Chinese Forays into Indian Territories Continue
There is no doubt Indian defence forces did obstruct Chinese invasion in eastern Ladakh in Jun 2020 but it is also true that Chinese incursions in to the Indian territories have not stopped. There were reports of Chinese transient intrusion in Arunachal and recently in Uttarakhand. As long as the International border is undefined, Chinese intrusions can be expected to continue…either transient intrusion in non-military sectors and immediate retreat or their old tactics of two step forward and one step back…the perfect expansionist approach.
After Chumur incursion of 2014, this was the first transgression in which about 100 horse-ridded PLA soldiers were believed to have entered the Indian territory. Prior to 2014, such major intrusions were common. In the absence of our roads and BSF/ITBF along LAC, numerous such incidents used to go unnoticed and those few reported, are no less a figure as the year-wise total incidents and some major intrusions are mentioned below: -
After 2015 Modi Govt’s initiatives on border roads and infrastructure developments, most such incidents are immediately detected and reported. However, just detection and reporting is not enough. They are able to fulfil their objectives of making the residents in those area feel that they are unsafe, at the mercy of the PLA and more importantly, to send a message to the Indian administration that those areas belong to them and could lay claim. Hence, India has to take note of the Chinese intent. All these taking place after Galwan and Pangong incidents, clearly show that Chinese expansionism policy has not changed. The recent incident of Barahoti in Uttarakhand cannot be termed a usual patrol that both nations undertake along the ill-defined LAC. In these incidents, there were approx. 100 soldiers which is far more the strength than a dozen of the patrol parties and secondly, they have inflicted damages to our infrastructures, the bridge. Hence, it cannot be termed a routine patrol. It is expected that the Ministry of External Affairs would have summoned the Chinese ambassador and would have given a firm dressing-down, if not done, they must do it. Indian approach towards the Chinese must adopt a firm and proactive measure.
The diplomatic approach towards the Chinese must change once for all. India will have to take steps against ‘one China policy’. It must open dialogue with Taiwan and diplomatic relations be established. We must recognise the Tibetan Govt in exile. India has the most numbers of exiled Tibetans whose near and dear are under Chinese occupation. Their plights and Human Rights issue must be projected at all possible international platforms including the UN and UNSC. In addition, Indian Muslim’s concerns of their Uighur brethren must also find mention at those international fora.
The Military approach must assume in advance that there will be another incursion in the coming weeks or months. Where it will take place, Military must know. Indian satellites must be used to locate all Chinese military posts along LAC. All such places along LAC where PLA is based, could be expected as vulnerable areas. Civil defence in those area must be strengthened with a Rapid Action Team from the adjacent paramilitary or military posts. Civil Defence team may have surveillance drones along with the local police having appropriate firearms to apprehend and detain the intruders. The Rapid Action Team in the nearly area must reach the spot in no more than an hour or so. This response must be with dual aim…of re-enforcing the civil defence/local police as well as to be able to counter them should they resort to unprovoked firing.
It must be understood that India has no other front to open against the Chinese. Quad as a counter cannot be expected as a leverage against the Chinese misadventure in Indian territories. Hence, a countermeasure team must be always alert…something like a small battle group of the MSF. The Chinese will have to be told of the Indian intent in a language that they understand (read ‘Could India speak the language China understands?; The Counterviews; Issue 3:02).
Economic counter-action taken by the govt of India was good. However, still large numbers of Chinese goods and consumer products are finding entry in to Indian houses through various online marketing portals. India is a huge market for the world and denying it to the Chinese undoubtedly send a strong message.
The recent Chinese intrusion in Uttarakhand must not be ignored. It is a sign of greater Chinese expansionism. It occurrence indicate that our border with China is not safe. It is although a matter of some solace that their intrusion was spotted immediately and they had to retreat as swiftly as they came. Defence along hostile neighbors must constitute a civil defence team having surveillance drones and tie-up with local police. Local police in turn, must have a 24x7 communication with a Rapid Action team armed with quick deployment and quality arms & ammunition to deal with the armed intruders. It is also time that India makes a policy shift towards the Chinese to firmly deal with them on all fronts incl Diplomatic, Military and Economic.