Monthly Archives: June 2020

The Nefarious Game

Something bigger is afoot then just shifting the LAC a couple of KM in Ladakh, Indian strategist must think several steps ahead of the Chinese if India is to defeat the challenge which is currently in the Ladakh region but could spread elsewhere

all, a large number of Chinese troops and armaments are massed in Tibet right along the Indo-China border.Even within Ladakh, the Chinese intruders have changed the goalposts a couple of times since the beginning of May, when they first turned up in huge numbers.The pushing and shoving that marked their ingress in early May gave the impression that they were primarily targeting the north bank of the Pangong Tso lake.

The two countries’ perceptions of the LAC along that bank have differed for years. So, that seemed like only a more belligerent repeat of past skirmishes.But the Chinese were also pushing at the boundaries in the Hot Springs and the Galwan area at the same time.And by mid-June, the Chinese had not only consolidated up to Finger 4 on Pangong Tso, the main action had shifted to the hitherto undisputed boundary in the Galwan Valley.

In the couple of days after the fight at Galwan on the night of June 15, the Chinese apparently consolidated fortifications right at the Line of Actual Control there.In fact, according to most expert estimates, their new battlements at a major bend of the river are actually on the Indian side of the LAC.

The following week, it turned out that the Chinese had moved forward in the Depsang plain farther north and were approaching a bigger strategic prize — the highest airfield at Daulat Beg Oldi.That airfield is very close to the Karakoram Pass on the India-China border — the established border, not the Line of Actual Control skirting Aksai Chin.

A top priority should be to figure out what the Chinese game plan is and to get ready to thwart the endgame before it is upon us, possibly in early winter.This requires insightful analysis as well as the various kinds of information gathering resources at the government’s disposal.

For, given the shifting Chinese goalposts, Indian strategists need to think several steps ahead of what is obvious on the ground.Heavy deployment ought already to have been organised in the Depsang area while the Galwan operation was being planned.

It is possible that Demchok further south and other sectors of the long boundary between the two countries could be the next targets.I have warned at security-related conferences for more than three years now that India should keep in mind the lessons of the 1965 War, when Pakistan intruded in Kutch to draw Indian forces to the other end of the India-Pakistan border before they went for their real objective — Jammu and Kashmir.



Strategic Loss of China

The June 15 clash at Galwan Valley, which claimed 20 Indian soldiers in the worst violence since 1967, has left the entire border architecture, carefully built by India and China to maintain peace, in the heap of history,India’s relations with China have reached a inflection point that will require a fundamental reassessment of its China policy. 

Such a thing was never expected to happen. And the reason why I didn’t expect such a thing to happen is because ever since 1993, when India and China signed the Border Peace and Tranquillity Agreement (BPTA), and there have been many agreements following that, we have put in place certain tenets, certain operating procedures, which were aimed at maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border. Unfortunately that entire architecture has collapsed, and is now in the heap of history.

Both countries have agreed that there are differences in our opinion of where the line of actual control (LAC) lies. Therefore, it was important to ensure that peace and tranquillity is maintained. Now, this time, what the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has done is that they have moved their ground positions towards what they believe is their LAC. And by doing so, they have tried to unilaterally define the LAC. Now, the movement of troops, to move your ground positions towards what is your conception of the LAC, in my opinion is a major change in the status quo, where the Chinese have come in with large numbers of troops, have moved them right forward, have built embankments, gun placements, observation towers. India’s bottom line has to be, and will be, restoration of the status quo ante.

First, to address what is happening on the ground, we have to have a very strong military posture, which we do. There must also be room for talks. There is no doubt that when two nation states disagree about the boundary, it can only be done through discussions with each other, it cannot be done unilaterally as the Chinese are attempting to do. We should have discussions at the diplomatic and other levels to try to move ahead on where the LAC lies and come to some kind of agreement which is difficult, I agree, but which has to take place. As far as the broader relationship is concerned, because of these reasons — one, that the Chinese have fundamentally violated all our agreements on the maintenance of peace and tranquillity; two, they are trying to unilaterally define the LAC; and three, the fact that lives have been lost on both sides after a gap of many decades — I think this is an inflection point in India-China relations. What I would recommend is that India as a country, as a people, including, of course, the government in the lead, must make a fundamental reassessment of its China policy, make changes in it, and then implement it at the earliest.

Will India’s approach to the region change?

