Opinion

India is more than capable of countering China: India controlled Siachen for 32 years, Dokhlam is a cakewalk

“Symposium on Indo-China Doklam Strategic Perspective”* organised by the “Forum for Integrated National Security (Karnataka Chapter) addressed by Sandeep Unnithan-India Today, N Parthasarathi-Former Diplomat and a few retired Generals including Retd. Chief Gen VK Singh etc.
The inaugural address was delivered by Mr. Parthasarathi, who began by talking on the events that led to the stand off at Doklam. Parthasarathi spoke about the Chinese goal of creating a hegemony in the Asian region and the only power who could challenge them in achieving this, is India. He opined that, China would have never expected this resistance from India at Doklam and now China has left themselves cornered by issuing rhetorical statements through their state controlled media and are trying ways to retract from this standoff.
Sandeep Unnithan quoted Sun-Tzu: “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting” which exactly is what China is practising religiously. Unnithan pointed out how China was encircling India through its ‘String of Pearls policy’  and that “It is time we countered China’s ‘String of Pearls’ policy with our own strategy,” referring to India’s slow pace in implementing its ‘Look East Policy’. “India-China, India-US and China-US are going to be the most spoken about relationships in the 21st century,” Unnithan said.
The speakers also agreed that after October, Doklam starts to freeze which means both sides will have to pull out their troops. This works in India’s favour, said Ambassador Parthasarathi. Lt. Gen (retd) VM Patil stressed that India is more than capable of countering China and 2017 is much different from 1962. “Yes, China is capable of harassing us and India is capable of giving it back to the Chinese,” he concluded.
Gist for all of you:
1.   More than preventing China’s attempt to gain foothold in Bhutan, strategically important for India as China may otherwise gain access to Chicken’s neck – a narrow 26 kms wide landmass connecting mainland India with NE and Sikkim.
2.     China did not anticipate India will stay put, looking for a face saver given Xi’s attempt to get re-elected.
3.     India can not give up as many ASEAN nations are looking up to, or not to give up like Philippines.
4. PM has given free hand to forces to mobilise; IAF is on standby.
5. Naval strength of India is formidable and can block 80% of China’s energy ships thru’ Malacca strait.
6. Army has told PM and key media: “If we have controlled Siachen for 32 years, Dokhlam is a cakewalk and can stay put for 70 years – climatically lesser challenge”.
7. India’s mobilisation is just 200 mtrs away, China has to go deeper by 20 Kms.
8. Tacit support by global biggies. Trump’s attempt at NK seen as a tactic to support India.
9. The stalemate may continue until October after which Chinese army does not have practice to stay there and Xi’s elections is done with.
10. China will continue to nibble at India even if this issue resolves.

No war threat!


Vaidya K Iyer

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