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Author Topic: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China)  (Read 50448 times)
G M
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« Reply #150 on: February 27, 2017, 10:13:55 PM »

This is a fairly accurate article and captures the current Indian thinking vis a vis China. Something that is not captured in most contemporary articles is the mood in India is quite positive, the thinking is that India will overtake China in about 10-15 years economically. Demographics of India are better as compared to China. New Indian missiles reach all parts of China, so the military threat from China is no longer scary. The thinking is that China has not fought a war in 3-4 decades...does this generation of chinese soldiers even know how to fight anymore ? and do they want to start with India.

That is a key question. China's last war was with Vietnam. It didn't turn out well for them. The PLA has been quite corrupt and it is hard to say how well they will perform in combat.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #151 on: March 15, 2017, 12:19:20 PM »

This editorial from Bloomberg sums up the opportunity pretty well.  Prime Minister Narandra Modi ran on economic reform, has been working to turn the tide against corruption in government, has won a large number of seats in Parliament in recent election, is poised to win his own reelection next time around, giving him an extraordinary opportunity to implement real economic reforms.  India is the world's most populous democracy with relatively youthful demographics and need to create one million jobs per month.  This is not a table set for splitting up a fixed size pie.  Like us, they need to grow their economy, big time.  And if they do, what and important development that would be for the world economy and geo-politics and US foreign policy.  For another post, India is a natural ally of the US IMO but that relationship keeps getting distracted and deterred by other rivalries and forces.

"The only way to do so at the pace and scale required -- with nearly a million new job-seekers entering the market every month -- is to get private investment flowing again and to crack open India’s ossified land, labor and other factor markets."

Private investment is the key to widespread employment growth.  Who knew?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-13/modi-s-chance-to-reshape-india-s-economy

Modi's Chance to Reshape India's Economy,   Bloomberg editors, MARCH 13, 2017

After his party’s triumph in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest and most politically important, Prime Minister Narendra Modi now wields greater power than any Indian leader in a generation. He will need it if he wants to continue to reshape India’s economy.

True, the results don’t drastically alter the math in the upper house of Parliament in New Delhi, where previous reform efforts have stalled, and the polls themselves were hardly a referendum on market liberalization. Yet Modi’s popularity is also inseparable from the pledge that won him office in 2014: to deliver the jobs India’s burgeoning population desperately needs (and thus far, isn’t getting). The only way to do so at the pace and scale required -- with nearly a million new job-seekers entering the market every month -- is to get private investment flowing again and to crack open India’s ossified land, labor and other factor markets.

Some of this should now be more possible at the national level. Modi could, for instance, begin cleaning up and selling off inefficient state-run banks in order to unclog the investment pipeline. The opposition Congress Party could perhaps afford to be obstructionist when swathes of the electorate had real doubts about Modi’s agenda. Facing a clear consensus in favor of good governance and faster economic development, and lacking any credible leader to rival Modi, the party will have a harder time blocking reforms.

More important, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party now controls territories comprising more than 60 percent of India’s population. That grouping presents an ideal testing ground for difficult land and labor reforms. While some measures have been attempted thus far, they haven’t been as far-reaching or as coordinated as they could be. Modi can change that by pressing state leaders to combine their efforts and resources into a more ambitious liberalizing agenda.

None of this is to say that Modi’s recent focus on cleaning up politics and the economy isn’t worthwhile, or that smaller reforms -- opening up more sectors to foreign direct investment, say -- aren’t welcome. It’s critical that the rollout of an already approved nationwide goods-and-services tax proceed swiftly and smoothly. Modi will have to be careful, too, to keep a check on more extreme voices in the BJP, who may take the party’s electoral success as license to promote a more hard-line religious agenda.

But with this victory, and facing the great likelihood of a second term in 2019, Modi has a renewed chance to give India the future its young and eager population deserves. He needs to seize it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #152 on: June 15, 2017, 11:59:42 AM »

Forecast Highlights

    Insurgent group Hizbul Mujahideen, with support from Pakistan, will seek to subvert former commander Zakir Musa’s breakaway faction in Kashmir.
    The factionalization of the Kashmiri insurgency could benefit India’s counterinsurgency operations.
    Musa’s hard-line Islamist vision and disinterest in secession will constrain his appeal in the progressive Kashmir.

During a 29-year battle against Indian sovereignty, several militant groups fighting an insurgency in the disputed region of Kashmir have risen and fallen. A recent high-level defection from the region's biggest and most active militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen, gave the militant separatist movement another jolt, exposing a divide along ideological — and generational — lines.

Until recently, Zakir Musa was a commander for Hizbul Mujahideen, which boasts some 200 fighters scattered throughout the districts adjacent to Kashmir's capital, Srinagar. On May 12, audio statements were released in which Musa disavowed both Pakistan and the fight for Kashmiri secession from India, which is the clarion call of the Kashmir struggle. He stated his desire to implement a hard-line interpretation of Islamic law in Kashmir, claiming that nationalism and democracy were not Islamic. Moreover, he threatened to behead the leaders of the All Parties Hurriyet Conference, the conglomeration of nonviolent separatist parties seeking Kashmiri secession through political means.

Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin, who resides in Pakistan, immediately condemned Musa's threats and called on local commanders to clear any further pronouncements directly with him. An angered Musa quit Hizbul Mujahideen on May 13 and soon after formed his own militant outfit. On May 15, he released a video announcing his new group, saying that, though it was not affiliated with al Qaeda, he was thankful to the terrorist organization for promoting Sharia.
Hard-Line Islamism Enters the Picture

Musa's statements suggest that an element of transnational jihadism is being introduced into the Kashmir conflict and lay bare an ideological divide that has been developing between the generations of insurgents. An older generation of rebels, such as the 71-year-old Salahuddin, have focused their efforts on self-determination and ridding the area of an Indian military presence. But the jihadist, anti-Pakistan movement represented by the 22-year-old Musa may be gaining traction. Musa himself was the successor to another 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani, whose death in July 2016 triggered months of deadly protests in Srinagar and heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. Like Musa, Wani also embraced the rhetoric of jihadism, though he didn't go so far as to unlink his group from Pakistan.

If Musa's new outfit gains a measure of success, it would shift the focus of an insurgency that has long been defined by a localized Islamism that values self-determination. And both Islamabad and New Delhi would be forced to worry more about transnational jihadists, such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda, gaining a foothold in the region. Pakistan, after all, is actively warring against transnational jihadists on its western front; it doesn't want them expanding in the east as well.

Pakistan's Strategy of Subversion

Since the start of the Kashmir insurgency, Pakistan has co-opted Kashmiri militants in a strategy designed to put pressure on India in the region. But that plan almost wholly depends on Islamabad being able to exert its influence over the insurgent groups. The loss of control that Musa's defection represents poses a fundamental challenge to Pakistan and could alter the delicate balance of power in the disputed region. Salahuddin and mainline Hizbul Mujahideen members, jarred by Musa's defection, will be working to subvert his breakaway faction and will likely try to kill him and his fighters. And Pakistan will provide support for those efforts.

Pakistan is currently fighting anti-state militants in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and its spring offensive is well underway. For Islamabad, it is important to maintain the status quo in Kashmir and avoid any events that would require large numbers of Pakistani troops to be shifted to away from the FATA. That's exactly what transpired after the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament by Pakistan-supported militants, after all, when a combined 1 million Indian and Pakistani troops faced off along the Line of Control in Kashmir, draining Pakistani resources at the FATA and allowing al Qaeda militants to more freely enter the semiautonomous region.

Any breakaway faction in Kashmir that espouses transnational jihadism — especially one led by Musa, who has shown no love for Pakistan — is bad for Pakistan's larger interests, and the country will be working with Hizbul Mujahideen to stamp out Musa's new group in a few ways. First, Pakistan will require Hizbul Mujahideen to tighten control over its field commanders to prevent any additional breakaway factions. Most likely, Islamabad will also provide Hizbul Mujahideen with financial, military and propaganda support, just as it did in the early 1990s when it shifted support away from the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front — which didn't support merging an independent Kashmir with Pakistan — to the newly created Hizbul Mujahideen. In that case, the group that fell out of favor ultimately renounced violence, while Hizbul Mujahideen joined a cluster of insurgent groups that waged attacks against the Indian state.
The Limits of an Islamist Vision

Beyond Islamabad's moves to stifle Musa's faction, there's another factor limiting his ability to succeed in the Kashmir Valley: his Islamist vision. The region of Kashmir has long been defined by a liberal, tolerant religious ethos driven by Sufism. Musa's calls for the region to implement a hard-line interpretation of Islamic law cuts against that grain and may make it difficult for him to attract a large following. The insurgency and separatism movements in Kashmir, while religious, have been equally driven by the goal of achieving self-determination. But Musa, who seems to be driven solely by his strict Islamism, has been vague about his interest in seeing Kashmir achieve greater autonomy and self-rule, an aspiration that most Kashmiri residents support.

New Delhi has been reluctant to remove its garrisons in Kashmir, worried that increased autonomy in the region would create more space for Pakistani intervention and galvanize other self-determination movements within India. So, while Musa may still garner support from some Kashmiri youth simply because he is fighting the Indian armed forces, his strict Islamist ideology and rejection of separatism will fundamentally limit any attempt to translate his insurgency into a meaningful political movement. Even though the majority of the region's residents are eager to push Indian forces out, the already well-established organization of Hizbul Mujahideen, which does support the popular goal of self-rule, will limit the backing that Musa's group can win.
Beyond Kashmir

Unlike Hizbul Mujahideen, however, Musa's mission isn't limited to Kashmir. He hopes to capitalize on the grievances of Muslims throughout India who have been singled out by rogue Hindu nationalists, such as India's cow vigilante groups. Both al Qaeda and the Khorasan chapter of the Islamic State share this goal, as the groups have long sought to radicalize a segment of India's 175 million Muslims. So far, however, those organizations have drawn only a handful of radicalized Indian Muslims to their cause. Though they are generally economically marginalized, Muslims in India have been sufficiently absorbed into the cultural fabric of the country's identity, and the nation's democracy provides Muslims in the Indian mainland, outside of Kashmir, opportunities to air their grievances.

Since forming his faction, Musa has reportedly added up to 15 defectors from Hizbul Mujahideen. And for Indian security forces, this division within the insurgency is a reason to maintain a cautious optimism regarding Musa's group. Already, it has claimed credit for leading Indian security forces to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat, who was killed by the troops. Any disruption in the insurgent movement, which this new breakaway faction most certain is, could make it easier for New Delhi to exercise its counterinsurgency efforts.

Though it may become further factionalized, the insurgency in Kashmir will endure as long as locals continue to chafe against the presence of Indian armed forces. And while there are a number of factors working against the success of Musa's faction, it's still possible that Musa — or perhaps another breakaway rebel commander, if Hizbul Mujahideen is unable to prevent further defections — could gain members by exploiting the perceived failures of both Kashmir's mainstream and separatist political leaders. If Musa's breakaway faction were able to achieve critical mass, it would indicate a shift in the insurgency toward a focus of transnational jihadism, which neither New Delhi nor Islamabad would welcome.
Stratfor

AssessmentsAug 29, 2016
Cows: A Symbol of Divinity and Discord in Modi's India
ReflectionsJan 11, 2017
In Pakistan, a Region Struggles to Resist Its History
AssessmentsApr 12, 2017
Tackling Terrorism in Pakistan's Heartland
AssessmentsAug 5, 2016
Unrest in Kashmir Sets India and Pakistan on Edge

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ya
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« Reply #153 on: June 25, 2017, 03:22:15 PM »

BTW Modi is in the US meeting Trump on Monday, very low key affair (compared to Chinese premier visit). No mention on the news channels.
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G M
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« Reply #154 on: June 25, 2017, 03:28:40 PM »

BTW Modi is in the US meeting Trump on Monday, very low key affair (compared to Chinese premier visit). No mention on the news channels.

