Those three dots at the end could mean anything. For the moment, we know that China is moving back a few paces. But we do not know at all what to expect.
It’s not like we need extra convincing to guess that China never says what it means and never means what it says. But in this case, there is a grave historical precedent. Apparently, in 1962, China staged a similar “withdrawal,” from the same exact Galwan Valley. Three months later, the real war began.
We also have a chilling precedent in the last month alone. The Chinese appeared to have moved towards disengaging in June. When our patrol parties went to verify this, they were brutally ambushed. I guess a country that fakes its gold reserves can do no better.
The Chinese “disengagement” move could be just like 4% of their gold reserves: pieces of copper covered with gold plating. We have to be super careful at every step.
The great Ronald Reagan would say : “trust but verify.” In fact, it was a proverb that Reagan stole from the Russians and rendered in English. With China, we can’t afford even that. We don’t trust, we verify and even if it looks okay, we still don’t trust.
The problem with Chinese tactics is that they work strictly once. I don’t know any Chinese proverbs, but I know one in Hindi about “kaath ki handi” (wooden pot). You can place it on the fire just once. Never again.
Honestly, I don’t know what China wants. For me the big question is this: Does China want war with India or is it going wildly around the map, picking fights with everyone?
In the last few weeks, China has pulled off an incursion across the LAC, it has carried out cyber attacks on Australia and the guys at CGTN (the media arm of the govt) even went full r*tard and laid claim to the Russian city of Vladivostok.
If I may say something cautiously optimistic, China seems to have gone just plain crazy. And they don’t seem to appreciate how badly they are getting surrounded. The US State Department literally called them a rogue nation and sent three aircraft carriers into the Philippine Sea. Pretty much every country in that region : Japan, Korea and Taiwan, is hostile to China. India is readying defenses all along the border with China. The Australians decided to buy long range missiles for the first time in decades.
Especially in Australia, China’s several decade old strategy lies in tatters. The Chinese have always wanted to bring about a fundamental change in Australian thinking : getting them to see themselves as an Asian country instead of a Western one. Well, good going Xi Jinping … now Australia is pointing long range missiles at China.
So where is this craziness coming from? It is possible that Xi Jinping is in more trouble than he admits. We do not know how much China really suffered in this pandemic. Xi has removed term limits within the Communist Party. Obviously, this would have earned him more than a few enemies. And beyond a doubt, they would be using the situation to pull some strings against him. Is the Chinese dictator randomly looking for enemies to defuse the situation?
Honestly, something doesn’t add up. This is perhaps a unique moment in history. Global trust in China is at its lowest point in memory. Instead of damage control, we see China more belligerent than ever, seeking out enemies everywhere. We know China is powerful, but surely not so powerful that they can go against everyone at the same time. Would it not make more sense for China to ride out this year, win back some credibility and then strike at a later time?
This is why some of China’s sudden burst of militarism feels a desperate rather than carefully thought out strategy.
Well, we don’t know what China is thinking right now, but there is no doubt what they eventually want. China wants to be a superpower and until India submits to them, that will never happen. And India will always be a powerful country. It’s the conundrum of “irresistible force meets immovable object.”
For China there is only one way out. It has to smash India into pieces so small that they can never challenge Chinese hegemony. China needs Bharat ke tukde. And who is helping them achieve that dream? Think about it.