Why China may be plotting a 'short' border war with India as in 1962

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by indiandefencefan, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. indiandefencefan

    indiandefencefan Regular Member

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    The signs are ominous on the China front for India. Consider the smoke signals emanating from Beijing.

    First, it has told us clearly that it is not interested in clearly delineating a line of actual control (LAC) on the border, pending a final settlement. This shows that it wants to change the status quo and take some territory from us. No willingness to agree on the LAC means China will not settle the border except on its terms.

    Second, it has taken a deliberately contradictory position on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), China-occupied Kashmir (mostly Aksai Chin in Ladakh) and areas in India - mainly in Arunachal Pradesh – that it says are disputed areas. It protests any development project or Indian action in Arunachal, or even the South China Sea (again, a sea with several claimants) but has no qualms about investing in PoK or CoK, which are clearly in dispute or illegal occupation by Pakistan or China.

    Third, the recent escalation of terrorism in Manipur should been seen in context. Yesterday (4 June), 18 armymen were killed in an ambush in Manipur, and last month a similar attack took place in Nagaland, where eight Assam Rifles jawans being killed. While there may be no direct China hand in this resurgence of terrorism (or, at least, none that we know of), ask yourself a simple question: who benefits the most from bringing the North-East back to boiling point? It suits China to keep our army tied up in various insurgencies, especially when Indo-Bangladesh ties are improving and Sheikh Hasina has taken a strong line on containing anti-India forces.

    Fourth, we already know that China has backed its territorial claims by constantly patrolling and even transgressing into Indian territory, with the incursion into Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in August 2013 being the most blatant and indicative of where future perils lie. It was the first instance where Chinese soldiers just walked into Indian areas and tried to demolish a boundary wall. (Watch these videos of the incident here and here).

    There are good reasons to believe that China may not be beyond contemplating another short war with India. We should be on an extraordinary alert for Chinese war signals, preparations or indications of hostile intent.

    As India strengthens it Asian alliances and improves its defence capabilities steadily, the current huge asymmetry in military power between the two will be partially redressed. If China wants to try any strong-arm tactics against us, it has to do so using the narrow window of time when the military skew is against us. After 5-10 years of economic and military build-up by us, China's capacity to act against us will fall dramatically.

    Moreover, the Chinese economy is slowing while the Indian economy is putting its UPA-induced slowdown behind. This means domestic anger in China will need channeling into jingoism as jobs and growth slow down. While Japan is one perennial target, a small territorial grab from India will seem attractive to China’s Communist leadership. China is currently calculating how India will respond to this, and that is the prime purpose of its incursions into Indian territory. It is trying to figure out how we will respond.

    It would also be instructive at this point to figure out what China wants and what it may do to get what it wants.

    #1: The most likely territorial gain it seeks is probably Tawang in Arunachal, which houses a key Buddhist monastery that threatens China's complete domination of ideological Tibet and its future. As long as Tawang remains Indian, China fears it could be a staging post for a future Tibetan insurrection or even in the creation of a Dalai Lama based on Indian soil. As we have noted before, Tawang is psychologically crucial to China’s hold on Tibet as it was the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama and hosts an important 17th century Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The current Dalai Lama (the 14th) spent some time in Tawang after he fled Tibet in 1959 post the Chinese takeover.

    #2: China believes that. It made a mistake in 1962 when it held on to large areas of Aksai Chin in Ladakh to ensure easy access to Tibet, but voluntarily withdrew from areas seized in the North-East, including Tawang. It wants to rectify this by any means possible. This explains why it tried to intrude into Tawang in 2013. Rest assured, the Chinese troops who came by would have taken excellent pictures of the Indian fortifications and local topography, especially details that could not have been captured from satellite cameras.

    #3: China's massive investment plan in Pakistan, which includes large areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is less about development and more about a military capability. Chinese investment and construction activities in PoK are important for they indicate how much it is willing to risk in order to defend its interests in the region. PoK and CoK constitute the vortex of central Asia: between them, they abut Afghanistan, Tibet, the Islamic republics of Central Asia and China’s own alienated Muslim province of Xinjiang. So China’s massive investment is intended to maintain a military presence in this area for defensive and offensive reasons: it will try to block jihadi influence in Xinjiang, and also maintain pressure on the Indian army on the Pakistan border.

    Now consider how China may be weighing the risks and benefits of a short war over Tawang.

    One, it will ask its lackey Pakistan to make the entire western border hot when it wants to pressure India. Pakistani firing and shelling of Indian positions has been not so much on the Line of Control (LoC) but the settled international border (IB). This has probably been done at the urgings of China. It means, when China winks, Pakistan can make the entire Kashmir LoC and IB a live battleground.

    Two, insurgency in the North-East will keep the army busy in Nagaland and Manipur, while distracting us from Arunachal.