Contingency planning, IMHO.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #155 on: June 25, 2017, 08:29:52 PM »

I noticed that too. My guess is that both sides are feeling out a substantial upgrade in relationship.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #156 on: June 26, 2017, 06:54:48 AM »


By Narendra Modi
June 25, 2017 5:04 p.m. ET
14 COMMENTS

Last June in my address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, I stated that the relationship between India and America had overcome the “hesitations of history.” A year later, I return to the U.S. confident in the growing convergence between our two nations.

This confidence stems from the strength of our shared values and the stability of our systems. Our people and institutions have steadfastly viewed democratic change as an instrument for renewal and resurgence.

In an uncertain global economic landscape, our two nations stand as mutually reinforcing engines of growth and innovation. Confidence in each other’s political values and a strong belief in each other’s prosperity has enabled our engagement to grow. A vision of joint success and progress guides our partnership.

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

Our bilateral trade, which already totals about $115 billion a year, is poised for a multifold increase. Indian companies are adding value to the manufacturing and services sectors in the U.S., with total investments of approximately $15 billion and a presence in more than 35 states, including in the Rust Belt. American companies have likewise fueled their global growth by investing more than $20 billion in India.

The transformation of India presents abundant commercial and investment opportunities for American businesses. The rollout of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 will, in a single stroke, convert India into a unified, continent-sized market of 1.3 billion people. The planned 100 smart cities, the massive modernization of ports, airports, and road and rail networks, and the construction of affordable housing for all by 2022—the 75th anniversary of India’s independence—are not just promises of great urban renewal within India. These plans also showcase the enormous fruits of our relationships with enterprising U.S. partners—worth many billions of dollars over the next decade alone—together with concomitant new employment opportunities across both societies.

India’s rapidly expanding aviation needs, and our increasing demand for gas, nuclear, clean coal and renewables, are two significant areas of increasing convergence. In coming years, Indian companies will import energy in excess of $40 billion from the U.S., and more than 200 American-made aircraft will join the private Indian aviation fleet.

The combination of technology, innovation and skilled workers has helped forge an exciting digital and scientific partnership between our two countries. The creative and entrepreneurial energy of our engineers, scientists and researchers, and their free movement between both countries, continue to help India and the U.S. retain their innovation edge and maintain competitiveness in the knowledge economy.

A new layer in our engagement is our partnership for global good. Whenever India and the U.S. work together, the world reaps the benefits—be it our collaborative efforts to find affordable vaccines for rotavirus or dengue, our joint studies of gravitational waves, observations of distant planets, establishing norms for cyberspace, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Indo-Pacific region, or training peacekeepers in Africa.

Defense is another mutually beneficial sphere of our partnership. Both India and the U.S. have an overriding interest in securing our societies, and the world, from the forces of terrorism, radical ideologies and nontraditional security threats. India has four decades’ experience in fighting terrorism, and we share the U.S. administration’s determination to defeat this scourge.

We are already working together to address the existing and emerging strategic and security challenges that affect both our nations—in Afghanistan, West Asia, the large maritime space of the Indo-Pacific, the new and unanticipated threats in cyberspace. We also share an interest in ensuring that sea lanes—critical lifelines of trade and energy—remain secure and open to all.

The logic of our strategic relationship is incontrovertible. It is further underpinned by faith in the strength of our multicultural societies that have defended our values at all costs, including the supreme sacrifices we’ve made in distant corners of the globe. The three-million-strong Indian-American community, which represents the best of both our countries, has played a crucial role in connecting and contributing to our societies.

The past two decades have been a productive journey of engagement for our mutual security and growth. I expect the next few decades to be an even more remarkable story of ambitious horizons, convergent action and shared growth.

The U.S. and India are forging a deeper and stronger partnership that extends far beyond the Beltway and the Raisina Hill. That partnership has become our privileged prerogative and our promise for our people and our world.

Mr. Modi is prime minister of India.
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ya
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« Reply #157 on: June 29, 2017, 05:36:42 PM »

Interesting eye-ball to eye-ball confrontation going on in Bhutan between India and China. The Chinese typically grab bits and pieces of territory all over the 1400 km of the Himalayas. In this instance, the territory is Bhutanese, but if grabbed would provide them a strategic advantage to capture India's Siliguri corridor (chickens neck), which if taken, cuts east India from the mainland.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/border-face-off-china-india-each-deploy-3000-troops/articleshow/59377716.cms

Border face-off: China, India each deploy 3,000 troops

Rajat Pandit | TNN | Updated: Jun 30, 2017, 01.15 AM IST
HIGHLIGHTS
Two rival armies deployed around 3,000 troops each in a virtually eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation
Bhutan, too, has issued a demarche to China over the construction of the road
Flag meetings and other talks between the rival commanders have not worked till now

NEW DELHI: The ongoing troop face-off between India and China on the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction has emerged as the biggest such confrontation in the region in decades, with both sides continuing to pump in reinforcements to the remote border region.

Even as Army chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the ground situation by visiting the headquarters of the 17 Mountain Division in Gangtok and 27 Mountain Division in Kalimpong on Thursday, sources said the two rival armies had strengthened their positions at the tri-junction by deploying around 3,000 troops each in a virtually eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

The Indian Army, on its part, refused to say anything. But sources said though there had been other troop standoffs at the tri-junction over the years, the latest one at the Doka La general area was clearly the most serious.

"Both sides are as yet not willing to budge from their positions. Flag meetings and other talks between the rival commanders have not worked till now," a source said.
During his visit, General Rawat especially concentrated on the deployments of the 17 Division, which is responsible for the defence of eastern Sikkim with four brigades (each with over 3,000 soldiers) under its command.

"All top officers, including the 33 Corps and 17 Division commanders, were present during the extensive discussions. The chief will return to New Delhi on Friday morning," the source said.

Undeterred by Beijing's aggressive posturing, India has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road till the tri-junction through the Bhutanese territory of Doklam plateau, as earlier reported by TOI.

Bhutan, too, has issued a demarche to China over the construction of the road towards its army camp at Zomplri in the Doklam plateau, asking Beijing to restore status quo by stopping work immediately.

"China is trying to build a 'Class-40 road' in the Doklam plateau that can take the weight of military vehicles weighing up to 40 tonnes, which include light battle tanks, artillery guns and the like," the source said.

Interestingly, the People's Liberation Army declared in Beijing on Thursday that it had conducted trials of a new 35-tonne tank in the plains of Tibet, though it added that "it was not targeted against any country". The Indian defence establishment is concerned at the "creeping territorial aggression" by China, which aims to progressively swallow the 269 sq km Doklam plateau to add "strategic width" to its adjoining but narrow Chumbi Valley, which juts in between Sikkim and Bhutan.

China has also been pushing Bhutan hard for the last two decades to go in for a "package deal".


1) China violated its agreement with Bhutan by altering the status quo at the border. India and Bhutan have an Eternal Treaty that covers defence and foreign affairs of Bhutan. So India has a lcus st... Read More

Under it, Beijing wants Thimphu to cede control over Doklam plateau, while it surrenders claims to the 495 sq km of territory in Jakurlung and Pasamlung valleys in northern Bhutan.  But India is militarily "very sensitive" about the Doklam plateau, especially the Zomplri Ridge area because it overlooks the strategically-vulnerable Siliguri corridor or the 'Chicken's Neck' area.  India has progressively strengthened its defences in the Siliguri corridor, the narrow strip of land that connects the rest of India with its north-eastern states, to stem any Chinese ingress. "But it remains a geographical vulnerability. China has constructed several feeder roads from Tibet to the border with Bhutan, and is also trying to extend its railway line in the region," the source said.

Here's another article...
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/road-building-a-direct-violation-of-pacts-bhutan/articleshow/59378188.cms

« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 06:11:32 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #158 on: June 29, 2017, 06:25:32 PM »

China is a big fan of strategic salami slicing. None is this is headed in a happy direction.   embarassed



Interesting eye-ball to eye-ball confrontation going on in Bhutan between India and China. The Chinese typically grab bits and pieces of territory all over the 1400 km of the Himalayas. In this instance, the territory is Bhutanese, but if grabbed would provide them a strategic advantage to capture India's Siliguri corridor (chickens neck), which if taken, cuts east India from the mainland.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/border-face-off-china-india-each-deploy-3000-troops/articleshow/59377716.cms

Border face-off: China, India each deploy 3,000 troops

Rajat Pandit | TNN | Updated: Jun 30, 2017, 01.15 AM IST
HIGHLIGHTS
Two rival armies deployed around 3,000 troops each in a virtually eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation
Bhutan, too, has issued a demarche to China over the construction of the road
Flag meetings and other talks between the rival commanders have not worked till now

NEW DELHI: The ongoing troop face-off between India and China on the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction has emerged as the biggest such confrontation in the region in decades, with both sides continuing to pump in reinforcements to the remote border region.

Even as Army chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the ground situation by visiting the headquarters of the 17 Mountain Division in Gangtok and 27 Mountain Division in Kalimpong on Thursday, sources said the two rival armies had strengthened their positions at the tri-junction by deploying around 3,000 troops each in a virtually eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

The Indian Army, on its part, refused to say anything. But sources said though there had been other troop standoffs at the tri-junction over the years, the latest one at the Doka La general area was clearly the most serious.

"Both sides are as yet not willing to budge from their positions. Flag meetings and other talks between the rival commanders have not worked till now," a source said.
During his visit, General Rawat especially concentrated on the deployments of the 17 Division, which is responsible for the defence of eastern Sikkim with four brigades (each with over 3,000 soldiers) under its command.

"All top officers, including the 33 Corps and 17 Division commanders, were present during the extensive discussions. The chief will return to New Delhi on Friday morning," the source said.

Undeterred by Beijing's aggressive posturing, India has made it clear that it will not allow China to construct a motorable road till the tri-junction through the Bhutanese territory of Doklam plateau, as earlier reported by TOI.

Bhutan, too, has issued a demarche to China over the construction of the road towards its army camp at Zomplri in the Doklam plateau, asking Beijing to restore status quo by stopping work immediately.

"China is trying to build a 'Class-40 road' in the Doklam plateau that can take the weight of military vehicles weighing up to 40 tonnes, which include light battle tanks, artillery guns and the like," the source said.

Interestingly, the People's Liberation Army declared in Beijing on Thursday that it had conducted trials of a new 35-tonne tank in the plains of Tibet, though it added that "it was not targeted against any country". The Indian defence establishment is concerned at the "creeping territorial aggression" by China, which aims to progressively swallow the 269 sq km Doklam plateau to add "strategic width" to its adjoining but narrow Chumbi Valley, which juts in between Sikkim and Bhutan.

China has also been pushing Bhutan hard for the last two decades to go in for a "package deal".


