‘What China will do next’ has been a matter of intrigue and much speculation in the arena of world politics. For a country that is obsessed about becoming the greatest and most respected power in the world, nothing seems too much, not even occupying the lands of other countries and claiming them as theirs says Maroof Raza in his newly released book Contested lands.
In the book it is stated that China’s modus operandi is also well known as it has a notoriously long history of walking into other’s lands and claiming the territory by changing the ground position and then citing ancient historical claims. China’s approach to maps is also different from everyone else’s because they are all about Beijing’s intentions. Why is China such an expansionist?
China wants to be the world’s most preeminent by 2050 and the only country that will challenge their rise to that position is the United States of America. Now US is doing everything to prevent that. However, for 25-30 years between 1970 to 2010, US steadily made convenient for China to become rich and powerful thinking that if China becomes rich and powerful, it will join the other rich and powerful western countries. I always say that US has more thinktanks that the British Army has tanks but they still get every solution wrong because that they start from the logic that their aim is to show China is rich and wealthy. They believed that once that will happen China will become a part of the western democracy. The point is that they don’t do enough homework. Instead of going this way, they should actually study the Chinese mentality and set up and then decide on an aim. US does this mistake every time. In Iraq, they went in on an assumption that they will change the regime and create a democracy. In the process, they destroyed a perfectly functioning country their other arguments not withstanding whether it was about oil or something else. now. Look at the level of human rights abuse in those areas now!
How is that China is so dominating when it comes to warfare while Pakistan operates through stealth and terrorism?
Till 47-48, Pakistan was basically the stooge of the British, who wanted it to occupy the valley and the northern area and run it as a semi-autonomous area in which the British could also have a stake. My earlier book on Kashmir has details on it. Pakistan was a two-part operation run by three British officers. When the first attack in 47 came to notice of Nehru, he was so angry that he threw a paper weight on Sardar Baldev Singh. The thing with Nehru was that he liked having stupid people around him so that they could not threaten him with a coup.
Second time when Pakistan attacked us in 65, they were told by a think tank in America that if you do the same operation that you did in 47-48 with a few modifications, you can easily win take over Kashmir. They did that but they didn’t expect India to respond with the air force and the entire army and they were caught on the backfoot. In 71, they didn’t expect India to take over Bangladesh because they thought that they will repeat their actions of 65 and defeat India. They thought it would be a stalemate with them attacking on the western front as well. They had no idea that India was having a plan to move Russian troops to east Pakistan. Although Dhaka was not the objective, but eventually it became because of the success of the troops got on the ground.
So, Pakistan has been foolish most of the times. They don’t have any strategic thinking. China has been working on a plan on Aksai Chin from the very beginning as they want to control the waters there. And from the waters they also want to control the mineral resources because Aksai Chin is connected to Sinkiang which was the place Russians were using earlier to get whatever Uranium they needed for their first nuclear plant. China wanted to replicate the Russian model because Mao believed that having a nuclear weapon was the only certificate needed to be a great power.
“However experts warn that India too must be prepared for consequences as China would instigate Pakistan to ramp up its terror game and show itself more aggressively in the unsettled boundaries around Kashmir and Ladakh and in the Indian Ocean region…….For India, stalling China’s northwards movement to the Karakoram Pass is essential to prevent a China Pakistan military encirclement of India’s Leh plateau and Siachen glacier.”
What if Pakistan and China attack India together?
This is what people have been expecting and talking about. Central point to understand is that if Pakistan attacks India, China may not want to attack India. China does not engage in a conflict when it doesn’t see a very tangible set of goals it can achieve by creating that conflict. China knows that they can cause problems with cyber attacks or even bio terrorism (COVID is a case point here), then why will they attack physically because tactically the Chinese fear Indian troops. Strategically China has an edge over India. So, China will only attack when it is fully prepared in all dimensions to have a resounding victory over India like they had in 1962, which doesn’t seem a possibility in the near future. But if China attacks India, assuming that it feels that all other issues like Taiwan or Japan do not require that much involvement, then Pakistan may use that opportunity to also attack India.
In the recent movie Uri, they showed that India could look at and map terror camps using satellites. Is our satellite capacity that great?
China has a better satellite capacity than India, it is only second to US. I was told that the movie really doesn’t talk about the reality and it was more or less Bollywood hyped up masala to give the impression that our people operate like the Americans. There were all those helicopters shown. Jargons like mission aborted or copy that were used. Firstly, the term copy that is not used in Indian army. They say roger instead. On the whole, the movie did not accurately depict how our military operates.
Recently, Pentagon has been telling India that there is Chinese build-up near the Indian border. Why do you think that is happening? Why is America so worried about India?
US keeps creating this fear in India of China so that India becomes more and more integrated with America and becomes a part of an alliance. They did that in the 50s and the 60s. If you look at how then the Americans were pushing India into a conflict with China through the IB Chief Bhola Nath Mullick. Its an old strategy which is designed to create fear and ensure that India goes to America. Once India does that, America will tell them that beyond a point it will only provide assistance to India if it joins America as a full-fledged alliance partner and not engage with countries like Russia. Their primary aim is to get India off Russia and China. India has gone off China but it can’t seem to get India out of Russia. So that’s why they keep creating these fear syndromes where in because of the fear of a Chinese attack, India may join the Americans. And when India does join America as a full-fledged partner, America will tell India that if they abandon Russia as a defence partner, only then will they completely support India against China. The truth is that these alliances are all about selling weapons. There is nothing good in them.
So, hypothetically speaking, if India does become an alliance partner, will America help in protecting India in the event of a full-blown attack by China?
As far as protecting India. the case point is Taiwan which has been an alliance partner of America for so many years. However, it is only now that America has said that they will protect Taiwan in case of a Chinese attack. This is also the case with Japan, a country which has been America’s sidekick ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened. As per me, Japanese are a strange people that they sided with the country which literally burnt their people alive. The only reason why Japan sided with America was because after the attacks it was completely destroyed. America rebuilt Japan like it rebuilt Germany. When America rebuilt Japan, they even wrote the constitution of Japan. They built in clauses like Japan would be associated with democracy and left no room for the Japanese to question the wisdom or stupidity of democracy.
So, even when Japan had an aerial standoff with the Chinese about the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, the Americans said that we will only help Japan if it gets hit by the Chinese first. You think Chinese will give a trial punch to the Japanese? If the Chinese will hit them, they will hit them to destroy them in one go. What will Americans respond to then? There may be second strikes but the first attacker will get the advantage. In case the same thing will happen to India, a more reliable partner would be Russia. In the war of 1971, Russia not only supported India in the UN but also moved 40 divisions on to the Chinese border. Their policy was simple for China. If China attacks India, Russia will attack China, which will definitely distract China and ease the pressure off India.