India’s Strategic Shift: Pragmatism in Dealing with China

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The Modi government’s decision to allow a United States [US] Congressional delegation to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama at his adopted home in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh has surprised the Chinese communist leadership. As per breaking India news in Hindi, India has never shown this kind of an attitude towards Chinese sensitivities ever since the 1962 India China war.

This time though, the Government of India decided to go ahead with a change in policy towards Tibet and set aside Chinese sensibilities about engaging with the Dalai Lama and Tibet.

Relations between India and China began deteriorating ever since the Indian Army began confronting the Chinese People’s Liberation Army [PLA] all along the Line of Actual Control [LAC].

These confrontations increased in number because the Chinese PLA follows a policy “salami slicing” or gradual but steady encroachment into Indian territory all along the LAC according to Hindi ki news.

Before 2014, the Indian Army and para-military forces of the Indo-Tibetn Border Police [ITBP] were prevented from confronting the Chinese PLA incursions and encroachment into Indian territory. That was due to the then government’s policy of avoiding escalation of tensions with China.

Since 2014, the government tried the dual approach of not letting up vigilance along the LAC and engaging diplomatically with China to improve relations.

Unfortunately, the Chinese communist leadership did not seem interested in rolling back its policy of continuous and relentless attempts to violate the agreed terms and conditions of maintaining peace along the LAC.

Consequently, several more skirmishes took place between the Indian Army and Chinese PLA along the LAC leading up to major clashes that impacted normal relations between India and China.

India confronts Chinese encroachments along the LAC

The first major skirmish took place in Doklam on the India-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, followed by two in Ladakh and then one in Arunachal Pradesh going by breaking India news in Hindi.

The second skirmish in Ladakh that took place in the Galwan Valley, is what brought things to a boil when Chinese encroachment attempts were accompanied by premeditated and planned violence.

That resulted first in the death of 20 Indian soldiers including a colonel of the army. In retaliatory action by the Indian troops, the Chinese PLA lost close to 50 of its soldiers and also had to retreat from the territory they had encroached upon.

The other two skirmishes took place on the Doklam plateau at the India-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, which is legally Bhutanese territory and in the Pangongso Lake area in Ladakh respectively.

Chinese PLA’s ineffectiveness got exposed in these skirmishes

The Chinese army had intimidated Bhutan and moved into this plateau overlooking the Siliguri Corridor, which is a geo-strategically critical area for India going by reports in breaking India news in Hindi.

The Indian Army, which keeps a close eye over this area all throughout the year, acted fast and moved a small unit to the plateau to prevent the Chinese from entrenching in this area.

In the hand-to-hand combat that followed, video recordings clearly show that the Chinese army unit that had encroached into Doklam, was beaten up and forced to get back behind the LAC.

One thing that these skirmishes have done is that they exposed the ineptitude of the current Chinese PLA in combat situations, which most of the world was not aware of; now the word is out.

In the current context, India’s hardened stance is not completely unexpected because the approach of the Modi government towards China had begun changing notably after the Doklam incident. For India, there are no choices about whether to confront Chinese intimidation on the LAC or not. The writing is clear on the wall and it says that if India does not stand up for itself, it will invite another disaster like the Congress government of Nehru experienced in 1962.


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