The Chinese Threat: India Needs to Watch Its Steps

Chinese troops training Pak army, a concern for India

Chinese troops training Pak army, a concern for India

Just when I had started to think that perceived threat along international borders is little overrated, my optimism was proved unfounded. I am referring to the latest news on the glaring possibility of our two not-so-friendly neighbours teaming up against us. In very clear terms the news report stated that Chinese troops are training Pakistan army across the India-Pakistan border in Kashmir.

The details of the report are unnerving even for those who would like to believe that both China and Pakistan have genuine interest in ensuring durable peace with India. Citing that the developments have enough ingredients to predict a military gang-up between Pakistan and China, the reports claimed that the intelligence wing of the Border Security Force (BSF) has received inputs about Chinese troops training Pakistani counterparts in “weapon handling” techniques opposite the Rajouri sector of the international border.

The story of impending conflict seems to have been sown. What further fills the scene with gloom is another hint of a precarious situation – Pakistani army units have taken control of several forward posts in Rajasthan’s Sriganga sector. It used to be manned by the Pakistani Rangers (paramilitary forces).

The reasons why experts are not ruling out the possibility of China covertly teaming up with Pakistan against India is because of its long-standing policies that clearly reflect pro-Pakistani stand. Or else, how would someone explain the fact that China issues stapled visas to Indians in Kashmir and gives regular visas to people residing in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir?

Let me take you back to 8 Nov, 2014 when ‘Iron friends’ China and Pakistan inked 20 bilateral agreements, which made way for Chinese investment worth $46 billion. In fact Chinese President Xi Jinping informed Nawaz Sharif during the latter’s visit to Beijing that the two nations will continue to ‘support each other’ and ‘strengthen cooperation.’ You can belittle this development as regular diplomacy, but can you rule out the fact that the two are slightly in a hurry to mend their sour relations and create a rosy perception.

Ever since the baton of government was handed over to Modi, India has been slowly shedding its image of a submissive neighbor and sometimes stopping short of being offensive. What could have probably triggered this aggressive posturing of China is the continuous resilience that our government has shown towards their warnings.

India had turned deaf ears to China’s intimidating rhetoric after the former announced its plans to build 54 new border posts in Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, Beijing has been feeling slightly cornered after New Delhi made it clear that it intends to add about 12,000 new personnel to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police that guards the Indo-China border. Beijing had also objected to India’s plan of building a 1,800-km-long highway along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.

The reason for reprising these recent developments is to reinstate the apprehension that China might not be getting its hand dirty by indulging in a full-scale war with India, but it would definitely like to fulfill its ambition of seizing territories from India by creating a near-war situation between New Delhi and Islamabad. In this context, the news of Chinese troops training their Pakistani counterparts seems to be a vindication of the doubt that Beijing will not really fight a war, but will act as a catalyst.

Under such circumstances, the Modi government’s decision to clear defence projects worth little more than $13 billion assumes significance. India will have to cover a lot of ground to match up to China’s military prowess, and that will take time. Until then, we have to be most vigilant about the China threat.


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