India-China conflict in the Global Context:  The Arunachal sector

 Mac Mahon Line

The Mac Mahon Line drawn by the British was never accepted by China, even in the pre-Communist era, even a century ago when it was drawn.  It was a line  “drawn on a map without surveys, was neither delineated nor demarcated,”  commented AS Bhasin, the Director (Retd) of the History department of India’s Foreign Ministry.  The Dec 9 clash took place in this sector, near Tawang, at the tri-junction, seen in the map .

This is part-2 of a Review of the recent, India-China December 9 clash, in the article, The Global context of India-China conflict. This part has a focus on the Eastern, Arunachal sector of LAC.

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“A vexed issue that can be resolved with a strong political leadership”

Former Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh said on June 6, 2020, a few days before Galwan clash:

“It may get resolved today. But if not today, it may take two-three more meeting…This is a very opportune time to get a permanent solution to this issue because both countries are presently headed by strong leaders. I had said this some years back in a column too,”

He said border disputes with China is a vexed issue because parliaments of both the countries have stated that the disputed territory is theirs.But it can be resolved with a strong political leadership. It (border dispute) will have to be made a national issue that needs to be resolved.” He said a final solution to the border dispute with China can be reached only at the political and diplomatic level. Speaking about the Indian Army’s preparedness, he added: “ At present, we should not indulge in things that can raise temperature and escalate the situation.”

Modi and Xi Jinping are projected as strong leaders. 

But tailing super powers has been a major factor behind India’s clash with China: Modi after some initial and occasional efforts at strategic autonomy, appears to be succumbing  to US and western pressures. With China, it is not merely a border dispute, which the imperialists never allow to be resolved. Modi’s India is drawn into QUAD, part of the Asia Pacific hegemonic strategy of USA, aimed against China.

Jingoistic war of words

In the parliament session that just concluded, before schedule, contrary to what General Bikram Singh suggested,  there was a jingoistic war of words rather than a meaningful debate on whether the foreign and defence policies are serving India and its people. Rahul Gandhi said “the government was sleeping while China was preparing for war”.  Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera elsewhere alleged  ” the government had tied the hands of the armed forces who are full of valour…Veer Sena, kayar raja (brave army, coward king)..BJP accused Congress leader Sonia Gandhi of trying to help country’s “enemy” China by seeking an open debate on country’s preparations over tackling challenges at the border. Times of India (TNN / Dec 22, 2022) reported: “She wants to know in Parliament about what preparations India has made to handle the Chinese aggression. She should explain to the country that she intends to help the enemy nation,” parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said.

 Citing the LAC face-offs as an alibi, US, two years ago, shifted 25000 plus troops to India-Pacific. And it has been allowed to meddle in Arunachal Pradesh, as shown later in this article.

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A New Forward Policy by Modi?  

Aksai Chin and Ladakh, have been part of the hot spots along LAC. Amit Shah ominously declared, in August 2019, when Ladakh was separated from Kashmir, that India would get them back: PoK is ours, Aksai chin is ours, they are part of JK, we will get them, and you will see this in future…This was during the debate on re-organization of JK and Art 370.

The detachment of Ladakh from J&K gave the leeway for the Centre to freely play its own politics, local as well as global.

That is the second edition of India’s Forward Policy, the first being Nehru’s that led to the 1962 war. Many experts know it is one trigger for  the current face-off, unprecedented in 45 years. And now Tawang is the scene of action.

It was not merely political rhetoric by Amit Shah as can be seen below:

“This is our Forward Policy…We will take Aksai Chin… This is not about LAC…. we have now become offensive…”

The above are ominous words that came from a responsible ex-diplomat of India, P.Stobdan. His words carry weight as earlier he had served in National Security Council Secretariat. The ex-Professor was Director, Centre for Strategic Studies in JK, is Founding President of Ladakh International Centre, now Senior Fellow at IDSA, specialist in Tibet, Xinjiang, Myanmar, Trans-Himalayan Affairs…More than all, he is an elite resident of Ladakh.

