editor of orbat.com is scathing as usual
Friday 0230 GMT April 26, 2013
· India and Chinese intrusions: oh no not again! Alas, it is all over again. The Chinese have walked 10-km into India, set up a platoon post, thus signaling they intended to stay for an unknown amount of time. In the last two years, they have intruded 478 times into Indian territory. Why do they do this? To use the inane American expression, because they can. This is all part of their “sophisticated” diplomacy that is so complex, layered, and nuance that only they can fully appreciate it. In the real world what they are doing is called aggression and thuggery.
· The Chinese are intruding for two reasons. One is to underline to the Indians that for all the hot air that wafts north from the Indian plains, extolling the greatness of India, the Chinese are the lords and we pathetic Indians are the vassals. It’s simply a strategy of psychological intimidation, where the superior yellow race keeps the inferior brown race in its place – which is firmly under China’s fat, stinky foot. The second reason is the Chinese want to force India to formally recognize Beijing’s claims to Ladakh, in exchange they will recognize India’s possession of Arunachal Pradesh.
· The Chinese must believe the Indians are morons, because while they have possession of their Ladakh claim, they have no possession of Arunachal Pradesh and no hope of ever gaining possession. This is like the thief in the night who occupies one room of your house, and then says he is prepared to recognize your occupation of the rest of your house, as long as you accept his right to that one room.
· Now, while the Indians are the biggest cowards in the known universe, they are not morons. They have steadfastly insisted that the border can be satisfactorily demarcated – once China vacates the parts of Indian Ladakh that they seized in 1959-1962. In other words, the demarcated border will become the line of control as it existed before 1959.
· Accordingly the Chinese, after decades of failing to coerce India to their terms, decided some years ago to show India that intransigence has a cost, and so you’re getting a situation where an average of 20 intrusions a month has become routine. The idea in large is intimidation, in small it is salami tactics. China plains to gain more Indian territory, which it is always willing to give back to India – providing India dances to Beijing’s tune.
· Imagine if during the Cold War – or even today – the Russians established an army post 10-kilometers into Alaska. What would America’s response be? At the very least it would be to kick out the Russians, followed by strong punishment to ensure there was no repeat.
· What has India’s reaction been to this new and deep intrusion? Well, we’ve sent the Indo-Tibetan Border Police to set up a counter-post 300-meters away. The purpose of this post is to watch the Chinese post. The ITBP is not police, but a very-well trained high-mountain force. The Indian Army has also sent troops from 5th Ladakh Scouts to back up the ITBP, and is considering moving up more troops. 5 Ladakh normally covers the Daulat Beg Oldi sector. This sector is at the extreme northeast of Ladakh and is known for the highest operational airfield in the world, at about 5800-meters.
· Not without coincidence, India has been upgrading Ladakh air bases long abandoned since India decided there was no more threat from China. Daulat Beg Oldi is one such base. Of course, India is remilitarizing the northern border because China took us for a ride – as always with the Chinese. They sweet-talked us into demilitarizing the border, which was solely to their advantage and not ours, and then they started pushing us around. So for China to say “well, you’re building up on the border” is a bit disingenuous. The China-India border would be demilitarized today had China not decided to walk into Tibet starting 1957 or so and occupying Indian territory in the Northeast.
· China’s response to this new crisis is a good-humored big-brother-speaking-kindly-to-little-brother approach. The Chinese say there is no crisis. After all, the border is undemarcated and these differences will take place. Why not demarcate the border once and for all? On our terms, of course. If China were really serious about peaceful relations with India, it would leave Indian Ladakh and agree to a 40-km DMZ between the two countries. Then intrusions wouldn’t happen. That, and not preposterous Chinese claims to Indian territory, is the solution – if China wants peace. Which of course it doesn’t.
· Do the Chinese realize that if India followed China’s fantasy policy of claiming all territory to the watershed, it would have to withdraw at least 100-km back north in the Northeast? India controls the heights, the watershed is that of the Bhramaputra, which would put India within a day’s striking distance of Lhasa.
· But again, our point here is not to condemn China. The strong do as they will, the weak must live as they can with the consequences. By “observing” this incursion and making vague references to Sumdorongchu 1986, India is already wimping out. There should be no discussion. Indian Army should be told to capture the Chinese outpost, a company-sized operation at most. The prisoners should be immediately handed to the Red Cross for transfer to China. No warnings, no discussion. Does anyone seriously think China will escalate when all India is doing is pushing the Chinese back across the claim line that they made up? If it escalates, the implication is it wants war. Good. Give it war, and take back Ladakh. It is a complete fantasy to think the Chinese can take on India in the north. It does not help this fantasy is perpetuated by India itself.
· The way to handle a hardball player is to play hardball. Not send your foreign minister on a previously arranged visit where he will add the Depsang Valley intrusion to a list of things to be discussed.
It is said a brave man dies just once, a coward dies a thousand times. Anyone in Delhi listening?