IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 25th Sep 2020
Someone else’s success does not equal a failure for you.– Joe Rogan
EDITORIAL HUNT #155 :“New Delhi should follow Chinese Plan | UPSC“
Gurdip Singh Uban
New Delhi should follow Chinese Plan | UPSC
Gurdip Singh Uban is former Inspector General, Special Frontier Force
Shadow force apart, India needs a China plan
With a resolution to the stand-off far away, New Delhi must study how Beijing has handled its other boundary disputes
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR : Sino - India Relations
New Delhi must carefully study and execute cartographic misadventures at the Line of Actual Control with the help of experts. Comment -(GS 2)
- Special Frontier Force
- Chinese intrusion and aggression
- What must be done.
- CONFLUENCE AND CHEMISTRY : The mystic, celestial snow lion, ‘Gang Seng Ge’ in local lore, derives its name from the Sanskrit Simha.
- SNOW LION : It also symbolises power, strength, fearlessness and the joy of living.
- ON THE OTHER SIDE : It is also the symbol and the flag of the intrepid, fearless warriors of the ‘Special Frontier Force’, prominently in the recent clashes in eastern Ladakh.
STAND-OFF IN THE HEIGHTS
- WESTERN COMMAND EXERCISE : It all started in April this year, when Chinese Western Theatre Command, having completed their exercises on the edge of the Gobi Desert, took to the Xinjiang highway.
- MARCHING AT FRONTIER : In a well-planned and rehearsed move, they branched off onto a series of feeder roads on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
- MULTIPLE INCURSIONS : Chinese troops initiated multiple incursions across the LAC in “No Man’s Land” patrolled by both sides (India and China).
- ASIA’S NUCLEAR GIANTS : The world watched in horror, as soldiers of two nuclear armed Asian giants engaged each other in a slug fest in Himalayas.
- INITIAL SURPRISE : Not a shot was fired, but the Indian Army which was initially surprised, reacted swiftly and with bravery and courage inflicted casualties to the Chinese side.
- STALEMATE : The inevitable fallout of these actions was both sides jostling for heights, leading to a stalemate.
- TABLE TURNS : Indian Army turned the tables on China by occupying heights that were not only of great tactical importance north and south of the Pangong Tso lake as also dominating the Spangur Gap.
- STRATEGIC LOCATION : It was now looking into the innards of the Chinese depth localities at Moldo including China’s armour, guns and reserves.
- FEAT ACCOMPLISHED : This amazing feat was accomplished primarily by a Ghost Army, the Special Frontier Force.
WORKING IN THE SHADOWS
- RISE OF SFF : As a consequence of the 1962 war, the Jawaharlal Nehru government ordered the raising of an elite Commando Force called the Special Frontier Force comprising among others.
- ESTABLISHMENT : SFF initially accompanied Tibetans who had sought refuge in India along with the Dalai Lama.
- ARMOUR : Initially aided and equipped by the United States, they quickly indigenised and were soon on their own feet.
- PROVING METTLE : The SFF was poised for the capture of Chittagong port in India-Pakistan war of 1971.
- TITLE : This earned them the nom de guerre, the ‘Phantoms of Chittagong’.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TIBET
- STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE : The strategic importance of Tibet cannot be overemphasised.
- NURTURED CIVILISATIONS : Brahmaputra, the Yangtse, the Yellow river, the Mekong, the Salween and the Indus — together with thousands of their tributaries have nurtured civilisations in peripheral countries for centuries.
- SPIRITUAL STRINGS : The Kailash Mansarovar, which is centered in this region and with its spiritual overtones, tugs at the heart strings of every Indian.
- CAPTURING TIBET : In an act of naked aggression, China occupied Tibet in 1959.
- CONTIGUOUS ZONE : A buffer was eliminated, and the de facto boundary of China became contiguous to that of India, a boundary deliberately left undemarcated to enable further expansion.
- CHINESE INTENTIONS : Mao Zedong declared, “Tibet is the palm that we shall occupy and then go after the five fingers, Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.”
- NAKED ACT OF AGGRESSION : Consequently, in 1959, China committed the naked act of aggression, Our dream of “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” was rudely shaken in 1962.
UNDERSTANDING CHINA’S STAND
- NEIGHBOURS AT DOOR : China has land borders with 14 neighbours covering an estimated 22,100 kilometres.
- MILITARY MUSCLE : Post independence, and as its economic status burgeoned, so did its military muscle.
- TARGETING WEAKEST : China embarked on claims based on perceived imbalances of treaties forced on countries when they were weak.
- LETHAL CLASHES : Some of these have since been resolved after bloody clashes such as with Russia and Vietnam.
- END RESULT : In most cases, the end result has been such that victory can be claimed by both sides.
WHAT MUST BE DONE
- PRECISION ACTIONS : There can be little doubt that the actions by the People’s Liberation Army, or the PLA, in Ladakh were pre-meditated, planned and executed with precision.
- DELIBERATED TRANSGRESSION : The Chinese were fully aware that they were transgressing into “No Man’s Land”.
- PRE-DETERMINED AIM : In mind Chinese proceeded to secure tactical heights and gained access to the areas which would forestall a counter-offensive by the Indian Army.
NEED FOR EXPERTISE
- EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF : Under the prevailing circumstances, it has become imperative to form a group of experts.
- THE GROUP : It should be among retired professionals, who have a proven track record with the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force.
- DIPLOMATIC TEAM : Diplomats, the intelligence services, cyber technology and cartographic services, who will plan and prepare, short-, medium- and long-term goals to achieve them within a suggested time frame.
Let us play down the rhetoric and adopt a pragmatic approach. It can no longer be a part-time issue to be addressed only when a crisis occurs. The crisis is upon us now.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | New Delhi Should Follow Chinese Plan | UPSC