Stobdan, ex- Indian envoy, during a show on Hindi news channel Aaj Tak May 29, 2020, blamed Dalai Lama “sitting idle in Dharamshala”, not speaking out for India in the current face-off, referring to the Ladakh sector, reported reported on 31 May, 2020. “We have let him create a government in Dharamsala. He should offer a clarification that this is not Tibet’s land; it is India’s…

He added, echoing the official view,  that China wants to “change the narrative” by attempting to push the LAC through repeated transgressions.

“We (India) also want to do it (change the narrative). We also decided that after abrogating Article 370 we will take Aksai Chin. This is not about LAC… We kept talking about it but never made any progress…Not anymore, ” Stobdan ominously said.

Stobdan alleged that the real reason why the Chinese are now reacting is because “we have now become offensive, because we are now building roads, constructing infrastructure there and doing deployment. This is our Forward Policy and we need to be firm on this”.

(For more

Modi Govt.’s “strategic policy shift”will force Beijing to open a second front anywhere along LAC”

This was what Lt Gen (Retd) HS Panag wrote in on 19 Sep 2019,  long before Galwan clash:

Despite formal claims on Pok and Aksai Chin, India accepted Loc and LAC as de facto borders. But now Modi Govt “strategic policy shift” rattled both Pakistan and China. They will force Beijing to open a second front anywhere along LAC.”

He was ex- GOC in C, Northern and Central Command too, and should know…Thus it appears the present situation, the face off, indicates a “strategic policy shift” and is related to a Forward Policy.

India took a shift in policy and that could be seen when it joined hands with the West in the cold war, to press for a resolution in WHA of WHO blaming china on Covid-19; only a few weeks earlier India and china helped each other on Covid.

The Chinese media too expressed concern that India is pushing ahead, is provocative. China had protested when JK was re-organized. It took note of Amit Shah’s assertions in parliament.  China had promptly protested, and a BJP delegation sought to explain it away.

Lt Gen (Retd) HS Panag repeated it a few weeks before Galwan.

China believes India wants Aksai Chin back… That is the title of an article by Lt Gen (retd) H S Panag, 28 May, 2020:

The starting point of any conflict between two nations is the political aim. Military actions are merely the means to achieve that aim. I will reverse the process and analyse the military situation and strategic importance of the areas of the India-China ‘face-offs’ to derive the political aims….

Something unusual has been happening on the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border between India and Tibet, for the past four weeks. On 10 May, the Indian media broke the news about scuffles between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the north bank of Pangong Tso on the night of 5-6 May and at Naku La in north Sikkim on 9 May…Since then, reports have emerged about intrusions and ‘face-offs’ in the Galwan River , on the north bank of Pangong Tso, and possibly at Hot Springs in Chang Chenmo River valley, and at Demchok…

China is extremely suspicious of India. It believes that in the long term, India’s strategic aim is to restore the status quo ante 1950 by recovering Aksai Chin and other areas captured/secured by China.

Lt Gen (retd) H S Panag significantly said:

India’s alignment with the US, the presence of Tibetan government-in-exile in India, and the aggressive claims on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan — through which the prestigious China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes — only strengthen China’s suspicion.

Much as I would like to speculate about China’s broader political aims, the direct political aim is simple–to maintain the “status quo” along the LAC on its own terms, which is to forestall any threat, howsoever remote, to Aksai Chin and NH 219….

In the talks on June 6, 2020, India reportedly wanted restoration of status quo. It needs to be pointed out that status quo ante 1950, mentioned above, implies restoration of colonial claims of British India: Because China, the PRC, was yet to reach and establish itself in Tibet area by that time.

It was only later in 1951 that Tibet had signed a 17-point Agreement with new China, the PRC (that emerged in 1949 October) re-affirming China’s sovereignty over Tibet.  Dalai Lama was party to this, but later backed out. That is why Stobdan recalls: “We have let him create a government in Dharamsala. He should offer a clarification that this is not Tibet’s land; it is India’s.  Stobdan is the author of the book, The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas: India and China’s Quest for Strategic Dominance. It’s a game of USA.

