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  • They told us to retreat from the South Pangong area or they would confront us in the winter. Who even buys this empty threat ?

    Antara understands mandarin so all links to Chinese news sources.


    Is China avoiding conflict or secretly planning a counterattack against India? | India Today | Sept 18 2020

    Antara Ghosal SinghNew DelhiSeptember 18, 2020UPDATED: September 22, 2020 20:15 IST

    ndia’s capturing of key strategic heights along the southern bank of the Pangong Lake during the intermittent night of August 29 and 30 and the subsequent firing incidents at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on September 7-8 marked a new round of escalation in China-India border confrontation, which has been going on since early May.

    The Chinese government expressed its displeasure at these developments by apparently changing the official communication strategy that it followed since the beginning of the stand-off and seizing the initiative to launch a public opinion offensive by releasing its own version of the developments along the China-India border first and coming up with Chinese names for contested points at the LAC.

    China’s state media too issued a series of threats saying India has “crossed all lines”, “it is standing awkwardly on the edge of a cliff”, “Indian military is not even a worthy opponent of the PLA” and thereby urged it to either withdraw troops “unconditionally” or be ready to get “wiped out” at the battlefield.

    Even as Beijing seems to be beating the war drums, many within China are of the opinion that China’s India policy at this juncture is lacking strength and its military deterrence against India is increasingly proving ineffective.

    The questions doing rounds among Chinese strategic circles are that despite India’s “all-out attack” vis-a-vis China (political-economic-military) post the Galwan Valley incident, why has the Chinese government still not taken “equal” and “reciprocal” countermeasures on ground against India? Why is China still talking about ‘resolute opposition’ but not announcing immediate counter-attacks? Why are the diplomats of both countries still exchanging goodwill? Looking at the trend, some Chinese strategists conjectured that the Chinese government is either avoiding conflict, or it is secretly and intensively planning a counterattack against India.

    Why would China avoid conflict?

    It is interesting to note that despite the charged atmosphere and heightened hostility, China’s leading India watchers like Zhang Jiadong, Lin Minwang, from the Center for South Asian Studies at Fudan University, Qian Feng from the Tsinghua University, Zhang Guoqing of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences among others, have been advocating that “China need not overestimate the hostility of India and overreact" as India's "pre-emptive" military actions, “provocative gestures” like firing warning shots are not really meant to seize Chinese territory or mount a war against China, but to obtain a more favourable bargaining position in subsequent negotiations with China.

    India’s strategy towards China, they say, is like ‘fighting without breaking, harmony but with differences’- the same strategy that China adopts vis-a-vis the United States.

    Some of them are even not ruling out a sudden “turn-around” in China-India ties as a fall out of the ongoing border crisis. It is being argued that be it 1987 border conflict followed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s China visit in 1988 and the subsequent opening of a new chapter in China-India ties, or the 1998 India’s nuclear test followed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s China visit in 2003 and major decisions taken on the border issue, China-India relations have always emerged stronger from the brink of war.

    The present confrontation too, they argue, may lead to similar major consensus, if the leadership of both countries seek to turn this “crisis into an opportunity” by further communicating, solving problems and reaching new consensus.

    So, why are some of China’s top strategists still talking peace?

    The concern over international pressure and China’s isolation apart, yet another key reason behind Chinese government’s unwillingness to “take the bait of a military conflict under Indian pressure” could be due to its perceived “serious quantitative disadvantage” in terms of military deployment along China’s western frontier.

    China’s internal debates and discussions made repeated references to how unlike India which has always considered its northern and north-western borders with China and Pakistan as the gravest national security challenge and made meticulous preparations all along, and where the same deployment can provide defence against both the adversaries to some extent at the same time, China’s national defence focus in the last 70 years have shifted from north to south and southeast but never so much to the southwest.

    Since the Doklam incident of 2017, many Chinese strategists have been flagging the concern that China may not be adequately prepared for a military conflict in its southwest, that it still does not have a local military advantage along the China-India border and that it cannot really support a small scale battle victory here.

    Making matters worse, China’s dire needs for better deployment at its Western frontier has now met with an unprecedented population crisis. “The 40 years of one-child policy has left a gap in China’s demography where the young population is becoming greatly insufficient for large scale deployments at the battlefield and for other economic activities,” read an article in Honggehui, a website with Maoist lineage.

