India Today Web Desk | India Today
NEW DELHI, India, 8 February 2021
Emphasising that control over information is key to victory in modern warfare, Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be “combat ready” as nine rounds of talks to resolve military faceoff in eastern Ladakh between India and China have failed to defuse the border tension.
Ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year, Xi Jinping delivered a speech during a visit to the PLA air force unit recently. Chinese media quoted Xi Jinping as saying during his tour of the aviation unit, “During the Spring Festival, the entire army must strengthen combat readiness on duty to guard national security and the happiness and tranquillity of the people.”
The statement assumes significance in the backdrop of India and China having been locked in a military standoff since May 2020. Thousands of soldiers have stayed put through the harsh winter months of December and January in the sub-zero conditions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last week had said Ladakh standoff was a complex issue that needed military level talks to resolve the crisis. China had been reluctant to restore pre-April 2020 position along the LAC. India has been insisting on China moving back its troops.
Xi Jinping’s statement is also being interpreted in the context of China’s tussle with its maritime neighbours in the east, particularly across the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
At the aviation unit, Xi Jinping inspected a special aircraft designed for information warfare and said the right to control information in modern wars had become the key to victory in the war.
Incidentally, Chinese state media euphorically reported about deployment of new weaponry along the LAC with India. It gave details about how Xi Jinping-headed Central Military Commission was closely supervising the deployment of troops and logistics supply for frontline troops.
The deployment of new weaponry along the borders has been described in Chinese media as “holiday gifts”.
These weapons include 155mm-caliber vehicle-mounted howitzers, armoured assault vehicles and light tanks, particularly Type 15 light tanks, which have been deployed in the high-altitude areas along the LAC. These tanks are considered an asset in quick response military combat in low oxygen-level areas. China’s most advanced howitzer, PCL-181, has been deployed at the northern foot of the Tien Shan mountains, not very far from Ladakh.
The Global Times, however, referred to the US’s actions in the South China Sea in 2020 around the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival while explaining Xi Jinping’s statement asking the PLA to enhance combat readiness.
India must be fully prepared for war with communist China. Only aggressive preparation for war will deter the communist regime from another adventure. If India shows weakness in its military preparedness, that will be seen as weakness and China will take advantage of it and attack India.
Apart from national war preparedness, India must align itself with democratic forces like the other Quod partners ever closer to ramp up military and diplomatic power. The days of pussyfooting with China in order to maintain friendly relationship is over.
China sees India as a competitor and not a harmless compliant neighbour anymore. That’s why it uses its proxy Pakistan to wage a covet war in Kashmir to keep India bogged down to prevent it from spreading its wings on the international stage.
China has already occupied 1000 square kilometres of territory in Eastern Ladakh. Dictator Xi’s call for the PLA to be “combat ready” is to ramp up pressure on India to accept the status quo.
India must not budge and instead align with like minded nations like the Quod members to enhance its power. The non-alignment policy has only isolated India and did nothing to advance India’s ambitions of becoming a world power or project its power beyond its borders.
This time India must not remain a spectator in the tussle between democratic Taiwan and communist China like it did with Tibet. India must remember the wise dictum of Chanakya which goes; THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND. Since, China is using Pakistan to needle India why can’t India do the same by supporting Taiwan?
China will respect only if you play hard ball with them. China has never respected India because India acted like a shy bride to the testosterone driven China. It became a door mate to be used and abused.