Takeaways from Indo-China stand off

Dr Kapil K Sharma
China, India and Pakistan are right now in news over stand off in Ladakh. The idea of this write up is to highlight what are the hits and misses for both India and China and even Pakistan. Why Pakistan? Because during my interactions or I shall say arguments with various Pakistani Social Media warriors, I was surprised to know that they are living in fool’s paradise. They are driving ecstatic pleasure fantasizing China beating India. Before I touch upon real topic, I will not hesitate to mention biggest loser of Sino -Indo tussle is Pakistan. India in pursuit of matching up China is raising its Military might. There is very little chance of full fledged Indo Sino war. Hence who is going to be at the receiving end of this wrath. Anybody’s guess…Pakistan… Isn’t It?
Now coming back to Hits and Misses. Let’s start first with China. Despite my best efforts I am not able to figure out what China achieved from Dokhlam to Galwan. I am purposely adding Dokhlam because situation and intentions were the same.
If I think from Chinese or shall I say neutral point of view, China wanted to teach a lesson to India. It wanted to make India realise “Stay in your limits. I am the boss and I will dictate the terms.” China wanted to convey this massage at this juncture of time when China is totally cornered globally due to various reasons like Virus, Hongkong, Trade war, South China sea etc.
China wants to browbeat India so that India stays silent. China wants to give India a bloody nose so that all other neighbours learn a lesson too. If this supposition is correct– Is China able to achieve that? Again anybody’s guess? Of course not. This decision totally backfired. “A neutral India” China needed badly but Galwan resulted into a ferocious challenge to it.
At Galwan 20 Indian soldiers were martyred and India upholding true traditions of a civilized Nation accepted that. Whereas China neither accepted nor denied deaths of PLA soldiers. Another big miss by China. China has huge no of ex servicemen Resentment among them was reported. Here I would like to mention it’s very difficult to get true sentiments from inside China courtesy Media censorship of Communist party CCP. These retired army men of China, whom China never want to annoy for simple reason to keep CCP strong. This strong lobby is not happy because sacrifice of Army personnel has not been recognised.
Indian response was not only in military might but Commerce is also included. In past, it was only public emotions of boycotting China. This public response was always short lived. It fades away with diffusion of tensions. This time GOI hardened its stance and very strong actions have been taken openly. Starting with ban on apps, tough scrutiny of Chinese cargo, review of Chinese Investment guidelines etc. China never expected this reaction. Chinese response in the form of their official statements was loud and clear. Dragon was rattled. Now biggest miss for China in this fiasco is – world Community got the clue of Chinese sensitive nerve—Trade & Commerce. It came to light”To hurt dragon one must severe off Trade ties with China” Hit where it hurts the most. India is pumping whooping $50 to $55 billion directly and unaccounted billions like tourism, education, various services etc Indirectly. It definitely pushed China back. International diaspora noticed it, example is recent American decision to ban Tiktok taking clue from India.
Galwan United China’s enemies. Galwan instilled fear in China’s mind. If I say blessing in disguise or “ hit” for China it will be- China got to know strength of enemy. China realised if it tries to bully any of its neighbours there will be a strong global reaction. China’s retrieval from LAC is a testimony to that.
Now coming to Indian Hits and Misses. While doing so I will do my best to stay neutral without any personal political whim.
Biggest Miss for India “Why Situation like Galwan was allowed to happen. Was there an intelligence failure? “We must figure it out.
Secondly, Galwan once again gave a clear signal to enemy that India is a divided house. Instead of showing solidarity during war like situations, there will be people pointing fingers.
Talking of “HITS”; I must say. Our Army once again proved a Hero. Our strategists superb. All three commands acted like a team. Army one step ahead. Airforce demonstrated highest level of perfection at such heights. Unsung Hero is Navy. Not many will be aware of how our navy was deployed in such a formation that it could block Indian Ocean bottle necks especially Straits of Mallaca. This is the narrow sea lane used by China for its bulk of cargo transportation. Our Navy was in a position to choke Chinese trade. I have no hesitation in mentioning that this naval blockage is a part of Indo Pacific strategy for which India has full support of USA, Japan and Australia.
This quadrilateral arrangement is called QUAD. So far QUAD was only on papers, Galwan made it a reality. One of the biggest HITS for India.
When was last time you heard Russia and USA together supporting another nation in war like situation. Never, I am sure. Well this happens only in India. Can you imagine Israel is helping one nation and Iran has no problem. Well it happened and I shall call it another “ HIT” of Indian foreign policy.
Galwan made India wake up to harsh reality. “ China need not to go for a war to beat India. If it stops its exports to India India is on knees”
Well very harsh words but true. India realised its dependence on China. To me biggest lesson for India is to go self reliant – Aatamnirbhar. I am glad India has started this process and we shall be successful in this pursuit. It’s the biggest “HIT” for me courtesy Galwan.
Dokhlam and Galwan proved to the world that India is the only nation who can challenge China alone. Initial international reaction to Galwan was very slow. It was also due to Pandemic. Entire world including India was busy fighting virus. No-one wanted to divert attention towards Sino Indo scuffle. India locked horns with China alone and gave China a befitting reply. This was noticed by every nation. It gave Indian military strength a big thumbs up. Another “HIT” for India.
As I mentioned in beginning the biggest loser is Pakistan. Here I would like to mention one of my funny tweets which went viral. It’s little rude but worth mentioning.
“ Pakistan thinking :
( China will run away but India will not spare spanking Pakistan.
Watching India taking China head on Pakistan must be thinking of its fate.
Galwan face off was a real war time scenario. It gave India good opportunity to check its preparedness towards two and a half war strategy. India is well aware that it may have to face war at two fronts one at East with China, second at West with Pakistan and a half war internally with terrorists. Recent stand off was a good mock exercise for India to tackle 2 & 1/2 war.
From this situation, we must understand the way we are learning to live with virus similarly we must learn to live without “ Made in china”. By buying Chinese we are sponsoring our own destruction. Galwan is not the last stand off there will be many more. We must stand strong and United.
(The author is ex consultant of Ascoms & Hospital)