Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi laying a wreath on the newly built memorial to commemorate the Indian soldier who laid down their lives in the Galwan valley incident
By Brig. Arun Bajpai
After the famous Galwan Valley fight between the Indian and Chinese soldiers where India lost 20 soldiers martyred while Chinese soldiers had 43 killed on 15 June, on 19 June Indian PM was in Ladakh in a surprise visit to address Indian troops. He had said that no Indian territory is lost to Chinese. However the very next day MEA said that what PM meant was the territory in Galwan Valley. Since then everybody is hedging the bets and nobody is coming out with facts. Now why this is being done for this 11-week-old stand-off between India and China is anybody’s guess but now slowly the truth is trickling out. Fact is that China has ingressed into Indian territory and is not going back. India too has limited options.
Till date in this 11 weeks old standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh, four Lt General level military talks, three meetings of India -China Working Group and one talk of Special representatives of India and China have taken place, still, China has dug its feet in the areas it has ingressed and is showing no intentions of restoring Status quo Ante.
On 17 July Indian defence Minister Rajnath Singh was again in forward areas of Eastern Ladakh where Chinese have ingresses. He very clearly stated that India will not allow anybody taking even an inch of Indian territory. On 25 July while speaking to CNN News 18, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen YK Joshi, again made it clear that India will ensure that China returns to Status Quo Ante come what may. So, what is the ground situation?
Let us be clear that china has ingressed in Pangong Tso area where they have moved 8 km ahead from finger 4 to finger 8. They have occupied adjoining heights in this area and have also built a small hospital. earlier Indian patrols of ITBP used to go from finger 4 to finger 8 which now Chinese are not permitting. Chinese Army is also not withdrawing from Depsang plains, Gogra, PP 17, Hot Springs. Even where they have pulled back about 1.5 km, this area which is very much on the Indian side has become out of bounds to both Indian and Chinese soldiers.
The Indian Intelligence Satellite Aimiset while passing over Tibet on 25 July has taken pictures which show that Chinese troops are concentrating opposite Arunachala Pradesh also. Earlier reports suggest That Pakistan also has moved about 30000 troops in POK and has activated its Sakardu Air Base which means Chinese can base its fighter aircraft at Sakardu also. It also indicates that both China and Pakistan are planning to launch a joint operation against India before the onset of winters. So, what are the options for India?
First and foremost, India must now recognise that China is its main enemy and forget about Wuhan Spirit and Mahabalipuram spirit. Chinese President Xi Xinping is a new Hitler who has been made President for Life by the Chinese Communist Party. This fellow is totally drunk in his new all-powerful Avtar and has no qualms even to take Panga with the USA the only superpower of the world whom China wants to replace. In Aug 2017 Xi Xinping decided to withdraw from Doklam conflict with India because in October that year Xi was to be anointed as President for life in China and Xi did not want to take a chance. No such situation exists now. India must understand that it should not hesitate and should not make futile efforts of being equidistant from Both China and America. The days of competition with China and unlimited trade and commerce with China are over. Today trade is entirely tilted in favour of China. While China exports to India 67 billion dollar worth of goods it denies India it’s market in so many fields so that Indian exports to China are pegged at paltry 14 billion dollars.
India instead of hedging its bets between China and the US should join the US and other like-minded countries like France, UK, Britain, EU wholeheartedly against China. India must deny its vast markets to China in all fields. Like China now India should also try to be a manufacturing hub. India must understand that it was China who gave nuclear know-how to Pakistan to enable it to become a nuclear power and keep India occupied in South Asia. It is China which is supplying arms clandestinely to Jihadis in Pakistan and also in Myanmar, including Bangladesh all against India. Small countries of SE Asia like Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Malesia who are fed up with Chinese Rang Dari in South China sea but are unable to pick up the courage to challenge China, India now must be their new light opposing China in all spheres. Looks like Indian political masters have started looking in this direction. just a few days back India has banned 59 Chinese apps. This has resulted in the Chinese company of TIK TOK alone losing six billion dollars. Now India has banned 47 more apps of China which will make China tuck its tail between the legs. 203 more such apps are in the scrutiny. Also, India has banned all Chinese companies from bidding in Indian markets a further big blow to China.
As for the current situation. Let us be clear that China is not going back from the places it has increased in East Ladakh so what are the options for us. The option for us is either to evict China from the places it has occupied which of course will lead to a lot of bloodshed and repeat of Kargil or we have an option to ingress where China is weak along 3488 km long Indo-China border and then bargain. In my perception, the second option is better. Time has also come when we should stop pussyfooting and tell China in plain terms that we are not prepared to talk for talking sake. China must restore Status Quo Ante first before any talks.
How much prepared we are is amplified by our Defence Minister Rajnath Singh rushing to Russia to buy 21 second-hand MIG 29 fighter planes and licence producing 12 Sukhoi 30 MKI in India. Also buying missiles from Israel and speeding up the delivery of Raffle fighter jets from France. Why this last-minute purchasing when we know that we are facing two front threat of China and Pakistan? Why do we allow our defence budget to go below 1.5% of GDP when the minimum requirement is of 3% of GDP? any way bygones are bygones let us take a lesson from this for the future and fight with what we have got which is quite a lot.