    It is in this backdrop, there is a palpable unease among Chinese strategic circles over India’s massive troop deployment at the LAC. It has been noted with great concern on various occasions that with India reportedly stationing more than 200,000 troops at the frontier, the ratio between Indian and Chinese forces at the LAC may have become an alarming “4:1, 5:1 or possibly even higher”.

    Further explaining the issue, Zhang Jiadong argued that, “In the past, China had advantages in infrastructure in the border areas, while India had advantages in human resources, and the two sides formed a rough balance.

    However, in recent years, (while China is yet to make major headway in terms of deployment along the China-India border), India’s infrastructure development has been making rapid progress. This has broken the original balance of power at the border India now wants to use its tactical advantages to counter China's overall strategic advantages.”

    Various commentaries in the Chinese internet strove to assuage this concern, by arguing that modern warfare is all about science and technology, where troops are really only “a living target”/ “cannon fodder” in front of precision guided weapons.

    In the context of high altitude operations, equipment, supplies, and mobility are much more important than manpower. Others made vile attacks on India “for sending such a huge number of troops without adequate preparations for winter”, and condemned Indian culture for not valuing human lives enough and eulogising self-flagellation or life sacrifices, which they say is “unthinkable” in the Chinese culture and very difficult challenge for China to handle.

    Some Chinese articles even compared India’s massive troop deployment at the frontier and its decision to spend the harsh winter at the LAC with India’s non-cooperation movement against the British, where in the Chinese perception, Indians through self-flagellation “embarrassed or rather disgusted” the British to make concession and ultimately agree to India’s freedom. “If this is a battle of will power”, warned Lin Minwang, “China should not underestimate India, given its track record (of freedom struggle movements) and how it has challenged Pakistan over the Siachen Glacier, allowing its soldiers to stay in freezing cold for years”. The Indian military, Chinese strategists infer, has hundreds of thousands of soldiers to sacrifice and will never give up easily.

    Is China secretly planning a counterattack?

    By occupying the key strategic heights in the south bank of the Pangang Tso, particularly the Black Top, Indian forces seem to have touched a raw nerve among many within Chinese strategic circles.

    There has been much displeasure over the fact that in 1962, the People's Liberation Army had reportedly seized this highland with “82 casualties”, but now it has been recaptured by India “without firing a single shot”, which they say is “totally unacceptable”.

    It is further argued that given the current state of preparedness among the Indian military, it is very difficult to regain this highland through a hand-to-hand combat, while it is equally unrealistic to expect India to back down through negotiations and thus there has been a growing clamour among Chinese military circles for a forceful counterattack against India.

    Other than that, the use of Special Frontier Force (SFF) by India in the China-India border confrontation has been yet another sore point and the consensus on this issue among Chinese strategists seems to be that “the reactionary force based on hatred towards China, the minions of India can only be physically eliminated.”

    However, some Chinese strategists believe that by not reacting immediately, the PLA is actually buying time, building strong defences and fortification so as to launch a more severe counterattack in a more appropriate time.

    Rumours are rife in the Chinese internet that China will take the opportunity of the US election to carry out a military expedition either against Taiwan or against India. Christmas time is also seen as an opportune moment for a counterattack against India when the US will stay distracted, and India will also be inconvenienced due to heavy snow.

    The idea is to carry out “a small scale conflict at the tactical level” or an ambush attack by luring Indian troops into the Chinese territory. However, if this gets escalated into a larger military conflict, Chinese generals like Wang Hongguang, a former deputy commander of China’s Nanjing Military Region, suggest a four pronged strategy to deal with India, firstly, by seizing air supremacy over Ladakh and simultaneously capturing electronic control systems, destroying India’s command network, air defence network (radar network), and air command network, secondly, targeting India’s key infrastructures, artillery positions, armoured clusters, logistics storage warehouses, oil depots etc., thirdly, occupying key strategic heights, dividing and trapping the Indian deployments by cutting off the Depsang Plain and the Siachen Glacier, and finally, occupying National Highway 1 from Srinagar to Leh and thereby cutting off the connection between Ladakh and the outside world.

    This way, China, if willing, can seize the whole of Ladakh in case of a large-scale military conflict with India, he further asserted.

