By Vishnu Som | NDTV
NEW DELHI, India, 24 August 2020
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said today that India has “military options” to deal with China regarding the incursions in Ladakh if the military and diplomatic level talks do not produce the desired results.
The stalemate in part of Ladakh, where the Chinese army set up camp earlier this year, has not been resolved despite five rounds of talks between the military of both nations.
“The military option to deal with transgressions by the Chinese Army in Ladakh is on, but it will be exercised only if talks at the military and the diplomatic level fail,” General Rawat was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He, however, refused to discuss in detail the military options that India could exercise to push back the Chinese troops, reported ANI.
The stand-off between India and China which started in April-May had led to clashes and on 15 June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action at Galwan Valley. The Indian Army also inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese soldiers in what turned out to be the worst clash between the troops of the two nations in more than five decades along the Line of Actual Control.
The two nations had agreed on disengagement since but the withdrawal of troops is still not complete.
Chinese soldiers continue to occupy positions in depth on slopes along Finger 5 and on slopes extending towards Finger 8, satellite pictures showed. India believes the Line of Actual Control lies at Finger 8, near Fort Khurnak, a historic site in the area.
China believes that the LAC lies at Finger 4 and prevented Indian soldiers from patrolling beyond the point since April after violent clashes at the spot left dozens of Indian soldiers seriously injured.
India is keen to ensure substantive Chinese disengagement from the Fingers region.
The last Lieutenant-General level talks were held on 2 August. Its focus was to finalise a framework for total disengagement from friction points and timely withdrawal of forces and weapons, army sources had said.
Sounds like the CCP could be employing their
“tuõ yán zhèng cè (拖延政策) — time wasting policy, or literally “prolonging” policy”. (copy pasted from shadow Tibet).
But towards what end and When? In the freezing winter? Buying time???
This goes to show India’s frustration at the Chinese belligerence. While it is said, General Rawat is known to be trigger happy with his words, India is left with no choice than up the ante against Chinese intransigence.
So far whatever India did to pressure China including procurement of the five Rafael fighter jets from France, the Chinese have stuck to their guns. India can’t stand watching the enemy sitting on its territory that also at a very strategic location that affects India’s military manoeuvrability in a highly contested area.
India would have made all the strategic homework that is necessary in such momentous decisions. The greatest hurdle India has is not only dealing with communist China, it has Pakistan, China’s Iron brother, India has to fight two wars simultaneously.
The Chinese are preparing for war with the US either in the South China Sea or Taiwan. The US is supporting India and Russia might side with India or remain neutral. India has the support of the virtually the whole democratic world and those who are facing the brunt of Chinese aggression.
India is a peaceful country and has never committed aggression on other countries, It is unlikely India will start a war but there is a genuine danger of a war breaking out triggered accidentally like the June 15th clash.
In the event of a war in the high Himalayas, air power will decide the outcome of the war. It is often said that the reason India lost the war in 1962 was not using air power by PM Nehru. Nobody knows, why Nehru didn’t use the air power he had at his disposal. India has learnt it’s lessons and has built its military both in man power and fire power. It has more experience in mountain warfare than China, fighting Pakistan in the Siachen glacier and Kargil war.