    China's calculations could revolve around a quick surgical strike to capture Tawang - despite adverse terrain - or a bigger grab in Kashmir to use as a bargaining chip to gain Tawang. It may also be betting that India will not fight too hard for Tawang or threaten nuclear mayhem in retaliation. India has made the mistake of not developing tactical nuclear weapons unlike Pakistan, which will have no qualms about using them if we make territorial gains on the western front.

    In essence, China is developing a two-front war capability vis-à-vis India and hobble it with various insurgencies – a Pakistan-propped one in the west, and a more covert one in the north-east. The aim may be to get us to part with Tawang, with or without a short war. With Tawang won, China will put up a show of "magnanimity" and offer to settle the border elsewhere.

    The point is simple: China will not see a "short" border war as necessarily a bad thing. India should be more than ready for it, and must lose no time preparing for it.

    The key elements of our strategy should be the following: strengthen the army's preparedness to defend Tawang and Ladakh at all costs and make this obvious to China; create the new mountain corps quickly, and speed up investment in border infrastructure; create a crash pan to develop and deploy tactical nuclear weapons and make it clear that these will be used only on the China border.

    The paradox of Narendra Modi successful Asian diplomacy involving China's rivals (Japan and Vietnam specifically) is that China may want to strike before Modi manages to strengthen India's economy, defences and alliances. This calculation may have the adverse consequence of making China rush into a short war before India improves his fighting capabilities.

    The only way to prevent Chinese adventurism of the 1962 kind is to prepare for one.
     
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  3. indiandefencefan

    indiandefencefan Regular Member

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    This article appeared on firstpost on June 6th 2015.

    What do you guys think ???
     
  4. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    The danger is real so all we can do is be better prepared for it if and when it happens.... India's north-east is fragile and this can be easily exploited by China.... Today there is news that India is going to ask Myanmar to flush out militants.... how many countries are home to militants who carry out attacks against India..?The entire neighbourhood seems murky....
     
  5. brational

    brational Regular Member

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    if China captures our territory further, it won't remain as Short border war. China with her declining economy won't take such risk. We have enough defenses in place for Pakistan and if Pakistan attacks again, this will be their last attack on India. Short war with China is not a possibility IMO,.
     
  6. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    The areas within Myanmar from where these NE terror groups operate are not under the control of the Myanmar government. Both India and Myanmar have been the victims of groups operating from this particular region. These terror groups are getting direct support from China. Off-late Myanmar has generally been cooperative towards India.
     
  7. Rashna

    Rashna Senior Member Senior Member

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    If that is the case then i think we should take the fight there and diffuse them... If Myanmar govt. is helpless they can allow India to go in these areas. These militants are either holed up there or in bangladesh... I think we are concentrating more on Arunachal because of the direct threat from China.... and losing focus of growing terrorism in other north east states...

     
  8. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India should not let its guard down ..... The recent purchase of 36 Rafales is China specific strike force.

    In Case China tries any adventures, India should give them befitting reply ...... like in 1987 !
     
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  9. brational

    brational Regular Member

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    India can't go solo even it is allowed by Myanmar. A joint operation is the only solution. Kachin area is has a civilian population too. The militants don't camp in Jungles there rather they are based in village/town peripheries. You can not send planes to bomb them. moreover, there is a considerable chunk of ethnic Chinese population in that area so a Chinese resistance is inevitable. A joint operation along with Myanmar Army can be effective.


    Our missiles are the only viable option to strike deep into China. It is doubtful whether Rafales would be able to penetrate the Chinese Air Defense (considering Chengdu a heavily fortified military zone). Rafale can be useful for Tibet but it won't give us any advantage over Chinese. For China, a short war can be viable but for us every short war will lead to full scale war because we won't be able to retaliate China unless we hit their mainland.
     
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  10. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Tibet is vulnerable area !

    Our target should be Tibet in case of war with China.

    Rafale is an advanced aircraft with terrain hugging capability which can be used to strike airbases inside Tibet.

    Brahmos missiles can target the supply lines !

    Indian Navy has the capability to strike the front lines of Chinese troops.
     
  11. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    Can it be concluded that PRC will not fight and enter into war with us because the Pakis say and ask that it does.

    We have to maintain the status quo. There are many areas where we can also say why is it part of PRC. But it cannot be thought that it is easy and one needs to permanent solution. Generation. It sometimes takes generations to fix a permanent border ...

    I would like to see more talk on how PRC and India develop closer. Each offers wide opportunities and also skills to one another.
     
  12. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Nothing that sort of will happen. China will be fool to lose its face for some border land.

    BTW I want China to start playing shooting games on Indian border.
     
