Mitigating China Threat on India's Border

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by youngindian, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    BY : Amitava Mukherjee for Mainstream Weekly

    Notwithstanding the assertion made by S.M. Krishna, the Indian External Affairs Minister, that the India-China boundary happens to be one of the most peaceful of our borders, continued Chinese incursions along the Line of Actual Control and the series of strategic moves being undertaken by Beijing in regard to its relations with some smaller countries of the subcontinent, point to a sinister Chinese design of encircling India. It appears that Beijing still rues its decision of voluntarily withdrawing from the 90,000 sq km of Indian territory it had occupied in 1962 and has been harbouring a desire to make up the loss at an opportune moment.

    China wears an inscrutable mask and India has so far been unable to see through it as it did in 1962. China is now India’s largest trading partner and the amount of transaction between the two countries touched a whopping $ 52 billion last year. This has possibly given India a comforting idea that China would never choose to go for an all-out war in spite of the fact that the Chinese Army has been carrying on incursions into Indian territories not just in the western and central sectors but in Sikkim too where the border is now undisputed.

    But the Government of India is trying to keep the people in the dark about some serious moves of the Chinese Army. Recently they penetrated deep inside Ladakh and painted the word China on rocks and boulders in an area which is not very far from the Pangong-Tso lake, a highly sensitive point near the international boundary. But long before there were reports that China had built a helipad in an area in the Arunachal Pradesh sector which, in fact, belongs to India. There is nothing new about the Chinese presence in Ladakh as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has often been violating the boundary in the Pangong-Tso lake which is situated in the neighbourhood of the Chushul mountains acoross the Changla Pass in the northeast of Leh. Forty per cent of this lake belongs to India while the rest sixty per cent is Chinese domain. But China’s patrol boats often penetrate deep into Indian waters and they sometimes willingly barge into Indian naval vessels. Intelligence reports, quoted by the national as well as regional media, have pointed out quite sometime back that China has built its own road network inside Ladakh.

    The Government of India is well aware of the Chinese moves along the border and in recent past it has, on quite a few occasions, hurriedly moved Army units away from the Jammu and Kashmir border and posted them along the boundary with China. This happened sometime ago when Beijing had suddenly increased the strength of its Army near a mountain ridge which is very close to the trijunction of India, Bhutan and China. But the most inexplicable side of the whole story is the hush-hush atmosphere which India prefers to drape over the whole issue.

    A.K. Antony, the Indian Defence Minister, was perfectly right when he had voiced his concerns sometime back about the unsatisfactory state of communication network on the Indian side of the border. He had reasons to do so as China has not only been strengthening its communication system in the area but trying to attract some smaller subcontinental countries in such a type of patron- client relationship which would go a long way towards putting India in a disadvantageous position.

    This forms China’s policy of ‘encirclement’, a diplomatic-military initiative Beijing has been practising for a long time. In line with this, China has been gradually pushing its outposts nearer to the Indian border, the most important example being Xigatse, the second most important city of Tibet which has been put on the Golmud-Lhasa extended railway line. Xigatse has now become a bustling centre of not only trade and commerce but Chinese espionage activity as well. So far as Nepal is concerned, in addition to the Kodari highway, which was built with Chinese assistance in 1960, a second highway connecting Nepal and Tibet has come up. Although the Maoists are no more part of the Nepalese Government, yet there are valid reasons to believe that the bashing of Indian priests by the Maoists at the Pashupatinath temple may have had Chinese blessings.

    China is now one of the most important patrons of Pakistan in international politics and in return Pakistan has allowed Beijing to open at least four link roads from the Karakoram Highway one of which will connect the Gwadar deep- sea port which China has built for Pakistan. In the world energy market Beijing is now in brisk business of securing energy supplies most of which pass through the Persian Gulf. By using the Gwadar port China gets an automatic access to the Persian Gulf where it has substantially increased its naval strength in recent times. For Myanmar, it has developed the Irrawady corridor thereby creating a netwok of roads, rails and waterways. This corridor is extremely important for China as it would give its landlocked areas an access to the Bay of Bengal where Beijing is rapidly increasing its naval strength. In competition India has also agreed to invest $ 100 million for upgrading the Sittwe port and developing the Kaladan river system of Myanmar. However, in matters of respective bilateral relations China has left India way behind. Beijing’s relations with the Myanmar military junta are extremely cozy and it has always stood up for Yangon to block sanctions against the junta in international organi-sations. China has already secured rights for free use of Myanmar’s river systems. Due to this facility it has been able to build up surveillance stations on the Coco Island near the Andamans. That India has recognised the probable Chinese threat from the sea becomes clear from New Delhi’s decision to upgrade its naval station in the Andamans.

