China’s military advantage over India vanishing

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by LETHALFORCE, Sep 5, 2009.

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  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    China?s military advantage over India vanishing - upiasia.com



    China’s military advantage over India vanishing


    Toronto, ON, Canada, — The difference between China’s official words and actual deeds could lead to another conflict with India similar to the one in 1962. First, China does not like India’s emerging status as a global power. Second, it is paranoid that if India completes its planned military purchases in the next five years, conquering and humiliating it would remain a distant dream. Third, China wants to grab the town of Tawang, birthplace of the current Dalai Lama, on the Indian side of the Tibet border. This is a symbolic Chinese ploy to let the Tibetans know who their real masters are.

    China began a massive military exercise in mid-August called “Stride 2009,” deploying 50,000 troops in areas far from their home bases for live-fire drills. According to analysts, the exercise shows China’s readiness to respond quickly to unrest in any part of the country. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of China’s infrastructure, which allows the quick deployment of troops hundreds of miles away. The program culminates on Oct. 1, China’s 60th anniversary.

    China maintains 30-40 divisions of reserve forces in its central provinces. But Tibet and the Indian border are outside this area of quick deployment, linked by a single rail line built on permafrost. While the exercise sheds lights on China’s reserve force, it is not India-specific yet. Still India, lately busy on the Pakistan border, may need to alter its defense posture.

    China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping put the border dispute with India on the back burner in 1978. But he made an agreement with India that both countries would maintain a standstill in the Himalayas and avoid military build-up.

    The promise held until 1998, when China began improving its military infrastructure in the Himalayas and building multiple missile bases. But it did not increase its ground forces, which stood at 200,000 soldiers.

    India also kept its bargain and did not add a single soldier to its 30,000 in the east and 20,000 in the west. India even held off building new roads and improving infrastructure in its border areas. In hindsight that was a mistake.

    Recently, China’s building of an intercontinental missile base at Delingha, north of Tibet, has set alarm bells ringing. Most of Russia and India are within its missile range, and being far from Taiwan keeps it sheltered from the U.S. gaze.

    In the past 30 years India has held 13 high-level talks with China on the demarcation of the border, the last one in July this year. Each proved fruitless. China wants the Tawang tract and will not talk about vacating the Akash Chin plateau in Kashmir.

    To make its point it has begun building more roads, missile bases and airfields in addition to its existing military infrastructure. It is also encouraging Nepal to enter into a free trade treaty, giving the Chinese an excuse to add more roads and possibly a rail link to bring them closer to India.

    Tibet has become more restive in the past ten years. Last year’s pre-Olympic riots blew the lid off China’s tight security when its 200,000 force had to be split between law and order and border guard duties. While China marginally increased the force during the riots, India augmented its force only slightly. Now its military strength in Tibet is insufficient to conquer India or the Tawang tract, although border skirmishes remain a possibility.

    India has its own evaluation of the China threat. A decision to engage China through diplomatic channels between 2001 and 2005 produced no results, so India decided to go for a military build-up. Eight mountain divisions trained to fight in the Himalayas will be augmented by two more, and an additional 60,000 ground troops will be sent to the east closer to Tawang and to the state of Sikkim. Also, some 20,000 additional troops will be added to the current strength in the west in Ladakh.

    Three airfields lying derelict in the east and three in the west have been activated. A major airbase only 200 miles from the Tibetan border will be upgraded to serve India’s premier Sukhoi fighter. This airfield is a major threat to China’s rail link. India has also initiated other road-building activities. One will connect Ladakh with the rest of India via Manali-Rohtang. Another will connect Itanagar, capital of Arunachal Pradesh state, with neighboring Assam.

    These developments could effectively neutralize China’s current advantage. Besides, Indian troops are much more capable in jungle and mountain warfare than they were in 1962. India’s conflict with Kashmir in Kargil in 1999 has presumably shown China that Indians cannot be beaten on the ground as easily as they were in 1962.

    China won the 1962 battle with India by indulging in classic Chinese warfare tactics – confusing the enemy with conciliatory signals. On the ground, India had incompetent generals leading a brave bunch of soldiers. Additionally, Chinese soldiers had an advantage with their Soviet copies of German-designed submachine guns called “burp guns.” The rapid-fire submachine guns overwhelmed the Indians, who were carrying World War II Lee Enfield rifles.

    Things have now changed; India’s current assault rifle is comparable to China’s and India’s generals have learned the art of war.

    India will receive new military hardware in the next five years. Its newly commissioned nuclear submarine will be fully operational by 2012 or 2013, and the Russian aircraft carrier on order is expected to join the Indian navy. Indian-made light combat aircraft and imported medium combat aircraft will be operational in squadron strength.

    All this hardware, plus ultra-light artillery fit for action in the Himalayas, will soon become operational. By 2014 India will have twice its current firepower and ten times that of 1962.

    So China is planning a new strategy that includes cruise-missile attacks on the Indian heartland and confrontation on the high seas. The biggest threats to India are missiles launched from Tibet and China’s naval armada in the Indian Ocean.

