We Indians like the proverbial rainy day frogs (doing tarr-tarr), are going crazy offering opinions and opinions about “WHAT CHINA WANTS?” without spending even a mili-second to ponder over “WHAT CHINA DOES NOT WANT?”
According to our numerous scriptures evaluation process of POWER of one’s adversary must be based on three basic parameters; Character, Traits and Military/Physical might. Let us analyse rationally.
Firstly, SPIRIT OF NATIONALISM (read desh bhakti)
Chinese people are HYPER-NATIONALIST. Near perfect example of their almost insane and irrational behavior is reaction of over a billion Chinese against PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION’s decision against China regarding ownership of few islands in South China Sea in July, 2016.
Secondly, ARROGANT not PROUD
Chinese are arrogant. They call themselves resident of ‘MIDDLE KINGDOM’. An outstanding example of their arrogance at national level is the invite to the then US president Mr Ronald Reagan. As is too well known that it was President Reagan’s desire to visit China. Wording of the invite read something like this; “ In view of US President’s desire to visit China, leadership of Peoples Republic of China is pleased to invite——–.” Ask any psychologist; he/she will tell you that arrogance is a manifestation of utter inferiority complex and under confidence. This trait of Chinese is almost entirely due to their small built.
Thirdly, INTOLERANT SOCIETY
There are two types of Chinese citizens (in their own words); Firstly, those who are members of the PARTY and Secondly, others, who are considered as second grade citizens. Tiananmenn Square massacre few decades back and recent warning by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Hongkong activist, when he said that “The RED LINE has been crossed”.
Fourthly, STATUS INEQUALITY
China has only two classes, the super-rich persons and persons living in abject poverty. Sooner than later edifice of autocracy in form of single party rule is going to crumble. A nation with such inherently negative characteristics and national traits has only one overwhelming desire and that is to be ahead of everyone politically, socially, economically and militarily. Such people (read nations) are inherently selfish and unreliable. Being proud of one’s nationality does not empower any person of any other nation to disrespect other nationalities.
Ironic but true is the fact that India has been instrumental in allowing China to project herself as a ‘DRAGON’ rather than ‘CATERPILLAR’.
For instance it was Indian leadership’ refusal that was one of the reasons responsible for UNSC seat to China. It was through Indian Embassy in USA that US communicated nuclear threat to China during Korean war. This threat accelerated the pace of Chinese nuclear programme and the detonated their first device on 8th October, 1964, never to be blackmailed by any nuclear power. Our response in 1959, when China annexed Tibet was mute. We failed to condemn the accession of Tibet. Nevertheless China was infuriated when we gave shelter to Dalai Lama. China does not recognize Arunachal Pradesh as integral part of India (Chinese call it South Tibet, hence the stapled visas) but we recognize Tibet as legally held Chinese territory. Last such assertion was made by our current PM, Mr Modi during Xi’s visit in 2014 to India. Our response, both at political level as well as by pseudo intellectuals of our think tanks with regard to Chinese build up in South China Sea has been ‘ostrich like’.
On the economic front, balance of trade is highly in favour of China. As against Chinese imports of around USD 50 BILLION ANNUALLY, we export a little over USD 10 BILLION. Chinese small scale industries dealing with household items, toys, cheap electronic gadgets, decoration pieces, statue of all Indian Gods and Goddesses etc can be throttled (notwithstanding WTO) in one stroke. Indeed there would be adverse fall out as well. But it would be the only language they will understand. Their foreign office has already issued threatening statements vizdo not repeat 1962. Indeed we must not.
Now the specific issue; If Modi government fails to prevent the Chinese from extending their portion of CLASS 40/60 road from NATHU LA to DOKLAM, we must be prepared to say GOOD BYE to entire NORTH EAST REGION in foreseeable future. Town of Jalpaiguri would be a little over 100 km. Our former CoAS had called Chinese BANDICOOTS, a most apt nomenclature. A Bandicoot digs deep slowly but continuously and at place and time of its choosing it decides to surface and challenge the environment. They have done the same. In fact ideal time for such misadventure on their part was when they moved into Chumbi Valley.
For once the military initiative should be from our side. World does not care a damn as to who fired the first shot. There is absolutely no gain in saying that we reacted after the adversary carried out a pre-emptive strike. Let us learn at least one thing from Israelis. Atahe word ‘RETALIATE’ is missing from their dictionaries. They only believe in seizing ‘INITIATIVE’ be at ENTEBBE or OSIRAK (I happened to be in IRAQ on deputation and visited the reactor at Baghdad the next day, 9th June, 1981) and that too so successfully. As against the messy operation EAGLE CLAW by Americans, an half hearted attempt to free the Americans in Iran. Look at the price they paid; Jimmy Carter lost presidency and US as a nation had to kneel down to get their citizens back.
