Why Chinese forces are weakening?

Syllabus Topic – International Relations – India and its neighborhood 

Synopsis: In the beginning of this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed his armed forces to be “combat-ready to act at any second”. However, in reality Chinese forces are facing too many inside challenges.  

Why China is becoming aggressive? 

First, Policies of new US President Joe Biden favours freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea and Taiwan straits. By this aggression, China wants to show its confidence and military preparedness in response to new U.S. policies. 

Secondly, China is preparing for possible military conflicts due to its aggression in South China Sea, Taiwan and Ladakh. 

Thirdly, after a series of setbacks in Ladakh, China’s Western Theatre Command (WTC) has realised that it is still not well prepared. It suffered a high number of casualties in the June 15 Galwan valley clash. Moreover, the Indian Army also captured the strategic mountainous heights at Rezang La and other passes. 

Reasons for poor performance of Western Theatre Command (WTC) in Ladakh  

As mentioned above, Chinese WTC forces were outperformed by Indian troops in Ladakh. It brought many weaknesses of WTC in light, i.e. 

  • Chinese troops have not faced any combat for the last 41 years. They crumbled when faced with strong opposition by Indian forces. 
  • Chinese forces are facing promotion related issues. It has negatively affected their morale.  
  • For example; many senior officers are not getting promotions due to doubt over their loyalty to Mr Xi.  
  • Chinese soldiers are not able to face the extreme high-altitude climate.  
  • Recently, 10,000 troops from the WTC were moved to lower locations due to fatigue and other complications. 

Issues facing Chinese forces 

  • Firstly, Promotions in Chinese army are based on the loyalty to Chinese President Xi.  
  • Secondly, most of the recruitment are forced due to the policy of compulsory military service. Personnel forced into military lack of motivation to fight a war.  
  • Third, the Chinese army is more of a political force and lack professionalism.  
  • Fourth, the concept of Joint Theatre Command has been introduced to promote to deal with regional threats. This idea is not feasible due to lack of coordination between different Chinese forces. 

Chinese forces have shown too much aggression everywhere recently, but in reality, it is suffering from many issues from inside. 

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