[WSMDiscuss] India-China Border Dispute: Modi Severely Undercuts Indian Position: All for the sake of 56"!?

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 08:58:39 CEST 2020

[*All for the sake of his 56" image!!!*
*Does any one recall: "Desh ke gaddaron ko ....!!!"???*

Where did the hand-to-hand fight in which 20 precious Indian lives were
lost had occurred???
Indian Prime Minister has testified!
At least, so does the Chinese side claim.

<<Shen Shiwei沈诗伟
“No outsider was inside #Indian territory in #Ladakh nor had any border
post of the Indian Army captured by outside forces.” Chinese media has
translated the speech by #Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on an all-
party meet called by him on Friday. #ChinaIndiaFaceoff>>
[The video clip of the relevant part of Modi addressing an all-party meet
on this19th included.]


The transcript: "na wahan koi hamari seema me ghus aaya hai aur na hi koi
ghusa hua hai, na hi hamari koi post kisi dusre ke kabje me hai.”
The English (unofficial) translation: “neither has anyone intruded (into
our territory) there, nor is (now) any intruder there, nor is any of our
posts occupied by someone else.”

*All peace loving people of India, and the world, must, however, raise
their voices in favour of just, durable and peaceful settlements between
all feuding neighbours.Conceivably, the most practical way is that the UN
sets up a permanent set-up - enjoying broadest confidence, to mediate and
arbitrate in cases of all such disputes.*]


Ajai Shukla
It’s all settled! The prime minister of India signalled today that the
Galwan valley — to defend which 20 Indian soldiers died this week — is not
unambiguously Indian territory.

And, on cue, the Chinese Govt has officially repeated its claim to the
entire valley.


[Screenshot of the statement of the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.]


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Gave a Step-by-Step Account of the Galwan
Valley Incident

On June 19, 2020, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian gave a
step-by-step account of the Galwan clash and elaborated China's position on
settling this incident.

Zhao Lijian pointed out that the Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese
side of the Line of Actual Control in the west section of the China-India
boundary. For many years, the Chinese border troops have been patrolling
and on duty in this region. Since April this year, the Indian border troops
have unilaterally and continuously built roads, bridges and other
facilities at the LAC in the Galwan Valley. China has lodged
representations and protests on multiple occasions but India has gone even
further to cross the LAC and make provocations. By the early morning of May
6, the Indian border troops, who have crossed the LAC by night and
trespassed into China's territory, have built fortification and barricades,
which impeded the patrol of Chinese border troops They deliberately made
provocations in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo of control
and management. The Chinese border troops have been forced to take
necessary measures to respond to the situation on the ground and strengthen
management and control in the border areas.

In order to ease the situation, China and India have stayed in close
communication through military and diplomatic channels. In response to the
strong demand of the Chinese side, India agreed to withdraw the personnel
who crossed the LAC and demolish the facilities, and so they did. On June
6, the border troops of both countries held a commander-level meeting and
reached consensus on easing the situation. The Indian side promised that
they would not cross the estuary of the Galwan river to patrol and build
facilities and the two sides would discuss and decide phased withdrawal of
troops through the meetings between commanders on the ground.

Shockingly, on the evening of June 15, India's front-line troops, in
violation of the agreement reached at the commander-level meeting, once
again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation when
the situation in the Galwan Valley was already easing, and even violently
attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went there for negotiation,
thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties. The
adventurous acts of the Indian army have seriously undermined the stability
of the border areas, threatened the lives of Chinese personnel, violated
the agreements reached between the two countries on the border issue, and
breached the basic norms governing international relations. China has
lodged solemn representations and strong protests to the Indian side.

During State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's phone conversation
with External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, he repeated China's stern
position, demanding India to carry out a thorough investigation into the
incident, severely punish those who should be held accountable, strictly
discipline Indian frontline troops, and immediately stop all provocative
actions so as to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. A second
commander-level meeting should happen as soon as possible to deal with the
situation on the ground. The two sides agreed to handle in a just manner
the serious situation caused by the Galwan Valley clash, observe the
agreement reached during the commander-level meeting, cool down the
situation on the ground as soon as possible, and uphold peace and
tranquility of the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements
reached so far.

China hopes that India will work with us, follow faithfully the important
consensus reached between the two leaders, abide by the agreements reach
between the two governments, and strengthen communication and coordination
on properly managing the current situation through diplomatic and military
channels, and jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas.


K.P.FABIAN | 20 JUNE, 2020

Is This The Theatre of the Absurd?

India needs a paradigm shift towards China

It is obvious, painfully obvious that India’s policy towards its big
neighbor China has not been much of a success. Before we figure out a new
policy frame work, we need to bear in mind that in the ongoing stand-off at
the border, India has faulted diplomatically and militarily apart from
permitting China to control, or almost control, the narrative as far as the
international public is concerned.

We start with diplomacy. Following the brutal killing of 20 Indian soldiers
by the Chinese military, China summoned the Indian Ambassador in Beijing
and lodged a protest. Is this not paradoxical? Why is it that it never
occurred to the MEA to summon the Chinese Ambassador and make a strong
demarche? We can only speculate and feel sorry for ourselves.

China made another move. Its Foreign Minister called up his Indian
counterpart. China put out a statement to the effect that China clearly
told India that it had violated the LAC; those responsible for that
violation should be punished; and demanded that the Indian patrols should
be instructed not to do it again. The BBC, Reuters, and the Global Times
carried the Chinese version.

Hours later, India came out with its version of what its Foreign Minister
told his interlocutor. India told China that it was a ‘premeditated
attempt’ by China to alter the status quo; China should stop it; and if it
does not stop it, there would be repercussions on bilateral relations.