  13. prohumanity

    prohumanity Regular Member

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    This thread is "irrational speculation" by some Chinaphobic minds..Why would China invest 22 Billion dollars and open roads and preparing to construct BCIM trade corridor if she wants to destroy India ? Think rationally and follow the money. There is no chance of China doing it...its probably the groups that wants to create enmity between India and China for their own selfish motives and spreading lies to achieve this goal of "divide and conquer."
     
  14. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Correct....
    Even though China is a single party system, we have to consider the possibility that there multiple flavours of ideology within the same administration. All it needs is a couple of generals of a different ideology to cook up something.
     
  15. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    what i think is that it is a good idea to let us know the author and if possible the url for us to see for ourselves, Sir.

    the overall summary is that the hawks in the PLA and ccp need to know for sure that the Nehru-types personalities had gone forever never to return in our defence doctrine - they could perhaps be found in some of our media ( the Hindu ? ) and universities ( JNU ? ) ....they need to know that we will HIT BACK AND HARD AND WHERE IT COUNTS !, THAT our borders DEMAND RESPECT ! ....... that our Brahmos and all that are not for the museum .

    anything short of a statement by the Modi administration ( eg Doval or others ) that we will retaliate strongly and creatively will be taken as a sign that goi will tolerate some loss of a "small" piece of territory and a sign for them to go ahead

    the entire nation need to unite and let them know we are not afraid of Mutually Assured Destruction - will will nuke their Shanghais and Honk Kongs etc etc, .........they have more to lose .

    simply ram a few of their ships and confiscate the oil on it will give them the shivers ....let them know we will hammer their economic corridor in packland will give them big time security headache


    i tend to agree with you - i think they are smarter that to try it , but still we have little choice than to be prepared and be seen to be prepared as well......so we ant avoind the defence expenditure, a pity but no choice .


    im nominating you to receive the Zhou Enlai medal from this forum

    ref: @Kunal Biswas @pmaitra @LETHALFORCE @Singh
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  16. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    soon is not the right time for china to in a war over India, If china wanted to and win a war against India, then they lost the opportunity (UPA's tenure was the time when India was at its weakest phase),
    and i don't think that china is fool to afford a war at this time, it is stretched to its limit (yes chinese have limits too).
    and if china wants to repeat the 1962, then it is in fools paradise,India's defense preparedness are not weak as in 1962, nor its leadership is as amateur as it was in 1962.
     
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  17. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

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    Very True !! Thats why China declined to demarcate LAC & keep the dispute unresolved, isn't it ??

    After invading Tibet (inaction of India & foolishness of Nehru), China intents to grab more land from others. For more than thousand years, Tibet was a free & sovereign country. Moreover, how come Arunachal Pradesh, Senkaku Islands claimed by China ??

    If China is so peace loving, why it intimidating its smaller neighbors like Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan etc ??

    Why China is creating String of Pearls, if it doesn't want war with India ??
     
  18. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    The following possibilities come to mind:
    • This story was planted to serve the purpose of scaremongering, which in turn will encourage India to spend more money to import foreign weapons.
    • This story was planted to get India to deploy more troops and materiél, thus diverting PRC's attention towards Sino-Indian border, thereby relieving pressure in South China Sea, where the US is competing with PRC.
    • PRC is indeed working on establishing a direct access route to the Arabian Sea via Gilgit-Baltistan, and Pakistan's attempt at having elections there, and PRC sparking off a short border war elsewhere could be to legitimize Pakistan's control over Gilgit-Baltistan.
     
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  19. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India has to prepare for the worst and build its economy !

    This alarm will only do good to our defence preparedness.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Excellent points . I would like to add two more
    First-With the new afghan Pakistan bonhomie it takes the pressure of pakistan's western border and has them focus more on the indian border.

    Second-this will also force USA to take clear sides. As the China -pak alliance strengthens USA will have to side with india or lose any small foothold and influence it has in Asia and reduce it in the Middle East and increase China's influence India does not need USA Chabbar port will still provide strategic depth for india with or without USA.
     
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  21. Ind4Ever

    Ind4Ever Regular Member

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    Communist parties rule their people with Fear . If there is no fear of WAR people of China or Pakistan will start questioning the Un accounted military spending which is full of corruption . And China can't attack even a small country like Vietnam or Korea but they can wage short wars in kashmir . The congress government epic ruled India for a very long time never was serious about Kashmir from 1947 till today . What you will do or what China will do if they lost their territories to the enemy ?

    Won't they prepare and get back the lost lands ?

    What India did in this category? We just welcomed them with biriyani diplomacy . So today we see the attitude Pakistan and China show towards India to wage wars in Kashmir or India as a whole . We should have shown them that it's unacceptable and we should had shown the intent to inflict unacceptable damage to our enemies . Look at small N Korea how they made this point I mentioned above very clear even yo the superpowers !!!

    But this time around Indian Army will get full support from the government and so will throw everything we have at the Chinese and may Lord dhow mercy on Pakistan as we won't anymore
     

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