PM Modi’s recent visit to Leh and to other forward posts gave a strong message to China when he said, “The age of expansionism is over, now it is the age of development. History is witness that such expansionist powers were either destroyed or forced to retreat.” This strong message was the result of previous month’s war-like situation on our borders, as Chinese belligerence and the savagery cost us precious lives of twenty of our jawans. This treachery of China shall always be remembered for two reasons. One for not adhering to various treaties and second for an eye for expansion on the neighbouring territories. The Chinese government is adept at deceit, surprise and concealment and that was at its full display during the recent conflict. China not only shredded the long-standing agreements with India, but also claimed certain area of Indian territory in order to coerce India to submit to their territorial claims. Besides, the Chinese went tom tomming to the world that it was India who are responsible for the attack. Thankfully, there were few takers of this Chinese blatant lie. World has come to terms with opaque Chinese regime who are responsible for not forewarning the world about Chinese Virus.
Chinese attempts over the years have been to unilaterally define the LAC and continue its salami slicing tactics. They believe in two steps forward and one step backward and that clearly shows their intention to keep inflicting pincer attack on India so that they continue their land grab and make India submit to their demands.
It was Chinese legendry leader Mao Zedong who expounded the Chinese expansionism design. He in early 1950’s talked about Tibet and Himalayas, “Xizang (Tibet) is China’s right hand’s palm, which is detached from its five fingers of Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal … It is China’s responsibility to liberate the five to be re-joined with Xizang (Tibet)”. Since then China has overtly or covertly expressed its desire to be translated into reality.
CCP has scant regard for democracy and the countries espousing the same. The same can be inferred from a widely circulated article written in 2013 where the writer has expressed global hegemonic plans for China. According to the article which was titled, “Six Wars China Must fight in the Next 50 Years” the Chinese plans were revealed.
The first war, they believe is for unification of Taiwan. China believes that if Taiwan does not fall in line, then military power should be used to bring them around.
The second war is for reconquest of Spratly Islands which lie in South China sea and for them a force needs to be applied to control this important trade route.
The third waris reconquest of Southern Tibet – Arunachal area and for that they want to incite disintegration of India from within by arming secessionist elements, so as to weaken the resolve of the India to fight the war with them which would eventually make them take over Arunachal.
The fourth war is reconquest of Diaoyu and Ryukyu islands which are part of Japanese territory.
The fifth war is to conquer the Outer Mongolia.
The sixth war is to take back the territory from Russia which the latter controls presently especially in Siberian region.
There is also a policy to overtake United States in coming years. How that can be done shall unravel with passage of time when trade wars get heated up between them. Therefore, as of now we can make out that Chinese have hegemonic desires to rule the world in coming years and that they can do so only through such means.
Dealing with Chinese Threat
The policy frame work vis a vis China needs to be revamped, as the time has come to take a resolve and craft a strategy to deal with the belligerent China which is encircling India through its policy of “String of Pearls”.The strategic community must factor in two front war in future, as any such confrontation shall invariably bring Pakistan also in the calculation. Since, terrorist state Pakistan lacks mettle to directly engage with India, any future China-India war would be an opportunity for them to open another front against India simultaneously.
The current Chinese aggression can also be attributed to the better infrastructure development on Indian side and more so due to DSDBO road, which connects Leh to the Karakoram Pass and is all weather road which has become an eyesore for China. Despite Chinese objections, India in last six years have continued to develop its infrastructure and this does not go well with them. Hence, they want to force India to stop any such development work which they feel is going to pose a serious challenge to them in future.
Chinese present belligerent behaviour can also be linked with the global situation, where Beijing has come under pressure for its mishandling of COVID-19. India, during pandemic, has emerged as a credible global actor and that is something which China is wary of. The other factor is the failure of BRI as many countries are slowly withdrawing from this initiative or have now started questioning the same, for these countries India is a natural ally who have shown to them that its policy is based on rule based world order rather than any expansionism. The other factor where China sees India as a threat is in Indo-Pacific region, where it is working closely with other democracies of the region and where India is fast emerging the major player.
As the de-escalation on the LAC has started, India needs to be alert and cautious to Chinese actions. We must keep an eye on the border but also respond effectively for any such misadventure of land grabbing from China. Now the time has come where India must tactically support Tibetan and Taiwanese cause to pay Chinese back in the same coin and hit them where it hurts them most. Pacifist approach does not work with an adversary who believes in expansionism. We must also compliment our PM for taking substantive steps in banning Chinese apps, FDI and joint ventures in infra projects. These steps show that, India has the gumption to take on the dragon. However, India should also seriously investigate ways to safeguard itself from such future misadventures and deploy latest technology tools, as a part of hybrid warfare to safeguard and forewarn our security and to respond appropriately in future.
The coming days will see world rallying against China both economically and politically and that is the only language China understands whereas military option would always be open if the other options do not make expansionist China fall in line with international rule-based order.