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HomeDEFENCEChinese intrusion in Nathula: its time for a lasting solution

Chinese intrusion in Nathula: its time for a lasting solution

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On 20 Jan 2021, Chinese soldiers tried to change the ground situation in Nathula Pass in Sikkim. Reports which are now coming in confirm that the incident did happen.

What is surprising is that when this incident has been confirmed by the Indian Army then why did India go for 9th round of Military level talks in Eastern Ladakh which in any case ended without any tangible result?

It is worth mentioning that on 20 Jan 2021 Chinese troops tried to change the status quo by force in Nathula pass in Sikkim by entering the LAC were beaten up by Indian Soldiers. Some 20 of them were seriously injured while four of Indian soldiers were injured.

The same thing was resorted to by these Chinese soldiers dressed in civilian clothes in Eastern Ladakh a few months back when they were intercepted and turned back. On 15 Jun 2020 Chinese soldiers ambushed Indian soldiers in Galway Valley in Eastern Ladakh and killed 20 Indian soldiers. In retaliation, Indian troops killed 106 of Chinese troops in Galwan.  In other words, China is resorting to these incursions at grounds of its choosing while also dangling venue for talks.

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Recently the 9th round of Indo-China military-level talks yielded no results. It should be clear to us by now that these military level Indo-China talks are only a subterfuge for Chinese to test Indian waters by local level troop incursions to find weak spots in Indian defences. The Military level Indo-Chinese talks are for the world opinion that Chinese are trying to find a genuine solution. Time India must tell China that both talks and Chinese incursions to change the status quo cannot go together.

India should stop attending these Chinese military-level talks which are in any case not meant to find any solution. These talks and the time wasted on them are meant to allow China to pass the winters for which Chinese troops are not trained and thanks to Siachen, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh etc Indian troops are better trained, equipped and acclimatised. We must exploit our preparedness. Also, this Dhakka-Mukki protocol as agreed between the two armies during the Congress regime must end. We initially suffered in Galwan because of this stupidity. A soldier relies on his basic weapon and whose use should not be denied to him. Why should we carry weapons without magazine full? Why should we be denied the use of weapons? Why should our soldiers do Dhakka-Mukki and show placards? Its time all these protocols are withdrawn. Our soldiers are trained to Shoot to kill so be it. 

We must remember that China cannot deploy all its troops against our 3440 km long border with us. Things are now hotting up in South China Sea front also where China has constructed 9 artificial islands, deployed fighters and missiles on them, claims 80% of this sea as theirs and just two days back given orders to its Coast Guard that it is free to shoot any foreign country ship in this sea.

The new American President Joe- Biden has entered the South China sea with its Nimitz class nuclear-powered Aircraft carrier, support Ships and submarines challenging China.

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One wrong move by China can lead to war. Can China fight the US, and India combined? Also add to it Japan, Australia and France.

Things are not all that bad for us so why should we take it lying down? We should never forget the war dictum ‘Offence is The Best Defence”.      

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Brig Arun Bajpai
Brig Arun Bajpai
Defence and Strategic Analyst


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