For more than 40 days now, not a single day has passed when there is not a new kind of veiled or direct threat from Chinese media, army or government regarding Doklam standoff. The issue refuses to die down & Indian media channels are projecting as if war with China is imminent . If the thought of war and its fallouts are freaking you out, then I have only one thing to say “Just Chill 😎 “. The way Indian government has shown maturity in handling this crisis with a cool head instead of giving in to the pressure tactics of Chinese gives me enough confidence.
India has neither backed off from the status quo nor will it do in future unilaterally despite all this threats. And believe me this will not lead to war. Here are the reasons why I am saying so:
- It’s all about Money, honey: It’s no hidden fact that China is 2nd largest economy and it will not do anything foolish which will adversely impact its economic growth. War is the last thing Xi Jinping will be interested in , especially at a time when Chinese growth has been slowing for past 3 years and country is facing challenge to new get markets for its surplus goods.
- CPEC issue: India did not succumb to Chinese bluff and plainly refused to be part of Belt & Road Forum held in May this year. The reason is simple – CPEC passes through PoK which is Indian territory, illegally occupied by Pakistan. While rest of the world participated in the forum, the fastest growing economy i.e. India’s absence put a question mark on the OBOR project and huge embarrassment for Chinese. Any misadventure with India will seriously impact this entire project where China has made humongous investments.
- 90 years of PLA : 5 days ago China celebrated 90 years of PLA. As a pure play political move Chinese premier has to send strong signals to his army and countrymen. Threatening India over Doklam issue was a part of the strategy. China thought that India would retract due to fear and it will raise stature of Xi Xinping , thus a morale booster to army on its 90th anniversary. But nothing happened as per the script. China couldn’t have stepped back all of sudden during this celebration and to save its face , the standoff continues. It will continue for some more months while this news will die its own death and China will silently pull back its army. If there had been any agreed solution between NSA of both countries , it will be implemented. There are already signs of softening of stand by China
- Advantage for India in Indian Ocean & Straits of Malacca : China is aware that 80% of its fuel supply, which drives its economy passes through Indian Ocean and straits of Malacca. Indian Naval presence is very strong in this region. If there happens to be a war, India would cut the supply lines and thus choke its economy. This move will hurt them where it matters the most.
- Strategic Advantage for India : As far as Doklam region is concerned , India’s location has advantage of 1:9 in terms of ratio. In other terms, 1 Indian soldier will be enough to handle 9 Chinese soldiers. And if we consider full front war, than the research says at least 1:3 ratio is needed for offensive side to decisively win a war. Going by these numbers the situation doesn’t favor Chinese ( 13 Lakh Indian army men vs 23 Lakhs Chinese)
- Role of UN : If the dispute escalates further and there are chances of war, UN will come into picture and will intervene to douse the fire. Everyone understands ,this war may soon grow into a world war and annihilate the world.
- India & China are growth engines of the world : Both India & China know that they are growth engines of the world. They will not do anything foolish to put their growth at risk and 2.6 billion people’s lives at risk. Though there is communist government in China which is less answerable to its citizen than democratically elected Indian government, neither country wants a war. This will put pressure on their own government before any kind of misadventure.
- China behaving like Gali ka Gunda : Just like a local goon who wants to gain limelight by scaring people by using his muscle flexing , China has been doing the same to its smaller neighbours like Phillipines, Veitnam, Mongolia, Taiwan etc. But this time it mistook India as soft & weak state , thus landing itself in such a situation which is leading it to embarrassment.
- Internationl Support for India : In past 3 years , India’s foreign policy has made tremendous success and achievement. In a world where there are the lot of problems eg: Brexit, Syria war, US-Russia standoff, North Korea- US enmity, Gulf crisis, Qatar crisis etc.. India is the only nation who has excellent relations with almost all the countries. This is a diplomatic and strategic advantage for India to put pressure on China ( Recent Malabar exercises between Japan , US and Indian navies are an example). Moreover most of the nations are aware of the Chinese threat – both economic and military. The domestic environment in their own countries like job loss or economic slowdown is somehow related to dumping of cheap products from China. They will have one more reason to hate China in such kind of fragile political environment.
- Can result in potential world war : China currently has border disputes with 18 countries . In event of a war there is a very high probability that other countries may be pulled into this conflict and situation may result in 3rd world war. Below quote of Albert Einstein perfectly fits this situation. No one wants that kind of destruction.
- Both are nuclear powers : India & China , both have huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons. China is well aware that India has nuclear Triad and one of the very few countries with that kind of capability. Nuclear weapons will act as a deterrent against war.
- India of 2017 is different from India of 1962 : India had lost war of 1962 with China primarily due to political foolishness than inadequacy of resources. But current India has both a strong political leadership and a highly trained and professional army. Our generals have experience of 3 wars in our independent history of 70 years. Our troops are better trained than Chinese. Chinese troops have advantage of numbers but lack in war experience.
- Chinese investments in India : Chinese companies have huge investments in India. They cannot afford to risk those investments. They are well aware about the consequences. Recent move of government blocking pharma takeover by China —is a perfect example how India has the capability of arm-twisting Chinese .
All through this episode of Doklam standoff, what has immensely impressed me is the attitude and maturity shown by Indian government. We haven’t succumbed to Chinese psychological pressure and never gave a loose or rhetorical statement. On the contrary China, through its state controlled media like Global Times , embassy officials, Army chief etc. have been threatening India on a daily basis. Perhaps China never thought that India would respond in such strong and firm manner.
Chinese will eventually blink, it’s just a matter of time and dragon is waiting for a face-saving move to do so. Till then be calm and see how this entire episode unfolds. Jai Hind !!