    Chinese cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 miles launched from Tibet and intermediate-range ballistic missiles launched from Delingha are big threats. India’s industrial heartland and military bases lie within their range, and new guidance systems make the missiles highly accurate. There is no known defense against a massed attack by some 200 cruise missiles. India’s only hope is that they would miss their targets after traveling 600 miles over the Himalayas.

    China is depending most on its naval armada in the Indian Ocean. It has a surveillance station off the Myanmar coast and a newly built naval port in Gawdar, Pakistan. Both are militarily significant. But India counters this advantage with its naval base at the western mouth of the Gulf of Malacca on Andaman Island.

    If an overconfident China decided to test Indian resolve by creating an incident, India could retaliate by capturing China’s surveillance base off the Myanmar coast. This could escalate hostilities, but China would risk losing its oil supplies if it stepped up the conflict.

    It is pointless for China to wage war with India. Instead, the two countries should engage in greater trade and business, which can bring more prosperity. An unsuccessful invasion of India would be a terrible loss for the Chinese.

    --

    (Hari Sud is a retired vice president of C-I-L Inc., a former investment strategies analyst and international relations manager. A graduate of Punjab University and the University of Missouri, he has lived in Canada for the past 34 years. ©Copyright Hari Sud.)
     
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  3. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    hi leathal force this a very good article i wanted to post this it in the blog
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    ok buddy go ahead
     
  5. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    hi man your article shows both capabilites or plus points and minus points of both countries, as we are in a defensive position we have more advantage then our counterparts.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Hari Sud writes excellent articles. giving every angle and specific details to the topics he is discussing.
     
  7. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    So, now we have an india banker talking about the military subject?

    I just wonder if there will be an india general discussing the financial situation tomorrow.
     
  8. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Shoot the message not the messenger ie discuss the points raised rather than the profession of the author.
     
  9. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Leathal, it is better if we dont quote Hari Sud. With all due respect to him as a notable scholar he is...I doubt his practical knowledge about military affairs. I have read a lot of articles by him specially about Indo-China war and felt he has a tendency to overestimate Indian capability and underestimate that of Chinese. Many members of our forum can do better and more practical analysis than him.

    Anyway, it is not possible for any country to keep on adding to its military inventory indefinitely as the maintenance cost will be increasing proportionately. By the low of economics the curve will be flattened on the uper side. So it is quite possible for her rival who is aiming to close in the gap to so provided she has the resources to do so.
    To maintain this gap for longer period the first country needs to bring in technological advancement that can shift the level alltogether. USA is an example of how military superiority can be maintained over others with technical advancement. But in case of China we have not yet seen major technoligical advancement that India cant achive or purchase from other countries. Rather India has easier access to western technology than china who is mainly doing on her own.(we are keeping copying,reengineering etc from out of our discussion) So It is not impossible for India to narrow down the gap with Chinese military might.

    And Badguy 2000...whatever you have said sarcastically may be true in reality...because it is important where the battle is fought. China will get its a$$ kicked if it try to invade and try to stop India navy in Indian Ocean from choking its oil supply which India will certainly do in retaliation of Chinease invasion.
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I have never liked the articles by Hari Sud. His articles are sometimes based more on his own fancy thinking than reality. I remember him coming up with a war scenario in another forum and i plucked holes in it. His counter was a bypass of that which is not possible. Anyways did not hang around too much in that forum to have any further debate with him. But people out there go ga ga over his "strategic" analysis.

    On this article,
    I dont know where he gets the figure of "twice as much firepower than today" and "10 times more than 1962". He seems to shoot of figures just like that.
    Indias acquisition of light howitzers is yet to see light. Its all so murky.

    Chinese cruise missiles are subsonic and will be picked up by our AWACS. I dont think India is going to be too scared by it. Ballistic missile launch is a risky business for them as it will be taken to be a nuclear strike and will have serious repurcussions.

    Chinese Armada in Indian Ocean? Since when? what was India doing then and more importantly what was the US doing when China was building is "Armada".

    Its surveillance station off Myanmar is not going to annihilate India. Insignificant in a war as it can be taken out by our fighters. Gwadar for now has no PLAAN ships. For it to reach there it has to cross the Mallaccas, around SL, Arabian sea. In a war scenario it will not go unnoticed and will be intercepted long before. Involvement of Pakistani assets in a Sino India war is not in the scope of this thread and anyways we are discussing the two front war in another thread.

    Just because he is some strategic investment whatever, dont take whatever he says seriously. I think his articles should be put in the banned list. Its a waste discussing his articles.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    you guys are right Hari maybe more optimistic than many but he does back his arguements with facts and he seems to have knowledge that i am sure 99% in the government don't even have a clue about, i know he talks a lot about the military hardware angle but i am more interested in his strategic views.
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    LF, I think he has no great knowledge about strategic issues. Maybe he knows the latest weaponry around, most of us as well. But no he may be a strategic investor, but he is NOT a strategic analyst. If he is then a lot of us can too can call ourselves as well.

    What's interesting is that he or the website love to write that he has been in Canada for 34 years.
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    yusuf he is also probably the only one writing for that site??
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Yes but thst doesn't make him an expert. Let's not discuss him further. Thread closed.
     
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