1) China violated its agreement with Bhutan by altering the status quo at the border. India and Bhutan have an Eternal Treaty that covers defence and foreign affairs of Bhutan. So India has a lcus st... Read More

Under it, Beijing wants Thimphu to cede control over Doklam plateau, while it surrenders claims to the 495 sq km of territory in Jakurlung and Pasamlung valleys in northern Bhutan.  But India is militarily "very sensitive" about the Doklam plateau, especially the Zomplri Ridge area because it overlooks the strategically-vulnerable Siliguri corridor or the 'Chicken's Neck' area.  India has progressively strengthened its defences in the Siliguri corridor, the narrow strip of land that connects the rest of India with its north-eastern states, to stem any Chinese ingress. "But it remains a geographical vulnerability. China has constructed several feeder roads from Tibet to the border with Bhutan, and is also trying to extend its railway line in the region," the source said.

Here's another article...
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/road-building-a-direct-violation-of-pacts-bhutan/articleshow/59378188.cms


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ya
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Posts: 293


« Reply #159 on: July 02, 2017, 01:17:15 PM »

https://swarajyamag.com/world/border-standoff-chinese-incursions-have-a-much-deeper-and-sinister-intent

Border Standoff: Chinese Incursions Have A Much Deeper And Sinister Intent
Jaideep Mazumdar
- Jul 01, 2017, 3:46 pm

An India surrounded by countries which would be proxies of China would severely limit India’s global aspirations and keep it tied down to South Asia, thus allowing China a free run in Asia and the world.

China’s aggressive actions at the tri-junction between India, Tibet and Bhutan, in the Doklam plateau of the Chumbi Valley, is no routine border incursion and poses an extremely grave security and diplomatic threat to India. China’s actions signal its intent to embark on its long-term expansionist plans in this part of Asia, and ought to send alarm bells clanging in India’s security establishment.

A brief recap of the events at the border would be in order here. China has long laid claim to the Doklam plateau that falls in west Bhutan and adjoins the Chinese-controlled Chumbi Valley of Tibet. Chumbi Valley separates Sikkim from Bhutan and hangs like a dagger over the vulnerable Chicken’s Neck, or Siliguri Corridor, that connects North East India with the rest of the country. Chumbi Valley is, however, very narrow and cannot accommodate the number of troops and military hardware China would require either in case of an offensive, or to deter India militarily.

Also, Chinese troops in Chumbi Valley suffer from a serious strategic constraint since the ridge lines along the Valley fall in Bhutan and Sikkim and Indian troops have a clear tactical advantage there. It must be remembered here that India provides military muscle to Bhutan and the Indian Army has a strong presence in that country through the IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team) units stationed in Bhutan. Thus, Indian troops pose a serious threat to the Chinese not only from Sikkim but also from Bhutan, where they are stationed.

It was Indian soldiers who backed the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) which confronted and challenged Chinese attempts to construct a road through Doklam. The Chinese road through Doklam plateau – a strategically vital territory of Bhutan that China falsely lays claim to – would have even touched an RBA garrison. RBA troops, backed by IMTRAT units, stopped the Chinese road construction works and Bhutan issued a demarche to China, objecting to the construction that would have altered the strategic balance in that region in China’s favour.

An incensed Beijing, thus, spoke of India violating Bhutan’s sovereignty. Indian military presence in Bhutan has long riled China and despite its best efforts, Bhutan has steadfastly remained a close friend of India.

China’s Grand Design

Standing at Beijing’s infamous Tiananmen Square, China’s notorious communist dictator Mao Tse-tung said 1953 (after the annexation of Tibet): “Xizang (Tibet) is like China’s right palm whose five fingers – Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and NEFA (as Arunachal Pradesh was known as then) – remained severed and under the occupation of, or influence of, India. The palm is ineffective without the fingers, and so it is necessary to liberate the five fingers and rejoin them with the palm.”

That was no empty rhetoric. The Chinese, anyway, never indulge in empty rhetoric. Mao was articulating the deeply ingrained trait of expansionism among the Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in the world. This expansionism, which has only intensified with China emerging as a global power, has brought that country in conflict with most of its neighbours. China, buoyed by successfully bullying smaller nations in its periphery into submission, wants to try out the same with India.

For China, Indian influence over Bhutan (which the Chinese maliciously allege is an Indian protectorate) is a deep irritant. China has been pressurising Bhutan, without success, to establish direct diplomatic relations with it instead of dealing with Beijing through the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. China is desperate to gain a toehold in Bhutan by opening an embassy in Thimpu. Doing so would be the first important step in increasing Chinese influence in Bhutan and weaning that country away from India’s embrace through massive financial aid and development projects.

China been successful in subverting India’s influence over Nepal, and large sections of the political establishment in Kathmandu are now openly pro-China and deeply anti-India. China has been pouring in financial and material aid to Nepal, executing massive infrastructure and power projects, and has brought Nepal into its own sphere of influence. New Delhi is, thus, wary of allowing Bhutan to open up to China.

The Chinese claims over large slices of territory in west Bhutan – Doklam, Charithang, Sinchulimpa and Dramana – have been made with twin objectives: (1) to neutralise the disadvantage its own troops face in Chumbi Valley and deny Indian troops in Bhutan access to the strategic high grounds overlooking the Valley, and (2) to force Bhutan to establish direct ties with Beijing. In fact, say sources in India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), China has already offered to defuse the tension in Doklam if Thimpu agrees to start working towards establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing and limits access of IMTRAT units to west Bhutan that adjoins Chumbi Valley.

Of the “five fingers” of the palm (Tibet), Ladakh is already under serious threat, what with half of it (Aksai Chin) being under Chinese occupation. Nepal is slowing falling to Chinese control, and China has upped the ante over Sikkim now even though it had accepted that Sikkim is an integral part of India in exchange for India reiterating its position about Tibet being an inalienable part of China. By transgressing into northeast Sikkim, China has perfidiously brought Sikkim back to the broader border dispute with India. India can now expect the Chinese to start contesting Sikkim’s ascension to India in 1975.

 Map of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir (Saravask/Wikimedia Commons)Map of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir (Saravask/Wikimedia Commons)
China’s transgressions into Bhutan and its claim over Bhutanese territory is thus part of its grand strategy to bully and beat Bhutan into submission and wean it away from India’s influence. China has already been laying claim to Arunachal Pradesh, especially the Tawang tracts to the west of the state that People’s Liberation Army troops overran in 1962. China has stationed large number of troops and sophisticated military hardware all along the Arunachal-Tibet border. In fact, Indian military presence and physical infrastructure compares very poorly with that of China across the border not only in Arunachal but Sikkim as well.

Importance of the ‘Five Fingers’

A look at the map of Asia will show that many landlocked parts of China – the eastern areas of Xingiang, and provinces like Gansu, Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan – would benefit immensely with free access to the Bay of Bengal. That can only happen if the ‘five fingers’ come under Chinese control.

China already exercises tremendous influence over a big section of Bangladesh’s political and military establishment. The pro-Pakistan Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is in the opposition now, and its ally the Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as Islamists in that country, are all closely linked to Pakistan, which is totally beholden to China. Beijing, through Pakistan and also on its own, thus wields a lot of influence over Bangladesh that offers a direct opening to the Bay of Bengal.

Chinese presence in Myanmar has increased and grown stronger and, through that country, China has also gained access to the Bay of Bengal. Even though Myanmar’s powerful generals have, of late, realised the insidious nature of Chinese presence in their country, they cannot simply shrug off the Chinese yoke that they had happily brought themselves under. India’s efforts to wean away Myanmar from China are far too sparse. And with its control over the rebellious tribes inhabiting the restive northern parts of Myanmar that are beyond the control of Myanmarese army, China automatically enjoys a lot of leverage over that country.


China’s incitement of insurgencies in North East India have to be thus seen from the prism of its expansionism. By aiding, supporting and training various militant groups of the North East and even extending safe refuge to them within its territory (the refuge granted to ULFA chief Paresh Barua being just one example), China wants to keep that part of India in turmoil and, thus, under indirect control.

In the long run, once it firmly establishes direct or indirect control over the ‘five fingers’ and rids them of Indian influence and control, China would gain a huge geo-strategic advantage over India. An India surrounded by countries which would be proxies of China would severely limit India’s global aspirations and keep it tied down to South Asia, thus allowing China a free run in Asia and the world.

New Delhi would also do well to keep in mind the fact that China’s right palm with its five fingers under Beijing’s control can also be used as a wrist to deliver a debilitating punch to India. The only way that can be countered is to meticulously follow the Chinese path of strengthening the economy, spurring growth and building up the country’s military capability. And, also, by judiciously weeding out the Chinese ‘plants’ in India’s polity.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 09:13:58 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ya
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« Reply #160 on: July 05, 2017, 09:58:43 PM »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-asks-china-to-retreat-from-doklam/articleshow/59462861.cms

and a little bit of humor, this is how India China fight these days, without bullets!, video is grainy and in hindi, but no translation needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7lsYaKUYMo
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 10:35:42 PM by ya » Logged
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« Reply #161 on: July 06, 2017, 03:58:12 PM »

India is not backing down, inspite of multiple threats from China..YA

Sikkim stand-off: Indian troops unlikely to pull back

TNN | Updated: Jul 7, 2017, 01.10 AM IST
HIGHLIGHTS
India is not likely to consider a pullout without some clear terms being arrived at first
China's unilateral move violates agreements with India and impacts Bhutan's sovereignty

NEW DELHI: Despite rising stridency in Chinese demands that India pull back from the confrontation near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction, Indian troops are digging in to protect the strategic topography that is just 30 km from a hydel project and overlooks the Bengal-Assam road link.
The hydro-electric project is located at Jaldhaka river at Jhalong which is not far from the border with Bhutan and is also a bridge for crossing over to the landlocked hill kingdom. The Jaldhaka, along with Torsha river, flows into the Brahmaputra and is part of a tract of land that could come under pressure if the Chinese build the road they are planning through Doklam plateau in Bhutan.
The Siliguri corridor, and the town itself, will be vulnerable if China gets to dominate ridge lines which will allow its troops to literally sit astride Indian territory. The road to Assam also runs through the narrow strip of territory that connects West Bengal to the northeast and any threat to it can snip the surface link from Bagdogra to Guwahati.

Given the importance of holding the current alignment and preventing China from altering this to its benefit, India is not likely to consider a pullout without some clear terms being arrived at first. Though the Chinese are clearly annoyed at Indian troops stalling road work in an area that is near the tri-junction, Bhutan has strongly protested the intrusion on its territory. Even if the area is considered disputed, China's unilateral move violates agreements with India and impacts Bhutan's sovereignty.
As the full significance of the Chinese move becomes apparent, it is clear that the road project and movement of troops was more than the "usual" intrusions by which China tests India's defences and responses. The realignment of ground position was intended to grasp a decisive advantage in the region and went beyond the "needle and nibble" attempts to reset parts of the unsettled boundary between India and China.
With matters grinding to a stalemate and India holding its ground and comments, the stage could be set for more serious diplomatic engagement. Though the tough talk on part of Beijing continues, ejecting Indian troops is not an easy prospect and neither side would be keen to let matters get out of hand.
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« Reply #162 on: July 06, 2017, 04:53:06 PM »

http://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.com/2017/07/asias-colossus-threatens-tiny-state.html#more
Asia’s colossus threatens a tiny state

BY BRAHMA CHELLANEY
Source Link



Bhutan, one of the world’s smallest nations, has protested that the Asian colossus, China, is chipping away at its territory by building a strategic highway near the Tibet-India-Bhutan trijunction in the Himalayas. Bhutan has security arrangements with India, and the construction has triggered a tense standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at the trijunction, with the Chinese state media warning of the possibility of war.