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1962 or now, the same areas are hot-spots, part of Forward Policy

The pro-US lobby creates an impression that a belligerent and expansionist China has of late become a threat to India, and the whole world. The BJP projects a meek Nehru, much against facts, for their current electoral- political needs.

They seek to cover up the fact that it has been a dispute India led by Nehru began discussing, but backed out. Prodded by Kennedy-led USA, Nehru pressed for a Forward Policy that led to the 1962 war. BJP blames Nehru, but Modi emulates him in a second version of the Forward Policy. We shall review some of these issues.

That Galwan and Ladakh, and NEFA including Bhutan-Tibet-NEFA tri-junction were all part of the Forward Policy of 1962 (“evict the Chinese, even at the cost of…” ), can be seen in the official Minutes of that period, given below:     


The Colombo Powers (that tried mediation in the 1960s)  noted in a document they gave to Beijing entitled “The Principles Underlying the Proposals of the Six”: “the Chinese reached what they claimed to be the traditional customary line in 1962 as the result of their recent military actions”. It noted, as fairly, that “between 1959 and 1962, India has established 43 military check posts to the east of what the Chinese have described as the traditional customary line” (a euphemism both sides use for their claim line). Then came the explicit Forward  Policy that led to the 1962 war.

The broader context for the tensions is the changing dynamic along the LAC. India has been upgrading its roads as it plays catch-up, with China already enjoying an advantage in both terrain and infrastructure…

An Indian military official, in Times Now channel, said India for the first time was seeking to assert its claims on the ground. This is the new element, a new “Forward Policy”, as described by senior Indian diplomat P. Stobdan (Retd), hailing from Ladakh. That was what was asserted by Jaishankar .

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‘Biggest-ever LAC deployment by India’: Jaishankar

“Sonia wants to know in Parliament about what preparations India has made to handle the Chinese aggression,” BJP said and insisted on avoiding a discussion there.The preparations were reported outside the House, to score political points: 

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Dec 19 hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi;  speaking at a media conclave he said this is the biggest-ever, unprecedented, LAC deployment by India and is done in order to counter Chinese deployments which were scaled up massively since 2020.

“The Army is deployed to counter any attempt to unilaterally alter the LAC, that is the commitment of the Indian Army. If we were in denial, then Army won’t be deployed there,” Jaishankar said (,  Dec 19, 2022).

Covering up the more serious implications, and playing to the gallery, he objected to Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, and said “we should not disrespect our jawans.””The word ‘pitai’ (beating) should not be used for our jawans.” Jaishankar said that the Indian troops didn’t go to LAC on Rahul Gandhi’s order but our Prime Minister’s.

The Chinese PLA’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector can be linked to Beijing’s new border law that came into force earlier this year, it is widely reported: The law allows the use of blockades and “police apparatus and weapons”.. India much earlier made its own Constitutional and legislative changes, and the Indian Home Minister revealed his mind, as seen above. The border dispute with Nepal being kicked up was also a  related development.

A new strategic border road at a cost of around Rs 27,000 crore

‘Eye on China, govt plans a ‘frontier highway’, Times reported…The government, in the next five years, will build a new highway in Arunachal Pradesh that will run close to the India-Tibet-China-Myanmar border. At some locations, the ‘frontier highway’ will be as close as 20km from the international border. The road designated as NH-913, will come as a big boost for seamless movement of defence forces and equipment to the border ..The 1,748-km long two-lane road, which has huge strategic significance, will be built by the road transport ministry. This is the longest NH that the Centre has notified in one go in recent times. China reportedly has been building infrastructure on its side of the LAC…

Planning for the road was begun at least in 2016 by Modi regime. Later in July 2018, the home ministry gave input for providing connectivity to certain areas…There is also a proposal to develop inter-corridors in Arunachal Pradesh connecting the frontier highway,” a source said.

The government looks at these activities to give impetus to development of villages (more on it later, with a role for USA) close to the international borders. “Such roads and development works will put a check on migration from these villages,” said an official.

