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Thread: China -v- India in the Himalayas: flashpoint?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default China -v- India in the Himalayas: flashpoint?

    Moderator's Note

    This is a new thread after the recent Chinese military incursion into territory held by India. Not a 'small war', but tensions can lead to conflict.

    There are separate threads on the India -v- Pakistan conflict in the Himalayas, entitled 'Siachin Confict', 'The Kargil War' and a wider thread on China's view of India 'China’s View of South Asia and the Indian Ocean'.(Ends).



    A border incursion by China into India, in the Himalayas near Ladakh:
    A Platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 kilometres inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there...
    Link:http://m.ndtv.com/article/india/chin...-ladakh-356542

    I assume such incidents regularly occur, especially as Spring starts and movement is possible. Others think the PLA is not entirely under political / party control.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-29-2013 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Add Mod's Note
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A border incursion by China into India, in the Himalayas near Ladakh:

    Link:http://m.ndtv.com/article/india/chin...-ladakh-356542

    I assume such incidents regularly occur, especially as Spring starts and movement is possible. Others think the PLA is not entirely under political / party control.
    Is navigational error a possibility in these cases? That area may not have a clearly defined border, given the terrain. Even quite sophisticated military units get off course... not so long ago a US Navy minesweeper ran aground on a protected reef in the Philippines.

    Not saying the possibility of an intentional incursion should be discounted, just pointing out that it could be a border patrol that got off the plan without even knowing it.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab...1-1047816.aspx

    India confident of peaceful end to Chinese incursion row

    "This is an area where there have been differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control. Such incidents do occur and are resolved peacefully on the basis of bilateral agreements which exist and mechanisms provided for in these agreements," officials told HT.

    The working mechanism is headed by the joint secretary (east Asia) in the Indian ministry of external affairs and the director general (border affairs) of the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs.
    Doesn't seem like much an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab...1-1047816.aspx

    India confident of peaceful end to Chinese incursion row



    Doesn't seem like much an issue.
    Misplaced confidence.

    There have been over 600 incursions since 2010.

    600 border violations by China along LAC since 2010

    China's "deeper" troop incursions into Ladakh have set the alarm bells clanging in the Indian security establishment, even as defence minister A K Antony on Monday asserted that all necessary steps would be taken "to protect the country's interests" in the continuing face-off between rival soldiers in the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...w/19687928.cms
    Check this video

    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/ind...ressive/272185
    Last edited by Ray; 04-23-2013 at 07:34 AM.

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    Default Peaceful Rise? How about Peaceful Sneaking?

    So it was last night, when the sahib held forth on the PLA (China's army) and their doctrine of unrestricted warfare, which was codified in a book that came out about a decade ago. Gorka is clearly under the impression that this kind of warfare is a recent invention of China's defense establishment.

    For the sahib's benefit, the whole of India's post-Independence defense experience can be summed in one sentence: "The Indians caught them sneaking."
    (BREAK)
    A favorite Chinese ploy was -- and still is -- for the PLA to get 'nomads' to drive their herds across a part of the Indian border. When the Indian military catches them at it and tells them to move back onto China's side of the border, the nomads draw themselves up to their full height and snap that they are standing on their sacred ancestral grazing lands inside China.

    Then comes the call to China's military. A few Chinese officers show up, fiddle with the measuring tape then say, 'The nomads are right. They're in Chinese territory.'

    The Indians tell them no, the nomads have set up camp two feet inside the Indian border. After much squabbling and more playing with measuring tape, the Indians open a map to show exactly where the border is.

    The Chinese look at the map and say, 'That's a map the white man drew when he ruled you. Why do you put faith in anything the white man drew?'

    I am not making any of this up.

    After days or even months of argument, during which the nomads drive their herds a few more feet inside the Indian border, the Indian army finally gets the Chinese to pull the nomads back. But when they move back, they are still an inch inside the Indian border. Then the Chinese redraw their map to show the one inch to be inside Chinese territory and save the map for the next round of border disputes, which is actually never-ending because the Chinese are always testing the limits of their land's boundaries.