Bhutan says “China’s construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation” of its agreements with Beijing. China, however, has sought to obscure its aggression by blaming India for not respecting either the trijunction points or the boundary between Tibet and the Indian state of Sikkim, which is also contiguous to Bhutan.

In the way an increasingly muscular China — without firing a single shot — has waged stealth wars to change the status quo in the South and East China seas, it has been making furtive encroachments across its Himalayan frontiers with the intent to expand its control meter by meter, kilometer by kilometer. It has targeted strategic areas in particular.

If its land grab is challenged, China tends to play the victim, including accusing the other side of making a dangerous provocation. And to mask the real issue involved, it chooses to wage a furious propaganda war. Both these elements have vividly been on display in the current troop standoff at the edge of the Chumbi Valley, a Chinese-controlled zone that forms a wedge between Bhutan and Sikkim, and juts out as a dagger against a thin strip of Indian territory known as the Chicken Neck, which connects India’s northeast to the rest of the country.

In recent years, China has been upgrading its military infrastructure and deployments in this highly strategic region so that, in the event of a war, its military blitzkrieg can cut off India from its northeast. Such an invasion would also leave Bhutan completely surrounded and at China’s mercy.

INDIA-BHUTAN DEFENSE TIES

Bhutan, with a population of only 750,000, shares some of its national defense responsibilities with India under a friendship treaty. Indian troops, for example, assist the undersized Royal Bhutan Army in guarding the vulnerable portions of Bhutan’s border with China.

The 2007 Bhutan-India friendship treaty states that the two neighbors “shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests.” The 2007 pact — signed after the Himalayan kingdom introduced major political reforms to emerge as the world’s newest democracy — replaced their 1949 treaty under which Bhutan effectively was an Indian protectorate, with one of the clauses stipulating that it would be “guided by” India in its foreign policy.

Recently, after days of rising Sino-Indian tensions at the trijunction, the People’s Liberation Army on June 16 brought in heavy earth-moving equipment and began building a road through Bhutan’s Doklam Plateau, which China claims, including Sinicizing its name as Donglong. Indian troops intervened, leading to scuffles with PLA soldiers, with the ongoing standoff halting work at the 3,000-meter-high construction site.

Significantly, the standoff did not become public until June 26 when China released a complaint against India, just as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was about to begin discussions with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House. The statement — timed to cast a shadow over the Modi-Trump discussions and to remind Modi of the costs Beijing could impose on India for his pro-U.S. tilt — presented China as the victim by alleging that Indian troops had “intruded” into “China’s Donglong region” and halted a legitimate construction activity. It demanded India withdraw its troops or face retaliation.

This was followed by a frenzied Chinese public-relations blitzkrieg against India designed to obfuscate the real issue — the PLA’s encroachment on Bhutanese territory. Chinese officials and state media fulminated against India over the troop standoff but shied away from even mentioning Bhutan.

It was only after Bhutan’s ambassador to India publicly revealed on June 28 that his country had protested the PLA’s violation of its territorial sovereignty and demanded a return to status quo ante that Beijing finally acknowledged the involvement of a third party in the dispute. The fact that an insecure and apprehensive Bhutan (which has no diplomatic relations with China) took eight days to make public its protest to Beijing played into China’s hands.

CHINA PILES ON THE PRESSURE

The Chinese attacks on India for halting the road construction, meanwhile, are continuing. For example, the Chinese defense ministry spokesperson, alluding to India’s defeat in the 1962 war with China, asked the Indian army on June 29 to “learn from historical lessons” and to stop “clamoring for war.” The Indian defense minister, in response, said the India of today was different from the one in 1962.

The same trijunction was the scene of heavy Sino-Indian military clashes in 1967, barely five years after China’s 1962 trans-Himalayan invasion led to major Indian reverses. But unlike in 1962, the Chinese side suffered far heavier casualties in the 1967 clashes, concentrated at Nathu-la and Cho-la.

Today, to mount pressure on India, China has cut off Indian pilgrims’ historical access to a mountain-and-lake site in Tibet that is sacred to four faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and the indigenous religion of Tibet, Bon. While Manasarovar is the world’s highest freshwater lake at 4,557 meters above sea level, Mount Kailash — the world’s legendary center — is worshipped by believers as the abode of the planet’s father and mother, the gods Shiva and Uma, and as the place where Lord Buddha manifested himself in his super-bliss form. Four important rivers of Asia, including the Indus and the Brahmaputra, originate from around this duo.

By arbitrarily halting the pilgrimages, Beijing is reminding New Delhi to review its Tibet policy. India needs to subtly reopen Tibet as an outstanding issue in order to fend off Chinese pressure. After all, China lays claim to Indian and Bhutanese territories on the basis of alleged Tibetan (not Han Chinese) links to them historically. India must start to question China’s purportedly historical claim to Tibet itself.

More broadly, by waging stealth wars to accomplish political and military objectives, China is turning into a principle source of strategic instability in Asia. The stealth wars include constructing a dispute and then setting in motion a jurisdictional creep through a steady increase in the frequency and duration of Chinese incursions — all with the intent of either establishing military control over a coveted area or pressuring the opponent to cut a deal on its terms.

This strategy of territorial creep is based not on chess, which is centered on securing a decisive victory, but on the ancient Chinese game of Go, aimed at steadily making incremental gains by outwitting the opponent through unrelenting attacks on its weak points.

China has long camouflaged offense as defense, in keeping with the ancient theorist Sun Tzu’s advice that all warfare is “based on deception.” Still, the fact that the world’s fourth largest country in area, after Russia, Canada and the United States, is seeking to nibble away at the territory of a tiny nation speaks volumes about China’s aggressive strategy of expansion.

Longtime Japan Times contributor Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and the author of nine books.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 10:30:47 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ya
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« Reply #163 on: July 08, 2017, 11:54:14 PM »

This is one of the better writeups by a retd. Indian  General as to whats happening at the border. Perhaps has too much detail...

https://www.newslaundry.com/2017/07/08/panag-india-china-sikkim-bhutan?utm_content=buffer4e387&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Looks like either both sides will withdraw, or there will be a limited skirmish where China will loose. I would watch for China to start talking peace...though at the moment they are having a hard time believing that their bullying of little Bhutan did not work!. The Chinese are finding it hard to swallow that the only 2 countries in the world who oppose their OBOR project and dominance are India and tiny Bhutan!.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 10:59:54 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ya
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« Reply #164 on: July 09, 2017, 12:20:49 AM »

Here's an American pov, somewhat simplistic...but again things dont look good for China!

As China Threatens to Punish India, It Should Consider the Lessons of Its 1979 Invasion of Vietnam
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/china-threatens-punish-india-should-consider-lessons-its-gilberto?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BuMIFpYzqRAWmjHdxsv1YRg%3D%3D
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 12:51:28 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #165 on: July 09, 2017, 12:34:34 AM »

Here's an American pov, somewhat simplistic...but again things dont look good for China!

As China Threatens to Punish India, It Should Consider the Lessons of Its 1979 Invasion of Vietnam
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/china-threatens-punish-india-should-consider-lessons-its-gilberto?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BuMIFpYzqRAWmjHdxsv1YRg%3D%3D

Hopefully it is limited, and hopefully the PLA get's it's ass handed to them.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 11:02:46 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ya
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« Reply #166 on: July 09, 2017, 11:01:17 AM »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/border-row-indian-army-getting-ready-for-long-haul-in-doklam/articleshow/59512901.cms

The longer the Chinese remain in denial, the bigger their loss of face, when they are ultimately forced to withdraw. Their belligerent statements have now stopped, as reality begins to creep in. Their miscalculation was that India would not defend Bhutanese territory....YA

Border row: Indian Army getting ready for long haul in Doklam

PTI | Updated: Jul 9, 2017, 02.30 PM IST


NEW DELHI: The Indian Army is ready for a long haul+ in holding onto its position in the Doklam area+ near the Bhutan tri-junction, notwithstanding China ratcheting up rhetoric against India demanding pulling back of its troops.The Indian soldiers deployed in the disputed area have pitched their tents, in an indication that they are unlikely to retreat unless there was reciprocity from China's PLA personnel in ending the face-off at an altitude of around 10,000 feet in the Sikkim section.

A steady line of supplies is being maintained for the soldiers at the site, official sources said, signalling that Indian Army is not going to wilt under any pressure from China.
At the same time they sounded confident of finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute, citing resolution of border skirmishes in the past through diplomacy.
Though China has been aggressively asserting that it was not ready for any "compromise" and that the "ball is in India's court", the view in the security establishment here is that there cannot be any unilateral approach in defusing the tension.

Both the countries had agreed to a mechanism in 2012 to resolve border flare ups through consultations at various levels.The mechanism has not worked so far in the current case as the stand-off near the Bhutan trijunction, triggered by China's attempt to build a road in the strategically important area, has dragged on for over three weeks.

New Delhi has already conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with "serious" security implications for India. The road link could give China a major military advantage over India. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Doklam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 12:50:54 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #167 on: July 10, 2017, 11:06:17 AM »

I agree with WRM that the recent breakthrough between India and Israel (and between India and the US) is a big, strategic deal.  These are natural alliances that have been squandered by past leaders and events.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/07/03/india-israel-breakthrough/
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« Reply #168 on: July 19, 2017, 10:10:31 PM »

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/

With Doklam negotiations under way, military believes it has emerged victor

Generals say: "In a stalemate, India will have achieved its aims" (Photo courtesy Global Times)

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 20th July 17

Senior military officials in New Delhi believe Beijing badly overplayed its hand by heating up the rhetoric over the presence of Indian soldiers in the disputed Doklam bowl, adjoining Sikkim. They say in the stalemate that has emerged, India will have achieved its aims.

The planners say that Indian forces have held the upper hand ever since they surprised Chinese troops by confronting them on behalf of Bhutan, and sticking to their position despite unprecedented aggression and threats from Beijing.

“However this plays out, China is going to lose face, since it has made its threats publicly. And India is going to come out looking like a credible and reliable partner for Bhutan”, says a general, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Asked about the possibility of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launching military operations against India, as Beijing has hinted, Indian generals are sanguine.

“There is no military mobilisation by China, nor will the Indian military mobilise unless war becomes imminent. If it comes to fighting, we are prepared to shed blood to uphold the India-Bhutan cooperation agreement. That would only raise our credibility in Thimphu’s eyes”, says a senior military planner.

“But that will not happen. The Chinese know they can achieve no military goal. They are smart enough to realise they have miscalculated badly”, he adds.

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar admitted to a parliamentary panel that diplomatic negotiations are underway, both in Beijing and New Delhi, to resolve the month-old crisis.

On June 16, after Chinese road construction crews entered Doklam – an 89 square kilometre patch claimed by both Bhutan and China – Indian troops also crossed into Doklam and physically blocked Chinese road construction activity. Since then, hundreds of Indian and Chinese soldiers built up there, deployed eyeball-to-eyeball, initially igniting apprehensions of a shooting war.

Over the past week, however, as diplomatic discussions on de-escalation have moved along, Beijing’s foreign ministry spokespersons and government-controlled media have noticeably toned down the aggressive rhetoric they had earlier adopted.

