China appears to be coming around to the view that India, despite having a much smaller economy and military, is emerging as a strategic competitor of sorts by aligning itself with Japan and the United States.
Ironically, the US has come to the same conclusion about China. Its recent National Security Strategy noted that China and Russia challenge American power, influence and interests, and are attempting to erode American security and prosperity. In other words, like the erstwhile Soviet Union (Russia), China, too, must now be seen as a strategic competitor rather than a country that would, over time, liberalize.
So far in South Asia, China has followed a convenient model of offsetting India’s advantages by backing Pakistan to the hilt. Given their enhanced clout in South Asia, and the fact that their economy is five times that of India and their military considerably stronger, they seek a situation where India quietly accepts Chinese primacy, or is subdued through the Chinese politico-military policy in the South Asia and Indian Ocean region (SA-IOR).
However, India has a sense of its own self-worth and place in the global scheme of things and accepting Chinese primacy in its own neighborhood is not part of it. And so it is seeking to offset Chinese power through growing proximity to the US and Japan, who have their own reasons for wanting to keep China in check. Ever since Modi has come to power, India has accelerated these efforts.
The signs of a Chinese shift are visible in many different ways.
Within days of his re-election as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in October 2017, the Chinese media published a letter by Xi to a Tibetan herder family praising them for their effort “to protect the Chinese territory” by living for decades in an isolated region on the border with Arunachal Pradesh. This is as clear a signal you can get that the very top echelons of the Chinese leadership are concerned about issues relating to their border with India.
Another sign came from an opinion piece in the South China Morning Post by Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, an honorary fellow with the PLA Academy of Military Science. Zhou, who speaks fluent English, is a familiar figure in the international circuit, attending seminars, forums and workshops, mounting a strong defense of Chinese positions on a range of issues. Zhou says he has served on the Indian border and was one of the people who articulated a tough line on Doklam to a group of visiting Indian media personnel in Beijing even as the crisis was unfolding.
In his op-ed, Zhou said that the Doklam incident may have been the outcome of India’s “strong sense of hopelessness” with regard to being outstripped by China in terms of economic and military power and “its hallucination of being encircled by China.”
He maintained that the Doklam outcome “was not even a tactical victory for India” because the Chinese have continued to remain there and have resumed road construction activity, albeit in another area.
Sharp rise in China’s border defense activity
But perhaps the most important part of Zhou’s article was his declaration that India is going to be the net loser now because “the disputed border was not on China’s strategic radar” but now, the Doklam standoff has “provided China with a lesson on reconsidering its security concerns.” As a result, China would enhance its infrastructure construction.
Zhou is right. Indian military sources confirm a sharp uptick in China’s border defense construction. Till now, comfortable with their economic and military lead over India, China did not really categorize India as a competitor of any kind. In any case, support to Pakistan was sufficient to keep India off-balance. On the border, taking advantage of the relatively easier terrain and India’s lackadaisical pace, the Chinese were able to build high-quality roads to every part of the border.
On the Indian side, road construction has plodded along. Contrary to claims, China’s deployments in Tibet were modest simply because it would require enormous resources. But China maintained a significant surge capacity amounting to some 30 divisions that could be deployed, if necessary.
Indian mountain corps, ballistic missile Agni V
But over the years, India’s infrastructure has improved and its border posture has become stiffer and ready to counter China’s incursions in places like Depsang and Chumur. Some years ago, India reached a point where it began to think of raising a mountain strike corps. Traditionally, given the terrain, India has maintained a defensive posture in the Himalayas, but the raising of a strike corps, of a type that would carry the battle into Tibet has rung alarm bells in China.
What we are now seeing is that China is enhancing the permanent presence of the People’s Liberation Army at various points on the border and constructing permanent cantonments or residential areas.
Another interesting signal as to just how this is working is available from the report, following testing of the Agni V missile on January 18. The test of the medium-range ballistic missile was hailed by the Indian media because it could cover most of China.
A CCTV programme reported for the first time the existence of a base in northwest China with a huge X-band phased array radar which is usually part of a ballistic missile defense system. According to the report, the radar, which is on the Qinghai plateau, would cover any possible launch from the Indian subcontinent and pass it on to a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system which would be the equivalent of the American Patriots or Russian S300s.
Whether these SAMs can actually knock out a missile like Agni V is a big question. And in our nuclear age, would a country risk everything on the reported efficacy of its ballistic missile defense system?
The writer is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
Good luck BJP, enjoy bear hugging Abe, Bibi and Trump for now. China is preparing for them and not for you, as China knows that when the time will come, they will drop you like they did and are doing with all their cannon fodder puppets.
China is the only country forcefully invaded & occupied the largest land mass after its independence since world war II. Xinjiang, Tibet, Hainan Island, Inner Mongolia,…. China supports the UNGA declared terrorists and has occupied the largest area under south china sea against the will of the ASEAN nations. Supports the 2 nuclear weapon blackmailing countries (only allies of China) of the world and still have the gumption to blame India and other peace loving nations. With its unbridled expansionist policy supported by the economic & Military growth China is all set to indulge in the same expansionism in Indo-Pacific area. Its India and its preparation on their own as well as along with like minded partner countries has ensured that China will think n times before starting another armed skirmish with India. The Indias potential to give a bloody nose to China is very high with extended range Brahmos, Loitering missile capability as well as the precision munitions along with the UAV & UCV capabilities of India can’t be preempted by China. Currently if China open any front there will be multiple front opened not just in Indo China border but in other fronts putting Chinas existence a big question mark! Xi knows that and China has to get used to this reality along with their inability to sustain the economic bubble!