    ¨

    The military threat from China is real. The numerical strength of its Army is 2.5 million, more than double that of India, while the range of its missiles is more than its Indian counterparts. Quite a good number of Chinese missiles in Tibet carry nuclear warheads. This year China’s defence expenditure has increased by 14.9 per cent. This would push up Beijing’s defence budget to $ 70.2 billion, an increase of $ 9.1 billion from the previous year. While India lags far behind in this respect, China now stands very near to Japan, Russia and the UK in respect of military spending. Chinese experts are always at pains to point out that their country spends only about 1.5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for defence. But China’s GDP has been growing by more than 10 per cent annually. It has no staggering inflation and its currency is stable.

    This has enabled China to build its war industry. China now not only produces arms and ammunitions for its own use but supplies them to a good number of other countries also. They include, apart from Pakistan, Sudan, Egypt, Tanzania, Albania, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka. In 2007 China successfully carried out its anti-satellite test. It has acquired technology for construction of aircraft carriers, for carrying out air-to-air refuelling and for developing anti-tank missiles. While its MiG- 33 is much superior to the accident prone MiG-21 which the Indian Air Force uses, it has also developed a multi-role fighter aircraft christened CAC-J7 which is widely used not only by Pakistan but Myanmar and Bangladesh as well. Another very important arsenal rolling out of China is the basic jet trainer-cum-light attack aircraft, a product of the Hongdu Aviation Industry. Its export variety is called K-8 in Pakistan which uses it extensively and has a 45 per cent share in its joint production with China. China’s participation in the production of the Jalalat class missile fast attack naval craft in the Pakistan Navy Dockyard at Karachi is too well known. Nowadays Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh use large numbers of patrol boats, fast attack crafts and vessels for amphibious operations either designed or built by China. India’s presence in this field is minimal, the only noteworthy example being the Hindustan Shipyard-built 1890 tonne patrol vessel “Shaurya” which is used by the Sri Lankan Navy.

    China now considers itself a great power and a clash of interests with India is inevitable. It looks upon the Asia-Pacific region as its hegemony. As a consequence it s likely to come into conflict with India’s “look East” policy. So there are enough grounds, strewn all over, for escalation of tension between India and China, the most important of them being the unresolved border question with Beijing not accepting the Line of Actual Control and the Mcmahon Line. New Delhi recognises the danger and therefore it has recently decided on a series of steps like stationing of Sukhoi-30 aircraft at Tejpur, revival of abandoned airfields in Ladakh, posting of two Army divisions for the defence of Tawang and building of all-weather roads upto the farthest Army post in the border. Defence experts, however, opine that due to the Pakistan-centric defence policy pursued so long, not an illogical thing either, India’s defence preparedness has to be improved considerably to meet the Chinese might in the extreme heights of the Himalayas.

    Unfortunately the biggest impediment before such an important task is the attitude and self-deception of the Indian ruling class. Although George Fernandes, the Defence Minister during the NDA regime, always voiced concern about Chinese intentions, he did not get sufficient support from other members of the Vajpaiyee Cabinet. Manmohan Singh, the present Prime Minister, is also advising restraint with respect to the attitude towards China. Obviously he is trying to sweep every uncomfortable information beneath the carpet. Manmohan Singh has reasons to do so as he is in the best position to know how unprepared his government is to match China force by force.

    Some honest confessions are also emerging. Sometime back Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the former Naval Chief, was honest enough to admit the inadequacies of the Indian Navy. The other day Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, the incumbent Chief of the Indian Air Force, has said that the IAF is only one-third the size of its Chinese counterpart. But the political tribe is desperate to hide its failure.