    Similarly, Chinese internet is full of commentaries urging the PLA to use its propaganda machinery to exploit caste and religion-based fault lines in the Indian military and create rifts between its officers and soldiers to bring down the morale of the Indian forces. They further advocated formation of a joint front with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and others to launch a combined offensive against India where “China recovers Ladakh, Arunachal and the northeast, Pakistan captures Kashmir, Nepal gets its claimed land, Sikkim becomes independent, Bangladesh gets West Bengal, Bhutan comes out of India’s shadow and India is reduced to its princely state era.”

    Regardless of whether China chooses to escalate or de-escalate, the present tension at the LAC, we in India should take note of the fact that as a direct fall out of the present crisis and before that the Doklam standoff of 2017, a greater realisation has been setting in within the Chinese strategic circles that India in the west, with 3 million square km of land area, with a comprehensive national strength ranked fourth in the world, with 1.3 billion people with an average age of 27 years, who has always considered China as an adversary, is a bigger threat to China’s rise than even the US in the east, which is a relatively aging society, a globally stretched out troops and against whom it believes it enjoys some sort of local military advantage.

    Therefore, despite “strategically despising” India, Chinese strategists feel “tactically, it can no longer ignore India”.

    In fact, there has been a growing consensus in China that a China-India conflict is somewhat inevitable, if not now, but in the future and most likely earlier than the Sino-US conflict and if China handles this well, it will provide more mileage to China at the global level but if it falters, “the China-India conflict in the new era will mark the beginning of China's decline”.

    (Antara Ghosal Singh is a Researcher at the Delhi Policy Group (DPG). She is a graduate from Tsinghua University, China and has been a Chinese language fellow at the National Central University, Taiwan. Views are personal.)
    https://business.facebook.com/IndiaT...1181561898583/


    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Oct 20,, 06:58.

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    • So what are China's options right now ?

      A special forces squad to eject us from the heights on both shores of the Pangong area

      They will have to wait for the weather to be bad before launching the attack otherwise no element of surprise.

      Bad weather may stop major operations but its does not rule out small scale ops like men on foot and that is how they can get those heights back.

      Thing is, we are expecting this as these are the same tactics we used in Kargil.

      Bad weather as winter approaches or even in winter is the time to expect such an adventure.

      This would then return the picture back to the status quo as they see it.

      To give the Indian so called mountain experts a fitting reply
      Last edited by Double Edge; 29 Sep 20,, 15:53.

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      • Looks like they're upping their PR offensive.


        China on Tuesday said it does not recognise the “illegally” constituted Ladakh union territory, adding it was opposed to India building military infrastructure in the border areas.
        China says it doesn’t recognise ‘illegal’ UT Ladakh, denies it’s building military bases near LAC | HT | Sept 29 2020

        Since they don't recognise Ladakh we can't build roads there, apparently

        They lost this infrastructure bargaining chip months ago.

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        • Don't know if the news embargo on Depsang has been lifted but Shiv seems to be first out of the gates in explaining what is going on there



          UPDATE: Discussion about the above video here

          Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Oct 20,, 17:15.

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          • Netflix has a series called 'Secret City' that debuted in 2016. It's about covert Chinese operations to destabilise Australia.

            I think we can count on Aussies to stick with the quad this time

            There is talk about getting together for 5G. Given the Aussies spearheaded the no China 5G, this is a welcome idea.

            New Japanese PM Suga is no where as forward as Abe was. He's a cabinet secretary and did not lead a faction like previous Japanese PM's.

            The next quad meeting was initially scheduled to be held in Delhi but has been switched to Tokyo so other quad members can impress on the new Japanese PM the importance of keeping to Abe's line.

            What matters is what kind of statement they put out. Will it be strong or wish washy.

            Will quad continue to remain informal or go further.

            India, Australia to hold their first land combat exercise in October | TOI | Ju 16 2016

            Indo-Japan joint military exercise Dharma Guardian commences in Mizoram | India Today | Oct 19 2019

            Tiger Triumph: US-India Military Relations Get More Complex | Diplomat | Nov 15 2019

            Land exercises to date with other quad members.

            Bilateral only never with other quad members.

            Only Naval exercises include more than one quad member and i reckon Aussies make it to the next malabar.