    The nomads are just one ploy; there is the old road-building ploy ('You want us to rip up this entire road just because you think it's six inches inside your border? Now who's being petty?')
    - Pundita blog, Peaceful Sneaking Part 1

    Some two-dozen Chinese soldiers converged earlier this year on a family of nomads who wouldn't budge from a winter grazing ground that locals say Indian herders had used for generations. China claims the pasture is part of Tibet, not northern India. The soldiers tore up the family's tent and tried to push them back toward the Indian border town of Demchok, Indian authorities say.

    Chering Dorjay, the chairman of India's Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, says he arrived on the scene with a new tent and Indian intelligence officers and urged the herders to stay put. "The Chinese, it seems, are gradually taking our territory," he says. "We will feel very insecure unless India strengthens its defenses."
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125625173429702481.html

    If you keep testing and you keep testing and you keep testing and you keep testing and you keep testing and you keep testing and you keep testing and you keep testing well....

    ....on the exact the borders, you keep pushing back the line. Inch by inch, it's done, inch by inch. Look at the maps over the years from Indian independence. I'm serious. Just look at the maps. It's taken sixty years and it seems just a bit of land to the Americans but we are talking about two ancient entities here, not babies. They have the time, if you look at it in a certain way.

    Which is not an American concern except to realize when this is done to us via our international institutions or via cyber or whatever. The sneaking part of it, I mean.

    Also, it keeps the Indians 'down on the farm' while the regional resource and economic competition heats up. This is a long standing thing. There are no errors here. A careful look at the history shows a constant testing of borders. Consistently. And for decades.

    Curiously, all sorts of strange weapons and money end up in various border regions, some with domestic insurgencies. Funny how that happens.

    So, no, not serious as a single incident. The thing is to recognize the pattern and see how it fits into the larger scheme of relations between the two. It also explains quite a bit of the Indian military buildup because much of Indian security doctrine is aimed at the Chinese, although some in the American defense community seem infatuated with the Foggy Bottom nonsense about India and other neighbors. Never did understand the weak South Asia scholarship stateside. Weird.

    Okay, Ray, if I've got it wrong, let me know!
    Last edited by Madhu; 04-24-2013 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Added more stuff - more sarcasm, basically. Needed it.

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    Madhu,

    Can't dispute.

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    Default China -v- India in the Himalayas: flashpoint?

    This is a new thread after the recent Chinese military incursion into territory held by India. Not a 'small war', but tensions can lead to conflict.

    There are separate threads on the India -v- Pakistan conflict in the Himalayas, entitled 'Siachin Confict', 'The Kargil War' and a wider thread on China's view of India 'China’s View of South Asia and the Indian Ocean'.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Tension down or up?

    A useful selection of Indian reactions to the current increase in tension and a reminder that in 1962 China and India had a short small war, in which the PLA decisively defeated their opponents. The incursion is in contrast to the public diplomacy between them, including the Chinese PM visit next month.

    Link:http://shashankjoshi.wordpress.com/2...ns-with-china/
    davidbfpo

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    Default OTOH, from a Chinese perspective?

    In March 1954, the Union Cabinet met and decided to unilaterally define the border of India with China. The colour wash was replaced by a hard line, and the Survey of India issued a new map, which depicts the borders as we know them today. All the old maps were withdrawn and the depiction of Indian boundaries in the old way became illegal. Indeed, if you seek out the White Paper on Indian States of 1948 and 1950 in the Parliament library, you will find that the maps have been removed because they too showed the border as being “undefined” in the Central and Western sectors.

    What was the government up to? Did it seriously think it could get away with such a sleight of hand? Or was there a design that will become apparent when the papers of the period are declassified? Not surprisingly, the other party, the People’s Republic of China, was not amused and, in any case, there are enough copies of the old documents and maps across the world today to bring out the uncomfortable truth that the boundaries of India in these regions were unilaterally defined by the Government of India, rather than through negotiation and discussions with China.
    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead...cle4657978.ece

    Lots of tricky behavior, at one time or another.