There have been some Chinese observers who have said one of the possible reasons for this dust-up on the border with India this year is to indicate to India to stay away from the United States and other democracies. In fact, I think the actual result is going to be exactly the opposite. It will be very important for India to work together, strengthen its partnerships with democracies across the world, including with countries like South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and others apart from Western nations.

This is what I believe is going to happen. If the Chinese were expecting this dust-up on the border to be a kind of warning on that front, as some Chinese observers have mentioned, I think it is going in exactly the opposite direction. 

There have been other situations where both countries have managed and done a peaceful kind of resolution, including at Doklam, Chumar and Depsang. This time it has crossed the limits. I agree with some of the comments made by authoritative sources in the Government of India, that this is a premeditated and well-thought-out action. I do not see what gain China has had, because for some minor tactical gain on the ground, I believe China have strategically lost India. I don’t know if that is something they had calculated or not. I believe if there are these kinds of anxieties they could have been discussed over the table and spoken about, even between the two militaries, even the road building could be discussed. This leads me to think this particular action by the PLA this summer is purely something where they are trying to actually control territory which they believe in their conception is theirs. This is something which is premeditated. It is purely to do with territory, but its implications are both tactical as well as strategic.

I say this as an ordinary Indian citizen who has some knowledge about this relationship. I believe that India will strengthen its partnerships with the democracies of the world. In the long term, the way I look at it is that the diametrically opposite values that India holds vis-à-vis China, and the values which we share with other democracies across the world, are going to assert themselves and are going to dictate India’s position. I am afraid that the India-China relationship has not merely deteriorated, but will deteriorate further.

The Quad

For years, the United States and its allies have tried to persuade India to become a closer military and economic partner in confronting China’s ambitions, painting it as a chance for the world’s largest democracy to counterbalance the largest autocracy. 

This week, the idea of such a confrontation became more real as Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed in the worst violence on the countries’ border in 45 years, leaving 20 Indian troops dead and causing an unknown number of Chinese casua .. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly reveled in the prospect of a more muscular role for India in the region and the world. But analysts say the new tensions with China will be the starkest test yet of whether India is ready — or truly willing — to jostle with a rising power bent on expanding its interests and territory. 


With China facing new scrutiny and criticism over the coronavirus pandemic, Indian officials have recently seemed emboldened, taking steps that made Western diplomats feel that their goal of an India closer to the West was starting to be realized. And some believe the friction with China will push India even further in that direction. 

This month, India signed a major defense agreement with Australia that allows both countries to use each other’s military bases. And it is expected to invite Australia to join naval exercises it conducts with Japan and the United States, to strengthen efforts by the so-called Quad — Australia, Japan, the United States and India — to counter China’s projection of sea power in the region. 

India’s campaign for a larger profile in multinational organizations has also moved quickly. On Wednesday, it was elected unopposed to a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. And in May, it won the chair of the World Health Organization’s executive board, where it promptly supported calls to investigate the origins of the coronavirus — an inquiry that China had fought to block. 


“China’s great game of deception and Tango with Trump”

Chinese side invited the Indian side to negotiate and all of sudden they attacked the unsuspecting Indian troops, killing 20 of them, 43 Chinese troops are also either seriously injured or died in the skirmish, they never saw it coming.

The brutality and destructive PLA is well known, world has seen the dissolution of Hong Kong, the cowardice of the civilised world has encouraged this evil and vile force that is now threatening the world, innocent people paying the price of this muted assertion of the leaders of the free world that the COVID 19 was indeed a biological weapon gone wrong.

Irony is that the cost world has paid due to Covid is much more than what was saved by outsourcing the manufacturing to China,

Donald Trump has argued frequently of late that China is rooting for Joe Biden come November’s U.S. presidential election. In Beijing, however, officials have come around to support four more years of Trump.

Interviews with nine current and former Chinese officials point to a shift in sentiment in favor of the sitting president, even though he has spent much of the past four years blaming Beijing for everything from U.S. trade imbalances to Covid-19. The chief reason? A belief that the benefit of the erosion of America’s postwar alliance network would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability.

While the officials shared concerns that U.S.-China tensions would rise regardless of who was in the White House, they broke largely into camps of those who emphasized geopolitical gains and those who were concerned about trade ties. Biden, the former vice president, was viewed as a traditional Democrat who would seek to shore up the U.S.’s tattered multilateral relationships and tamp down trade frictions.