The China-Pakistan ‘hand in hand’ against India has now come all out in the open after the USNews.com 1 on August 6, 2020, published an elaborate report as to how China and Pakistan have started an unprecedented intelligence sharing in an attempt to secure Beijing influence in Afghanistan at the expense of US government which is now to withdraw from Afghanistan after 20 years of war, leaving for Afghan Taliban to rule against whom US had waged its war. The report throws light as to how Pakistan helped China to score over India , ‘US intelligence officials noticed that Chinese forces had a greater understanding than before into Indian troop positions and movements ahead of the deadly border clash on June 15 (2020). The officials believe Pakistan’s military leadership likely shared their intelligence assessments of the Indian army’s disposition with their Chinese counterparts’.

India lost 20 of its soldiers in Galwan valley on June 15, 2020, and the border stand-off between China-India has since then refused to die, despite countless number of ‘rounds-of-talks’ with China’s envoy in New Delhi, Sun Weidong, on August 12, 2020, finally saying, that the onus of resolving the dispute lies with India as ‘The Indian side crossed the LAC for provocation and attacked the  Chinese border troops’. He further said that the clash was “completely instigated by the Indian side and the responsibility does not lie with the Chinese side”. He reiterated China’s position that the June 15 incident “happened on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the Indian side crossed the LAC first”, and the “Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the LAC” 2.  In view of what Weidong has said it becomes clear that what PM Narendra Modi had announced on June 20, 2020  ‘No one entered Indian territory, no Indian posts taken over 3 ’ was right, and hence, when Indian soldiers skirted inside Chinese territory it led to a scuffle which resulted in 20 deaths. Ironically, the stand of Weidong has come on the eve of 100 days of the beginning of conflict with China on May 5, 2020.

It may be pointed here, what the world is debating, as an article published in Eurasia Times 4 on August 11, 2020, is a clear indication that ‘The violent stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Galwan valley, was not a coincidence but a pre-planned move by China.  There have been reports by US and Indian security agencies that China made a lot of preparations before infiltrating Finger 4 to Galwan and Hot Spring areas. China could have planned the Ladakh border clash right after the Doklam conflict ( 2017) between Indian and Chinese soldiers. India, at that time, was at an advantage (in Doklam) but Beijing opted to retaliate in areas where it could hold better positions. China was certainly taken aback by the Indian position and felt a little embarrassed which dented tough image’. It is also understandable that China had the same technology in 2017 too but what it lacked was human-intelligence which came very handy from Pakistan between the Galwan showdown, as shows as another article published in  Eurasia Times 5 ‘US report hints at Pakistan’s Direct Hand in India-China border clash in Galwan Valley’.  This was in continuation to the preparation China had done by deploying T-15 tanks in Tibet by the beginning of the year 2020 6 against which India as a counter-measure has deployed M-777 guns from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh sourced recently from the US.

India’s worst fears are coming true as India had always shown concern over China’s intention of making a dam on the river Yarlung Zangbo  known as Brahamaputra 7 in Tibet as through it ‘China wants to assert its claim over Andhra Pradesh as China through it will threaten to reduce the river flows into India, and the matters are worse-off, as there is no bilateral or multilateral treat with China over it, and moreover, the Lahlo project on the river Xiabuqu ( close to Sikkim)  had been under way at an investment of $740 million. Xigaze is a few hours from the junction of Bhutan and Sikkim. It is also the city from where China intends to extend its railway towards Nepal’.  China has made three such dams, within a distance of 24 kms, and intends to further construct eight 8 on it, ‘These dams are to be built within the next 10 years at Bayu, Jiexi, Langta, Dakpa, Nang, Demo, Namcha and Metok towns that do not have more than a hundred households each. This has sparked speculation that the aim of these dams is only to build reservoirs and export electric energy from Tibet to mainland China’. After the latest satellite imagery have come to show Chinese increased activity on Brahamaputra 9, where it displays that China may be using a secret tunnel to divert Brahamaputra water into  its desert i.e. Taklamakan desert, obviously has, started to ring alarm bells in New Delhi. Perhaps, the way New Delhi always played up the rhetoric that it would strangulate and starve Pakistan by ‘finishing-off’ the Indus-Water-Treaty (1960), China seem well ahead to do the same to India.  Meanwhile, it is also learnt that Nepal, which is also at loggerheads with India , has released waters which has resulted in floods in around 60 villages in UP 10.