Until last week, China’s foreign ministry insisted that a unilateral Indian withdrawal from Doklam was “the precondition for any meaningful dialogue between the two sides”. On June 6, Beijing threatened: “We once again urge the Indian side to immediately pull all of the troops that have crossed the boundary back to its own side before the situation gets worse with more serious consequences.”

On Tuesday, however, questioned about a briefing that China’s foreign ministry had given to diplomats in Beijing, a government spokesperson answered more benignly: “People will reach the just conclusion. If Indian wants to achieve its political purposes by sending military personnel across demarcated boundary, China urges India better not to do so.”

China’s media too is noticeably softening its stance from early June, when mouthpieces like the Global Times and Xinhua threatened India with a repeat of the 1962 military defeat. Over the weekend, China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast high-altitude, live fire exercises by a PLA brigade, without mentioning that the drills took place before the Doklam incident began.

This week, articles on the Doklam faceoff have been fewer in number. On Tuesday, after Pakistan’s “Dunya News” – a 24-hour, Urdu language television news channel –concocted news that a Chinese rocket attack in Sikkim had killed more than 150 Indian soldiers, Chinese media dismissed the report as “baseless”.

In India, even as the media keeps the spotlight on Doklam, the government is keeping a level tone. On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar reportedly told a parliamentary panel that hypernationalism and the media spotlight had inflated the crisis out of proportion.
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« Reply #169 on: July 19, 2017, 10:13:39 PM »

"However this plays out, China is going to lose face, since it has made its threats publicly."


I would not assume the matter is settled. In fact, with the Chinese losing face, it certainly is not.

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« Reply #170 on: July 19, 2017, 10:51:42 PM »

The Chinese have badly miscalculated this time. Their plan was to grab Bhutanese territory and gain a strategic advantage over India. All of this by the time of the coronation of emperor Xi at the August Communist Party Congress.
-Some facts, IMHO: Chinese cannot win in Doka la. They can save face by grabbing some other part of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) and then  negotiating Doka la. However, once the war spreads, nothing can be predicted.
-A missile barrage wont help, China has more to loose than India, in a missile shoot out, considering that Indian missiles reach China's industrialized east coast.
-Acting thro their Pak or other proxies wont help, they have been doing it for decades!.
-Chinese shipping lanes thro the Malacca Straights are at risk.

So while the Chinese are huffing and puffing, its obvious that their bullying has not worked and their bluff has been called.
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« Reply #171 on: July 19, 2017, 10:54:14 PM »

The Chinese have badly miscalculated this time. Their plan was to grab Bhutanese territory and gain a strategic advantage over India. All of this by the time of the coronation of emperor Xi at the August Communist Party Congress.
-Some facts, IMHO: Chinese cannot win in Doka la. They can save face by grabbing some other part of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) and then  negotiating Doka la. However, once the war spreads, nothing can be predicted.
-A missile barrage wont help, China has more to loose than India, in a missile shoot out, considering that Indian missiles reach China's industrialized east coast.
-Acting thro their Pak or other proxies wont help, they have been doing it for decades!.
-Chinese shipping lanes thro the Malacca Straights are at risk.

So while the Chinese are huffing and puffing, its obvious that their bullying has not worked and their bluff has been called.


And that's all good, but China isn't done, and they will reflect and learn from this.

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« Reply #172 on: July 20, 2017, 07:35:49 PM »

Yes, it may be too early for India to take a victory lap....yes, the Chinese will learn from this, which is that their days of bullying India are over. In the days of the previous spineless govt under PM  ManMohan Singh (MMS), and previous Congress led govt's China was treated with kid gloves. MMS was such a coward, that he would not even visit Arunachal Pradesh an Indian State coveted by China as southern Tibet!. Under Modi, things have changed. He started off right by warmly inviting Xi to India, but during Xi's visit they occupied Indian territory which led to a standoff. After that, China has opposed India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and vetoed the labeling of Mazhoor Azar as a paki terrorist at the UN. In response, Modi has allowed the Dalai Lama to visit Tawang (claimed by China as southern Tibet), shunned the Chinese One Belt One Road project, allowed the Tibetan flag to be raised at the border etc.

An Indo-China war will not be won by China. Reason is Tibet is too far away from the Chinese coast and their supply lines will be stretched thin. The Tibetan airfields are at 4000 m or higher which limits the bomb load that they can fly with, and acclimatization of soldiers in the thin air is a big problem. So China cannot win a conventional war, at best it would be a stalemate for two nations of 1.2 Billion population, each. Shooting missiles at each other damages China more, since their big cities are more developed.

On top of that, there are jingoistic reasons, Indian army is waiting to avenge their 1962 defeat. Subsequent skirmishes in the Bhutan/Sikkim area with China have resulted in Chinese suffering 2-3 fold higher casualties. In India the thinking is that China is a paper tiger, they make a lot of weapons, but dont have the will or experience to fight battles. Neither do they have experience with mountain war fare. Last war they fought with Vietnam did not got all too well for the Chinese. Add to that, most Chinese soldiers are the single/only sons of their parents, and their parents may have something to say when the body bags start arriving. Lastly, all the huffing and puffing is being done by the Chinese, which suggests they are the weaker party.
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« Reply #173 on: July 20, 2017, 08:04:18 PM »

"Add to that, most Chinese soldiers are the single/only sons of their parents, and their parents may have something to say when the body bags start arriving. Lastly, all the huffing and puffing is being done by the Chinese, which suggests they are the weaker party."

Yes, but that doesn't factor into the PLA's strategic thinking. PLA Generals have openly discussed that they are willing to trade 100,000 PLA troops to inflict 10,000 casualties on US forces.

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« Reply #174 on: July 21, 2017, 08:23:59 PM »

Greatly appreciate your input to our conversation YA.  You bring up many points of which I was not aware.
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« Reply #175 on: July 22, 2017, 09:52:26 PM »

India’s provocation will trigger all-out confrontation on LAC
By Duo Mu

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/18 0:23:39 Last Updated: 2017/7/18 22:15:10
 

On June 16, Indian border guards crossed over the Sikkim section of the China-India border to the Chinese side, triggering a face-off with Chinese troops. India's action this time is a blatant infringement on China's sovereignty.

As the confrontation goes on, China needs to get ready for the face-off becoming a long-term situation and at the same time, needs to maintain a sense of rationality. Within China, there are voices calling for the Indian troops to be expelled immediately to safeguard the country's sovereignty, while Indian public opinion is clamoring for war with China. However, the two sides need to exercise restraint and avoid the current conflict spiraling out of control.

One important reason that prompted India triggering the border dispute this time is its worry over China's development in recent years. As two big developing countries, India and China both had a history of past colonization, and now both are enjoying fast economic growth. But China has risen quickly to be the world's No.2 economy. As time is on China's side, New Delhi is deeply concerned with China's rapid rise. Provocation at the border reflects India's worry and attempt to sound out China.

China doesn't recognize the land under the actual control of India is Indian territory. Bilateral border negotiations are still ongoing, but the atmosphere for negotiations has been poisoned by India. China doesn't advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India, but China doesn't fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation.

According to the Indian media, Indian troops are stationed at the border area and have set up logistical support. They even claim that India will continue the confrontation with China at the Sikkim section of the China-India border until the Chinese troops withdraw. In response, China must continue strengthening border construction and speed up troop deployment and construction in the Doklam area. These are legitimate actions of a sovereign country.

The 3,500-kilometer border has never been short of disputes. Since the 1962 border war, the Indian side has repeatedly made provocations. China must be prepared for future conflicts and confrontation. China can take further countermeasures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). If India stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC. 

If India plans to devote more resources in the border area, then so be it. China can engage in a competition with India over economic and military resources deployment in the border area. With growing national strength, China is capable of deploying resources in remote border areas. It is conducive to the economic growth of these regions, as well as to safeguarding integration of China's territory. Road and rail in the Tibetan area have been extended close to the border area with India, Nepal and Bhutan. It's a competition of military strength, as well as a competition of overall economic strength.
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« Reply #176 on: July 25, 2017, 01:06:36 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/25/china-warns-india-will-defend-territory-costs-amid-border-dispute/

China warns India it will defend territory 'at all costs' amid border dispute
Video allegedly shows Indian and Chinese soldiers pushing each other
00:29


 Neil Connor, beijing
25 JULY 2017 • 5:51PM
China has stepped up its war of words with India over a tense border dispute, saying it will defend its territory “at all costs”, after a video emerged of soldiers from the two sides pushing and shoving each other.

"It is easier to shake the mountains than to shake the PLA,” Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said as he reiterated the “determination” of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Both sides have been facing off on a thin strip of land in the Himalayas bordering both countries and Bhutan.
 

China is constructing a road in the region which India sees a strategic threat to a narrow part of territory leading to its north eastern states which is known as the ‘chicken’s neck’.

Mr Wu also said China would conduct “targeted deployment and exercises” along the disputed border area, raising the spectre of increased military movements in the tense region.

Last week China conducted live-fire drills on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and such exercises will continue if Indian troops are not withdrawn from the stand-off, Mr Wu said.

"We will preserve our sovereign territory and security interests at all costs," he said, in what is being seen as China’s strongest warning yet to New Delhi since the dispute began a month ago.

"The 90-year history of the People's Liberation Army has proven that, when it comes to safeguarding our sovereignty and territorial integrity, our capabilities keep strengthening while our determination remains firm.”

Meanwhile, a video has emerged which shows soldiers from India and China pushing each other on a grassy flatland.

The leaked clip of around 20 apparently unarmed troops was originally circulated by Indian news outlets before being picked up by Chinese media.
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« Reply #177 on: July 26, 2017, 12:47:27 AM »

The Global Times has been quite jingoistic, with threats galore. All the neighboring small countries are watching, Pak, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, as well as those in SE Asia. India has already occupied/defended Doka La plateau (Bhutanese territory), a third country's territory for over a month now. The Chinese are getting apoplectic, they are used to making empty threats and getting away with it, they build small atolls in the Indo-China sea, or buzz US surveillance aircraft with impunity, they have not had anyone oppose them for a long time. The loss of face is tremendous, they can redeem themselves by starting a war AND winning (a tall order), a draw will damage their reputation in the neighborhood severely.

The immediate benefit to India is that China's pawn Pak is getting the message that China cannot even defend their "own" territory, so Pak can forget the Chinese coming to their aid in a war situation.

There is one more possibility that the Chinese are being very clever, and all this is a fake move, with the actual move being planned elsewhere, eg in Pak Occupied Kashmir where the CPEC project goes through. India's NSA is in China over the week end for a BRICS meeting July 27-28., but will also be discussing the standoff(even though China insists that no talks are possible, until India withdraws!). The rainy season ends in Sept, so if any action will take place it must be in the sept-oct time frame, for Nov onwards, the place is frozen for the winter. Interesting times ahead.
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« Reply #178 on: July 26, 2017, 11:07:13 AM »

As always YA, very appreciate of the informed perspective you share with us here about this tremendously under reported region.
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« Reply #179 on: July 27, 2017, 03:36:52 PM »

•   India-China: Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is in Beijing for a BRICS security summit. He is expected to speak with Chinese security officials on July 28 on the sidelines of this event. The meeting comes just days after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on India to withdraw its troops from a disputed border area before holding any dialogue. Other reports indicate that diplomatic channels remain open and that officials from both sides are discussing this matter. We need to scrutinize the disputed area and reassess the potential for war.
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« Reply #180 on: July 27, 2017, 06:05:17 PM »

Looks like the Chinese are finally coming to their senses!, have to see if this a temporary state, or they will ratchet up tensions as soon as the NSA leaves. NSA Ajit Doval is the last and only chance for a negotiated peaceful settlement, as one of the hats he wears deals with settling the border with China. Ajit Doval has an impressive history of working for 7 years as a spy (incognito) in Pak, infiltrating terrorist organizations etc, the man is a legend in India. His speeches are worth listening to, and their clarity of thought is amazing. He is responsible for the current hardline policy against Pak, China, the surgical strikes in Pak, Myanmar etc...YA.

