Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Outlook.com

1962 Redux?

Isolated in the West, confronted by a pushback in the Indo-Pacific, but driven by overweening entitlement, China might trigger a conflict with India behind a smokescreen of fictional claims. Beijing should know that such an event would imperil all its world-historical objectives.

1962 Redux?
1962 Redux? 1962 Redux?

Four months of violent face-offs, increasing points of military conflict, intensifying military build-up, banning of 177 Chinese apps, check on Chinese investments by India, and an inconclusive meeting between the defence ministers of India and China on September 4 in Moscow. Is an India-China war inevitable? The question is uppermost in many minds.

In statements issued by the two sides, Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe, blamed India for the current tension, stating “China’s territory cannot be lost”. India’s stand, articulated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, maintained that “Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management”. Fundamental to the current impasse is the India-China border being managed based on an un-demarcated line of actual control, with a long-standing unresolved border. China’s military adventurism against India runs parallel to Xi Jinping’s meteoric growth to becoming the paramount power in China. On November 15, 2012, Xi Jinping was appointed general secretary, Chinese Communist Party and chairman, Central Military Commission, and on March 14, 2013, he was appointed president. Within a fortnight, on March 29, 2013, Xi Jinping emphasised on an early resolution of the border issue with India. Eighteen days later, on April 15, 2013, the first protracted face-off bet­ween the Indian Army and the PLA took place in the Depsang area.

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