    The CIA's Secret War in Tibet takes readers from training camps in the Colorado Rockies to the scene of clandestine operations in the Himalayas, chronicling the agency's help in securing the Dalai Lama's safe passage to India and subsequent initiation of one of the most remote covert campaigns of the Cold War. Conboy and Morrison provide previously unreported details about secret missions undertaken in extraordinarily harsh conditions. Their book greatly expands on previous memoirs by CIA officials by putting virtually every major agency participant on record with details of clandestine operations. It also calls as witnesses the people who managed and fought in the program—including Tibetan and Nepalese agents, Indian intelligence officers, and even mission aircrews.
    http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/concia.html


    Historic reasons for distrust all around, it seems. Still, dealing with it by so many testing micro-incursions seems unwise.

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    Default Oh, for heaven's sake

    The worst aspect of the problem is that there is good reason to believe that we are seeing an image of the future in the East China Sea. A rising power feels itself encircled and threatened by an array of alliances with a faraway great power. The incumbent power’s clients feel warm and safe in its embrace, and have yet to reconsider the wisdom of their patron’s desire to infantilize them and keep them dependent on its largesse. Meanwhile, the solidity of that embrace has hardly been scrutinized, and there is reason to believe it is much weaker than commonly believed. There are a number of ways this story could end, but the worst ones have not received enough consideration.
    http://www.cato.org/publications/com...diaoyu-islands

    No one feels safe and warm in anyone's embrace. Everyone feels vaguely unsure and threatened and put upon, that's the problem.

    But the larger points about our getting too involved seem valid and on point.

    Sigh. I can practically write the piece myself from the point of view of Heritage or CNAS or CATO at this point -- without even studying the issue.

    I am so naive. It's always like this, isn't it?


    Update: Woops, I didn't mean to go off-topic but it seemed to fit here in terms of the wariness of neighbors toward China's intentions and within the larger context of the "Asian pivot".
    Last edited by Madhu; 04-30-2013 at 03:22 AM. Reason: added update

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post

    I assume such incidents regularly occur, especially as Spring starts and movement is possible. Others think the PLA is not entirely under political / party control.
    This is an important intrusion that requires Indian attention.

    Daulat Beg Oldi is 16 kms from the KKH and KK Pass.

    The intrusion can outflank the Indian border post that is air supplied, as there is no communication infrastructure, India having neglected it lest it alarms China.

    If outflanked and the Chinese take it over, then it will add to the strategic depth to the KKH and KK Pass.

    Further it will open up to the Saser La and then to Siachen and then to Shaksgam ( an area ceded by Pakistan to China). Ofcourse, this would naturally take time for China but then it all depends on how far the Indian Govt would like to appease China.

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    on the exact the borders, you keep pushing back the line. Inch by inch, it's done, inch by inch. Look at the maps over the years from Indian independence. I'm serious. Just look at the maps. It's taken sixty years and it seems just a bit of land to the Americans but we are talking about two ancient entities here, not babies. They have the time, if you look at it in a certain way.
    China's salami tactics have yielded great results for China in all areas that they have penetrated to include the seas!

    However, if one stands up to China, things can be different. One may look up the Wangdung Incident.
    Last edited by Ray; 04-30-2013 at 06:43 AM.

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    Here is a backgrounder on the issue of Tibet and China.

    http://www.eastwestcenter.org/filead...pdfs/PS007.pdf

    This will help one understand developments to the present times including the current stand off at DBO.

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    Further it will open up to the Saser La and then to Siachen and then to Shaksgam ( an area ceded by Pakistan to China). Of course, this would naturally take time for China but then it all depends on how far the Indian Govt would like to appease China.


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    India’s Cabinet Committee on Security has agreed to proceed with the creation of a new mountain strike corps of nearly 40,000 troops to be deployed along the disputed China border region by the end of 2016. The decision to set up the new corps has been long debated by India’s security planners and final approval came in the wake of the three-week long Depsung Valley confrontations with Chinese forces earlier this year. Over the last two decades, India has gradually increased its military presence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in response to aggressive Chinese patrolling in the disputed region.