The highway will start from Bomdila and pass through Nafra, Huri and Monigong, which is the closest point on the India-Tibet border. The road will also pass through Jido and Chenquenty, which are closest to the China border, and will terminate at Vijaynagar, near India-Myanmar border.China reportedly has been building infrastructure on its side of the LAC. ..

“Nearly 800km of the corridor will be greenfield as there is no existing road on these stretches. There will be some bridges and tunnels as well. We have chalked out the plan to complete the sanctioning of all works in 2024-25 and usually it takes around two years to complete construction. Different packages will get completed as we progress while the entire project is expected for completion by 2026-27,” said a government official.

The entire stretch has been divided into nine packages. Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari had said the project would cost around Rs 27,000 crore.. ( Times of India, Dec 19, 2022).

Thus all these preparations were began long before Galwan. And it was linked to the new Forward Policy.

Citing this face-off as an alibi, US, two years ago, shifted 25000 plus troops to India-Pacific. And it has been allowed to meddle in Arunachal Pradesh, as shown below: 

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‘Chinese village in Arunachal’?

US Department of Defence pointed out that sometime in 2020, China “built a 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between PRC’s Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh state.., ”, November 11, 2021, reported.

Mark, it is one village built. India had “taken note” of the U.S. report that detailed construction activities by China in the eastern sector. The report added:

However, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin  Rawat stated that the Chinese constructions were “well within their side of the LAC. ”  “They are building this infrastructure and these so-called villages are well within their side of the LAC. They have not transgressed anywhere on our perception of the LAC. There are different perceptions. We are very clear where the LAC lies because we have been told that this is your alignment of the LAC and this is the territory you are expected to defend. Chinese have a perception which in some areas we know and in some areas we don’t know..“As far as we are concerned, there is no such village development that has taken place on our side of the LAC.”

Gen. Rawat stressed that the Chinese and the Indian forces were on respective territories facing each other and that the Chinese have been building infrastructure and huts for their soldiers based on their “perception” of the LAC that is partially known to India.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi  however noted, for record’s sake, that India had always “strongly protested” against such construction activities on its sovereign territories through “diplomatic channels”.

That is so because India not only treats Mac Mahaon Line as the border, but claims  even areas north of that.  It’s well known that China never – never since it was drawn a century ago – recognized the Line and that is the dispute. Thus it is not a dispute created by Communist China. Occasionally China protests when India carries on some activity in Arunachal that China deems as provocative, such as the one mentioned below:

US developing 70 smart villages in disputed Tawang of Arunachal pradesh  

The above is about one village, disputed. But US is allowed  to meddle in 70 villages., 31 October, 2019 reported:

US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster  was invited as chief guest to Tawang Festival, in Arunachal in October 2019…it was an outcome of the envoy’s own written request (to its Chief Minister Pema Khandu), to visit the border district, a part of “South Tibet” as China calls it.

The CM underplayed it but Alice Wells, the Trump administration’s Assistant Secretary of State in-charge of South Asia, tweeted Oct 30 : “.@USAmbIndia’s #Tawang visit highlights resolute U.S. support for Indian sovereignty and commitment to local partnerships.”

It was not merely verbal: US Embassy spokesperson said Juster and Khandu discussed “how the U.S. Mission to India can enhance its cooperation with the state”….The US has increased its activities in Arunachal and is working jointly with the state  on developing 70 smart villages…

The programme is being led by Prof. Solomon Darwin, executive director of the Garwood Centre for Corporate Innovation, who is known as the father of the smart village movement…The work also focuses on helping self-help groups in the state and finding an international market for their products.

These moves come at a time when US-China relations are strained. ..A similar visit to Arunachal Pradesh in 2016 by then-US ambassador to India Richard Verma had sparked a terse exchange with China. (Now Varma is promoted into a key office by the Biden regime, on the eve of Christmas.)

That is how US strategy, NGOs and Business are rolled into one, penetrate sensitive areas where no Indian is allowed to enter freely; there is a check on migration from these villages; and all this  facilitated by a comprador centre.

Thus India allows USA to fish in troubled waters of Arunachal,  a territory disputed by China, and where the two countries have different perceptions. In fact, the US invited itself into the area as seen above.

