india china clash in galwan valley

INDIA CHINA BORDER CLASH- CHINA AT PANGONG TSO. IS CHINA PREPARING FOR WAR?

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After the skirmishes of 15th June which led to casualties, both the countries are trying to resolve the issue on multiple fronts like military, diplomatic, political etc. In midst of all these attempts to pacify the clash, from the military talks of 23rd June, it was decided that de-escalation will take place stepwise from both the sides & hence the issue will be resolved without further bloodshed. But even after this military talks, several questions arise over here like Can India believe China? Will the de-escalation process really take place ?, What’re the possibilities that the issue will be resolved from this de-escalation? However, these are some questions which come to mind of almost everyone who is focusing on the issue.

    Since the same kind of talks were also conducted before 15th June and the de-escalation was also a part of that too, but what happened afterwards is very well known to everyone “the betrayal of China”. However several diplomates are also perceiving this issue like, China is just taking its time because, on the other hand, Japan is also opening a front by claiming senkaku islands and hence he is in no position to fight on multiple fronts that’s why he is posing to have a de-escalation from his side. Let’s read what’s the possibilities after the promise of this de-escalation process.

Can India believe China?

The answer to this question is very simple: India in no way can believe Chinese promises. History itself answers this question, It is not only India who can’t believe China but every neighbour of him had the same problem. For instance, this question can be answered from the recent event as well in which Beijing encroached 33 hectares of land of Kathmandu as stated by Nepal’s agriculture department’s survey. This is an old policy of expansion of Beijing running from the reins of Mao and hence not only his neighbour in fact not anyone in the world can believe him.

india china army

The country believing China, for example, Pakistan and Nepal, are suffering and are going to suffer more in the near future. China is continuously using Pakistan’s land and labour for its own benefit in return of various loans it has been giving Pakistan since long. And for Nepal, apart from the land of Kathmandu, reports have been coming that China has captured a village of Nepal and removed the boundary pillars.

After independence, India too believed China and the result is known to everyone what happened in 1962. China took a large piece of land in Laddakh which is known as Akshai Chin as of now. Thus, there is no scope of believing China.

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Possibility of de-escalation?

De-escalation in no way will take place at the LAC. China is only posing to sort out the issue peacefully by talks but the reality is far different from it. PLA added 16 more quick attack boats in their patrol fleet in Pangong Tso in the last 2 days. These boats are equipped with firearms too, PLA had also constructed 2 more bunkers on the ridge near finger 5 yesterday. Now a total of 6 bunkers is there on that ridge. China is increasing its buildup day by day behind peace talks. Moreover, the satellite image itself indicates that instead of pacifying the issue by de-escalating military China is deploying best of his fleet nearby LAC. Hence it can be very well understood that he is doing nothing but buying time to strengthen its military buildups in the border areas. 

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Is China preparing for war?

The next question, is China preparing for war? Looking at the actions of Chinese PLA at the LAC since last few days, it may seem that China is preparing for war. But let us have a look at some other facts here.

May be China has overcome the COVID-19, but it is still to come out of the economic devastation due to the WUHAN virus. China’s recently announced economic indicators for January and February were much weaker than market watchers had forecast. Year over year, retail sales fell by 20.5 per cent and industrial production by 13.5 per cent—China’s worst numbers on record. And due to the virus, labours are finding it difficult to return back to work and thus the manufacturing units in China cannot operate at full fledge capacity. The thing to be noted here is that China is slowly coming out of this economic crisis. But another aspect here is that major European countries are still in the mid of economic crisis due to the COVID-19. And the USA is also suffering. And these are the key market for Chinese products and now China is struggling to find the potential customers. Thus the Chineses economic condition is constantly contracting. Even with a major fiscal stimulus and interest rate cuts, estimates for 2020 growth vary from 1 percent to 4 percent against the original target of 6 percent.

us aircraft in south china sea

The second thing here is the USA vs China. In recent times, the US China relation has not been good. The president Donald Trump has continuously blamed China for the corona virus spread and also been attacking China on other fronts. And to counter the policy of China to spread its territory, the USA has deployed 3 aircraft carriers in the south China sea. On the other hand, there has been a tension between Japan and China too and Japan has warned China recently against any military activity.

Thus, if there arises a condition of war, China has to fight on three fronts, with India, USA and Japan at the same time. And this China can afford at no cost.

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Then why is China doing this?

There is a simple reason for all this. China wants to show that it can become a world super power. It wants to show its military power to the world. And no country can be better than India to show its power, as India has emerged a lot in past few years.

The other reason for China showing its power is the outrage of Indians against China. After the Galwan skirmish, there has been a mass movement in India to boycott China and Chinese product. After the skirmish, many projects which were given to Chinese firms are cancelled or are kept on hold. These contracts are worth thousands of crores. This is having an effect on the Chinese economy. And so China wants to show its power to India and warn India that it cannot fight with China. The recent tweets from Global Times also show the same. It is continously showing Chinese power to India.

China has a simple theory- If you are weak appear strong, if you are strong appear weak.

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India’s actions and is India afraid?

Now the question arises, is India afraid?

For this, the actions of India after this can be the answer. India has deployed its tanks and increased its troops at the Pangong Tso after Chinese troops increased at the lake. The higher officials have an eye on the matter. The projects of Chinese firm are still being kept on hold. And the Indian government is constantly stating that India is not going to be afraid. The army officials have also stated that India is not afraid of China, no matter how much troops it deploys at the border.

india china clash

What are the possibilities of resolving the issue?

China’s mass presence in Ladakh is at Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso- F4-F8, Hot Spring Area, Opposite Chushul, DBO-Depsang Sector not only Ladakh but the PLA had a remarkable presence at the rest of LAC as well. Hence by mutual peace talk, it is going to be very difficult to withdraw security forces. In fact, the Chinese army’s main motive isn’t to safeguard their country but to satisfy the interests of the Communist Party of China (CPC). And hence the issue can only be pacified if an equal retaliation from parallel can be given, India is heading in the same way, therefore, China is buying time to prepare himself amidst India is again proving his mettle by retaliating in the best possible way. 

CHECKMATE (Nation at War Series: India-China Standoff in 2020)

Read more about the clash on ExpensiveMinds

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