    The 4,100 km long LAC between the two countries is geographically divided into three sectors. The western sector in Ladakh, the central sector along the Uttarakhand-Tibet border, and the eastern sector in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, where China claims 90,000 square kilometers of Indian-administered territory. Earlier in 2009, the Indian Army deployed two similar mountain divisions in the Arunachal Pradesh region to boost its defenses in the eastern sector. The new mountain strike corps, however, is expected to take the fight into Tibet and capture the Chinese territory there, should the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invade Indian territory.
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/08/india...al-deterrence/
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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    Default Back to 1962

    hat tip to the Lowy Institute's 'The Interpreter' for pointing to the publication of a report on the 1962 war; written by an Australian general:
    The recent public controversy in India over the release of a secret report on India's 1962 military defeat by China reveals a lot about some of the big strategic problems India faces.

    The so-called Henderson Brooks Report was an independent report commissioned by the Indian Army in the months following its humiliating defeat at the hands of China in October 1962. Conducted by Lieutenant General Henderson Brooks, the report was scathing about political interference in the army, the incompetence of India's generals and their failure to provide honest advice to India's civilian leaders.
    Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...CC=1111231285&

    A link to the Henderson Brooks report, again by an Australian, Neville Maxwell and his comment is worth reading:http://www.nevillemaxwell.com/uncate...oss-2/#more-19
    davidbfpo

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    Default Back to 1962 Part 2

    Another commentary and this startling new information - for me anyway:
    As a nation we blame the much deprecated Neville Maxwell who had first revealed in 1970 the unpleasant truth that it was India who had started the 1962 War with China with Gen.Kaul’s assault on October 10, 1962.
    Link:http://www.thecitizen.in/no-lessons-...n-under-a-nsc/
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Another commentary and this startling new information - for me anyway:

    Link:http://www.thecitizen.in/no-lessons-...n-under-a-nsc/
    A "Me too" effort based on hearsay or at best drawing room gossip.

    IAF was not involved and that was another mistake of Nehru and therefore a Gp Capt would hardly have been 'in the know', let alone the author who was on a policeman, though I will not discount idle drawing room gossip.

    There is no doubt that India had messed it up.

    Here is an interesting commentary by Brig Kapila of SAAG.

    http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1492

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    Default Himalayan Sino-Indian Diplomatic Drama

    Separate thread while this is hot.

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's diplomatic efforts to end a seven-week military standoff with China have hit a roadblock, people briefed on the talks said, prompting Chinese state-run media to trumpet rhetoric of "unavoidable countermeasures" on the unmarked border.

    China has insisted that India unilaterally withdraw its troops from the remote Doklam plateau claimed by both Beijing and Indian ally Bhutan.

    But China did not respond to India's suggestion in the talks that it move its troops back 250 meters (820 ft) in return, said one source with close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

    In the low-key diplomatic maneuvers that took place outside the public eye, the Chinese countered with an offer to move back 100 meters (328 ft), so long as they received clearance from top government officials.

    But there has been no comeback since, except for China's mounting warnings of an escalation in the region, which it calls Donglang.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-i...-idUSKBN1AO1D4
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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    BEIJING: China's defence ministry has distanced itself from discussion in the state backed media about a "small-scale military operation" to remove Indian troops from the disputed Doklam area+ on the Sikkim border.
    "This kind of reports represents the view of the media and think-tanks. For official information please refer to the statements of foreign ministry and defence ministry spokespersons," China's Defence Ministry spokesman Sr. Col. Ren Guoqiang told an Indian media delegation here on Monday.
    He was replying to a question from Indian journalists about recent comments from a Chinese think tank expert, Hu Zhiyong, which were published by the state backed Global Times.
    "China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long, and there may be a small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks," Hu, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted by the paper recently.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/w...w/59958647.cms


    I hear all you kids scrambling to make up that briefing slide.
    [

    Last edited by AdamG; 08-08-2017 at 03:05 PM.
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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