            It remains to be seen how the Quad fares should the Democrats win.
            Last edited by Double Edge; 30 Sep 20,, 17:23.

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            • Now they're pushing Chou's 1959 line that Nehru rejected. They aren't serious. We've embarassed them at Galwan & Pangong. We're not going to give them a face saver so they are going to keep the pressure up. We have to gain more pressure points starting with Depsang if we can turn the tables on them. And through the winter work on other areas.



              We will never recognise their superior status. We're not giving up our sovereignty.

              They're trying to demonstrate we are the weaker power. How well has that worked ?

              They were expecting us to cave in earlier. They still think we are being run by coalition govts. That we will not be aggressive.

              They were surprised with how fast we mobilised and got our logisitics in place.

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              • India moves terrain-hugging Nirbhay missiles with 1,000-km range to defend LAC | HT | Oct 01 2020


                India will formally induct the Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile into the Indian Army and Navy after the seventh trial scheduled next month but has already moved a limited number of the missiles to the Line of Actual Control where Indian soldiers are locked in a tense standoff with China’s PLA.

                The missile, which travels at a speed of 0.7 Mach, has both terrain-hugging and sea-skimming capability that helps it avoid detection and counter-measures.

                At the LAC, the PLA’s western theatre command has deployed stand-off weapons up to 2,000 km range and long-range surface-to-air missiles in Tibet and Xinjiang after the Ladakh stand-off started in May this year. The Chinese deployment is not limited to occupied Aksai Chin but is located in depth positions from Kashgar, Hotan, Lhasa and Nyingchi along the 3,488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC).

                It is understood that the new class of cruise missiles (yet to be named) will have a better circular error of probability than the BrahMos with a heavy conventional warhead to target airbases and ships of the adversary.
                Nirbhay will be used to take out any S-400 batteries China has deployed just over the border. S-400 efficacy is reduced in the mountains.
                Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Oct 20,, 13:57.

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                • ^ Brahmos have long been deployed in Ladakh and some other areas along the LAC with China.

                  One thing that bugs me, is how would Chinese special forces attack Indian positions and evict the Indian Army. We're watching them like a hawk. IA special forces operate inside PoK all year round, some of which gets mentioned, most not. Never heard of Chinese special forces operating in hostile territory ever.
                  Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Oracle View Post
                    One thing that bugs me, is how would Chinese special forces attack Indian positions and evict the Indian Army. We're watching them like a hawk.
                    When the weather is bad and visibility is low they have the element of surprise. We've done the same at Kargil. That's how Quaid post fell and became Bana post.

                    I'm referring to heights we took in Pangong here and elsewhere.


                    Originally posted by Oracle View Post
                    IA special forces operate inside PoK all year round, some of which gets mentioned, most not. Never heard of Chinese special forces operating in hostile territory ever.
                    The possibility exists now and in winter and we have to be alert. It also means we can take some more to better our position and increase pressure points on them.

                    If anything this is what i want to see happening in the winter.
                    Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Oct 20,, 16:21.

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                    • Never thought i'd see the Indian flag used as a symbol of protest. But there you have it. From HK

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                      https://twitter.com/laurelchor/statu...90461925060608
                      Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Oct 20,, 23:19.

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                      • You see this and wonder when will the GOI grow a spine. If 30k PLA troops on your border aren't enough to give China the finger then what will ?

                        https://twitter.com/YusufDFI/status/1311640659472703488

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                        For a top diplomat he has to be on talking terms. He needs access.

                        If talks fail and hostilities begin it means Jaishankar has failed.

                        So the MEA is never going to piss off China.

                        At the same time i understand for the last sixty years the CCP has been unable to figure out whether India is a friend or foe due to our non alignment equidistant posture.

                        It drives the CCP crazy so they conclude we are a foe.
                        Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Oct 20,, 00:54.

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                        • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                          When the weather is bad and visibility is low they have the element of surprise. We've done the same at Kargil. That's how Quaid post fell and became Bana post.

                          I'm referring to heights we took in Pangong here and elsewhere.

                          The possibility exists now and in winter and we have to be alert. It also means we can take some more to better our position and increase pressure points on them.

                          If anything this is what i want to see happening in the winter.
                          #1. Visibility will be a factor, if the PLA can manage to hold their own in winter.
                          #2. I'll go with the assumption that more heights will be seized by the SSF during winter.
                          Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                            You see this and wonder when will the GOI grow a spine. If 30k PLA troops on your border aren't enough to give China the finger then what will ?

