Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Galwan Valley standoff and Dilemmas for New Delhi

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Galwan Valley standoff and Dilemmas for New Delhi

The abrogation of Article on whatsoever grounds has put strains in the strings of foreign policy of India
Galwan, Depsang and DBO Road are but a new normal these days. With roaring of jets and the continuous amassing of troops amid Global Pandemic by recognised Nuclear Powers in the Valley of Galwan, Ladakh UT of Union of India has put both countries on brink of yet another war. The de- escalation mechanism in place has largely failed as the Chinese ambitions over rightly put cold water on such initiatives with rising flare of so called Corona Virus and related blame game for Chinese henious designs. The escalation touched hights when 20 soldiers of the Indian Army got killed in fierce scuffle on 15th of June 2020. Thereafter the grapevine abuzz of retaliation and prolonged escalation amid usage of Akash Missile system and et al remains to be hotbed on the table of analysis. It’s pertinent to state that temporary structures have been established by Chinese PLA amid speculation of grabbing Land of Indian side is yet to get confirmation especially after PM Modi assured of no such ground position by PLA. Now on the other side China has officially laid Sovereignty claim on whole Galwan Valley which was rejected by establishment in Delhi as expected. As far as the relationship of India - China is concerned, the history has remained witness to usual strain and stress in the chain with tilt towards China. This rests on bases of Geographical confrontation to Strategic one and the tussle for big power ambitions in contemporary era. The strengthening of China Pakistan relationship has been amplified due to this rivalry on global stage. Keeping this in view the Indian strategic leverage or influence as has been witnessed on other platforms especially for the rights of Developing world seems in troubled waters. The LAC has been largely peaceful except on certain occasions especially Dokhlam standoff. However the dramatic turn of China at Ladakh and huge deployment of troops and weaponry seems exceptional in the sense of prevailing Global Pandemic especially its origin and handling South China Sea engagement and Hongkong protests. All these events point to a usage of muscle power for a great cause not just a small scale escalation as has happened in the past at the LAC. Strategic shift or usual escalation?
China is at the centre stage of Global pandemic origin and handling especially when seen through prism of US’s approach. There are two prominent and trending theories behind move of China at Ladakh. On one hand the China is deemed as frustrated in view of COVID dubious origin and handling which swept almost every corner especially super power America. This corner believes that China is trying to hide the facts of the case and divert attention of Global community from real issue confronted by establishment in Beijing. This theory puts Hongkong and Taiwan as yet another motivational factor behind Chinese incursions and fierce fights at LAC. Moreover the belief of escalation at small scale is also preserved by this stand of the intellectual community. On the other hand it’s pertinent to state that COVID virus has indeed swept nook and cranny of Globe but the facts aren’t coterminous with LAC and South China Sea. Since the Virus is of global nature and the South China Sea dispute has been thing of past amid tough stand of China in Honkong affairs there’s little scope for People to give it a vote of confidence. However the balanced stand leads to a suitable and satisfactory target to unravel reality behind Chinese designs. And the prolonged escalation amid claims over Galwan valley is making it so tough to go with this trend. Now what lies at back of China’s hide feeling stance at the hands of Xi jingping are somewhat different from what has been Chinese stand all the time in history of world.
With a series of pacts ranging from 1993 agreement to 1996 and 2013 maintenance of peace and tranquility at the LAC and peaceful and mild shave off during Docklam Standoff, the optimistic opinion in the wee days was a conventional and usual incursion due to misunderstanding. But the onslaught with fierce fights and building of structures uncovered real designs quicker than one would have expected. The reality which the ongoing encounter is pointing to reached its fruitful result when PLA showed designs of controlling DBO Road leading to Karakoram Highway. And the continued use of pressure politics to get India accept the dictates. The reality of such move is therefore viz to stop the DBO Road infrastructure, to test the patience and defence mechanism of India, to favor the all weather friend Pakistan in spirit of enemy’s enemy is a friend, to present the prowess of Chinese Nation as Super Power and to set the new normal of acting as dictator on Global podium. To start with Chinese President has successfully managed to script a novice strategy with change in Constitution of letter as well as spirit. Hide feeling tage of Mao has been sent to world of ghosts with initiation of economic mammoth BRI and CPEC which connects China with rest of world through lanes of communication. It is actually a linkage to to interconnect global consumers with Beijing’s export hub. Now the DBO link provides India an advance to Karakoram Highway which is deemed as juglar vein of China-pak axis. This axis strengthens the strain and pressures on China to safeguard the vulnerable link from Indian influence. The fingers overlooking the Road are but a nucleus to be taken under control for any future misadventure and other designs.
China is playing an Economic card with political designs which is actively manifested in usage of VETO , WHO funding and dictates, rejection of ICJ rulings, involvement in domestic concerns like Mayanmar, push for Renmenbi as Global currency et Al. This prowess is banked on economic base of China which is in the stage of paying back the investment of 20th century. The global exporter is in a strategic shift especially after Trump order of US seeing retreat from various corners of world. The LAC standoff is nothing but a tactic deployed by China to read the use of physical power and try to apply dictates at the global stage. Moreover this paradigm changed to a sensitive thinking in establishments at Beijing and Islamabad after India abrogation of Article 370. Since Pakistan’s initiative to involve third party is rejected on stand of India that Kashmir is bilateral in spirit of Shimla Agreement. However the Pakistan establishment succeeded in persuading China to denounce the unilateral action of India to abrogate Article 370. It is to be noted that China took it very serious in backdrop of changing status of Ladakh to UT which it deems is in  contradiction to claims it is laying along LAC and oft repeatedly stated India The combined factors compelled China to lock horns which was expectedly supported by Pakistan. The abrogation of Article on whatsoever grounds has put strains in the strings of foreign policy of India. There are such similar factors behind this Chinese desire and claims regarding LAC. Moreover Chinese prowess has altogether different concerns and priorities now which shall be kept in mind while dealing by Indian establishment. The stakes of super power stardom and dictates at Global stage are similar concerns in front of China which may never be compared with past rhetoric of Border misunderstandings. The structure we manifest regarding standoff as usual is resting on sandy base which may disrupt everything and get caught us unawares. The serious thinking has to be panned out for positive outcome otherwise the escalation is going to pick status supremacy tussle which may cost dear for India.
Summing up the entire edifice rests on the sound footing of fact that China is battling status supremacy concerns not countries at the Borders. The claims, stakes and strategic compulsions of China have changed more than expected. The US retreat and anti-China Policies has toughned the stand of China on almost all the issues it faces in the contemporary era. China is showing eyes to Japan on Island issue, Canada on Honkong issue, Britain on citizenship concerns etc. It has been more proactive after change in Constitution and insertion of Xi’s Philosophy in guiding principles. The era of China is insight however the reality of era looks poisonous after South China Sea stand and LAC incursions. The realism policy of India has to be amplified to attain spot in the tussle for status supremacy.

Writer Shahid Majeed Mir can be reached at mirshahid363@gmail.com

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