    Indira Gandhi always tried to keep herself posted with latest indepth information about the security affairs of her country. The same should be expected from Manmohan Singh. If he is honest enough he should ask explanations from Pranab Mukherjee, the Defence Minister for a large part of the previous UPA Government, about infra-structural development along the LAC and inade-quacies of the armed forces. What has now prompted A.K. Antony and the Naval as well as Air Chiefs to admit serious drawbacks about India’s defence preparedness?

    Let Manmohan Singh be reminded of a hilarious assumption by the people of Sikkim. The condition of the road from Gangtok to Nathu La is atrocious. But local drivers who ply their vehicles along this road proffer a different reason for this. In the event of a war in the Nathu La sector the Indian side will be vanquished and swept aside by the Chinese Army within a few days. The Indian Army and the Government of India know this. So they do not repair the road to Gangtok in the hope that bad roads might ultimately turn out to be the only defence against the might of Beijing, the drivers point out.


    This entry was posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009


    Chinese Threat on Border and India?s Defence Preparedness IDRW.ORG
     
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  3. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    I think these are old facts. India is at a disadvantage. We all know that. But it's also true that the border has being quiet for 47 years. If Beijing wanted to make trouble, it's had plenty of opportunities over the last five decades; yet they've never tried anything serious. We have not seen a serious Chinese military build-up on the border in 47 years and there is none in sight; except in the Indian media where a molehill becomes a mountain.
     
  4. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    None of the media rumors about Chinese aggression holds in fact. Chinese threat is perhaps a story made up by deliberate mastermind. The recent upbeat on China seems to be a bit hysteria.
     
  5. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    We don't need to keep sleeping either, we need to remain prepared for any eventualities, otherwise 1962 will be repeated, and all peace lovers will still keep preaching peace, without any positive outcome.
     
  6. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    The best way to prevent anything like 1962 war would be to declassify the well known Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report.
     
  7. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    How many dark secrets does China reveal in public? Reports don't have any legal standing as they may carry personal opinion/bias. Report is safe in hands of it's recipient.
     
  8. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    At least, we know what the chinese army planned in 1962, how many divisions involved, who was in charge of the plan and the last one but most important one: how the plan was carried on.

    MOD EDIT : STICK TO TOPIC , THIS IS NOT A THREAD YOU START TALKING ABOUT POLITICAL SYSTEM
     
  9. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    I didn't know this report is a dark secret. The report was based on formal investigation ordered by Indian government. Why should it carry personal bias? What is it in the report that the government held it away from Indian people for 40+ years?
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China’s biggest fear is being encircled by pro US nations and all her actions is but countervailing. In addition, there is growing disquiet in China over the resistance of the Tibetans and the Uighur from becoming ‘domesticated’ and Han-ised. Apart from the Chinese fear of the influence of HH The Dalai Lama over Tibetan, the recent statement from the Al Qaeda warning China of a jihad has got China worried immensely. Her trusted ally, Pakistan, is in a serious turmoil, militarily, financially, politically, economically and even with secessionist forces ripping her innards with the GoP losing credibility by the day appearing to be a stooge of the US in return for buoying up Pakistan financially and militarily. The majority of Pakistanis are not delighted that the US has a free run of Pakistan and is seen to be dictating terms to their Govt and the Govt in a beggarly way acquiescing to the Great White Satan as the Pakistani like to term the US.

    So, things are not perfect for China (at least not in the way they would like it to be). The recent massive military exercise in Tibet was basically a show of strength to cow down the Tibetans and the Uighur. India was but a secondary interest to awe! It is a good thing for India that China did that exercise since it gives a good opportunity to analyse the capabilities of China, which till now was theoretical.

    Since Amitava Mukherjee is not a military person, he use his journalistic flair to add colour by stating that “It appears that Beijing still rues its decision of voluntarily withdrawing from the 90,000 sq km of Indian territory it had occupied in 1962 and has been harbouring a desire to make up the loss at an opportune moment”. Without reiterating the rationale why the Chinese withdrew from the Eastern Front since I have mentioned it at many places on this forum, suffice it to say that where militarily they could occupy, they did. The lack of communications and thus sustaining the force that had penetrated was the basic reason for withdrawal.

