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India must effectively deter Chinese incursions


oi-Jagdish N Singh


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There is little change in China’s policy that had led to its aggression against India in 1962. New Delhi may put to use the contemporary international environment to checkmate Beijing.

In his address to Parliament the other day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh did well to assure the nation in the face of the recent Chinese incursions into the Indian territory. He said that on December 9, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops “tried to transgress the LAC in Yangtse area of Tawang sector and unilaterally change the status quo” but our Army “compelled them to return to their posts.” He did well also to inform the nation that “there are no fatalities or serious casualties on our side.”

However, India must remain on constant vigil and put in place effective deterrence against the ongoing Chinese activities on our border. Observers say that Beijing claims to have been working with New Delhi to de-escalate the tension that has arisen between the neighbours since the Galwan crisis that erupted in June 2020. But China has hardly been serious about resolving the crisis.

India must effectively deter Chinese incursions

In February last year, Defence Minister Singh informed Parliament that India and China had “agreed to have a temporary moratorium on military activities” in the region. He said that patrolling would be resumed when “both sides reach an agreement in diplomatic and military talks” to be held subsequently.

How India is taking on China with border defence and connectivityHow India is taking on China with border defence and connectivity

India is yet to resume patrolling in any of the five disengagement areas where temporary buffer zones have been established. The Chinese military still remains on India’s side in Depsang and Demchok. And the border crisis that began in Ladakh in 2020 has now widened to the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.

History bears out that Communist China cannot be trusted. Since the days of the Chinese supremo Mao Zedong, Beijing has had expansionist designs against India. In the 1950s, then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru went out of the way to please China so as to make it agree to coexist with India and work together for peace and development in the entire region. Nehru even agreed to accept China’s de facto control over Tibet, an independent ancient nation, which had, for centuries, been India’s immediate neighbour.

After then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Beijing in 1988, his successors P. V. Narsimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi all reached out to China to have better ties between the two nations. But in vain.

Notwithstanding the bonhomie he displayed between Beijing and New Delhi, during some of his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, current Chinese President Xi Jinping has been for a military course to annex the Indian territories Beijing considers to be China’s. In order to achieve its territorial ambition in India, President Xi has recently promoted three generals with LAC experience.

According to a report, China today is investing heavily in upgrading military infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It is building new highways and connecting roads, air strips constructing new habitats and settlements near the LAC. China has also deployed heavy weaponry, including missile regiments, on their side.

Beijing is also recruiting Tibetans and basing them right at border posts along with the mainland Han troops. It wants to use the original inhabitants of the region to man the highly difficult terrain tough for the mainland Chinese troops.

Whether Galwan or Tawang, our Armed Forces proved their valour: Rajnath SinghWhether Galwan or Tawang, our Armed Forces proved their valour: Rajnath Singh

Besides, China is determined to spread its influence in the Indian Ocean Region and sideline India herein. It has, in the recent years, made substantial investments in the infrastructure sector in several countries in the region. It has established a full-fledged naval base in Djibouti. It has acquired the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. China has also built the port at Pakistan’s Gwadar in the Arabian Sea.

Given this background, India must not take any risk in its relationship with China. There is little change in China’s policy that had led to its aggression against India in 1962. China and India share a disputed 3,440 km-long border, called LAC which is poorly demarcated. New Delhi must take all steps to put in place effective deterrence aimed at checkmating any potential Chinese designs against India along the LAC.

New Delhi may put to use the contemporary international environment to checkmate Beijing. Since he came to power in Beijing, President Xi has isolated China internationally. His aggressive foreign policy postures are being perceived detrimental to the interests of not only India but also the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea. India could rope in all these nations and have a concerted strategy to checkmate Chinese designs.

In its strategy to counter China, India may turn to Israel. Jerusalem has always stood by New Delhi in the wars thrust upon India by other nations. New Delhi may also keep tabs on the growing Chinese activities in Bhutan and Nepal. New Delhi needs Thimpu and Kathmandu to neutralize China’s anti-India activities in the region.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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