No wonder China sees US meddling in a bilateral India -China dispute.

And what was the story during Nehru era reminded by both parties, but misinterpreting the issues. Congress should know better. We shall look into the Eastern sector, now in the news. 

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McMahon Line, “drawn on a map without surveys, was neither delineated nor demarcated”

Nehru trusted China and was taken for a ride, alleges BJP, and hence the conflict along the LAC. Reality is otherwise, as we see below.

The latest clash at Yangtse, Times of India (Dec 23) reported,  is admittedly ‘one of the  8 disputed areas’ in the eastern, Tawang sector  of the LAC. What are the historical facts of this?

Avtar Singh Bhasin  is a most authentic and competent scholar:  he retired from the India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in 1993 as Director Historical Division after three decades of service. He is the Author -Editor of  India-China Relations 1947-2000 A Documentary Study (Vol  I-V); Geetika Publishers; Pages: 5,636. This voluminous collection includes 2523 documents, compiled over a 5-year span by AS Bhasin. He published an annual series ‘India’s Foreign Relations’ for the Ministry of External Affairs from 2002 t0 2013. Bhasin’s authentic readings are as follows:

The erstwhile NEFA (presently Arunachal Pradesh), until 1951 was known by the Tibetan name Tawang, and despite the McMahon Line, it remained under Tibetan occupation since 1914 and they collected the civil revenue as well.

After Independence, the government of India too assured Tibet that it would adjust the border in Tawang in favour of Tibet. Despite this assurance,  in 1951, as the negotiations for 17-Point Agreement between China and Tibet started in Beijing, India  occupied Tawang ignoring Tibetan protests:

To  be precise, on February 12, 1951, Major R. Khating forcibly evicted the Tibetan administration from Tawang and sought to establish India’s control of the McMahon Line that was never accepted by China. Thus it is a post-British possession, and added after the Constitution of 1950 (Article 1defines Indian territory)  came into effect.

Bhasin wrote:

The northern part of India’s bequeathed border with Tibet was haphazardly fixed by Henry McMahon on a map without surveys. Not only was such a border neither delineated nor demarcated, the utterances of its very architect that the same was to be surveyed, delineated and demarcated fell on deaf ears…

The border in the western part of India, between Sinkiang and Ladakh, was shown as “undefined” in the Indian maps at the time of India’s Independence in 1947. “The need for scientific delineation and demarcation of the borders both in the eastern and western sectors had become necessary, particularly when the prime minister himself had doubts about the McMahon Line in the eastern sector.”

Prime Minister Nehru on 20 November 1951 had declared in Parliament that our maps show that “the McMahon Line is our boundary and that is our boundary, map or no map.” Later Girija Shankar Bajpai, earlier Secretary General in the Ministry of External Affairs had said “since China had never accepted the McMahon Line, the frontier question could be hardly regarded as settled”

Revealing the above facts, Bhasin urged:

“Fully open out all archival records about our border dispute with China and through them convince the Indian public that the position taken by India in the past was not a rational one and that China was not altogether perfidious as it was made out to be. ”

“The India-China war in 1962 happened more than half a century ago. However, people are largely still ignorant of what brought us so much of ignominy… To untangle the Gordian knot that India-China relations have become, the people of India need to know what actually went wrong in that short span of a decade and a half of India, post-independence…”

(The above lines are by Avtar Singh Bhasin in the Preface to his book, Nehru, Tibet and China (Penguin Random House India, 2021, 403 pages).

The Western sector was “undefined,” borders turned into “defined,” with a new line drawn unilaterally, and made non-negotiable, wrote Bhasin. Nehru was  arbitrary and adamant, and pushed for a Forward Policy that led to the 1962 war, agree most of the experts. We will not presently go into that sector .

The narrative in the sixties that led to the conflict in 1962 and which the successive governments have followed meticulously was that China had stabbed India in the back. It has, since then, got firmly implanted in the minds of the people of India. Resolution of any dispute requires give and take. Bhasin says:  “Unfortunately, any compromise with the held position now would create a hue and cry in the country, that peace is being bought at the cost of national honour.”

