Till 1775, India and China possessed 50% of the world’s total wealth (today they possess about 50% of world population). Anyways, for thousands of years, we never clashed. There was only educational and cultural exchange between us. Then, in the year 1962, it all changed. On the 50th anniversary of the Sino-Indian war, it is important we recall the past mistakes, learn from them and fix them.
Unlike India, after the Sino-Indian war, China didn’t rest. In 1967, China started unprovoked heavy shelling in Sikkim, to which, India retaliated with artillery duel. In the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war, India was able to use both geography and diplomacy to its advantage, to prevent China from rescuing Pakistan. In 1975, India merged Sikkim, ignoring the protests by China. Interestingly, China remained neutral during the Kargil War, to the great disappointment of its close ally. While sending out such friendly signals to India, China continued to build its military strength in Tibet, a process which had started in 1975. As of date, China maintains 24 divisions for operations in Tibet. The Gormo Lhasa oil pipeline and railway link was established. Strategic road and rail communication, several airfields, missile bases and logistic dumps are all up and running.
Years have passed. The dragon was wide awake, filling itself with napalm, while the tiger slept. Having achieved considerable economic and military superiority over India, since 2007, China has turned aggressive. It stridently claims Arunachal Pradesh as their territory and protests any Indian politician visiting there. Stapled visas are being issued to officials in Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. China has developed numerous naval bases in its attempt to encircle India. Ports are being developed at Cocos Island (Burma), Hambantola (Sri Lanka) and Gwadar (Pakistan). The grand design is to make the Indian Ocean a Chinese lake.
It’s a shame that China calls itself communist and follows imperialist approach when it comes to its foreign policies. No doubt, we have reached out to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. No doubt, we are developing strategic consensus with the US, Australia and Japan. No doubt, acquisition of medium guns, fighter jets, aircraft carriers and submarines have sped up and roads and airfields are being improved. But the efforts are not good enough. China, in terms of military is far superior than us. We do not need to enter into an arms race with China. But, we must build sufficient strength to deter Chinese military adventurism. In the present nuclear overloaded world, there is no possibility of a long-drawn conventional war. Moreover, the Himalayas support us, by providing an inbuilt advantage. The Chinese require much greater capabilities to overcome our well-prepared defensive positions on the mountains. But, even while on the defensive, we must have the capability to hit back. In case of a military combat, we must deal with our adversary from a position of strength, not weakness.