The Indo – Tibetan Border Situation in 2020
Chinese troops suddenly attacked troops from 16 BIHAR of the Indian Army. Troops were engaged in a serious physical clash in Galwan Valley on Monday. The Indian Army confirmed three Indian soldiers as killed including the Commanding Colonel of 16 BIHAR. The Chinese military have themselves confirmed that during their offensive action they too suffered considerable number of casualties, but did not release the exact figures.
This has been the most serious clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers so far. As reported in media, this is the first time since 1975 that soldiers died in border conflicts between the two countries. The numbers on both sides have crossed over a score subsequently with Indian Army confirming 20 dead.
India has been upgrading its infrastructure facilities extensively along on side of the LAC. This has not been liked by the Chinese and so they have forcibly tried to halt the Indian construction. They even claimed that part of the facilities built by the Indians was on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control. Due to this the Chinese repeatedly attacked the Indians physically even as Indian soldiers tried to calm down their Chinese counterparts.
The arrogance and recklessness of the Chinese is beyond imagination and this is the main reason for the consistent tensions along the LAC of the Indo Tibetan borders. Unlike 1962, New Delhi has now adopted a tough stance on LAC issues and the Chinese have not been able to get away from their periodical Shenanigans. India does not want to sour ties with China because it wants a friendly cooperative neighbours. However it will not be coerced by any Chinese tactics whatsoever. India no more lacks the will or the wherewithal to hit back at provocations from the Chinese side. In addition, Chinese government mistakenly believe their country’s military is more powerful than India’s. These misperceptions affect the rationality of Chinese thinking and add confusion to their India policy.
As it is the US has been wooing India with its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which has further angered the Chinese and now they are having this notion that by creating problems in Ladhak, they will be able to scare India off from South of China sea. In 2017 also the Chinese had tried to test the Indians by letting their troops cross the international border with Bhutan and entered the Doklam area to openly challenge Bhutan’s territorial sovereignty. They got a shock of their life when India in line with Indo Bhutanese treaty came to defence of Bhutan without a Second of hesitation.
India has no intention of any clash with China. However now time has come to negotiate peacefully the withdrawal of Chinese from occupied Tibet. Also there has to be a peaceful settlement of Quighers problem so that there is no unrest in Xinjiang and East Turkmenistan. This is India’s proposition which Chinese must think over. Once India takes back the possession of occupied Kashmir and occupied Ladhak from Pakistan, then only Chinese occupied Ladhak will remain a festering problem for India.
Handing over occupied Ladhak to India and granting independence to Tibetan people will help the Chinese in becoming a responsible member of the world community.
China and India are big countries. Peace and stability along border areas matter to both countries as well as to the whole world. China must remember that it was India which had helped it to become a permanent member of UN Security Council. Otherwise Chinese community was well represented by Taiwan and could have continued that way.
China should have no illusion that it has a big military lead over India in any manner. India’s strength is very clear in all fields and it has capability and capacity to take the battle not only into occupied Tibet but deep into China itself.
The clash in the Galwan Valley this time has led to casualties on both sides, unnecessarily increasing the China-India LAC tensions, which may spiral out of control. We notice that the leadership of the two militaries has exercised restraint after the incident, indicating that both sides would like to handle the conflict peacefully and not let the conflict escalate. It is noteworthy that the Indian side has neither disclosed the number of casualties of the Chinese military nor speculated on it, a move that aims to avoid comparing and preventing confrontational sentiments from escalating. Though as a democracy India had to declare its own casualties to its own people. What is mysterious that Chinese have not disclosed the details of their own casualties to their own people.
We would like to see tensions in the Galwan Valley subside. It is hoped that the Chinese withdraw back to the LAC and negotiate for uts proper demarcation on both map and ground. The LAC will then have to be respected till acceptance of the final negotiated Indo Tibetan border.
On the India Tibetan border issue, Indians have full faith in the Indian Armed Forces and they trust the government of India too. Army will firmly safeguard India’s territorial integrity and maintain national interests when dealing with border conflicts. Indian Army has the ability and wisdom to safeguard every inch of its land and will make the Chinese retreat on all fronts.