The conflict in 1962 ended when Premier  Zhou Enlai had declared a unilateral ceasefire to start on midnight, 21 November, 1962; the ceasefire declaration stated:

“Beginning from 21 November 1962, the Chinese frontier guards will cease fire along the entire Sino-Indian border. Beginning from 1 December 1962, the Chinese frontier guards will withdraw to positions 20 kilometres behind the line of actual control which existed between China and India on 7 November 1959.  In the eastern sector, although the Chinese frontier guards have so far been fighting on Chinese territory north of the traditional customary line, they are prepared to withdraw from their present positions to the north of the illegal McMahon Line, and to withdraw twenty kilometres back from that line. In the middle and western sectors, the Chinese frontier guards will withdraw twenty kilometres from the line of actual control…”

Thus the Tawang sector has been part of the dispute, had seen the 1962 war and ceasefire too,  and needed to be resolved through negotiations and by mutual adjustment and give and take.

That is in the interest of both sides, India in particular, and it is wrong for the Congress to blame Modi on this issue.

Congress regimes and leaders knew well the  reality, and were advised as such by former national security advisor (NSA) of Congress regimes, M.K. Narayanan, who had also served as the chief of the Intelligence Bureau and Joint Intelligence Committee, and who held discussions with his Chinese counterparts. He said in 2020 also :

I was there in 1959, 60, 61, 62 — the two sides try to play chess at the border … As someone who has seen this situation developing over the past 50-60 years…the key problem with the India-China border is that it is un-demarcated and undefined….It happens that we have our perception and China has their own…

Thus Congress has no ground to accuse Modi; they should realize they can not outdo BJP in jingoism. There are umpteen issues the Congress can raise to press Modi regime.

And BJP has no ground to say Nehru created the issue with a meek stance.

PM Vajpayee, BJP needs to be reminded, had signed an agreement (2003 June) with China on Tibet that in turn facilitated China’s recognition of Sikkim as part of India. Congress regimes of later period agreed to that and they were bound by it. It is sheer jingoism to rake up the issue after both sides disengaged their troops.

(for more on the issue, see India-China war at 60 : A Review, in,  01/12/2022 :

Instead of heeding to the advice -“Fully open out all archival records about our border dispute with China” – of the MEA historian, both sides are raking up the past in a manner that is counter-productive. Such a stance would benefit only the super power USA and its Asia Pacific hegemonic strategy.  Both sides  appear to be competing in being US allies. They are out to reverse the mutual trust that was developed over the years, seen below.

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India-China joint military exercises held until Dec 2019

What was the reality only a few years ago? Public memory is proverbially short, as the Big media sells falsehood and distortions : ‘China is India’s enemy, and promotes terrorism together with Pakistan.’  Anti-China, anti-Pak  stories are the staple food of our media, sold in the name of nationalism and patriotism: They are meant to serve the American super power and the weapons’ lobby, the merchants of death across the board. 

It is believable to some, but, December 22, 2018, reported:

The 7th edition of anti-terrorism India-China joint military exercise concluded, in Chengdu area of China, Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement:

“The exercise included lectures and discussions on various counter-terrorism aspects, like cordon and search operations, raid on terrorist hideouts, intelligence collection and joint operations. Also, integrated live firing was conducted for both contingents to enhance inter-operability and promote jointmanship.

“As part of validation exercise, troops of both armies carried out specialised joint counter-terrorist operations including room intervention and hostage rescue which was witnessed by dignitaries of both armies.”

See a Report, December 20, 2019:

The 8th India-China joint training exercise, a joint military exercise between Indian and Chinese troops.. concludes in Meghalaya… The exercise aimed at enriching both contingents from each other’s experiences in counter-terrorism operations.

The Chinese contingent , significantly from the Tibet Military command comprising 130 personnel and the Indian Contingent had participated in the 14-day-long training exercise.

Joint military and anti-terrorism exercises with China continued from UPA days till December 2019. They reveal the hypocrisy of anti-China politics of both the ruling class parties.