Propaganda rubbish by a CIA troll posing as an Indian .
Wow! What a self inflated wound…
I mean an artucle written by some guy named Manoji Joshi? That sounds just like another Manu Raju and a Miki Haley’s who thinks they’re the reincarnation of wolf Blitzer and Dan Rather to me…
Yes, China may be taking precautionary measure and prepping itself for yet another swoop down the Himalayas again in the event Nerendra Modi likes to test us out again feeling confident that Uncle Sam is sticking up for him, but wary? You wish Mr. Manoji Joshi. 🙂
You guys are over your heads if you think Uncle Sam will make us blink…
I think China is worried of the potential of India becoming a fail nation. The sheer of refugees that will result from them make Syria crisis look tiny. I just read the news about Hindu right wingers and the Sikhs in Punjab killing each others. That and other numerous conflicts in India, like between Hindu and Muslim, between the Indian Communist and Capitalist, etc etc. That doesn’t sound like a safe place. Plus the pollution and poverty and illeteracy, India still has a long way to go before it can call itself a nation, much less a developed nation.
China thinks because it has ICBM and its military rise to power recently give it the authority to step on other countries that do not have the military mean to defend themselves. China will learn a very costly lesson if it keep on the same road. Have your enjoyment now while the good time is still here.Do not cry when the bad arrived.
Sure India is already seeing the big dams of China as target in a conventional war, not surprising China is wary of this long range missiles even without nuclear warhead.Future war will missiles going opposite direction, the winner would be the one that hits the best target.Nuclear would not happen, human are also protecting own race.
India a failed nation? Haha next joke please!
comments someone haling from third world country like indonesia
Lol the most unstable country is China, there is really no way a repressed and fearful populus can enter into a state of war with a free, secular and democratic country. In any case we have mutually assured destruction in place with a nuclear triad. Hindus killing Sikhs, I think you hallucinated that one. If India was to fail then it would have failed within a decade of its inception and given the languages and ethncities it would not be hard to imagine, however it didnt and today’s India is much richer and more stronger than it ever was with a booming economy, there is nothing but pig shit to support your beleif
China need not worry. Their agent Modi in India is destroying it from within.
While China is surrounded by friends, and makes more with BRI/Silk Roads, India is dividing itself. Modi is god’s gift to China. He will split the country along caste and race, language, religion, region, making it an eternal target for foreign or internal takeover.
Hindus will always fail to see that when India was divided a handful of people under Ghaznavi, Ghauri, Babur, Clive made the rest their slaves. An encore awaits within our lifetimes.
And Modi is awaking a sleeping Muslim giant in India. China should thank him. Let the Hindus enjoy the party while it lasts.
yeah, people in China can walk outside at 2 a.m without fear. In india, women get raped at 2 p.m in the street full of people.
Alex Wijaya I have been to China, I have Chinese friends, they told me tales where some their friends were abducted by police and no one can be sure what happened to them. There are many such horrifying similar accounts by many international journalists as well. You think rape is an Indian issue, rape is a global issue, in fact per capita wise Sweden has the highest number of rapes in the world, US is somewhere in the top 10, and India has one of the lowest number of rapes per capita anywhere in the world. I am not going to compare China because China is not a country but a slave propoganda machine
Usurper King so you been abducted in china?
You people are stupid and not sane. But that is expected out of you.
Jo Snow My chinese friends said they had friends and relatives who were abducted.
Poncho Tito If that was so easy China would have done it during 73 day standoff at Doklam! Grow up!
Syed Abbas but u r a muslim. there is no concept of country among muslims. we indians don’t have any problems with elected govts of india. those who have problem with elected govts can settle in pakistan or bangladesh. by the way so called indian muslims take orders from saudi arabia and pakistan only
Mongolia? That’s [Chinese] in case you are not aware. I.e., as in remnants of Chinese military personnels and their families of China’s or of long past who settled on these lands throughout the eons! The yurks or dwellings they live in are military style tents of China’s past and their daily practices attests to thus fact.
Same goes for Japan. She (Japan), in my book, is the black sheep of the Chinese or of the northeast Asian family so to speak, a people evolved from an expedition(s) of researchers dispatched by the Chinese Emperor to go to the eastern seas in search of a remedy or remediex which, suggestively, may prolong a person’s lifespan therefore. Political dynastical transformations or transitions hence not an invasion in my book.
Collecting on『 LONG OUTSTANDING and OVERDUE IOU’s 』, examples…
『 1) unsettled scores along the Himalayas streach, 2) historical reaches, i.e., the 9 dash line, as defined by the Chinese God’s, 3) romantic seas and oceans east of the Chinese coast, as defined in classical and historical Chinese classics, are the duties of the people of China past, present, and future, therefore the terms INVASION and OCCUPATION simply just does not compute with us. 』
Look, even the mighty Vladimir, the Russian Scar who helped you with your bragging rights, the BrahMos, and who NOT ONLY have ACNE 5’s, but Acne 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s to boot, had to bow out and pay his or Moscow’s dues…
Therefore, when our agents come knocking on the doors of Zàngnán (藏南) and other outstanding and overdued unpaid mortgages along the Himalayas, please don’t be startled if they come pre-attached to their attches warrants from your banker, wheel locks, tow trucks, and foreclosure signs, etc., etc…
End of Thiru Ravi’s "China only country forcefully invaded & occupied the largest land mass after its independence story". Simply put:
EAT YOUR HEART OUT, Thiru Ravi….
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