dead too while, including the injured, the enemy casualty figure was 50.

The belligerent Chinese intruders demanded that India vacate the Galwan Valley entirely, although both sides had hitherto been clear that the LoAC cuts through it. But India will, in no case, cede the Galwan Valley, for movement on the Darbuka-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie or south-to-north DSDBO Road would be exposed to whoever controls Galwan.

Xi Tells PLA To Get Ready For War

China pushed in at several points early this month, more aggressively than at any time since 1967. They planted a Chinese flag on the hill north of Pangong lake. Chinese army boats, the colour of dark clouds, zipped across water that India claims. The prospect went alarming.

Early this week, President Xi ordered his army to ready themselves for war and “worst-case scenarios”, an allusion possibly to a multi-nation war. Not only has a new runway come up just 200 km from the LoAC, but thousands of troops have also been transported to those barren heights, along with vehicles and earthmovers.

Moreover, China evacuating its citizens from India in the pandemic time has set speculation buzzing. Is, then, a major war coming in which China, Pakistan and Nepal will jointly fight?

In fact, India faces a triad of threats from China, Pakistan, and street rage in the Kashmir Valley. A reputed columnist analyzing India’s security scenario suggests that if it is indeed a triad, “China must be its lynchpin and funder.” One has noted that the Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad have, on occasions, expressed gratitude to China for its support to their cause of terrorism.

Why Does China Think India Won’t Attack?

Initially, China looked concerned only about the new side roads, but the size of its response, its extent along much of the LoAC, and its continuing brutality indicates that it was testing India. The Chinese seem hell-bent on preventing India from building branch roads running east towards the LoAC from the relatively new military road that runs north from Darbuk to Daulat Beg Oldie.

There is nothing along that road, but it allows the Indian army to bring tanks and artillery guns into Aksai Chin. It may be noted that at both the places, where the Chinese have dug in, apparently for a long haul, they have grabbed water resources (parts of the Galwan river and Pangong Tso lake) along with adjoining land on which those side roads were coming up. Earthmoving equipment has probably been brought in to undo the construction of the branch roads.

Post-Galwan brutalities, there appears to be an uneasy calm. But a major armed conflict or even full-scale war may not be too far from here.

Satya Pal Singh

By Satya Pal Singh

Former senior editor at The Hindustan Times, has worked with Right Impact Media Inc,
KRIBHCO, The National Herald and United News of India

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