Beijing sends conciliatory signals after Doval's first meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi

Saibal Dasgupta | TNN | Updated: Jul 28, 2017, 12:33 AM IST
HIGHLIGHTS
China's official Xinhua news agency sent out a conciliatory signal before Doval's expected meeting with Xi Jinping.
It spoke of the need to enhance mutual trust as the two countries are “not born rivals”.
The comments released by Xinhua made a strong plea to avoid the possibility of a war.

BEIJING: In the first official meeting between top Indian and Chinese officials since the Doklam stand-off became public, national security adviser Ajit Doval met state councillor Yang Jiechi here on Thursday, offering the possibility of serious diplomatic efforts to deescalate the confrontation.
Yang, who as China's state councillor overseeing foreign affairs occupies a powerful position in the state council, is the Chinese nominee in the India-China special representative level dialogue with Doval. An influential post, the state councillor is a member of the state council.
Indications of how the bilateral meeting went could be gleaned by the commentary released by the official Xinhua news agency which sent out a conciliatory signal before Doval is expected to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday. It spoke of the need to enhance mutual trust as the two countries are "not born rivals".
The comments released by the official Xinhua news agency made a strong plea to avoid the possibility of a war. "Most economies, including those in the West, will find themselves negatively affected by an India-China war in a globalised and intertwined world today," it said. In Delhi, the Indian government reminded China of the agreements on peace and tranquility that go back to 1993.
Yang also held separate meetings with security officials of three other countries on the sidelines of a security dialogue of BRICS nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
He discussed issues concerning bilateral relations, international and regional issues and multilateral affairs with the visiting security officials, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The remarks are a contrast to the hectoring tone in the comments published in publications like Global Times that are seen to reflect the views of the government.
China's official spokespersons have accused India of trespassing into Chinese territory, ignoring India's protests that the face-off near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction has been caused by unilateral attempts by China to alter the ground position.
There are signs that the two neighbours might be able to scale down tensions that have spiked due to the military muscle flexing over China's bid to build a road through a plateau in Bhutanese territory.
This is the first time in weeks that the official media ran a commentary without demanding withdrawal of Indian troops from the disputed Doklam region. China has so far been insisting that troop withdrawal is a pre-condition to a "meaningful dialogue".
Doval reached Beijing on Thursday ahead of his planned meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and state counsellor Yang Jiechi on Friday.
"The recent border issue between the two countries shows a lack of strategic trust on the Indian side," Xinhua said.
It is not China but a set of problems common to all developing countries like corruption, a lack of quality education and healthcare that is holding back India.
"India must understand that China wishes what's good for the Indian people and would love to see a strong India standing shoulder by shoulder with China," Xinhua, which reflects the government's thinking said, giving an emotional touch to the vexed relationship.
Doval's formal purpose of visiting Beijing is to attend a security dialogue of BRICS nations. He is expected to discuss the border standoff with Chinese leaders in separate meetings.
Chinese foreign ministry has said that bilateral meetings are usually held during BRICS meetings and indirectly confirmed meetings on the border issue with Doval.
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« Reply #181 on: July 28, 2017, 08:54:06 AM »

 

Forecast Highlights

    India will back down from its standoff with China only if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has room to portray the resolution as a diplomatic victory to his political constituents back home.
    New Delhi won't have the means, however, to alter China's strategy in its periphery, even if it can temporarily halt construction on Beijing's road project in Bhutan.
    To defend against China's encroachment, New Delhi will bolster its defensive and infrastructure capacity along its northeastern border.

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan serves a strategic function far greater than its small size would suggest. Situated between India and China, the country acts as a buffer separating the two powers. But mounting enmity between New Delhi and Beijing is threatening to breach that barrier.

For over a month now, Chinese and Indian troops have been locked in a standoff a few hundred feet apart near the mountain pass of Doka La along India's border with China and Bhutan. The confrontation began June 16 when Indian forces intervened to prevent Chinese soldiers and construction workers from extending a roadway through the area. Bhutan claims Doka La lies within its borders, because the pass is south of its internationally recognized boundary with India and China, known as the trijunction. China, on the other hand, asserts that the trijunction is a few miles south of Doka La at Gymachen and that the pass, consequently, falls within its territory. For New Delhi, however, recognizing Beijing's border at Gymachen would put Chinese roads — and, by extension, troops — too close for comfort to the Siliguri corridor, the narrow ribbon of territory linking mainland India with its far-flung northeastern wing. The road through Doka La would also afford China access to the Jampheri ridge, a critical high ground from which it could threaten India's supply lines.

Neither China nor India has shown any sign of budging since the faceoff near Doka La began. India, hoping to avoid a conflict, has called for both sides to back down. As the lesser power in the showdown, though, New Delhi will be hard-pressed to find a way to coerce Beijing into giving up its ambitions in Bhutan or, for that matter, its wider strategy in South Asia.

An Uneven Competition

Over the past year, diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Beijing have hit the rocks. Part of the problem is China's relationship with India's archrival, Pakistan. In deference to Islamabad, Beijing has repeatedly rebuffed New Delhi's requests to impose U.N. sanctions on Masood Azhar, a Kashmiri militant based in Pakistan who is accused of orchestrating attacks on India. China likewise has used its veto power to keep India from entering the Nuclear Suppliers Group partly out of consideration for Pakistan, whose reputation as a sponsor of terrorism has hobbled its own chances of joining the organization. In addition, Beijing has forged ahead with construction on the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) despite New Delhi's protests that the project undermines its territorial integrity by crossing through Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Beyond raising concerns over Kashmir, a region India claims in its entirety, the CPEC also represents the growing challenge that Beijing poses to New Delhi's dominance in South Asia. The joint venture with Pakistan is just one of a host of infrastructure projects China has launched in the region as part of its Belt and Road Intiative. But as much as Beijing's activities in New Delhi's traditional sphere of influence may gall it, India simply doesn't have the means to deter China from its pursuits.

Though the two countries are about evenly matched in terms of population size, China outstrips India politically, economically and militarily. New Delhi, moreover, has more pressing matters to worry about than Beijing, from its rivalry with Islamabad to the Maoist Naxalite insurgency. In light of its limitations relative to China, India eschewed the heavy costs of interfering in the CPEC's construction, notwithstanding its fulminations. (Even the United States, whose military power exceeds that of India and China, has opted not to intervene in China's infrastructure projects, such as its undertakings in the South China Sea.) And for much the same reason, it is working to prevent a conflict from erupting in Bhutan. Negotiating a diplomatic resolution to the issue, after all, would give Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a victory to use to his political advantage at home. By the same token, initiating hostilities ostensibly over a road could damage China's carefully crafted image as a benign hegemon trying to promote harmony through its Belt and Road endeavors.

Area of Standoff Between Chinese and Indian Troops in Bhutan

Checking the Borders

Even without the upper hand, India has managed to halt construction on the road near Doka La. But to fend off Beijing's encroachment elsewhere, New Delhi may have to get creative. India, for instance, could take to the seas to head off China's increasing influence. As Beijing's clout has steadily grown, New Delhi has come to view the Indian Ocean region as an even greater asset for its defense and has ramped up its naval activities accordingly. More recently, India has seized on the South China Sea as another strategic space in which to counteract Beijing. The South Asian country has joined the United States in calling for freedom of navigation in the contested waters over the past few years. The South China Sea has become a topic of regular discussion in India's summits with the United States, and the subject has come up in meetings with other countries, such as Australia, as well. India even staked its own claim in the South China Sea by securing exploratory rights for a block in a Vietnamese offshore oil field, a risky investment whose value lies in its location.

Apart from its maritime pursuits, New Delhi will probably focus on bolstering infrastructure along India's northeastern border with China. Poor regional connectivity would be a significant handicap for India in the event of a military confrontation with China (though, ironically, the dearth of transport infrastructure was historically intended to deprive invading Chinese forces of inroads into the country). And now that China is busy building its own roads near sensitive border areas — including a 500-kilometer (310-mile) road linking Lhasa to Yadong, a city near the trijunction — India is taking steps to improve its connectivity. Modi revived construction projects for 73 strategic regional roads that were first proposed about a decade ago, and as a result of his efforts, India inaugurated the longest bridge in the country in May. Furthermore, India recently announced plans to construct at least two tunnels to reduce travel time between Tezpur, where the army's 4 Corps is headquartered, and Tawang, a city in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims is part of Tibet.

Modi has also emphasized increasing military capacity near his country's border with China. On March 17, reports emerged that India had begun raising a second infantry division for its mountain strike corps, known as the 17 Corps, headquartered in West Bengal. Designed to focus on the expanse of India's northern border from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh, the 17 Corps reportedly is part of the Indian army's effort to shift from a threat-based force to a capability-based force. Although it will be at least two years before the new infantry is operational, the project nevertheless reflects India's push to transition to an offensive-defensive approach in securing its borders.

Having fought a punishing territorial war with China in 1962, India has little interest in embarking on another armed conflict. And so, New Delhi will keep angling for a diplomatic solution to the standoff near Doka La as it tries to find a way to discourage China from following through with its roadway project there. Both sides have reason to avoid initiating hostilities, but until they arrive at a solution that will work in Modi's favor back home, China and India will likely stay at loggerheads. The dispute offers a glimpse into the difficulties New Delhi will face in the future as it tries to counter Beijing's advance into South Asia.
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« Reply #182 on: July 28, 2017, 06:40:58 PM »

Just as China miscalculated India's response, Stratfor IMHO, misses the fact that there is a nationalist BJP govt at the helm in India, not the spineless Gandhi family. So Stratfors forecast would be correct, under Congress rule, but not under BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party). Neither does Stratfor seem to appreciate the terrain and logistics that will be required for China to win, nor the current force levels at the border. Stratfor is right in that India is the weaker party in terms of weapons and economy.
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« Reply #183 on: July 28, 2017, 06:57:10 PM »

History is full of wars that both parties miscalculated their way into.
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« Reply #184 on: August 01, 2017, 02:48:25 PM »

Are China and India on the Road to War?
Jul 31, 2017
by Allison Fedirka

In mid-June, a remote area called the Dolam plateau in the Himalayas where the boundaries of China, India and Bhutan meet made headlines when Indian and Chinese troops began a standoff over a road construction project. China conducted a live-fire exercise in the area, and there have been false reports of deaths. Diplomatic efforts are underway to de-escalate the situation, but still the risk of war has been on everyone’s mind.

The terrain and weather in the area, located in a region called Doklam, are anathema to war. And yet, almost exactly 55 years ago, China and India fought briefly over this and other contested border areas. So what is the strategic value of this seemingly obscure plateau? And would India and China really go to war again over it?

Worth Fighting For

Put two major powers next to each other, even on the world’s largest continent with buffer states between them, and they’re bound to bump heads from time to time. China and India have most often fought over Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh state, which borders China in an isolated patch of Indian territory east of what’s known as the Siliguri Corridor. The corridor is a narrow strip of land – just 17 miles (27 kilometers) wide at its narrowest point – that connects the rest of India to its northeastern states wedged between Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.
 
