New Cold War : Autocratic Vs Democratic Worlds
Colonel Krityanand Das
Having bombarded millions of human lungs across the globe with Wuhan virus and the world not knowing how to go about tackling the Chinese spread pandemic, China wasted no time in amassing huge concentration of troops in Occupied Tibet and occupied parts of India’s Eastern Ladakh.
Initially calling it an exercise to screen the deceit and then moving into disputed areas near the LAC at number of places with clear intent to seize fresh territories and complete a permanent deployment. However a super quick Indian response by putting same quantum of troops to match that of China, completely thwarted the Chinese misadventures and upset the their “Wheel Borrow” cart !. This move by Indian Army sort of paralyzed all the plans of the PLA at the Tactical, Operational and even Strategical level.
Most likely China wanted to occupy its entire claimed territories in Ladhak before the centenary celebration of the Communist Party of China in 2021. And then take on Taiwan subsequently before 2049 at leisure.
However all that could not go as per the plan and in bargain China lost over hundred odd lives at the hands of Indian Army at Galwan clashes, which she could not reveal to her people for fear of loss of face and probably a solid jolt to comrade Xi’s both position and prestige. After having made big noise of China’s arrival on the world stage and washing off her self acclaimed century of humiliations! This episode made his leadership challengeable once again within the Communist Party.
Yet trying to impose similar humiliations on all its neighbors with cooked up “Historical Records ” !
China has kept up silence on loss of lives of its soldiers in Eastern Ladakh, but many foreign agencies have confirmed a large number of loss of chinese lives, including TASS, the Russian news agency whose numbers were as high as 176.
China after many months agreed to settle that at four ! No honour even for laying down your life for the Country. But then PLA is not the Army of China but that of the Communist Party of China !!!!!!
China has failed in its bio and conventional war for the present. She will try both in future more lethally.
However certain other recent moves that China has made are quite smart.
Russia was up set by the West making east ward moves by granting NATO membership to many East European countries, who were part of erstwhile Warsaw Pact. These moves were all against verbal assurances given to Russia after the collapse of Soviet Union that West won’t spill further east its NATO membership.
Based on such oral assurance Russia dissolved Warsaw Pact, hoping it will get immense economic aid as did the axis nations and rest of Europe get under Marshal Plan after the end of WW-ll. Russia received no aids and NATO moved east ward.
All that Russia could do was bite its lips in utter anguish!
Russia and Ukraine are the fraternal twins of the Slavic world. Willy – nilly Ukraine has been part of Russian political outfit in all good times and has been able to detach itself when ever Russia has been through some bad patch of its history.
They provided soldiers and non commissioned officers of the Russian armies and also been their bread basket. And had been the cradle for both the Slavic state and culture before the rise of Russian state and empire.
To the Western Bloc Russia has always been Asiatic and not good enough to be included into the European fraternity. The Russian communist past has increased that dislike and distanced it further in the minds of Western leadership. This has not reduced even after the fall of Soviet regime there.
Economic conditions and poor state of leadership of the Russian state after the collapse of the Soveit Union, forced the erstwhile Soveit satellites to move close to EU and NATO for both prospects of prosperity through economic aid and protection against Russian arms twisting with NATO membership.
Many got inducted into NATO but the request of Ukraine was opposed by Germany under Angela Merkel, who being from East Germany and being fluent in Russian was a good friend of Putin besides Germany’s dependence on cheap Russian energy supplies and ulilisation of existing infrastructures of the Soveit era for supply of the same.
That brought the end to Ukraine hope of direct support of the West and beginning of her troubles at the hands of Russia. In 2008 the Russian moved into Crimea a part of Ukraine with a large ethnic Russian population. She had also moved into Georgia around same time and liberated two of the ethnic Russian dominated enclaves there and recognized them as independent countries. Troubles also brewed up in Eastern Ukraine’s ethnic Russian enclaves, likely to have been engineered by Russia.
A West sponsored regime change took place in 2014 in Eukraine and Zelensky replaced the pro Russian president with 73% votes in a fair election.
This regime change in Ukraine that was not friendly to Russia made Russia under strongman Putin very uncomfortable.
Other than hydrocarbon Russia has hardly much to export and sustain its economy. And therefore Russia helplessly tilted towards China and has became almost a junior partner now if not a sidekick!
The fault has been of the successive American governments who choose to suspect Russia as still to be the old rival Soveit Union but continued to help China with capital investment and transfer of technology. And that contributed to the Rise of China, a la Frankenstein Monster as Nixon had feared while opening up to China in 70s!
American indulgence with Ukraine kept growing over the years making Russia desperate to initiate actions and that she did in Eastern Ukraine and then annexing Crimea in South.