    The fear psychosis that the Mukherjee conjures is misplaced. Chinese are a shrewd race. They make moves to keep others at bay while insidiously chisel away towards their aim. Their aim is to make China a superpower bettering the USA. One cannot become a superpower without a strong economy and cash to spare. Wars are an expensive hobby and the outcome can never be predicted. And losing face is the ultimate insult that the Chinese find hard to swallow! Hypothetically speaking China wages war with India and cannot make any headway and like what happened in the Sino Vietnam War, they get a bloody nose, all their brouhaha will come to an end and they will be the world’s laughing stock! It will be the bitterest pill for China’s keeping face and a death blow to pretensions to being a budding superpower.

    Therefore, China flexes its muscle for the show window, but the actual intent is soft military expansionism as is being seen in the IOR and needling India with innocuous ‘intrusions’. Unfortunately for China, India has learnt to play ball and so it has geared up and is taking action that has irked China. Even in Myanmar, India is leaving its footprints in the sand of time.

    It maybe fashionable to feel India is a toothless giant. However, the smooth manner how the Chinese propped Maoist Prachanda and his worthy band were eased out of office is an example of how India can influence its neighbourhood.

    All is not well in the neighbourhood, two friends of China – Bangladesh and Myanmar are at loggerheads on their border and interestingly, the Indian COAS is in Myanmar! Sri Lanka may appear to be anti India, but so long as there are Tamils in Sri Lanka, whoever may head the govt there, cannot ignore India and its sensibilities.

    Pakistan is on a self destruct mission, the Frankenstein created by Zia is visiting them and well deserved too, having cause havoc around the world with their terrorist factory. Even there, Pakistan wails that the Balochis and Pathans are but Indian sponsored!

    So, let us not underestimate India’s capabilities.

    Or get unduly worried at Chinese sabre rattling.

    The neighbourhood is in turmoil and our neighbours have much on their hand including the Chinese. And so do we!

    It is time to assert and not cower down!
     
  11. qilaotou

    qilaotou Regular Member

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    PR China has been facing hostile pressure ever since her birth in 1949. Encircling China is not new and already showed that it's been a self-content game. Therefore it does not matter if India is willing to step on the stage of the play. The internal ethnic problems are real threat to domestic stability of China but it won't give much fun for India to watch because the tension of ethnic or religious turmoil is not in anyways less serious in India. The declaration of Jihad to China has put the actions of Chinese clamping down separatists into spotlight for better international support. Terrorists located in remote areas have very little disturbance on China's political and economic centers, which differentiates Chinese problems from Indian ones.
     
  12. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    BEIJING: Agni-5, India's latest long-range nuclear-capable missile under development, can target China's northernmost city of Harbin, a leading Chinese newspaper has claimed amid a slew of strident anti-India articles over the status of Arunachal Pradesh.

    A number of state-run Chinese papers have stepped up rhetoric against India on the boundary issue through their articles.

    India's Agni-5 can target our Harbin city: Chinese daily - India - The Times of India
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Done to whip up nationalist passions in China.

    Things are on the move!
     
  14. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Whoa! Agni 5 tested?....How come DRDO dosent know but Chinese came to know about it?
     
  15. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    If things are really as bad as people believe things are in China right now, a "perfect little war" against India would be a great way to boost the reputation of the CCP.
     
  16. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    except that

    it may not be as "little" as they might hope it would be
     
  17. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    [mod] Avoid One liner during discussion [/mod]
     
  18. vilma

    vilma New Member

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    :twizt:
    And if you look back to 3000 years history, Is there a war between China and Inida beside 1962???
     
  19. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Considering there was no India before 1947 it is kind of hard for there to be. You couldn't go 15 years before you had to attack them. You certainly weren't going to do it when the British whooped you in the Opium Wars or when Japan was whooping you in the first half of the XXth century. If you go back far enough you were conquering (Indian) coastal areas during the Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne.
     
