13. China Could Do a Kargil on India

Projecting conflict scenarios between the two Asian giants, a report titled A Consideration of Sino Indian Conflict  said, the lower end of the conflict at this level could be a Kargil-like situation

China’s aim could be to teach India a lesson so as to influence India’s rise before its capacity building underway acquires traction.

China could indulge in a “territorial grab” by entering an area such as Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

1. How is the “territorial grab” akin to the cause of the Kargil war?

2. Comment on the Sino-Indian conflict with reference to this topic



12 thoughts on “13. China Could Do a Kargil on India

  1. 1. Historically, Kargil war was the second limited conventional war between two nuclear weapons armed nations over territorial dispute, the first being the Sino-Soviet border conflict on the Ussuri River in 1969.
    In the Kargil war, the Pakistan Army tried to make use of the nuclear threshold to grab Indian territory in the garb of militants.
    The experience shows that as long as there are territory-related disputes, despite nuclear weapons deterrence rationality, the adversaries can indulge in limited border wars.
    In fact such wars have now become a more likely norm in the strategic environment where large scale capture of territories, forced regime change and extensive military damage on the adversary are ruled out.
    India’s defence planners have to bear this in mind as two of its largest neighbours, China and Pakistan, possess nuclear weapons and have longstanding territorial disputes with India

    China is better positioned for gaining super power status and may attempt to gain a position of dominance.

    We should be well prepared today for tomorrow’s war and not to be prepared for post war peace talks.

    2. Recently Army chief has given has expressed his concern over presence of china troops over here in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and there may be a possibility that Through Tawang of Arunachal Pradesh or Through ladakh China may enter to Grab a Teritory for expansion of base and teach a good lesson to india for 50years celebration of 1962 war Sino-Indian War
    This “could be a limited war confined to a specific section of the border or LAC, limited in duration and amenable to a negotiated termination” Says Experts.

    1. Open a file for India-China relations. Actually since noth Idia and China are nuclear powers and the world is also concerned over China’s string of pearls strategy, China will certainly think twice before attempting mischief. The recent decision to raise a large mountain warfare corps by India is a good move. But at the same time both countries must strive through economic diplomacy to remove suspicions of each other;s actions. China is scared of a guerrilla war by the Tibetans supported by India and the US. If such a thing happens and trouble breaks out on the Sinkiang front, China will be seriously affected. The border issue must be settled through talks.

      Let us remember that China also is afraid and its reactions over the South China Sea oil shows nervousness on its part. Its aggressive postures are the result partly of this nervousness.. More of this later.

  2. I agree with Chandar Raj in saying that such limited duration, section specific and amenable to negotiable termination wars are more likely in today’s scenario over large scale capture of territories.

    1. The report by Ali Ahmed for IDSA says that in wake of massive troop formation on Indo-China Line of Control (LoC), there is a possibility of limited attack to capture some disputed areas of Arunachal Pradesh & Tibet. China also wants to scotch the growth of India as an economic power in South Asia. So, this could be a limited edition war confined to specific sections of border like Ladakh, Central Sector, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This ‘territorial grab’ is quite a similar situation as in 1999 when hostilities were triggered in Kargil after Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants infiltrated towards Indian side of LoC. The aim of Pakistan’s Army was to give an impetus to the insurgency in the valley and Jammu & Kashmir, and to change the status of the LoC, i.e. occupy Indian part of territory.

    2. India is rising as an economic power, and it could be the aim of China to curb the growth of India. The report by Ali Ahmed of IDSA titled ‘A Consideration of Sino Indian Conflict’ outlines that the situation in some of the eastern states can grow similar to Kargil. It also published the statement of Indian Army Chief saying that the presence of Chinese troops on LoC and in PoK has been reported. If the aim of China is to teach India a lesson after half a century of Sino-Indian war, India should also be well prepared to handle the upcoming action. Also, the issue of presence of Chinese troops in PoK needs to be raised at the international level as it has serious consequences on the future of settlement of J&K issue.

    1. Please read my reply to Chanderraj. Your analysis is good. More of this later. Please try to persuade the students to participate in blogging. Unless they write, they can never improve. A bit of persuasion by people like you will make out Institute the best in the country. Often it is ignorance, nervousness and fear that comes in the way. Please sit with the lap top in the class and draw one or two into this activity. I propose using this tool to teach some lessons as well. Peer pressure is always helpful. I am sure that there is no site in India comparable to ours. Publicity is what we want. and people like you can do a lot. In spite of my recent family tragedy, you will appreciate my being back to work in two days.