(click to enlarge)

After the 1962 war between India and China – a war also over border disputes, specifically Arunachal Pradesh and Kashmir – a border known as the McMahon Line was drawn between China and Arunachal Pradesh. China withdrew its troops from the area, but it didn’t recognize India’s sovereignty over the territory. India eventually annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim, which expanded the buffer it had to defend the Siliguri Corridor, and assumed the role of protecting Bhutan.
On the surface, the origins of this latest standoff seem innocuous. It began with China’s construction of a road on the outskirts of China’s western territory. The road leads toward the Chumbi Valley, which lies in the tri-border area between China, India and Bhutan. This small area dips between the other two countries.
 
(click to enlarge)

As construction progressed, China tried to extend work into the Dolam plateau, which is claimed by Bhutan. India recognizes Bhutan’s claim; China does not. India and China each have over a billion people; Bhutan is smaller than the Dominican Republic and has a population of less than a million. Since it can’t stand up to its massive neighbors, Bhutan depends on India for defense. Rather than allow the road construction to continue, India sent troops to barricade the project. China sent a small number of its own troops in response, and the standoff commenced.

What makes this obscure plateau so important is its relationship to the surrounding landscape. The Dolam plateau overlooks the Chumbi Valley and would be arguably the most strategic staging area from which to defend – or attack – the Siliguri Corridor. To maintain its territorial integrity, India must control the corridor and meet any challenge to that control. For this reason, the government in New Delhi cannot tolerate the slightest Chinese presence, nor can it allow China access to Dolam – not even in the form of a road.

If China were to gain control of the Siliguri Corridor, it could cut India off from its northeastern states and stake its own claim to the territory. And this isn’t just some trivial collection of states: They host the upper half of the Brahmaputra River, which flows through Bangladesh and drains into the Indian Ocean. Whoever controls this river controls the freshwater supply and flow to Bangladesh. Assuming dominance over the Brahmaputra River would put China just a few steps from accessing the Indian Ocean via Bangladesh – by coercion, if necessary. Access to the Indian Ocean is a Chinese imperative because it would enable Beijing to bypass the many maritime chokepoints in the South China Sea and would make it much harder for the U.S. Navy to hem China in.

This is all hypothetical, of course, and won’t happen anytime soon. But conceptually it follows China’s strategy for Myanmar, where Beijing is attempting to secure access to the Indian Ocean through a series of soft power maneuvers. Like Myanmar, Bangladesh is much smaller than China. The situations aren’t perfectly analogous, however, because to influence Bangladesh, China must first conquer territory under the control of a near peer – India.

Nevertheless, this explains how China’s interest and actions in Doklam fit into its larger geopolitical imperative of reaching the Indian Ocean. Imperatives, by their nature, are always present. They don’t disappear just because a country can’t fulfill them in the present. Gaining geopolitical power requires understanding both the short and the long game.

Potential for War

The decision to wage war is never taken lightly. Aside from the moral components, a great deal of thought must go into analyzing the strategic value of the war, the logistics, and the cost and benefit. In other words, saying there is a potential for war because a few hundred troops are in a standoff is an oversimplification of what war would actually entail.

Military Situation

The first step is to understand the tactical dimensions of the situation. Reports on this standoff are imprecise – information about Indian troops has been circulated more freely than about Chinese troops in the area. At the construction site on the plateau there are believed to be about 300-400 soldiers from each side. Under normal circumstances, India maintains about 120-150 troops in the area. Estimates from early July of troop numbers in the general vicinity of Doklam were 3,000 for both sides, putting real troop levels at a little over 6,000.

Nearby in Sikkim state (the Indian state bordering Bhutan and China), India has a few thousand more troops. The 63rd Brigade in eastern Sikkim and the 112th Brigade in the north consist of about 3,000 men each. Reports also say that two battalions from the 164th Brigade have been activated and moved closer to the Chinese border. Whether these troops are counted in the estimates of Indian troop numbers stationed in the Doklam area is unclear. India also boasts three infantry mountain warfare divisions consisting of about 10,000 troops each that are on high operational readiness. Information on what types of weaponry the Indian soldiers around Doklam have is minimal.

Troop numbers on the Chinese side are much more ambiguous. The only publicized figure has been the 3,000-troop estimate. In late July, the Chinese defense minister said there were plans to strengthen the People’s Liberation Army’s deployment and increase exercises along the border, but he offered no specifics on troop numbers or timelines. What little we do know concerns the weaponry that China has in the area and comes as a result of a one-day live-fire exercise the PLA held in Tibet in mid-July. These drills included anti-tank grenades, missiles, small artillery (howitzers) and, according to rumors, a new Chinese-designed light tank. There have been no reports of aircraft or heavy artillery or vehicles in Doklam on either side.

Environment

Warfare in an area such as Doklam would ultimately require ground troops in order to capture and hold territory. Supply chain logistics and the ability to sustain troop levels then become critical not only for sustaining the fighting but also to maintain control over territory once the fighting ends. Whether this can be done depends heavily on terrain, logistics and weather. In a place like Doklam, the environmental factors make it extremely difficult and costly to wage any type of war.
 
(click to enlarge)

Reaching altitudes as high as 14,000 feet, the region is surrounded by mountains. Even the lowest points of the valley are at an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet. This puts tremendous physical stress on soldiers. Any troops deploying would need 8-9 days to make their way up to the full elevation and get acclimated. Fatigue and other ailments related to the altitude would be much more likely than they would on a low-level plain.

The climate is generally inhospitable. During the summer, the temperatures peak in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit (10-15 Celsius). Now is also the rainy season. During the winter, temperatures can easily drop below zero. There are few fixed facilities and accommodations for either military. On the Indian side, established facilities can hold only 150-200 people. Additional troops would need to use makeshift facilities and tents for shelter from the elements. Maintaining the health of troops in such intense conditions is challenging, and the risk is high of health problems that could reduce a soldier’s ability to fight.
 
(click to enlarge)

Finally, there is the question of logistics. There are few roads in the area that lead to Doklam. Most of the roads are unpaved, and those that are paved are small or have few lanes. Anecdotes from people who have worked in the area suggest that in many cases it is easier to move through the region on foot – especially in the areas with small dirt roads – rather than deal with the complications of vehicular travel. During the rainy season, the integrity of the dirt roads cannot be guaranteed. Massive mud deposits or flooding can severely impede travel. Under these conditions, it would be a logistical nightmare to run supplies and maintain troops fighting in Doklam.

Bigger Problems

This standoff is not about to lead China and India to war in Doklam. Though both sides have strategic interests in the region, the costs of warfare would outweigh the potential gains. Regardless of which side won, the simple participation in such a war would be very costly in terms of finances, supplies, logistics and troops.
Any territory gained would be strategically valuable, but neither country is in a position to capitalize on it. In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is still trying to centralize government control and sustain the economy. A military conflict could compromise the progress he has made so far.

China has its own list of challenges that need to be resolved. Its impressive growth numbers paper over the gaping holes in its economy. Moreover, relations with the U.S. are tense, and there’s still the potential for military conflict on the Korean Peninsula. These issues are far more immediate and important than Doklam.

The area matters greatly to both countries, but not enough to outweigh the other issues they’re facing, and not enough to justify the costs of war.
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« Reply #185 on: August 05, 2017, 09:35:26 AM »


Doklam: the word from Ground Zero



By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 4th Aug 17

On Friday, with China’s defence ministry warning New Delhi that: “restraint has its bottom line”, Indian Army officers participating in the Doklam faceoff have provided Business Standard the first detailed accounts of how the situation has evolved.

They say the Doklam bowl – which is disputed between China and Bhutan – currently has an extended, 200-metre long line of Indian infantry soldiers confronting a smaller number of Chinese border guards. Just one metre separates the two lines.

At any time, there are about 40 Chinese border guards in the disputed valley, facing off against three times that number of Indian jawans.

Backing up the Chinese front line are another 1,500 troops, a mix of border guards and regular People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers. These are positioned outside the disputed Doklam area, but cross in and out of the disputed area, relieving those on the front line at regular intervals.

Indian troops standing guard in Doklam are similarly relieved by a full infantry battalion (600 troops), located in Indian territory to the west. Backing up this battalion is a full infantry brigade (2,000 troops), ready to respond to any military moves from China.

In addition, a second fully acclimatised infantry brigade, slightly further away, stands ready to respond to a crisis.

“We fortunately had two brigades training in high altitudes nearby, so we have plenty of acclimatised troops. If needed, we can muster far more forces than the Chinese in Sikkim. This would never be an area where they start something”, says a senior Indian commander.

According to these officers’, tension began in early June, when Indian forces in the vicinity observed Chinese patrols reconnoitring the track in the disputed Doklam bowl. Intelligence assessments concluded that China was going to try and extend the road towards the Jampheri Ridge, at the farthest edge of China’s claim line.

Indian commanders strongly rejected yesterday’s statement by China’s foreign ministry, which claimed that India had been notified on May 18 and June 8, “out of goodwill through the border meeting mechanism”, that China would be building a road in Doklam.

They say, the Indian army reported to Delhi that road building seemed imminent, and were granted permission to cross into Bhutan-claimed territory to stop construction.

When India crossed into Doklam and confronted the Chinese construction parties, “they were taken completely by surprise and offered no resistance”, says an officer privy to events. “These are no soldiers; they are conscripted border guards, who live in heated barracks and periodically patrol the border in vehicles. They don’t walk much”, says an Indian commander.

“Our soldiers, in contrast, live a far tougher life. In Doklam, they stand guard without moving, while the Chinese keep breaking the line and going back for cigarette breaks. Indian morale is sky-high; soldiers know they are participating in something unprecedented – crossing a border to defend an Indian ally”, says the Indian officer.

Eventually, the Chinese had to send in a political commissar, recount Indian officers. “The commissar ordered up martial music and the hoisting of Chinese flags to stiffen resolve. They clearly had problems”, he says.

In the macho manner of militaries, the Indian Army is using a large number of Sikh and Jat soldiers to man the line in Doklam – in the expectation that their height and sturdiness would intimidate the smaller Chinese.

Army officers are elated also at having kept the confrontation out of the media for a full ten days, until Beijing was forced to make the incident public. “The Chinese have always complained that India’s media is too shrill and pro-active. This time, China had to mobilise their media, because we were there on the ground and nobody knew.”

Indian soldiers also point out that China has begun building bunkers and creating defences on the border. “That’s another first. They are recognising our capability to act decisively”, says an officer.

According to a senior Indian general: “The situation in Doklam has plateaued. Militarily, the Chinese know they can do nothing here. Eventually it will have to be a negotiated withdrawal, or the Chinese will have to open a front in another sector.”


With Beijing warning on Friday that “Chinese armed forces will resolutely protect the country's territorial sovereignty and security interests”, the PLA could choose its next move anywhere on a long, 3,500-kilometre border that stretches from Ladakh to Myanmar.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 09:37:37 AM by ya » Logged
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« Reply #186 on: August 06, 2017, 08:30:38 PM »

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a7984/us-woefully-unprepared-for-a-blackout-like-indias-analysis-11413652/?src=soc_fcbk

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/31/india-blackout-electricity-power-cuts

I do not buy the official explaination for the blackouts. The timing and scale seem very suspicious.

