WHAT CHINA DOES “NOT” WANT?
We Indians, like the proverbial rainy day frogs (doing tarr-tarr), are going crazy offering opinions and opinions about “WHAT CHINA WANTS?” without spending even a millisecond to ponder over “ WHAT CHINA DOES NOT WANT?”.
According to our numerous scriptures, evaluation process of POWER of one’s adversary must be based on three basic parameters; Character, Traits and Military/Physical might. Let us, therefore, go ahead and analyse these rationally.
Firstly, SPIRIT OF NATIONALISM ( read Desh Bhakti)
Chinese people are HYPER-NATIONALIST, despite having lost tens of millions of their own kith and kin to Mao's soul crushing Cultural Revolution. Near perfect example of their almost insane and irrational behavior is reaction of over a billion Chinese against PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION’s decision against China regarding ownership of a few islands in South China Sea in July, 2016.
Secondly, ARROGANT, not PROUD
Chinese are arrogant. They call themselves denizens of the ‘MIDDLE KINGDOM’ (ie they are the Centre of the World, and the world is expected to rotate around them). An outstanding example of their arrogance at national level is the invite to the then US President, Mr Ronald Reagan. As is too well known President Reagan desired to visit China. Wording of the Chinese invite read something like this; “ In view of US President’s desire to visit China, the leadership of Peoples Republic of China is pleased to invite--------.”
Ask any psychologist- he/she will tell you that arrogance is a manifestation of utter inferiority complex and under confidence. This trait of Chinese is almost entirely linked to their usually small stature
Thirdly, INTOLERANT SOCIETY
There are two types of Chinese citizens (in their own words); Firstly, those who are members of the 'PARTY' and Secondly, others, who are considered as second grade citizens, like those massacred at the Tiananmenn Square a few decades back and those Hongkong protesters warned by the Chinese President Xi Jinping recently, when he said that “The RED LINE has been crossed”.
Fourthly, STATUS INEQUALITY
China has only two classes, the super rich persons and persons living in abject poverty. Sooner than later edifice of autocracy in form of single party rule is going to crumble.A nation with such inherently negative characteristics and national traits has only one overwhelming desire and that is to be ahead of everyone politically, socially, economically and militarily. Such people (read nations) are inherently selfish and unreliable. Being proud of one’s nationality does not empower any person of any other nation to disrespect other nationalities.
Ironic but true is the fact that India has been instrumental in allowing China to project herself as a ‘DRAGON’ rather than as a ‘CATERPILLAR’. For instance:
- it was the Nehruvian Indian leadership’ refusal in the 50s to accept the Security Council seat at the UN, before making the offer to China, that led to the seat being filled by China. (India is still knocking at the UN doors, for its rightful seat, even after 60 years)
- It was through Indian Embassy in USA that US communicated nuclear threat to China during Korean war. This threat accelerated the pace of Chinese nuclear program and the Chinese detonated their first device on 8th October, 1964, so that hereafter they could never to be blackmailed by any nuclear power.
- Our response in 1959, when China annexed Tibet was mute. We failed to condemn the accession of Tibet. Nevertheless China was infuriated when we gave shelter to Dalai Lama. China does not recognize Arunachal Pradesh as integral part of India (Chinese call it South Tibet, hence the stapled visas) but we recognize Tibet as legally held Chinese territory. Last such assertion was made by our current PM, Mr Modi during Xi’s visit in 2014 to India. Our response, both at political level as well as by pseudo intellectuals of our think tanks with regard to Chinese build up in South China Sea has been ‘ostrich like’.
- On the economic front, balance of trade is highly in favour of China. As against Chinese imports of around USD 50 BILLION ANNUALLY, we export a little over USD 10 BILLION. Chinese small scale industries dealing with household items, toys, cheap electronic gadgets, decoration pieces, statue of all Indian Gods and Goddesses etc can be throttled (notwithstanding WTO) in one stroke. Indeed there would be adverse fall out as well. But it would be the only language they will understand. Their foreign office has already issued threatening statements viz 'do not make us repeat 1962' and 'Chinese acceptance of annexation of Silkkim by India can be reviewed' . Indeed we must not.
Now the specific issue; If Modi government fails to prevent the Chinese from extending their portion of CLASS 40/60 road from NATHU LA to DOKLAM, we must be prepared to say GOOD BYE to entire NORTH EAST REGION in foreseeable future. (Town of Jalpaiguri would be a little over 100 km). A former COAS, General SF Rodrigues, had called Chinese BANDICOOTS, a very apt nomenclature. A Bandicoot is a mouselike creature, which digs deep slowly but continuously, and,at a place and time of its choosing, surfaces and challenges the environment. The Chinese have done the same. In fact ideal time for us to checkmate such misadventure on the Chinese part was when they moved earlier into Chumbi Valley, which is up north of Doklam.
For once the military initiative should be from our side. The world does not care who fired the first shot. There is absolutely no gain in saying that we reacted after the adversary carried out a pre-emptive strike. Let us learn at least one thing from Israelis. The word ‘RETALIATE’ is missing from their dictionary. They only believe in seizing the ‘INITIATIVE’, be at ENTEBBE or OSIRAK (I happened to be in IRAQ on deputation and visited the completely obliterated reactor at Baghdad the next day, 9th June, 1981); as compared to the messy failed operation, EAGLE CLAW, by the Americans, which was a half hearted attempt to free the Americans, held captive in their own embassy in Iran. Look at the price they paid; President Jimmy Carter lost his presidency and US as a nation had to kneel down to get their citizens back!
