Photo: The Hindu
By Brig Arun Bajpai
We Indians are famous for talking. We start talking even when there is no scope for talking; maybe it is part of our DNA or a fallout of 1000 years of slavery.
It is now clear that the attack in the Galwan Valley by the Chinese Army was premeditated. It has been confirmed by the MEA and recent US Intelligence reports that more than 350 Chinese soldiers armed with iron rods and spiked bats were waiting to pounce on a small party of 50 unarmed Indians. It is a different story that the Indian soldiers despite their inferior numbers managed to overpower them and in the process killed 43 Chinese soldiers and injured 76 of them at the cost of 20 Indian soldiers including the CO 16 Bihar Col Babu. Still, we are talking to Chinese. why?
On 06 June in the talks held between 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harjinder Singh and his counterpart in the Chinese Army at Moldo it was decided that both sides will fall back to their original positions as in April this year. On 15 June an Indian Army patrol was sent to find out whether the Chinese had vacated the area.
Much to the surprise of the patrol, it became known that leave alone vacating the area, the Chinese troops had reinforced PP 14 and constructed a temporary post there.
Photo: The Hindu
It now transpires that this was done on orders of Chinese President Xi Xining. This order was conveyed to Chinese troops by General Zhao the Chinese Western Sector commander.
When this was reported to Col Babu CO 16 Bihar he decided to discuss the matter with his Chinese counterpart.
This was the reason why Col Babu and 50 unarmed Indian Soldiers went to Galwan valley because of 1996 and 2006 treaties made by Cong led UPA with China. Their aim being only to talk so they approached the Chinese post as soon as they reached the PP14 at 1930 hours.
Even before they could say anything, the Chinese soldiers who armed with spiked bats and iron rods pounced on Col Babu and two JCOS accompanying him. Col Babu and the two JCOs accompanying him did not expect the Chinese assault and died.
Seeing their CO being killed, the 50 odd soldiers of 16 Bihar went berserk and pounced on the 350 odd Chinese soldiers. The Indian troops snatched the spiked bats and iron rods from the Chinese and beat them right left and Centre. Seering the ferocity of the Indian counter-attack the Chinese soldiers vacated PP14 and tried to run away but could not withstand the anger of the Indian soldiers who were prepared to do and die.
This happened despite a clear understanding between the 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harjinder and his Chinese counterpart that both sides will withdraw to April positions. This simply shows that the clever Chinese troops had no intention of withdrawing and were only bluffing the Indian troops to withdraw so that they can occupy the area during their absence. A case in point is how Chinese who have never claimed the Galwan area as theirs are now after the incident, claiming the whole of Galwan as theirs.
What is the sense of talking to China and hold yet another meeting between the Indian 14 Corps Commander and his Chinese counterpart – held just after the incident?
Even the last meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and once again both Armies agreed to withdraw. It should by now be very clear to the Indian side that Chinese troops will withdraw in Eastern Ladakh from the Gogra Hot Springs site and Galwan area because both armies are more or less on their side of LAC here. Chinese never had any intention of sticking on there. This was only a ploy to confuse the Indians that they are withdrawing.
The Chinese are masters in the game of deceit and deception and they aimed to occupy 8 km of the territory between finger 4 and finger 8. During this period of Galwan talks between 05 May onwards, they constructed bunkers, Pillboxes, and other infrastructure to consolidate their presence in this area on the North bank of the lake Pangong Tso. The spurs which originate from here dominate the Indian made 255 km long Darbuka-Daulat Beg Oldi road they don’t want to withdraw. From the Indian point of view, the problem is that the Chinese have got what they wanted. Why this area was left unguarded by Indians is something which must be investigated and heads must roll of people found responsible. So, what purpose these talks? China will not withdraw from here that is for sure. They already lost Doklam where they withdrew because then Xi Xinping was to be declared President for life, a chance which he did not want to lose. There is no such issue here now.
So, what can India do now? India and Modi Government must understand that China is a bully that is browbeating India because India is going too close to the US as also helping investigate the origin of the Covid-19 Virus. President Trump is already called it a Chinese Virus. India now must become aggressive.
China cares about two hoots for Indian susceptibilities, why should we care for them? India must move closer to the US and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) also known as the Quad countries with whom China has an axe to grind.
India must recognize Tibet and Taiwan as independent countries. India must move out of accepting one-China policy in the case of Taiwan.
At the same time, India should become self- reliant in the economic field gradually and forge a greater friendship with countries like Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malesia, Singapore, and Taiwan. We must follow a policy of the enemy of our enemy is our friend. All in all, we must consider China as our enemy number one. At the same time, our governments must stop this policy of appeasing China. An enemy will remain an enemy despite all appeasements.