India must counter China’s multidimensional “encirclement”

In response to the Chinese accumulation of villages to gradually change the position of the land, it is recommended that the states / UTs along the LAC allocate concessional land to the security forces and families originating in this region, ready to s ‘install in the villages thus constructed.

CONTEXT
Chinese President Xi Jinping, armed with his renewed and undisputed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tenure, during his conversation with US President Joe Biden attempted to create the impression of a bipolar world order, although the rest of the world, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, continues to rebalance towards a unipolar, bipolar and multipolar world order, according to their perception. If Beijing succeeds, it will use all the instruments of power – ethical and unethical – to be the only superpower on the world stage and have a China-centric Asia on the regional stage, for which India’s subordination is considered essential. Achieving containment plus encirclement – the “encirclement” – of India is a strategic necessity in order to be able to force it into a China-centered alignment, preferably without undertaking a contact war.
Chanakya’s wisdom that a neighbor whose border is not settled can never be a friend seems to have been realized by New Delhi, which has been participating in a talkathon with China for decades in the hope of having a neighbor. friendly. India must develop options in all areas in the current fragile international environment, take up the Chinese challenge, avoid the concercle, preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity, in addition to continuing its own march to become a strong pole in the world. world order.

CONCIRCULATION
In the absence of any border treaty between independent India and China and of an undefined real line of control, the dead ends will continue. Current eastern Ladakh seems to have found itself in an impasse, to the detriment of India, in particular due to the lack of levers, even if India refuses to be forced to resume its usual activities, putting aside the question frontier-ALC, and insists on further removal of PLA from all sticking points to lead to de-escalation. China wants to avoid a further setback as it continues to build additional infrastructure to improve its encroachment into areas it was not meant to occupy under Confidence-Building Measures (CBM), as permanent settlements. The Chinese goal is to label this as a settlement of the border issue, somehow in line with its 1959-60 line of claim in strategically important areas. With occasional intrusions into other areas along the ALC, China is attempting to increase the economic cost of deployment to India by LOCATING the ALC and lengthening the Indian Army, in order to seek a sino-centric solution.
China’s “containment strategy” includes the planned construction of 628 dual-use border defense villages according to its own perception of the LAC, ensuring its claim permanence, improving its ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities (some of which have already been completed), providing these villages with infrastructure such as fiber optic connection similar to outposts. China can claim that its land border law passed by the National People’s Congress last month is applicable to all countries, but the timing suggests that it is part of the containment strategy directed against India. The law improves coordination between agencies and the power to defend lands increasingly claimed under the guise of national integrity. China’s recent MoU with Bhutan to resolve border issues bilaterally and Nepal’s appeal are also steps towards India’s control. A possible Chinese gain in Doklam through a land swap with Bhutan from other regions will be of serious concern to India due to the region’s proximity to the Siliguri Corridor. China has also encroached on the territories of these two countries to build villages.
The aggressiveness of the “encirclement strategy” is evident when China delivered the most advanced frigates / warships to Pakistan. Labeled as a giveaway, India must view it as a cover plan for the deployment of PLAN combat ships in Pakistani territorial waters / Arabian Sea, possibly under the Pakistani flag, adding another pearl to the ” China’s ongoing pearl necklace strategy. The port of Gwadar under the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), the CMEC (China Myanmar Economic Corridor) leading to the Bay of Bengal and a base in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are part of the overall encirclement plan from India.
The most worrying part for India is the Chinese encroachment in the realm of non-contact warfare. China’s growing economic, technological and digital offensive against India and other countries has made them so dependent on China, which has shaken their autonomy, that responses to unethical Chinese encroachment become deaf. The Chinese strategy of the “three wars”, namely the use of the media or public opinion, psychological warfare and legal warfare through the display of an arsenal, exercises and buying opinions seems to be finding ground in politically active democracies, especially in the election-oriented segments. in India to settle their political scores.

OPTIONS FOR INDIA
A serious push in capacity building and infrastructure building towards LAC to meet China’s challenge in the recent past is encouraging. Responses must be across the board to include contact and non-contact warfare. India needs a shift in mindset from reactive to proactive, with additional offensive capacity created to demonstrate its ability to encroach on China-sensitive areas and inflict a punitive cost, as China has assumed freedom of action. encroach anywhere, at will. The CNP (Comprehensive National Power) asymmetry between China and India is often used as an excuse to mute proactive responses, but a similar asymmetry exists between Pakistan and India, which does not hesitate to Pakistan. to adopt an unethical and proactive proxy war against India under a nuclear hangover. India also has the nuclear triad, which is why this excuse needs to be revisited. To express its intention, India could condition the “one China policy” to the “one India policy”, as Sushma Swaraj has mentioned in the past.
India needs to formulate its National Security Strategy (NSS), prioritize its challenges and the tasks required by various agencies to develop capacity while avoiding different ministries working with different priorities, in silos. It is frustrating to see the PILs against the widening of strategic roads or the railways dragging their feet to build strategic railway lines in Arunachal Pradesh due to the lack of commercial viability. Part of the NSS in the open domain can certainly improve the sensitivity of all agencies to national security needs, when specified. India is also expected to adopt an equivalent of the Border Defense Law in one form or another, as the strategic infrastructure along the border will have different criteria for rapid clearance by local, regional and central authorities in order to ‘avoid incidents such as the Ministry of the Environment obstructing many constructions of this type in the past.
In response to the accumulation of Chinese villages to gradually change the position of the soil, it is recommended that the states / UTs along the LAC allocate concessional land to security forces like regional SCOUTS, ITBP, SSB and families originating from this region (on the basis of the concept of soil), ready to settle in villages thus constructed, according to their own perception of CLA. This will improve inclusive growth, integration, moreover, will be the proof of our demands at the border, to ward off the Chinese strategy of incremental encroachment.
In response to economic and digital encroachment, India must increasingly draw up a negative import list of all products imported from China, which have been / may be produced in India and increasingly ban their imports , as is done to improve self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing. This may prove unpleasant for a few for-profit importers, but will greatly reduce our dependencies and concerns about long-term economic coercion. It is absurd that India’s trade surplus with China exceeds its defense budget during the lockdown period.
The collective naval posture with like-minded democracies to create a multi-fronted situation for China in the Indo-Pacific is key to controlling Chinese expansionism challenging the world order and threatening global commons with measures such as the China-centric Coast Guard Law and the Maritime Traffic Safety Law. There is a need for an alternative supply chain, trade and technology ecosystem independent of China for which some initial steps taken by Quad countries need to be continued. Alternative infrastructure architecture in the form of B3W, Blue Dot Network and Friendship Highways is essential to save fragile economies that fall into the Chinese debt trap through the BIS. A collective response against cyber, space, biological threats and nuclear expansion must be crafted. Quad Plus is the need of the hour, as Xi Jinping imposes the nine-dash line on ASEAN, entices them with an unsigned code of conduct, but blatantly lies to say that China will not seek “l ‘hegemony’. Western powers have reason to intervene as the economic center of gravity quickly shifts to the Indo-Pacific, and China is becoming increasingly daring to shift the global balance with companies like the hypersonic launcher.
India needs to develop its strategic culture with professional strategists, as diplomacy-focused tinkering and talkathons have not worked so far. The overall strategic approach must be proactive at all levels, in all dimensions of the war.
Major General SB Asthana is a retired army veteran. The opinions expressed are those of the author, who retains the copyright.

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