Chinese cannot accept a more powerful, more developed and economically more independent India. Marshal Lin Piao (later disgraced) had said about Indian Ocean “Indian Ocean is not India’s Ocean). We as a nation simply do not take cognizance of these utterances.
Our PM is due to head for the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on 7 and 8 July. Even if Modi were to meet Mr Xi Jinping on the sidelines, it is extremely unlikely that the meeting will lead to anything substantive in our favour. I sincerely hope that my guess/projection will be wrong.
Now the crux of the matter; Can or should we go to war with China on this issue?
We must, if China refuse to back out and leave the disputed India-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction area alone with Indian forces permanently stationed there. China cannot be expected to keep their word given their characteristic traits of selfishness and unreliability. China does not understand polite diplomatic dialogue. Vietnam war (read the Usuri river conflict) is the finest example of how and what China understands ( 'Laton ke bhoot baton se nahi maante'). China might re-raise Sikkim issue as well. Their brazen stand, against Indian interests, on disagreeing to declare Hizbul Mujahedin Chief as an international terrorist is not exactly a friendly gesture. Opposition to India’s entry in NSG is yet another example of Chinese desire to gain/remain supreme power in Asia.
· Are we willing to change our stand on Tibet notwithstanding earlier stand? Declare Chinese occupation of Tibet as an act of aggression.
· China’s continued support, both political and economic, to North Korea must be condemned outright. In fact China must be instrumental in accelerating North Korea’s Missile programme.
· Chinese imports to be reduced to the same level as Indian export to China i.e. around USD 10 BILLION. In fact cutting off economic ties will be a far better option. That will put yet another nail on the ailing southward bound Chinese economy.
· Raise the issue of illegal 'bandicoot style' occupation of Aksai Chin area of Ladakh, by the Chinese, in the international fora.
Most important of it all is “Are we willing to bite the bullet?”. Put in simple straightforward words- 'Are we prepared to go to war with China?'
Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai sloganeering in early 60s gave us a ‘bloody’ nose in 1962. In 2017, are we going to prepare for a similar treatment due to indecision? Expecting Chinese to back off from their declared stand is simply impossible, given their traits and characteristics as a nation. Indeed we must be prepared for all contingencies.
AND THAT INCLUDES USE OF NUKES as well. We are indeed inferior to Chinese in Missile Range capability. But Shanghai is well within our missile range.
Chinese Conventional Air Power is incapable of inflicting any worthwhile damage. Area under discussion can only be approached by Chinese fighters operating from high altitude airfields restricting throw weight. We have no such limitations. Our fighters will operate from sea level airfields and carry maximum tonnage. Chumbi Valley and neighbouring area is well within the operational radii of action of our fighters.
A lot of discussion has gone on regarding SINGLE and/or TWO, and even two and a half, front war. I personally treat my personal and national adversary, China, with great respect. But I do not consider Pakistan as an adversary. It is merely an irritant and we have to learn to co-exist. I will amplify. As a nationalist I treat Pakistan and China as two ULCERS on our body. While Pakistan is akin to an ULCER on the wrist, China is an ULCER on the ‘not to be named’ part of our body. We can ignore the ulcer on wrist but the other ulcer has to be attended to on a priority and cannot be neglected, otherwise we will become impotent or worse still, hijras. China is one such ulcer that we cannot wish away by sloganeering. Once given the treatment, they will be quiet for at least next 50 years, or hopefully, forever thereafter, thanks to an preponderantly fast ageing Chinese population.
I have no doubts, we can handle a full blown two front war. Pakistan Army and Air Force does not have enough ammunition to last beyond ten, maximum fourteen days of intense war. Our offensive formations viz 1, 2 and 21 corps (I had the privilege to command IAF establishment attached to 21 corps during Op Parakaram) can handle Pak army onslaught. PAF at present is ill equipped on account of, both platforms and equipment. As I mention these facts, let me be candid; without doubt we will suffer losses and casualties but of much lesser degree than what we can inflict, both on Chinese and Pakistan. Let us for heaven’s sake stop crying about the shortfall in our military resources. We can, with whatever we have now, inflict telling damage on both adversaries.
China DOES NOT WANT India to emerge as a leading nation politically, economically and militarily. Chinese belief that India, a so called soft state, will continue to take the s**t, emboldens them to keep needling us from time to time. Time is ripe to perform SURGERY on the ULCER.
Let us call the Chinese bluff and go to war if situation so demands. Let us not wait for pre-emptive strike. Take the initiative if situation on ground and utterances by senior Chinese leadership demands without hesitation. In boxing competitions there are two prizes we used to look forward to- Best Winner, and Best (or most plucky) Loser. Win or Lose, we will come out WINNERS.
Gp Capt TP Srivastava
Here is something to crunch your mind upon - by setting a cat among the pigeons!, Ideal for raising the volumes of both the nationalists and peaceniks. Box ON!