While we are glad that India stood its ground in the conversation, we are
at a loss to understand why India let China take advantage by coming out
with its version first.

Apart from the delay in communicating, there are other matters of concern.
It will be good if the Foreign Minister could write an op-ed in New York
Times and similar dailies. India has a strong case and there is no virtue
in concealing it.

Government is at fault in not keeping the citizens informed. Anyone who has
worked in the government knows that it cannot afford to come out with the
whole truth in a dynamic and sensitive situation. That is why competent
governments give a daily briefing where the public knows that while the
government is not telling the whole truth it is not lying either.

What is shareable with the public is shared. The practice of giving inputs
through ‘sources’ might be needed at times, but that should not come in the
way of regular briefing. In the absence of a competent communication policy
rumors spread. For example, there was a rumor that 20 Indians were under
detention. Later, we were told, apparently by ‘sources’ that 10 Indians
were released by China after talks at the military level.

Coming to the military, Colonel Santhosh Babu was taken by surprise and was
badly outnumbered by the Chinese who were keeping an eye on India’s
strength and deployment in the area through drones. Are we to believe that
the Indian Army has no way of knowing what our adversary is doing?

We need a paradigm shift at the military level and at the diplomatic level.
When China makes an inroad at point A, India should do two things: Resist
the intrusion and simultaneously make an inroad at point B into the Chinese
side where India has local advantage. Of course, the military might have
already compiled a list of such points.

When there are incursions by both sides at points A, B, C, D, E, and F,
China might agree to sit at the double and the two sides can truthfully
agree to ‘mutually’ disengage and withdraw. Otherwise, China takes two
steps, India protests and China goes back only one step.

A word about the LAC. In the 1950s Zhou Enlai had pressed Nehru to start
talking on the border on the basis of LAC. Nehru refused because that would
have implied India’s giving up its claim on its territory that China had
already occupied.

In the 1980s, China made many inroads that India was not able to resist
except for the Operation Falcon (1986) when General Sunderji was the Army

China again brought up the idea of LAC and in 1993 Prime Minister P V
Narasimha Rao decided to accept the notion of LAC. The 1993 Agreement on
the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control
in the India-China Border Areas was signed. However, no map was attached to
the agreement showing the LAC existing at the time of signing. The
satellites could have produced a map with sufficient resolution and the LAC
should have been drawn on the map that should have been part of the

The absence of a map made it possible for China to create new LACs from
time to time. China has rebuffed India’s attempts to exchange maps.

It is painfully clear that Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s informal summits
have delivered not even a mouse. If he had established a rapport with Xi
Jinping, the two would have had a Skype summit and de-escalated the tension.

It was rather pathetic to see the two sides repeating ad nauseum that they
have agreed to work out a solution based on the instruction of the two
leaders not to let differences become disputes. It follows that one of the
leaders, if not both, are unable to prevail with their subordinates.

What should be the paradigm shift required on India’s side? We have already
suggested a plan of action on periodical intrusion by China. What about a
broader policy shift? Is it feasible to inflict some pain on China when it
misbehaves? Chinese companies have been debarred from quoting for a BSNL
tender. A contract given by the Railways has been canceled. There are calls
for a boycott of Chinese goods.

It is important to avoid knee-jerk reactions. Let us look at the big
picture. Imports from China have led to a degree of de-industrialization of
India. But, it will be illogical to blame China for it. It is Indian
companies that have imported as some of them found that it was more
profitable to import and distribute rather than manufacture in India.

In this context it is good to recall how South Korea opened up its market.
The government in consultation with the industry made three lists:

A of sectors where the country has the competitive edge over the rest of
the world.

B of sectors where the country has no reasonable ground to gain any
competitive edge with the rest of the world.

C of sectors the country might be able to establish an edge over two years.

The government told the industry that goods on lists A and B would be
freely importable with immediate effect. As to C there will be another
consultation after two years. If by then the industry has not gained the
edge those items also will be importable.

It is rather late in the day to do what South Korea did. But India should
start making the three lists. If manufacturing in India that contributes a
decreasing share to the GDP has to be revised, we cannot have imports from
China without any restrictions.

There is another matter of great importance. There are one or two corporate
behemoths deeply engaged with and beholden to China. These behemoths are
close to the government. Will they agree to any blockade? Further, there
are sectors such as the pharmaceuticals substantially dependent on imports
from China.

All told, economic blockade of China will cause more harm to India than to
China. But it is high time India took its own slogan of ‘Make in India’

The signaling to China should be that India has decided to revise its
policy and it will expect China to respect its own word. Summoning the
Chinese Ambassador in the morning of the 16th June would have conveyed the
message. Why not do it now.

*Post Scriptum:The above was written an hour before the All-Party Meeting
convened by the Prime Minister on June 19 where he categorically stated
that there was no incursion into Indian territory and that no Indian posts
had been taken over by China.The Indian public is puzzled as the Prime
Minister contradicts on the 19th what the External Affairs Minister told
his Chinese counterpart on the 16th. Is this the theater of the absurd?
Even Eugene Ionesco could not have written this.Has not the Prime Minister
caused a paradigm shift in the opposite direction? If any of our readers
had anticipated this shift, they should tell us.The reader can very well
guess why the Chinese Ambassador was not summoned. Incidentally, India does
not have posts everywhere on the absurdly called Line of Actual Control and
China could not have taken over non-existent posts!Ambassador K P Fabian is
retired from the Indian Foreign Service*
Peace Is Doable

Peace Is Doable
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