Be on guard to fend off China

Be on guard to fend off China
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Be on guard to fend off China

Highlights

It is no news that the talks between the Indian and the Chinese armies held over easing the border tensions and restoring a semblance of mutually agreed order collapsed the other day, thanks to the illogical agenda of the Chinese

It is no news that the talks between the Indian and the Chinese armies held over easing the border tensions and restoring a semblance of mutually agreed order collapsed the other day, thanks to the illogical agenda of the Chinese. It was only an expected development.

The land and resources hungry China which keeps eyeing the neighbours' land on some pretext or the other has usually displayed its aggression towards one and all. It does not display even a veneer of shame in forwarding its agenda. This is not the first time that it has deliberately stalled the talks. On one hand, it is traumatising Tibet in every sense and forcing its people into ideological camps and forcing them into its army to be stationed along the Indian border realising that its own soldiers do not match up to the requirement of the rugged terrain.

China fully knows that despite its huge boost to the infrastructure all along the Indo-Chinese border, it cannot afford to sustain itself along the Himalayan heights and valleys. Unlike the battle-hardened Indian soldiers, the Chinese kids deployed along the border have no in-depth training. They also cannot withstand the climate extremes here. The Chinese have built great infrastructure along the borders to keep their forces warm and cosy. But a comfort-lulled army cannot take on the enemies who can withstand the rigours of minus 40 degrees.

Chinese military spending in 2019 was 5.1% higher than in 2018, and in the period between 2010 and 2019, its defence spending rose by 85%, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Over a 25-year period from 1994 to 2019, the PRC has sustained year-on-year increases. Indians should always remember that there could be no hard and fast rule to deal with China. It is not a country that sticks to any stand or one particular claim. What is the latest round of tensions with it? China is pushing its territory across our borders further. This is happening not just across the contested boundary with us but also along the settled boundary in Ladakh. What is the Hot Springs dispute? It was a settled dispute…or so we thought. Right? It is again being contested by the Chinese. This neighbour of ours may be entertaining an idea that with the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, the Indians may be afraid of waging a multi-front war with its neighbours.

India has always asserted that it won't be the first to move against the neighbours. But, if they test its patience beyond a point or push across the borders, then it would not hesitate to hit back. Leaders of Pakistan and China resort to such tactics to consolidate their own positions back home. On our part, we should not let the guard down even for a moment. Let us not entertain any visions of an early settlement to the disputes. We must be prepared for a protracted conflict. Our preparedness must be at the highest 24/7 365 days. China should also remember that if India has two inimical neighbours, it has a dozen such countries against it.

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