Liberalizing Defence sector with 100 percent FDI, and allowing free play for private sector (though it never took off significantly) are the latest measures even as Self-Reliance and Boycott China goods is mouthed. They need an anti-China narrative.  

Bullet-proof shields for Indian soldiers were dependent on China

Yes, that was so until June 15 Galwan clash! The sheer hypocrisy of Indian rulers, to be noted by all Indian people, for calling China as our enemy for decades is thoroughly exposed by the following news items:

Bullet-proof shields for Indian soldiers have been dependent on China…, the raw materials being imported from China. The PMO now asked the Niti Ayog to prepare a plan to “incentivise” and change this, and that is “due to inconsistencies in quality” of the materials, said Niti Ayog Member VK Saraswat (ex-DRDO Chief) on June 22, (Financial Express, June 26,2020.)

This is one week after the June 15 violent border clash. They continued for years, even after Modi-led NDA-1 and NDA-2 arrived. Obviously it is a sequel to the recent border clash. Only a few weeks ago,on June 3,, specializing on the subject, reported the same Saraswat saying this:

… import from China “is market-driven and cheaper than others…we can’t do much about this….(unless) we find they “are not upto the mark” we will have to say that…” as of now there is no such report”, he told PTI.

“We have done standardization of bullet-proof jackets. …laid down by Bureau of Indian Standrads, BIS testing standards have been laid .”  Orders were placed for 3 lakh jackets, with private companies, which were earlier procuring raw materials from US and Europe. Now most of them are being obtained from China, due to lower prices…”, he said.

Modi says ‘no intrusions’ but US proclaims ‘Communist China is the aggressor’!

From such a state of friendly relations, it was a big fall so soon at the behests of America, which topped its strategy with anti-communist ideology:

Even after PM Modi and Military Chief clarified that “There are no intrusions. They (Chinese) are not on our territory…,” Pompeo (USA) dragged the June 15 Galwan incidents (that were localized, exceptional that occurred after almost 50 years) into the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Speaking in virtual conference of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit earlier on June 19, he made loaded statements referring to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and its military(PLA) Vs democracy :

“But the CCP isn’t just a rogue actor in its own neighborhood…The PLA has escalated border tensions – we see it today in India, the world’s most popular – populous democracy.,. And we watch as it militarizes   the South China Sea and illegally claims more territory there, threatening vital sea lanes, a promise they broke again”

It is “ no longer enough to listen to what the CCP is saying. We can see their actions. I ticked through a few of them: Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, what they’re doing in India, what they’ve done in the economic zones along the Philippines and Malaysia and Indonesia and Vietnam, the coercion on Australia…”  (, June 20, 2020)

It is worse than the devil quoting the scriptures for a US that bombed countries, Presidential Palaces, murdered Presidents, that killed millions of civilians, including lakhs of children and women, across the world in recent past, to advise China to honor the rule of law and honor freedom and respect for sovereignty.

We have seen the century-old  Mac Mahon Line was never accepted by China. It was disputed by China long before it came to be led by CCP. Even now, the pro-US Taiwan does not recognise it. 

As if it is not enough, India invited trouble by allowing US troops into India, and that in a sensitive border zone.

India-US joint military exercise near LAC


China has objected to the India-US military exercise near the LAC in Uttarakhand.

Without going into the merits of the arguments, is it prudent to invite USA into a hot area of dispute? Would it not be provocative, and rouse suspicions about India’s desire to settle the dispute?

***                 ***

There is persistent jingoistic propaganda in Indian media, and in social media manipulated by BJP,  painting as if China is a notorious aggressor. The reality  : 

“ China has borders with 14 nations, and except for India, it has resolved its disputes with all, including Russia. India has borders with six countries, and excluding Bhutan, it has disputes with all five.”

– Subramanian Swamy, Sinologist, Ex-Union Minister, and  BJP MP (Frontline 2000 Sep 2: Sino-Indian Relations Through the Tibet Prism).

***                 ***

(See, June 16, 2020, for more on these issues : Indian Hawks Join Hands With US Vultures Against China

Part-3 will focus  among other things on the Chinese perspective of the related issues.

The author is a political observer who contributed to


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