  3. Before this possible Sino Indian Conflict which may eventually leads to Kargil-like war, let us look back at recent Sino Indian tensions

    A1> China showing Arunachal Pradesh as part China Map.
    A2> Issuing stapled china visa to residents of Arunachal pradesh and J &k.

    From Above points it is clear that china aims for good territory grab.

    A3> Similar to Pakistan, China also keep on creating trouble across border. Piling up of heavy troops across border and positioning war heads near border recently.
    A4> Presence of China in PoK.

    Again it is clear that china don’t care about India and ready for conflict any time.

    A5> Chine acquired Tibet with blood shed.

    Best example to know china’s mentality. It doesn’t care for any international pressure.

    From this I’ll conclude that china may encroach Indian soil but India won’t fight back properly, reason could be,
    1> India didn’t fight back against Pakistan after parliamentary attach, obliged to international pressure.
    2> China is more powerful than India, so obviously India with the fear may try to buy time to fight back.

    In this world I strongly believe in “Fittest will be the survival” and “If you have muscle power, you can do anything”(USA).

    Thank you

    1. Rather China is afraid of international concern over its jingoistic activity. Also let us remember that till 1950 China was constantly attacked and it cannot get over this fear. It is afraid of Russia, the Muslims in its provinces, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan , Tibetans and India. And China also knows that India of today is not the same as the India of 1962.. Read my comments on Approv’s blog. Request cooperation from you.

  4. Being surrounded by neighbourers like China and Pakistan, These 2 countries are very different and Pakistan’s stategy is always deviced by the USA all these days.
    But China is totally a diferent country and its is the super power and the manufacturing hub so no country can influence China.
    Having said that, China is very keen on Arunachal pradesh and trying to grab the intergal parts of Indian Land.
    But these tensions should be released by bilateral talks before the situation gets worsen. Since China is way stronger than any other nation of the world.
    But i feel every nation in the world dont want China to be a super power, if a situation of war arises there is a huge support that can be expected by other nation majorly the Europeans and Americans to India, and even China will have to take a very careful step as their words and action differ when it comes to Tibet, so China poses a major threat than India to other countries.
    A war from China’s side may not be of much use for them and they may face some of the internal clashes due to the anti-communist idealogies, if they have a major set back in the war, which should be a major cause of concern for China.
    It is better for both China and India to have a better understanding and solve the issues through talks by avoiding the scene of war..

    1. Before I begin would like to caution on the language part of your blog. The expression neighburers is wrong. I have corrected it. Also one or two other mistakes.

      It is not that China can get away with land grab. If China can do this to India, it will certainly try in Russia, South China Sea islands etc., And it dare not use its nuclear power. As you suggest negotiations are the only way out.
      Kndy ea my replies to others above.

  5. Land grab by China will not be a plausible option because it will trigger the coming together of all its enemies with whom it has territorial disputes. What are less spoken in Indian strategic circles are the incidents at Chola in 1967 and the 1987 Indo-China skirmish, the then PM, Indira Gandhi ordered the use of heavy artillery and the Chinese were given a bloody nose in 1967. In 1987, Operation Falcon was initiated to counter the Chinese build up on the other side. Also, note that it was during this time that Indian forces were graded to be the third strongest in the world in terms of fire power. But things have changed since then. The PLA has modernised its forces on much faster pace and has improved infrastructure on the other side of the border but that does not mean that the PLA can still have a plausible Kargil in Arunachal. The Arunachali is not hostile to India as the local population in Kashmir and there is no freedom movement in Arunachal Pradesh to say that they are freedom fighters occupying the heights or land. The hostile internal elements are in states south of Arunachal Pradesh. Also India’s trade with China is going to hit $100 billion by 2015. Conventional wisdom says you don’t kill your golden goose when Europe and America is entering a recession and there is bright prospect of Chinese goods finding markets in India. ‘Teaching a lesson ‘ might be overruled by conventional economic wisdom .

    1. Brilliant! Also, any prophesy of Sino-Indian conflict has the potential to become self-fulfilling! But there is a chance of ’62 repeating in the sense that China do something to ‘humiliate’ India(‘teach a lesson’?!). To China, it is also a question of regional hegemony-its actions near Indian border betray to us its nervousness due to us foraying into S.E.Asia etc.

    2. @ Verghese: For argument sake, Should India really worry *so* much about Chinese activities? Does China really deserve so much of media hype? Are we perturbed by the memory of ’62 that prevents us from bold, new decisions? Have we done enough in Central Asia, S.E.Asia, Indian Ocean to safeguard from Chinese “threats”?

      Shouldn’t we be worrying more about hunger, poverty, malnutrition, naxalism, corruption in executive and judiciary? Are China and Pakistan occupying an unreasonably high amount of our decision making bandwidth?

      What do you all think?

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