Your thoughts, Ya?
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« Reply #187 on: August 08, 2017, 07:33:10 PM »

These articles are 5 years old!. India is somewhat protected from Chinese hacks, because for the most part the country is still analog, compared to the USA where almost everything is electronic/digital and integrated. As India modernizes this willl change, but at present China cannot cause widespread disturbances. Local power shortage is pretty routine in north India (large population), especially during summers, though "load shedding" lasts only for a few hours during peak loads. Most well off houses and hospitals in cities have generator based back up power that comes up automatically. Heck until a few years ago and even now, there are tens of thousands of villages, where there is no electricity!. Modi govt is correcting  these things on a war footing.

My ancesteral home in the mountains next to China (until circa 1970), had a floor made of cowdung, cooking was done using chopped wood, electricity was sporadic and the water came for a 2-3 hours only. Today the cowdung floors have gone, cooking is with gas, but electricity and water are still sporadic, and this is the situation in middle class homes near the Himalayan foothills . In the surrounding villages not much has changed even today.
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ya
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« Reply #188 on: August 08, 2017, 10:56:12 PM »

So its now about 2 months and India is still sitting pretty in Bhutan. The Chinese window for action is closing fast, by mid sept it will get too cold. Chinese have been shown to be a bully and all bluster, I am sure this is a big loss of face for Xi, just before his major Communist Party Congress. Looks like they will have to backdown quietly, after the party congress is over. Problem is this incident (loss of face) has not gone unnoticed by neighboring countries, which may actually be problematic for us in the USA. The Chinese have also been forced to act against their stooge NK in the UN, too much loss of face again, question is will they (Chinese) be forced to lash out in some way in the Indo-China sea (eg sink a small boat)? If they dont, who will take them seriously, or are the Chinese stuck with bullying small countries, while the super power USA and developing power India thumb their noses at the middle kingdom.
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« Reply #189 on: August 09, 2017, 08:25:46 PM »

China needs to act or shut up....they are making a fool of themselves...YA.

Countdown to clash with India is on: Chinese daily

IANS | Updated: Aug 10, 2017, 05:19 AM IST

BEIJING: The countdown to a military conflict between India and China has begun and New Delhi should come to its senses and withdraw troops from Doklam before it's too late, a Chinese daily said on Wednesday.
An editorial in the state-run China Daily said the "clock is ticking away".
The piece was the latest addition to hostile commentaries in the Chinese media. The newspaper said, "India will only have itself to blame" if it didn't withdraw from Doklam where its troops are locked in a stand-off with the Chinese army since mid-June. "The countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun, and the clock is ticking away the time to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion," it said. "As the stand-off... enters its seventh week, the window for a peaceful solution is closing."
China has warned India of serious consequences if Indian troops were not pulled back from Doklam, which Beijing calls Donglang and claims is its territory.
India has proposed to China to simultaneously pull back from Doklam, which India and Bhutan say belongs to Thimpu. Beijing has refused.

The newspaper said India had ignored China's stern warnings.
"Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear will have got the message. Yet New Delhi refuses to come to its senses and pull its troops back to its own side of the border."
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:28:19 PM by ya » Logged
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« Reply #190 on: August 09, 2017, 09:24:18 PM »

Whoops! Missed the date. Knowing China's cyberwar abilities, I figured that's what they decided to do in this scenario.

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R43604.pdf
___________________________________________________

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Passcode/Passcode-Voices/2017/0320/How-China-is-preparing-for-cyberwar


Preparing for informationized wars

The 2015 Chinese Military Strategy White Paper states that the PLA must prepare for “informationized local wars” against technologically advanced adversaries. As a result, Chinese hackers breach Defense Department networks in order to better understand US military capabilities, accelerate the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army, and prepare of military conflict and the disruption of US forces.

Two PLA groups, Units 61938 and 61486, have reportedly stolen information from over two dozen Defense Department weapons programs, including the Patriot missile system and the US Navy’s new littoral combat ship. The most high-profile case has been the hacking of defense contractors involved in the F-35, which have forced the redesign of specialized communications and antenna arrays for the stealth aircraft. Department of Defense officials say that the most sensitive flight control data were not taken because they were stored offline, but the fuselage of China’s second stealth fighter jet, the J-31, is very similar to that of the F-35. In response to a question about attacks on defense contractors, Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told a congressional hearing, “I do not believe we are at this point losing our technological edge, but it is at risk based on some of their cyberactivities,” referring to China.

Chinese hackers also break into US networks in preparation for a potential military conflict. Chinese military analysts often write of the PLA’s need to seize information dominance at the beginning stages of a conflict with a technologically advanced adversary through cyber attacks against command and control computers as well as satellite and communication networks. The PLA would also attempt to disrupt US forces in the Western Pacific through attacks on transportation and logistics systems. Preparing for these attacks requires cyber espionage.

Chinese military writings also suggest that cyberattacks can have a deterrent effect, given American dependence on banking, telecommunication, and other critical networks. A highly disruptive or destructive attack on these networks might reduce the chances that the United States might get involved in a regional conflict. Some Chinese intrusions into critical infrastructure may intentionally leave evidence behind to act as a warning that the US homeland may not be immune to attack in the case of a conflict over Taiwan or the South China Sea.
______________________________________

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/acupuncture-warfare-chinas-cyberwar-doctrine-and-implications-for-india/

If there is another conflict with China, it can be visualised that the war will begin in cyberspace much before a single shot is fired or the first missile is launched. In fact, frequent hacking attempts, some of them successful, are ongoing on a daily basis even now when there is peace at the border

Read more at:
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/acupuncture-warfare-chinas-cyberwar-doctrine-and-implications-for-india/


These articles are 5 years old!. India is somewhat protected from Chinese hacks, because for the most part the country is still analog, compared to the USA where almost everything is electronic/digital and integrated. As India modernizes this willl change, but at present China cannot cause widespread disturbances. Local power shortage is pretty routine in north India (large population), especially during summers, though "load shedding" lasts only for a few hours during peak loads. Most well off houses and hospitals in cities have generator based back up power that comes up automatically. Heck until a few years ago and even now, there are tens of thousands of villages, where there is no electricity!. Modi govt is correcting  these things on a war footing.

My ancesteral home in the mountains next to China (until circa 1970), had a floor made of cowdung, cooking was done using chopped wood, electricity was sporadic and the water came for a 2-3 hours only. Today the cowdung floors have gone, cooking is with gas, but electricity and water are still sporadic, and this is the situation in middle class homes near the Himalayan foothills . In the surrounding villages not much has changed even today.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 10:59:57 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ya
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« Reply #191 on: August 11, 2017, 04:40:00 PM »

The drums of war continue. The media has not picked up on this, but the Chinese response to NK and on the Bhutan front are interlinked. China cannot open a front in Bhutan with the NK situation ongoing, and vice versa is also constrained to do much on their eastern sea board. Should China get involved in a war on its east, India could conceivably take back territories occupied by China (Aksai Chin etc). This is similar to the two front war threat that China and Pak pose to India....could not have happened to a nicer bully....YA.

India pumping in more soldiers, weapons on entire eastern front

Rajat Pandit | TNN | Aug 12, 2017, 12:27 AM IST

NEW DELHI: India continues to pump in additional troops and weapon systems on the entire eastern front in face of continuing belligerence from China on the Doklam standoff, even as diplomatic and military channels are being utilised in a bid to defuse the almost two-month-old crisis.
Sources said a top-level flag meeting between major-general rank officers from India and China was held at the Nathu La border personnel meeting (BPM) point in Sikkim for the first time on Friday, following failure of a similar meet between brigade commanders on August 8 to break the deadlock.

But the meeting also proved "inconclusive" with China remaining adamant that India should immediately withdraw its troops from the Bhutanese territory of Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction. "The Indian side held China should first remove its road construction equipment from the site. Both sides will now report back to their headquarters," said a source.
The meeting between top military officers indicates a line of communication at the ground level and efforts to exchange perceptions and possibly explore means to contain the confrontation.
The Army has steadily but stealthily moved troops to their "operational alert areas" on the borders with China in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, while also maintaining high operational readiness of its other formations and units all along the 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal, as was reported by TOI earlier.

In the eastern theatre, this primarily includes the 33 Corps headquartered in Sukna, with the 17 (Gangtok), 27 (Kalimpong) and 20 (Binnaguri) Mountain Divisions under its control. Each division has 10,000-15,000 soldiers who have undergone acclimatization for the high-altitude forward areas.
The 3 Corps (Dimapur) and 4 Corps (Tezpur), with similar infantry and mountain divisions under them, have also been activated as a precautionary move. IAF airbases in the North-East are also maintaining a high operational alert, with "combat air patrols" on a regular basis, said sources.

India's troop mobilisation comes in response to muscle-flexing by China, which has amassed troops, tanks and artillery in the Tibet Military District. "While the People's Liberation Army is showing its teeth in a bid to make us cower down, we have cranked up our caution levels," said a source.

But at the actual faceoff site located at an altitude of over 11,000-feet in Doklam, which China is keen to grab from Bhutan to add strategic depth to its narrow Chumbi Valley, there are still only 300-350 soldiers ranged against each other. The PLA has deployed another 1,500 soldiers just beyond the standoff site as part of its aggressive posture.
Defence minister ArunJaitley, incidentally, assured Lok Sabha on Friday that the Indian armed forces are geared for all contingencies, while responding to questions on Chinese troop movements in Tibet and the Army vice-chief's statement that Pakistan's indigenous defence production industry was better than India's. "Our defence forces are ready to take on any eventuality," he said, without making any specific reference to to Doklam.
In sharp contrast to China's belligerence and threats of military reprisals, through both its officials and state-controlled media, India has chosen to remain largely tight-lipped about the entire faceoff from the beginning. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, in fact, had recently stressed the need for both sides to mutually withdraw their troops from Doklam simultaneously.

At least two flag meetings were also held earlier between the local commanders after Indian troops had proactivelyblocked the attempt by the PLA to construct a motorable road in Doklamon June 18, but they had proved futile with both the armies refusing to budge from their positions.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 04:43:34 PM by ya » Logged
ya
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« Reply #192 on: August 19, 2017, 10:27:31 AM »

Two nuclear powers fighting with stones...looks like the Chinese are learning from the pakis (masters of stone throwing). One side is Chinese, the other is Indian, location: Pangong lake, Ladakh, India. Complete with one flying kick. All one needs is a bullet to be fired and then the balloon will be up. The frustration on the Chinese side is building up. Recently Chinese came up with a video mocking India and India did the same (Winnie da pooh). The Winnie da pooh video is classier...psyops from both sides

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww6ppQBH03w&feature=youtu.be

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/18/asia/china-xinhua-india-video/index.html
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 10:30:05 AM by ya » Logged
G M
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« Reply #193 on: August 19, 2017, 10:45:22 AM »

Two nuclear powers fighting with stones...looks like the Chinese are learning from the pakis (masters of stone throwing). One side is Chinese, the other is Indian, location: Pangong lake, Ladakh, India. Complete with one flying kick. All one needs is a bullet to be fired and then the balloon will be up. The frustration on the Chinese side is building up. Recently Chinese came up with a video mocking India and India did the same (Winnie da pooh). The Winnie da pooh video is classier...psyops from both sides

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww6ppQBH03w&feature=youtu.be

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/18/asia/china-xinhua-india-video/index.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-40627855
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« Reply #194 on: August 19, 2017, 09:39:32 PM »

Sums it up...YA

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