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PoliticsIndiaWhy Chinese video on Galwan clash is more than military jingoism

Why Chinese video on Galwan clash is more than military jingoism

On the opening day of the 20th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) yesterday, a clip of 15 June 2020, the day of the clash between the Indian and Chinese armies in Galwan of eastern Ladakh was played, with the then Chinese military commander toasted as a hero of the ceremonial meeting in Beijing, much as global observers of the skirmish, the US and Russia, had noted at the time that China had suffered casualties at least double those of India. The Chinese military commander also carried the 2022 Winter Olympic Games torch held in Beijing.

While President Xi Jinping, soon to be elected as China’s paramount leader for the third time, showcased the bloody skirmish at Galwan to flaunt the military prowess of the nationalistic PLA, it also deliberately identified democratic India as a principal adversary of the Communist dictatorship. The Xi Jinping regime has tried to project the Galwan clash as a victory for the PLA as it claimed to have lost four men against 20 soldiers of the Indian Army.

However, based on PLA communication intercepts and helicopter evacuations on that fateful day, the Indian Army believes that the Chinese Army lost anywhere between 43 to 67 men on the banks of the freezing Galwan river. “China lost 42 soldiers in the June 2020 Galwan Valley clash, said quoting a report by the Australian newspaper The Klaxon. The report, released earlier this year, was put together by social researchers.

In the speech that followed the battle clip, a jingoistic President Xi Jinping focused on his continued efforts to make China more militarily and economically powerful with the capacity and capability to challenge the West led by the US. He reiterated his desire to co-opt democratically ruled Taiwan into China with or without force.

Revealing their hatred for India, the Chinese Communist Party played the Galwan conflict clip, which may have strong repercussions for Sino-Indian relations.

Sixty years ago, the Chinese PLA on October 16, 1962, was readying itself for an on Daulat Beg Oldi and Galwan with the military objective of imposing a unilateral 1959 boundary line and making cartographical changes in East Ladakh.

Official war history records state that in a meeting on 22 September 1962, then-Foreign Secretary MJ Desai conveyed that then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was willing to accept some loss of territory in eastern Ladakh. The PLA, outnumbering the Indian Army 3 to 1, attacked DBO and Galwan on 19 October 1962, morning and changed the bilateral relations forever.

Analysis of President Xi’s speech and the war propaganda before clearly indicates that China will neither de-escalate from eastern Ladakh nor allow the Indian Army to patrol the Depsang plains or the Charding nullah junction in Demchok. By creating buffer zones on patrolling points 14, 15 and 17 in Galwan and Gogra-Hot Springs, the PLA has strengthened its claims on the 1597 km LoAC in eastern Ladakh.

China will evidently continue to prop up Pakistan to box way above its weight category to keep India in check, while at the same time blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other multilateral institutions. Beijing will continue to act as a hurdle to the designation of Pakistan-based terrorists and terror groups by exercising its veto powers in support of its client state.

Just as the Galwan clash came as a surprise to PLA, which expected the Indian Army to fall back as it did on Pangong Tso lake in May 2020, the sacrifice of Col Babu and his valiant men has thrown off the burden of the 1962 war from shoulders of Indian troopers and commanders. It is time that the sympathisers of China get a reality check.

In India, Tamil Nadu has flagged serious security concerns over the increased presence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in Sri Lanka. An alert issued by the State’s intelligence agency a few days ago said the activities of the Chinese in the neighbouring country is a concern to national security and called for intensified vigil along the coastline.

The movement of PLA cadres and deployment of hi-tech gadgets such as satellites, drones and other communication equipment in northern Sri Lanka required constant surveillance in coastal districts, the advisory sent to all cities/districts in the State said. Citing sources, the alert claimed that the PLA deployed sophisticated gadgets in the garb of launching sea cucumber farming.

Tamil Nadu has flagged serious security concerns over the increased presence of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in Sri Lanka. An alert issued by the State’s intelligence agency a few days ago said the activities of the Chinese in the neighbouring country is a concern to national security and called for intensified vigil along the coastline.

The movement of PLA cadres and deployment of hi-tech gadgets such as satellites, drones and other communication equipment in northern Sri Lanka required constant surveillance in coastal districts, the advisory sent to all cities/districts in the State said. Citing sources, the alert claimed that the PLA deployed sophisticated gadgets in the garb of launching sea cucumber farming.

Chinese hatred for India evident in trade and commerce too

China is, meanwhile, upset with Apple which moved its iPhone 14 manufacturing to southern India. Beijing would be hoping that genuine or orchestrated political turmoil in South India in near future will make the US company realise its folly. Given that President Xi’s speech had nothing new to offer in terms of reforms or even Covid lockdown relaxation, the multi-national companies will move towards India, provided the Modi government does not allow strikes and protests to prevail in the name of democracy.

Last week, former ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale said in an interview that the ongoing tensions along the India-China border would worsen the relations between the two countries over time — according to Mint. As tensions between China and the West rise, the spectacular differences in the value systems of New and Beijing will only aggravate tensions. Speaking of the future, Ambassador Bambawale said China wishes to be seen as the pre-eminent superpower in and India will need to bridge the gap by focusing on rapid economic growth.

The Financial Express has written that Xi’s next term is unlikely to be very different from his second one. China under him will likely remain stubborn in not allowing greater market access to Indian merchandise as well as services without more attractive counter-offers from India, further tilting the already-massive trade imbalance in its favour.

Finally, Pakistan has so far avoided being on the black list of the FATF with the help of close allies like China, Turkey and Malaysia.

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