As Nepal is involved into releasing water causing floods, Bhutan, an ally of India, has started to put hassles and has stopped releasing water for irrigation in India . ‘The withholding of water by the Bhutanese government is affecting people of 25 villages. ‘Thimpu has said that the flow of the irrigation water has been stopped as part of Bhutan’s efforts to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China’s Wuhan city in Hubei province. Bhutan has prohibited entry of foreign nationals. The Indian farmers, who use water from the channel, have been denied permission for being foreigners. Local sources said that the agitated farmers, however, argue that the water to the Dong can be channelised if all the international protocols to prevent COVID-19 are followed. New Delhi is yet to react to it’ 11.  This all is being done as Bhutan too is cosying up with China.

India, which is now thoroughly engaged with China in the Himalayas as both sides are gearing for a war, had in for a new shock as new satellite images have revealed China-Pakistan friendship in Arabian sea as well, as Pakistan Navy has parked one of its submarine in the middle of Chinese Navy warships visiting Karachi reports Forbes.com 12 on August 12, 2020. This clears the air that China, with the help of Pakistan, is to face India-and-US which are likely to throttle the straits of Malacca from which the Chinese exports reach-out to the world. Hence, both the hills and the oceans are likely to witness a tussle around India with US on Indian side.

Interestingly, China has warned US in very strict terms saying US not to ‘play with fire’ after a US wrapped its highest-profile visit to Taiwan on August 12, 2020, as China sees Taiwan as its own territory 13. US and China are head-to-head involved in South China sea where US has stationed its two aircraft carriers, since, July 4, 2020  14 and tensions are rising 15  against which China has deployed its H6J missile bomber for the first time on August 12, 2020 16  so as to meet the challenge thrown by US.

India and Pakistan, as they celebrate their respective 74th independence day, are also locked on the fate of Kashmir, which both nations call as an unfinished business of partition, since 1947, and Pakistan has lately started to show Kashmir as its part on August 5, 2020 17 , exactly the same one year back when PM Modi finished-off the special status to JK &L by annulling Article 370 and making Ladakh a Union Territory, which simultaneously irked both Pakistan and China, and thus, has resulted in India’s growing frustration at UN Security Council as in the last one year China has raised the issue of Kashmir for thrice at UNSC, as what the report published in The Diplomat suggests 18. Let’s see how India and Pakistan are to wrest Kashmir in their next year, as for Ladakh, is already reeling under fire from China.

The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner. He is also a lawyer based in Lucknow.

References:

1-https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2020-08-06/new-china-pakistan-axis-undermines-us-in-afghanistan-strengthens-uighur-persecution

2-https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/chinese-envoy-says-onus-not-on-china-to-resolve-border-standoff/story-cHgr3Ekgn5er5xH2Q6XfmN.html

3-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/neither-has-anyone-intruded-into-indian-territory-nor-has-anyone-taken-over-any-post-pm-modi/articleshow/76470868.cms

4-https://eurasiantimes.com/china-planned-galwan-valley-clash-right-after-it-felt-embarrassed-at-doklam-experts/

5-https://eurasiantimes.com/us-report-hints-at-pakistans-direct-hand-in-india-china-border-clash-at-galwan-valley/

6-https://zeenews.india.com/india/china-planned-incursion-in-galwan-much-ahead-deployed-nano-tanks-in-tibet-in-january-2302022.html

7- https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/why-india-is-worried-about-chinas-dam-projects-on-the-brahmaputra-river/articleshow/54691589.cms?from=mdr

8- https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/china-s-dams-in-tibet-may-pose-threat-to-india-s-water-supply-satellite-images-explain-1709475-2020-08-09

9- https://theprint.in/report/first-evidence-of-complete-brahmaputra-by-china/21694/

10- https://www.firstpost.com/india/over-60-villages-flooded-in-ups-bahraich-district-after-nepal-releases-water-into-rivers-8665981.html

11- https://www.thestatesman.com/india/after-pak-nepal-chinas-ally-bhutan-hassles-india-stops-releasing-water-for-irrigation-report-1502903812.html

12- https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2020/08/12/satellite-image-shows-pakistani-submarine-with-chinese-navy/#3013f03926da

13- https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-warns-us-against-playing-with-fire-over-taiwan-visit/articleshow/77503757.cms

14- https://nypost.com/2020/07/04/us-warships-deployed-to-south-china-sea-for-drills/

15- https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/d00601/

16- https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/35655/china-deployed-bombers-to-south-china-sea-island-for-the-first-time-according-to-image

17- https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/fresh-provocation-pakistan-shows-jk-ladakh-sir-creek-as-its-territories-in-new-political-map/631842

18- Indian Frustration With China Grows


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