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Delhi caught in vortex of brazen Beijing

Kolkata, June 19: Brazen Beijing is at it again; resort to telephonic conversation and pass simultaneous orders to commanders for troop and equipment fortifications. The latest satellite pictures released by the US-based Planet Labs reveal an

Kolkata, June 19: Brazen Beijing is at it again; resort to telephonic conversation and pass simultaneous orders to commanders for troop and equipment fortifications. The latest satellite pictures released by the US-based Planet Labs reveal an unprecedented military build-up which includes damming even a river in the Galwan Valley area of Ladakh. This only confirms China’s utter disregard to agreements with India over LAC (Line of Actual Control) in the nearly 4,000km long international border.

However, the ghastly killing of 20 Indian soldiers must not be viewed in isolation. It was preceded by China’s advisory to all its citizens to leave India at the earliest; incitement to Nepal to claim three villages as its territory and of course, heightened cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. On the night of the Galwan clash, security forces shot down four terrorists in Kupuwara in Kashmir and eight in the last 24 hours. So, the China-Pakistan-Nepal axis in the immediate neighbourhood of India has already come into existence.

Indications are evident; China will no longer accept India’s sudden importance in the global power matrix. By keeping the border issue alive and hot, Beijing is determined to rein in India’s run in the stadia, even if it requires a rabid display of brutal power.

Even as the Indian leadership has vowed to defend its territory with all its might, a numerically and economically-strong China could demonstrate its venom with further vengeance if it finds itself isolated globally after what has transpired in the Galwan Valley on Monday.

Options for India are limited. A shadow war with Pakistan has been on for decades; a new front with China on the huge mountainous terrain along the Himalayas would imply a heavy economic burden.India would need to allocate much higher budgetary grants in the defence sector which will naturally drain a substantial chunk of money from the exchequer.

In the closer terms, India’s security parameters ought to undergo a serious overhaul; the Narendra Modi government will require to exploit all options to align with the Western powers besides the United States as Russia is likely to remain a dicey player.

That India along with other countries has received a severe financial setback following the pandemic is passé. Fundamentally, it has to be a tightrope walk for New Delhi in the current situation. It can neither afford to give in to the Chinese aggression nor undertake a virtual leap in defence spending to take on the might of a militarily superior China. And rogue Beijing is aware of this.

Be that as it may, India needs to tread every step with extreme caution. The mere knee-jerk action of delisting some Chinese companies from the tendering process or launching of Mitron to take on Tik Tok will not suffice.

On the other hand, Beijing may not be too keen to lose the world’s second largest market with territorial aggrandizement. Yet, the latest turn of the events reveals China has definitely been working on a plan to stem India’s bid to revive the economy post the pandemic and gain ascendency in the global power vortex.

India winning a seat in the UN Security Council with an overwhelming majority is a case in point. It remains to be seen how the Indian leadership baffles desperate Chinese efforts to unsettle the geopolitical fault lines in Asia and yet be on the right course to continue to be an Asian superpower.

Team NewsFile