South Asian Insider
It can no longer be business-as-usual
India needs to reset its entire relationship with China. There will be pain, but it’s time to stand up The difference between the summer of 2020 and earlier face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh is that, this time around, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has come in strength. Several divisions of PLA have been deployed in the depth areas, and, consequently, there are also larger numbers of troops in close proximity to each other in the India–China border areas. The Indian Army has also made a matching build-up in the area and all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Due to the sheer numbers as well as the fact that armour and artillery have also been brought up, it is apparent that PLA has planned and prepared this current offensive. It aims at moving the ground positions of Chinese troops right up to what they conceive is LAC. By doing so, what, in effect, the Chinese are attempting to accomplish is to unilaterally define and determine LAC without bilateral consultation with India. China will decide what is its territory and will move to exercise actual control over it. The Indian Army has blocked the Chinese and is deployed to protect Indian territorial integrity. What PLA has also managed to do is to violate all the principles, norms, standard procedures which have evolved over the past 25 years to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. They have displayed how little store it sets by agreements signed by its own government. Strategically, what the Chinese are signalling to India and the world is that they are the number one power in Asia and that they will throw their weight around as they wish, whether in the South China Sea or on the India-China border. They also want India to understand and accept that China’s comprehensive national power far outweighs India’s, and that the nation must acknowledge its place in the pecking order of Asia. India must roll over and play dead. The 21st Century is not an Asian century but a Chinese century. India’s military action in eastern Ladakh, in turn, sends China the very clear message that India does not accept Chinese hegemony and will not tolerate its bullying and pushing. India shall stand up to it. The nation’s brave soldiers did exactly this, on that fateful night of June 15 in the Galwan Valley. Remember, the rest of the world is also watching. If China has thrown down the gauntlet, India has picked it up. Having militarily sent out the clear intention to take on China and oppose its aggressive methods aimed at browbeating other nations including India, we cannot let the rest of the India-China relationship continue as normal. It cannot be business as usual. Why? If India was to do that we would be negating the message of our military action on the ground, and, in stark contrast, be conveying to the Chinese that India can live with what its army has done. Therefore, India needs to reinforce and reiterate its military messaging through policy decisions which further underline India’s very clear national consensus not to accept Chinese big brotherly attitudes and plain bullying. It is for this reason that India will have to take measures to indicate that if there is no peace on the border, the rest of the relationship with China will also be negatively impacted. A reassessment and recalibration of India’s China policy are required to make India’s messaging crystal clear.The first step in this resetting of India’s China policy was the ban on 59 Chinese apps such as TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser. India is only getting started. Banning Chinese firms on national security grounds from participating in India’s 5G trials and rollout will be a strong indication of New Delhi’s mindset. One consequence of Chinese actions will be for India to strengthen its partnerships with democracies such as the United States, Japan, France, South Korea and, perhaps, Indonesia. India must also expand its relations with Taiwan. Delhi will have to reassess its China policy with a cool, calm, rational frame of mind. There is no need for knee-jerk reactions. In order to weigh the options which can be on the table, India has to have widespread consultations which must be timebound. The new policy must be implemented within 2020 itself.Such a reset and recalibration of India’s China policy, particularly in the economic realm, cannot be accomplished without causing some pain to ourselves. When we have decided that a strong message needs to be sent to China, then we must also be ready to bear the pain. Indian soldiers have done this on our borders; now it is time for ordinary Indians to show that they are willing to do so too. The pain is likely to come in the form of higher consumer prices for certain products; it may come in the form of lower profits for firms; it may also take the form of lower revenues for traders. We shall have to accept some pain, if we are to convey that we are a strong, united nation which China has made the mistake of riling. India’s strength of character will have to be put on full display to indicate to China that it will not be business as usual.
PM Modi’s approval rating falls as India struggles to contain second Covid-19 wave: US firm
Approval ratings of PM Modi have fallen to a new low as India grapples with coronavirus pandemic, according to a US data intelligence company. Narendr...
International row created, Delhi ministers still insist Singapore Covid variant is real
Amidst the diplomatic storm that has ensued following Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s claims of “Singapore variant” of Covid-19, Delhi ministers insist tha...
"India A Major Priority": US Yet To Decide On Allocation Of 80 Million Vaccine Jabs
A top US official said the allocation decision will be made on the basis of need and collaboration with key partners and COVAX. (Insider Bureau)-No...
Indian-Origin Chemist Among Tech 'Nobel' Prize Winners For Revolutionary DNA Technique
President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinisto, who is the Patron of the prize, presented the award to the scientists in a virtual ceremony on Tu...
No one wants to work anymore
The truth behind this unemployment benefits myth. * Millions of unemployed in US face hardship under Republican benefit cuts * At least 22 Republica...
Rajnath Singh asks Army to be on war footing in Covid battle, provide medical help across states
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has urged the Indian Army to open up its medical facilities for civilians and asked top commanders in states to be in t...
Vaccine embargo: Why Modi needs to call Joe Biden
A US embargo on the export of raw materials could upset India's plans to ramp up its Covid-19 vaccination drive (Insider Bureau)--While the Centre...
As Sanjeev Gupta Rose From Trader to Tycoon, Several Banks Backed Away
Four banks stopped working with British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta's commodity trading business, starting in 2016, after alleged paperwork problems i...
‘’Enough Is Enough”: Relative Of Sikh Woman Killed In US FedEx Shooting
Brandon Scott Hole, 19, and a former employee at the facility in Indianapolis carried out the mass shooting on late Thursday before allegedly killing ...
US 'very closely' tracking course of Covid-19 outbreak in India
(Insider Bureau)-The United States is tracking the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in India "very closely", the State Department has said. The Center...
© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.