There Should Be No Quadlapping With USA After Galwaning China
There is definitely a need of Quadrilateral relationship (Quad) among India, Japan, USA and Australia forming the bulwark of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
However it should never be a military alliance like NATO but like an assembly of UN Peace Keeping Force carrying out joint training instead of a military operational deployment.
Though the Indian military had shattered the invincibility myth of the PLA in 1967 itself at Nathu La, it never got the publicity. The same thing happened to the PLA when it had to back down when General Sunderji had moved forward the Indian Army into a forward posture in 1985.
Due to Nixon and his advisor Kissinger, both the Americans and the Western Europeans had got totally enamoured by the Chinese and the wise Mandarins used it to their full advantage. The West was completely awed. The Chinese kept up their pretense of peaceful friendly traders till they achieved the status of the second largest economy in the World. Only one country had remained unimpressed and that was India. Knowingly it refrained from joining most of the Chinese led economic initiative but not many paid any heed to this.
Finally came the inevitable tussle between the West and the Chinese over trade and other matters like Hong Kong, Taiwan and freedom of navigation in the Indo Pacific.
As evidence mounts of SARS-CoV-2 likely being a lab-escaped, gain-of-function researched coronavirus, calls to hold China accountable are rising, with the smoldering tensions in the US correlated with the election campaign likely to lead to withdrawal of sovereign immunities that China currently enjoys in US courts.
Legislation is pending to amend Title 28 of the United States Code to permit US courts to have jurisdiction over cases seeking damages from China.
In case it is passed, it would lead to compensatory and punitive damages running into the trillions of dollars potentially awarded by US Courts.China will surely and bluntly refuse to pay.So USA will need a military offensive to seek the payment.
Meanwhile, Western analysts think that to divert attention from those mounting crises that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) faces, its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) appears to be lashing out on multiple fronts as well as instigating countries which are China’s satellites, to foment military and other threats to a plethora of nations with which China has territorial disputes, in some cases even 1,500 kilometres away as in the case of Indonesia’s Natunas Islands.
China’s contorted claim is that the Natunas confer 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres radius) exclusive economic zone that overlap slightly into areas which China contends are “traditional Chinese fishing grounds”.
Now that China is about five times larger an economy than India’s despite both having been roughly similar around 1990, China’s elite political, bureaucratic and military class, ensconced comfortably in the Zhongnanhai (the Chinese Lutyens) seems to consider India a pushover, and the killing of 20 unarmed Indian officers and soldiers by PLA men using medieval spiked clubs in violation of Geneva Conventions appears to be just a beginning of this round.
Just how many PLA soldiers were killed by Indian soldiers in self-defence and retaliation has not been revealed by China, but estimates from others range from 40 to over 100. PLA has now undertaken a limited cosmetic pullback in one sector of the vast border that it has been relentlessly encroaching on.
Unable to contain China on their own, the USA wants the Quad to be invigorated to serve as a formidable deterrent against aggression to ensure lasting peace in the Indo-Pacific.
They want to go one step ahead and are now advocating that the Quad’s operations headquarters ought to be on the main Andaman Island. Located roughly at the fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific, close to Myanmar, Thailand and the Malacca Strait through which the bulk of the world’s oil and gas shipments pass.
Thus, two members of the Quad, USA and Japan, would favour having the Quad’s operations headquarters on Andaman and Australia would naturally defer to India’s and Japan’s choice, when it is stated publicly.
The general belief among some in the Western twitterati and chatterati is that China’s PLA is far too powerful a military for India to deal with alone and suggest quietly that India Should join the Western block or form the Quad military alliance under the USA. People forget that in 1979 when China and Vietnam fought a deadly, costly border war.
China was decisively defeated by a then-weakened Vietnam that had previously fought a cataclysmic war first with colonial France, and later the US since the 1940s. It was paramount leader Deng Xiaoping who had ordered the attack on Vietnam, and it had failed.
Scholars opine that Deng was outraged that Vietnam, after having received about $20 billion in assistance from China over 20 years in the war with the US, was not behaving like a typical “rented” satellite nation.
Again, sounds familiar, even with the pattern of the 1962 and recent PLA attacks on India? Why this attack ? Because of India rejecting the OBOR or making Ladhak an UT with parts shown as occupied by Pakistan and occupied by China and India determined to take them back ? However Indian Defence Forces are totally different and has the WILL and Capacity to turn the mighty dragon into a Lizard.
Not liking the close relationship between India and Russia in spite of threats of a weird American legislation called CAATSA, the Western analysts are also trying to suggest that apart from the Chinese, the Russians, might definitely know what the PLA is planning against India. However Russians as per the West will always be speaking to New Delhi “with forked tongue”?
At Galwan Xi Shinping has made a fatal mistake, which may start unravelling his position and power. After Galwan, the West too feels that if a weak Vietnam could fight off the PLA’s attack, surely India’s powerful armed forces can overcome PLA’s aggression too. In their view India’s Army, Navy, Air Force only need the advanced weapons systems, and confusion-free political and intelligence leadership to enable them to do the needful.
Thus as per them, Capital-surplus Japan and leading tech investor the US have much to offer to the Quad, including advanced weapons systems and manufacturing capability and India must accept it.
However presently the world is looking askance at America’s democracy amid multiple near-existential crises for the core interests of the US and its friends.
Even Japan, currently has Constitutionally-imposed restrictions on what it can actually do abroad, despite having spent billions of dollars every year to build up a formidable arsenal of the latest American weapons, and Japanese precision manufacturing has been key in components production for those advanced systems.
Therefore the analysts suggest that to keep the peace through strength, there is nothing like India’s powerful Army, Air Force and Navy, with weapons systems provided by the US and Japan on long-term lease as “Quad property” without financial foreign currency implications for India.
Given India’s teeming hundreds of millions of young people who need work, every available capital resource should be dedicated to financial instruments to support their employment, social and economic development.
However India should never join any military block led by the USA and the Quad as suggested earlier should be a UN like peace keeping periodical get together as per a worked out schedule.
Rather it should also develop a mechanism that should do much more in the realm of economic development. It is time therefore to create new structures in a Quad Plus (potentially including many more countries like Vietnam) for the post-Covid era that collectively can help provide regional security and development well into this 21st century.
While talking of Arms and equipment, India will not accept any “gift” from any one. However USA may supply immediately the following on long term credit / lease, with no strings attached :
• 26× P8I LRMR aircrafts ( this will be in addition to 12 in service with IN and 10 on order)
• 25× C17 transporters from its reserves( we have 11 in service with IAF )
• 12 x C130 Hercules transporters ( we have 6 in service and 6 on order )
• 21x C47 Chinook Helicopters ( we have 15 in service )