Chinese cannot accept a more powerful, more developed and economically more independent India. Marshal Lin Piao (later disgraced) had said about Indian Ocean “Indian Ocean is not India’s Ocean). We as a nation simply do not take cognizance of these utterances.
I am writing my thoughts on 6th July, 1244h as our PM is due to head for G-20 summit. As per TV news he is slated to meet Mr Xi Jinping on the sidelines. It is extremely unlikely that the meeting will lead to anything substantive in our favour, if it takes place. I sincerely hope that my guess/projection will be wrong.
Now the crux of the matter; Can or should we go to war with China on this issue? We must, if China refuse to back out and leave tri junction alone with Indian forces permanently stationed there. China cannot be expected to keep their word given their characteristic traits of selfishness and unreliability. China does not understand polite diplomatic dialogue. Vietnam war (Usuri river Conflict) is the finest example of how and what China understands. China might raise Sikkim issue as well. Their brazen stand on declaring Hizbul Chief as international terrorist is not exactly a friendly gesture. Opposition to India’s entry in NSG is yet another example of Chinese desire to gain/remain supreme.
- Are we willing to change our stand on Tibet notwithstanding earlier stand? Declare Chinese occupation of Tibet as an act of aggression.
- China’s continued support, both political and economic, to North Korea must be condemned outright. In fact China must be instrumental in accelerating North Korea’s Missile programme.
- Chinese imports to be reduced to the same level as Indian export to China i.e. around USD 10 BILLION. In fact cutting off economic ties will be a better option.
- Raise the issue of illegal occupation by Chinese called Aksai Chin in international fora.
- Most important of it all is “Are we willing to bite the bullet?”. Put it simply are we prepared to go to war with China?
Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai sloganeering in early 60s gave us a ‘bloody’ nose. In 2017 are we going to prepare for a similar treatment due to indecision. Expecting Chinese to back off from their declared stand is simply impossible, given their traits and characteristics as a nation. Indeed we must be prepared for all contingencies, USE OF NUKES as well. We are indeed inferior to Chinese in Missile Range capability. But Shanghai is well within range.
Chinese Conventional Air Power is incapable of inflicting any worthwhile damage. Area under discussion can only be approached by Chinese fighters operating from high altitude airfields restricting throw weight. We have no such limitations. Our fighters will operate from sea level airfields and carry maximum tonnage. Chumbi Valley and neighbouring area is well within the operational radii of action of our fighters.
Lot of discussion has gone on SINGLE and/or TWO front war. I personally treat my personal and national adversary with great respect. But I do not consider Pakistan as an adversary. It is merely an irritant and we have to learn to co-exist. I will amplify. As a nationalist I treat Pakistan and China as two ULCERS on our body. While Pakistan is akin to an ULCER on the wrist, China is an ULCER on the ‘unmentionable’ part of our body. We can ignore the ulcer on wrist but the other ulcer has to be attended to on priority and cannot be neglected. China is one such ulcer that we cannot wish away by sloganeering. Once given the treatment, they will be quiet for next 50 years.
I have no doubts, we can handle full blown two front war. Pakistan Army and Air Force does not have enough ammunition to last beyond ten, maximum fourteen days of intense war. Our offensive formations viz 1, 2 and 21 corps (I had the privilege to command IAF establishment attached to 21 corps during op Parakaram). And can handle Pak army onslaught. PAF at present is ill equipped on account of, both platforms and equipment. As I mention these facts, let me be candid; without doubt we will suffer losses and casualties but of much lesser degree than what we can inflict, both on Chinese and Pakistan. Let us for heaven’s sake stop crying about 45 Squadron Air Force. 32 squadrons, MiG 21s included can inflict telling damage on both adversaries. My worry is “DO WE HAVE ENOUGH AMMUNITION TO LAST FOR 30 DAYS?” My guess is ‘NO’. I hope I am wrong.
Let us call the Chinese bluff and go to war if situation so demands. Let us not wait for pre-emptive strike. Take the initiative if situation on ground and utterances by senior Chinese leadership demands without hesitation. China DOES NOT WANT India to emerge as a leading nation politically, economically and militarily. Chinese belief that India will continue to take the s**t emboldens them to keep needling us from time to time. Time is ripe to perform SURGERY on the ULCER.
Gp Capt TP Srivastava