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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Dragons on India doorstep: 7 points on why is China attacking us?

Why is China attacking India all of a sudden after five decades? Why are the Chinese soldiers intruding into the Indian sides amid the pandemic? Is it a spontaneous clash or a pre-planned two-pronged strategy to cause heavy damage to India?

Here are some possible reasons behind China’s aggressive movement along the LOC in eastern Ladakh through 7 points.

1. Building border infrastructure by India irked China

China has been reportedly upset with India’s initiatives to build roads, bridges and air strips along the LOC in Ladakh. Even a Chinese military spokesperson on Tuesday said that China always owns sovereignty in the Galwan region, reported NDTV. It’s obvious that building infrastructure to boost connectivity in a region 14,000 feet above sea level gives any country confidence to claim power in a disputed territory. And we all know that India’s confidence will cause China’s anger and anticipation. The Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie or DSDBO Road that India built over the years to increase its strategic and economic possibilities didn’t go well with China. Rather it may have caused  insecurity to China. The Chinese aggression towards India could be an outcome of that insecurity.

2. The Chinese army increased in volume and strength

According to experts, China’s People’s Liberation Army has increased its volume and potential over the recent years in the disputed areas. However, India didn’t increase the size of its forces posted in Ladakh. China wants to utilize their security forces politically as well. It is quite obvious that their bigger forces and heavy artillery arrangements make them confident to take on India at any point of time. Experts therefore suggest that the Indian government must focus on reducing both military and economic imbalance with Beijing. This will ensure India’s own security and stability in the region.

3. Is Article 370’s abrogation an advantage for China?

Many claim that China may emerge as the third party in the Kashmir dispute, following abrogation of Article 370 by India. India’s efforts to stabilize and maintain peace in Kashmir will prove futile if the Indo-China confrontation in Ladakh continues. As long as India remains busy handling the Chinese aggression in the LOC, Pakistan will try to grab the opportunity to fulfill their own interests. The top army officials of India already conducted a meeting on May 30 on gearing up the J&K security arrangements. They knew that Chinese aggression in Ladakh may trigger tensions in Kashmir as well.

Experts believe that by abrogating Article 370, the status quo in J&K was broken and China thus considers itself the “third party” in the Kashmir dispute. This became even more evident when a Chinese mission’s spokesperson at the United Nations called the move by India an “unilateral action”.

4. It could be China’s strategy to resolve domestic tensions

Another common belief is that President Xi Jinping wants to mask China’s domestic troubles by initiating aggressive military movement in Ladakh. China is facing massive job loss and economic crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic. Besides, China has bigger problem of migrants than India. The Hong Kong protests too left the Chinese government at a fix. The Chinese population blames their government for all these issues. They believe that the Xi Jinping government failed to handle these crises effectively. Therefore, in order to gain domestic support and popularity and most importantly to divert their attention, Jinping made this masterstroke by increasing the Ladakh tension.

China is successful to a fair extent in their attempt to shift the world’s attention from Covid-19 and Hong Kong protests. Now the world, including the United Nations, is talking about the Indo-China renewed conflict.

Dragons at doorstep
The Indian government has reportedly given army a free hand to take on the Chinese forces. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

5. China detests India’s leniency towards the US

Now this is a well-known truth. China never preferred a cordial Indo-US relationship. China knows very well that India is giving preference to US investors in the post-Covid-19 world. Also, the Indian government has announced schemes to become self-reliant and shed dependency on China. It is obvious that these factors might have played a role behind the increased Indo-China tension in Ladakh. At the same time, the Xi Jinpng government is well aware that with American aid and tech support, India is capable of launching an all-out attack against the Chinese. The friendly Donald Trump-Narendra Modi relations and American encouragement to India to come up as a regional leader in Southeast Asia could have made China feel insecure.

6. China’s defence budget could be a confident-booster

China’s defence budget is $179 billion, three times more than India’s. Along with this, having the world’s largest military with 2 million troops might have made China very confident about taking on India head on. The Chinese government didn’t at all appreciate India’s rising popularity at the global level following the Covid-19 crisis.

7. India’s 5G move, probe into pandemic could be other factors

Now there can be multiple factors behind China’s aggression along the LOC in Ladakh. India can get its own 5G network very soon and we are strategically better equipped at this point to get our own Huawei. India can emerge as the 5G provider superpower, surpassing China, its biggest opponent in Asia. On the other hand it could be a pressure to India to stay neutral in the WHO investigation on Covid-19 origins. India’s FDI restriction rules could have also played a role in angering China.

No matter what the real objectives of China are, one thing is for sure, that China’s PLA came this time to the Indian side to stay and make India pay. The vital question here: Is India ready to give a strong reply when it’s needed?

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