In the meantime China having failed in Eastern Ladakh persuaded Russia into believing that present American leadership was weak and that now was the right time to take advantage and to sort out things in Eastern Europe.
Shameful American retreat from Afghanistan proved it to be right. Russians fell for the Chinese bait and with initial denials of impending attack on Ukraine, the Russia moved into Ukraine from three sides, thinking of success in a short campaign.
And that hasn’t happened as yet. It is almost over two months now and a sort of stalemate seems to have set in, in the campaign.
With moral, material and monetary assistance from the West, Ukraine seemed to be doing well. David seemed to be going heavy on Goliath again! To the West both Russia and Ukraine being Slavs are just Asiatic and therefore relatively expendable unlike the other white skinned Europeans.
Similarly for China, Russia and West are just another lot of barbarians, and their fight is therefore auspicious for the Middle Kingdom, as per ancient Chinese norms and teachings. China is happy that Russian misadventure in Ukraine has shifted the Western attention back to Europe from South China Sea in particular and Indo-Pacific in general. And a timely relief from the pressures of Obama’s Pivot of Asia doctrine.
Amalgamation of Taiwan is well pronounced aims of One China Policy of PRC, even at the cost of using force for the same.
In view of this and other economic and strategic reasons China has laid claims on some islands in East China Sea and claim on entire South China Sea as Chinese territory. All these tall claims and the quarrels and conflicts related to it, are the preface and prelude to events that are already planned like end of ROC on island of Taiwan and its amalgamation and then the dominance of the world by China in the name of the Asian Century!
Few paragraphs earlier I had spoken about a smart move by the Chinese and then deviated into EU, NATO, Ukraine and Russia.
Mainland China is so close to Taiwan that any clash for its capture will cause damages and destructions on both Mainland as well, which could have been avoided had that island been little away from the Mainland. The Taiwan straight is just 130 kms wide. With few Taiwanese islands almost mixed and fixed into Mainland like enclaves. More over the western part of island is generally plain and sea is relatively sallow and has all its population and strategic Chip industry spread along.
China will need to deploy thousands of vessel and hundreds planes and will need to push in over 600000 troops to capture and control the island.
Surprise will be the first casualty in such a crowded campaign.
Both Taiwan and Mainland China along the Taiwan straight will end up in rubbles in that internecine war.
With Chip Industry gone, what will China get ?
Melted steel and blasted concrete! Rubbles mounts and steel rods poking out at its futile victory!
That won’t be a wise move. It can use its age old trait of deception and deceit to achieve the result as it has successfully done in Hong Kong.
To avoid this China has moved the Goal Post, some 10000 Kms east into the Pacific, some 2500 Kms south of the famous American base at Guam, much famous for the Guadalcanal battle of WW-ll and some 2000 Kms north east of Australia in the Solomon Islands. Which was in news some times back, when Solomon Islands broke diplomatic relations with ROC and tied one a fresh with the PRC. There were some protests and properties of Chinese diaspora were damaged including some of the infrastructural installations of the Mainland Chinese companies as well.
This Island country has an arrangement with Australia to assist in restoring law and order when the same is disturbed by internal disturbances. For some decades there were ethnic clashes and prolonged disturbances in the country. Normalcy was brought with Australian help and elections were held and Mr Manasseh Sogavare became the prime minister.
However Mr Sogavare has moved very close to PRC and has signed an agreement that permits China to deploy its police and military on Solomon Islands on request of the government and also to protect Chinese assets and the Chinese diaspora on the island.
The said agreement has not been made public as yet. But the leaked portion speaks of seeking Chinese assistance in field of security on the island. It has come to light that Chinese companies are looking for a port to develop that can be subsequently turned into naval base for the PLA navy. Some way similar to one in Sri Lanka.
Infrastructural developments is always followed with debt trap which then leads to loss of territories and compromise on sovereignty as in case of Sri Lanka. Similar fate waits this archipelago! It will move slowly, spreading its infrastructures as part of BRI and into the debt trap thereafter. Moves will be slow but steady.
China will wish that Russia and the West should fight over Ukraine and destroy each other. That will make China almost a unipolar power with out a scratch on its body. In case that doesn’t happen then the war must linger and exhaust Russia to such an extent that it is unable to retain parts east of Ural mountains and China gobbles it without a hiccup!
With global warming, Siberia will turn into an arable land and likely agricultural asset, so much needed to feeding Chinese population. Presently China is hoarding 50% of world grains.
Since it cannot produce enough grains, it buys and hoards, to avoid food riots and most feared thing the Chaos, which could lead to violent change of regime.
