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The nysteries of elephant-dragon dance

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Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma is a first-year engineering student who has exhibited a keen and avid interest in defence, history, diplomacy and geopolitics. He has a unique style of writing which vehemently analyses global scenarios from India's perspective. He has also written pieces on spirituality and dharma.

From past few days, the Chinese betrayal and recurring mishaps at the Galwan Valley have infuriated the entire nation. Vast multitude of people are now increasingly boycotting Chinese goods, protests are being held across the country and blood is being demanded in return for the martyrdom of our brave soldiers, which will definitely worry Beijing. I am not a defence expert, I have no experience or on-ground information, my analysis is purely based on theoretical and logical presentation of existing facts, but my focus will be on those aspects where people don’t seem to have thrown light on. It is obvious that we cannot deal with China like with Pakistan, and it’s not because I am comparing our military capabilities but because it is the last thing that we should compare, that is in case of a conventional war, which is not a possibility. However, it is important to note that over the past six decades, our objective has been to avoid conventional war or conflicts only. Unfortunately, our concern has only been border issue and maintenance of so called ‘status quo’. The fact is that, yes, India was and is at an incessant war with People’s Republic of China since 1950s and prominently since 1962.

To understand your enemy, you must have knowledge about its roots. The backbone of China’s politics is Mao Zedong’s ideology, their ‘great’ rulers, and their unfulfilled dreams. President Xi Jinping is vehemently pursuing this Chinese Superpower Dream, and his expansionist policies are his heritage. In Khundan Mullick’s meeting with the supreme leader, Mao had told him categorically that in the scenario that they form the government in India, there would be no borders between India and China. And nevertheless, it is exigent to miss his ‘Five Fingers of Tibet strategy’: “Tibet is the palm which we must occupy, then we will go after the five fingers. The first finger is Ladakh. The other four are Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and NEFA.” Any nation that does not fall in line with its communism, is not its benefactor, and India, to them, is a slave of Western imperialist ideologies and Pakistan, is merely a Chinese pawn. Islamabad’s aggressively hostile outlook towards us, has come very handy to Beijing, to the extent that all these years, they have successfully contained our prime strategic focus within Pakistan. New Delhi has been blatantly ignoring the immense threat China poses to us.

I must not forget to mention the Chinese Bhagwad Gita, “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu, viewed as one of the greatest military strategists of all time. His book says, “Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honours and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity”. It is he who said that all warfare is based on deception, and all wise men reading this article very well understand that war is not just about battlefields, firing of bullets and artillery. It is a combination of military, diplomacy and economics.

Conditions at Ladakh are said to be emulating those at Kargil in 1999. This year, there have been record attempts of infiltrations by terrorists ,thus keeping us engaged at the LOC. This combined with the epidemic might have allowed the Chinese to gain ground at Galwan valley. They were already irked by the revoking of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Besides committing historical blunders for the country during the 60’s, the Nehru family continued its fallacious legacy in the 21st Century too. An MoU was signed between the Congress Party and Communist Party of China in August 2008, for exchanging high-level information and for ‘cooperation’ between them. It also provided the two parties with the ‘opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments’. A similar MoU was signed between the Nepal Communist Party and CPC in 2019. These events set the tone for dragon’s entry deep into the elephant’s jungle. Albert Einstein had rightly said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Thus many times our indecisions have hit us very hard.

India’s policy towards China has been that of pure appeasement with hopes of setting right our bilateral relationship. Year by year, our bilateral trade grows, trade deficits deepen, dependency on Chinese goods increases and what do we get in return, the same amount of hostility. In February 2020, our trade deficit with China stood at $9.8 billion, annually its trade surplus is $60 billion. 18 out of 30 Indian unicorns are backed by Chinese investors. In December last year, we held a joint military exercise with the Tibet Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army. The exercise aimed at enriching both contingents from each other’s experiences in ‘counter-terrorism operations’. But, on 17th June 2020, Global Times released a video showing the Tibetan Military Command conducting military drills in wake of the ‘border issue’ with India. These are definitely not signs of growing partnership, as it had been projected. We purportedly did not allow truth to come to the table.

To counter long-term strategies of Beijing, short-term policies will not suffice. If we must truly assimilate ‘Atmanirbharta’ as a movement, Indian businesses, startups and manufacturers must be given unconditional support from the government to make them competitive at the global level and at the same time reduce data vulnerability to foreign powers, thus strengthening ourselves at the economic front. We can have investors, but at least we need a strong domestic foothold. Over the next decade, it will be essential to heavily invest in defence to bolster our military technologies and espionage systems to an indomitable level.

Also, it is extremely necessary to gather wide international media support, which hardly favours India. It is very crucial that they speak in our language. George Floyd’s death led to massive outrage and anti-racial protests across the globe. This wouldn’t have been possible without the powerful international media. If they lend their voices to not only the vile intrusion and killings in Ladakh, but also the issue of Uighur Muslims and human rights situations in China, democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the global outcry against our formidable enemy would do wonders and there is no better time than this coupled with the Coronavirus outbreak.

We could provoke anti-China sentiments in Balochis, Sindhis and our people in PoK, so that they protest violently against Chinese investments and establishments in Pakistan. This would divert both the all-weather allies and engage them domestically. We could effectively use Chanakya’s policies in answer to those of Sun Tzu, by entangling hostile leaders in power play. Along with the points mentioned above, if we can destabilize the CPEC, democratize Chinese youth, or along with friendly nations, bring together countries against the BRI we could win this undeclared war.

We must now stand tall, strong, brave and confident. The People’s Republic of China only respects strength, and if we must cross the lines, without being weighed down by principles of ‘morality’, we should do it, because after all our objectives are only to sustain and protect ourselves, not to harm others.

We cannot keep politely adhering to norms if they harm our interests as this has become our greatest weakness. It’s time to act fast before they metal their unmetalled vulnerabilities, and the roads that can take us forward are covered with ineluctable snow.

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Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma is a first-year engineering student who has exhibited a keen and avid interest in defence, history, diplomacy and geopolitics. He has a unique style of writing which vehemently analyses global scenarios from India's perspective. He has also written pieces on spirituality and dharma.
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