  20. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    During those peaceful 3000 years CCP din't rule China. China tried to test India by attacking Sikkim(then an independent country) in 1967 and invading Arunachal Pradesh in 1987 after a decisive victory in 1962, but both the attacks were pushed back by a better prepared Indian forces. China considers India as a rival in Asia, and wants to humiliate India to stop it from emerging as a force to recon. China doesn't want this world to compare it with India, China doesn't want any mention of India when world talks about Asia. China benefits by getting recognized as the undisputed power in the whole Asia, which has several economic and strategic implications.
     
  21. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Himalayan disasters force rethink of India's China border strategy

    Himalayan disasters force rethink of India's China border strategy


    October 14, 2011

    The high-level China Study Group has been asked by the Prime Minister's Office to review and re-prioritise projects along the high Himalayas, reports RS Chauhan.

    Two major natural calamities in the high Himalayas, some 2000 km apart, in the past 15 months has forced a high-level review of India's military preparedness along the border with China.

    If the cloudburst in Ladakh in August 2010 gave the authorities an idea how vulnerable its supply lines were to the vagaries of weather, last month's earthquake in Sikkim brought home the stark truth of the tenuous road link between the plains of north Bengal and the Indian Army's remote posts in the high altitude areas of north Sikkim.

    In both the cases, the Army and the Air Force were the first responders to the tragedy, saving hundreds of lives and providing relief to thousands of ordinary citizens before attending to their own problem.

    During the commanders' conference this week, top military leaders from Army and Air Force discussed the shortcomings in India's military infrastructure at length and decided to speed up existing projects and initiate some critical new ones.


    The Air Force, for instance, has decided to extend the runway at Kargil air strip as a backup plan in an emergency. It will be turned into a full-fledged airport capable of handling heavy and medium transport aircraft like the C-130J Hercules and the C-17s that the IAF will be inducting into its transport fleet in the next couple of years.

    The IAF feels Kargil will add to its airlift capability in Ladakh even if the Thoise air base close to the Siachen base camp becomes inaccessible in case the world's highest motorable road at Khardung La (18,500 feet) shuts down due to heavy snow or landslides.

    Kargil, mid-way between Srinagar and Leh, is ideally suited to become a major transport hub since areas beyond Kargil are highly prone to natural calamities and consequent physical isolation, given the fragile mountain roads that connect it to the rest of the country.

    Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne announced the decision to strengthen the Kargil airbase exactly a year after the Ladakh region was hit by the cloudburst that affected the winter stocking schedule of Indian Army troops along the China border following the total collapse of the tenuous road network in the area.

    As it is, the two roads that connect Ladakh to the rest of the country -- Srinagar-Leh and Manali-Leh-- are open for only about six months a year. As winter approaches, high altitude passes become snow-bound, closing the roads.

    Days after the IAF's decision, the Army has decided to operationalise night landing facilities at the Leh airport so that stocking operations by IAF's heavy and medium lift transport aircraft takes places day and night.

    The inadequacy of infrastructure in the remote border areas of Ladakh and Sikkim has once again prompted the Indian Army to press for alternate roads between the plains of North Bengal and the China border in Sikkim. So far the Indian Army has depended on the single-lane North Sikkim highway its deployment.

    The Army has revived the proposal to immediately have an alternate highway running west of the Teesta river to sustain logistics for its two mountain brigades stationed on the border with China in North Sikkim.

    Meanwhile, the high-level China Study Group has been asked by the Prime Minister's Office to review and re-prioritise projects along the high Himalayas. A comprehensive border roads development programme that envisages the construction of 75 important roads in the border areas stretching from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh is being accelerated.

    In Arunachal Pradesh, the IAF is upgrading and modernising seven crucial advance landing grounds to allow operations of bigger transport aircraft that can quickly insert and ferry additional troops at the far-flung border posts along the sensitive China border.

    Military leaders are hoping that for once these plans will be implemented with alacrity in order to strengthen India's defences all along the disputed Sino-Indian boundary.

    Himalayan disasters force India to rethink China border strategy - Rediff.com India News
     

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