Playing Chinese Checker: PLA’s big aim at LAC is to get India to accept China’s hegemony. We must see this & prepare

Source: The post is based on an article Playing Chinese Checker: PLA’s big aim at LAC is to get India to accept China’s hegemony. We must see this & prepare published in The Times of India on 1st September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighborhood

Relevance:  India and China bilateral relation

Context: The article discusses the bilateral relation between China and India and the steps that India can take to counter China.

It has been just over two years since Galwan. Since then, India-China relations have deteriorated significantly.

What are the differences between Galwan and earlier clashes between China and India?

The earlier clashes were accidental in nature but in Galwan the Chinese side has undertaken the operation in a planned, pre-determined, well thought out way.

The number of troops involved on both sides was much higher than in the earlier cases.

By bringing such large military strength to the India-China border areas, PLA has violated all preceding agreements by bringing such large military strength to the India-China border areas.

What were the reasons behind Galwan clash?

There were two reasons: tactical and strategic.

The tactical reason was that China wanted to have actual control over the territory which they were claiming.

They have also been able to eliminate the situation where both armies would patrol areas of overlapping claims.

The strategic reason was that China wanted to show India, to other Asian countries and to nations across the globe that China is the most powerful nation in Asia.

What steps can be taken by India to counter China?

India needs to urgently enhance defence spending especially over the next three to five years.

India cannot accept the change in status quo in eastern Ladakh and if there is no peace on the border, the rest of the India-China relationship cannot continue.

Few steps taken by India against China are – Chinese firms were kept out of 5G trials, Chinese apps were banned and FDI rules were changed for neighbouring countries.

Can China disengage and de-escalate at the LAC in eastern Ladakh?

There has been disengagement in certain sectors but not yet in all sectors of the border in Ladakh.

China has not indicated any desire to de-escalate.

What can be the further course of action for India?

India has to be strategically patient and build up strength.

A fast-paced GDP growth will reduce the asymmetry between India and China.

India must continue balancing Chinese power by further beefing up our strategic partnerships with Japan, France, the US, Australia and other similar countries.

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