Can China and Pakistan launch a Kargil-like foray? Army chief General V K Singh has spoken recently of Chinese troops in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The impending American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the US-Pakistan divorce has the potential to destabilise the region. China may become more assertive in South Asia, feels Colonel Anil Athale (retd). Next year will mark 50 years since China taught a military lesson to India. Will history repeat itself after 50 years? The article by Admiral Arun Prakash (retd), the former chief of the naval staff -- India must pause before venturing into choppy waters, on Rediff.com -- seems to provide timely caution. One is referring here to the Indian decision to explore for oil in cooperation with Vietnam despite Chinese objections. There is no doubt that legally India is right and the Chinese demand absurd. At another level it can also be seen as a clear 'tit for tat' snub to China that has ignored Indian objections to its projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Unfortunately, such issues are seldom decided on legality and it is the national power projection capability that is the deciding factor and not some articles of a UN convention. What Admiral Prakash seems to suggest is that the South China Sea is not an appropriate theatre for India to flex its naval muscle. The sudden burst of clarity from our foreign minister is rather curious. This tough stand comes against the backdrop of a rather tepid response to the Chinese intrusions in Ladakh, recently acknowledged by the defence minister himself.