In mean time China will try to infiltrate its agents to disintegrate the Taiwanese society and cause social unrest, play ethnic and all other cards of Sinic culture and civilization to belittle western democracy. Create economic problems in a prosperous country like one in Sri Lanka. And keep the focus of USA, it’s allies and partners around Solomon Islands and mid Pacific away from South China Sea and Taiwan.
However as in case of Maldives it has been demonstrated by India that it will not permit the Chinese establishing military bases in Maldives or Sri Lanka. In 2018 the much vaunted PLAN flotilla had turned tail right after crossing the Sunda strait.
West and the rest of the Democratic World has to take note of this. USA has thankfully recognized China as its dangerous rival.
And now it must work out long term plan to contain it if not destroy it, as it did to the Soviet Union.
Afro-Asian world must not fall into China’s new concept of the Asian Century!
Where ever the Chinese have put the print of BRI those countries have fallen in debt trap.
See through what hell Sri Lanka is going through. Pakistan is virtually a state with begging bowl. Living on alms thrown in its bowl by some Arab countries after such humiliating request and haggling.
Nepal had been honeymooning with China for a while, and Chinese have gobbled her few northern villages and its foreign exchange reserve has gone so low that even snacks like potato chips and Kurkure and playing cards have got listed as luxury items. Nepal has been debt trapped like the rest.
African countries are being looted of their mineral wealth. Africans do not get jobs in these mines and other related infrastructure projects as Chinese bring in their own workers and the African country sides are left with out food grains to feed the people. Chinese have virtually colonized most of Sub-Saharan continent.
It is better to side with known Devil than an unknown one!
Asean countries are hobnobbing with China, even when they have known China better than the rest of the world. Out of ten Asean countries only Vietnam has
Confucian social order due to hundred years of annexation by the Chinese. And yet there is traditional hatred between the two with continuous conflict.
Similarly in East Asia both Korean and Japanese treat China as an existential threat.
Chinese can not coexist at equal terms with any other country.
In old Cold War it was clash between Communism and the Free World and now in the New Cold War it will be clash between Autocratic World and Democratic World.
Sanctions are effective weapon that America can use against the Autocratic States. Say a freeze on three trillion dollar US Treasury Bill can make Chinese economy limp for long!
New areas should be promoted to reduce the world’s dependence on Chinese supply chain.
South Asia and South East Asia are most suitable regions for such replacement.
Quad should expand to include Asean countries and should turn NATO like.
Where should India be in this new world that may come up.
Its heart must be with the Democratic World and it’s head in its own skull. It must not be part of any alliance but a Partner at large!
Only India, Japan and some Asean countries have territorial dispute with China. To prove its arrival as the Hagemon, China will clash with some of these countries.
Certainly after seeing the state of destruction in Ukraine, invasion of Taiwan should be ruled out. There are many wrong ways known to the Chinese government of Mainland China by which it will try to annex Taiwan.
But in case China clashes with any of the Asean country then there will be problem. To avoid such situations Asean countries will have to ally with some outside power. Known Devil will be the obvious choice. That will be an compulsion as NATO has become with the east European countries. Only then they will be able to avoid a fate like that of Ukraine.
A detached India from any alliance can be the Conscience Keeper of both the Know Devil or any other misadventure!
It is likely that most Afro-Asian countries will prefer an non aligned India. But for that India will first need to grow economically and militarily. Only then it will be in a position to keep China in check and the Known Devil sober.
It’s geographical location makes it accessible to Asean, Africa and West Asia. It is in close proximity to Central Asia as well. She should be in position to feed Africa and Middle East if such unfortunate time arises and keep the Known Devil in some check and ensure good behaviour.
In what ever form the Russia exist, India will have to keep a good relation. Both Russia and China make the Mackinderian Heartland of World Island. Since China will remain hostile to India and rest of the Democratic World hence Russian neutrality must be retained by India. Similarly the Spykman’s Rimland must be kept in good humour by India specially Iran and Turkey so that Heartland is contained and controlled.
A sort of Confederacy of South Asian states must be made a preferred goal by India and the Democratic world must help in that. A South Asia which is civilizationally and culturally one unit, as it lacks unity the Heart land power China has made inroads and destroyed these subunits. Their economy is ruined and sovereignty is at stake.
As it will be seen now that World Island’s Heartland is the Autocratic World and Rimland is generally the Democratic World! Clash cannot be ruled out.
In case China mends it way and relinquishes its expansionist tendencies and grants some sort of autonomy to the imprisoned nationalities like Tibet, Eastern Turkistan, South Mongolia and few others which she got as gift from its Mongol and Manchu invaders and presents prosperity that is largely the Western largesse it got for deserting a fellow Communist Soviet Union, may be a new peaceful world may emerge !
But has such a world ever existed?