                            https://twitter.com/YusufDFI/status/1311640659472703488

                            Click image for larger version Name:	modi taiwan.jpg Views:	0 Size:	67.8 KB ID:	1566404
                            For a top diplomat he has to be on talking terms. He needs access.

                            If talks fail and hostilities begin it means Jaishankar has failed.

                            So the MEA is never going to piss off China.

                            At the same time i understand for the last sixty years the CCP has been unable to figure out whether India is a friend or foe due to our non alignment equidistant posture.

                            It drives the CCP crazy so they conclude we are a foe.
                            CPC doesn't hold India in good stead (much like Nazis viewed Jews), that is friend or foe (foe in a way is good). It views India as beneath them. Hitleristic thinking.

                            I am confused. Say, 15 years from now, 2035 would have been a better time to consolidate China's dominance in Asia and beyond (with their rapid military modernisation - quantity has a quality of its own), as India like always would have been sleeping, and would not have been in a position to counter China then. A decade from now, 2030, too would have been better. Why now? Why start a fight that they cannot win? It 100% has Xi's signature all over, so, why now?

                            Part of it, what I think is the cult imperial status Xi assumed for himself. He has to show a strong nationalistic side - to his countrymen, to the PLA generals, to the opposing clans in CPC. He played his cards too soon and exposed himself. Xi in trying to show how strong China is, is making repeated mistakes.

                            BRI is another huge economic mistake. It doesn't make sense for a country with deep pockets (China) to build another country's economy. A country should go there and build infrastructure for the local economy, so that the local economy can take advantage of the newly created infrastructure and grow. BRI is all about planning to create an economy through infrastructure projects. If there is no economy to talk about, turning a desert into San Franciso won't change anything. Who will use those newly created infrastructure? There is bound to be losses, most of it. The thing is, for their strategic gains, they masked BRI as helping poor countries with infrastructure. For example Pakistan, Xinjiang-PoK highway (built by Chinese nationals with Chinese materials) directly benefits the Chinese to lift fuel and goods in times of crisis from Gwadar port avoiding IOR chokepoints, and Pakistan is paying for it with Chinese loans at higher interest rates. What/how much does Pakistan export via this highway to China? Not much huh. Sri Lanka is another glaring example of huge strategic gains made with just a couple of billion dollars investment. Yes, we can blow it up if needed, but India as always was caught napping, right? Much like, should we step in? Why would we, we're non-aligned. Non aligned went out of the window in 1971, this needs to be put into the brains of our politicians.

                            China could have become the #1 economic power in the world in another decade or so, if they listened to Deng - hide your strength, bide your time, OR opened up their economy, accepted democracy etc. I for one, pity the common Chinese for the authoritarian regime they have been putting up with for 7 decades.
                            Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

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                            • How did Sela pass get its name ?

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                              The unsung hero of 1962 war – Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat

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                              • Couple of past accounts. Before Galwan the last time we lost soldiers was in Oct 1975. 6 soldiers from Assam Rifles were tasked to guard Tulung La. 4 were captured and killed and two escaped back. Here is the account of the commanding officer who had to retrieve their bodies



                                We think the Chinese didn't do anything to help the Paks during Kargil. They did try to encroach on Arunachal. Idea being to keep acclimatised troops stationed in the east pinned down and unable to be transferred to Kargil. Only took a platoon of PLA to do it. Account by the three officers who led the operation to thwart the PLA in Arunachal during Kargil. And to do so in a way they didn't open another front with the Chinese during Kargil.



                                Audio isn't too good in this one so headphones required and its a strain.

                                35:00 Lessons learnt

                                - There are limitations to tech in the mountains. Heard this a few times already. The terrain in Arunachal is tougher than in Ladakh.

                                - Higher you are the better you are. Even if you're 100 ft higher than the opponent you've won the first round.

                                - Mountains eat manpower. 5 - 6 people well placed can hold back an entire company f soldiers. I find this mind blowing.

                                - Battles in the mountains will be fought by captains, majors and <inaudible>. They're the cutting edge.

                                - At the tactical/battalion level the most important is surveillance. Preparedness. Have to be able to detect & discern the opponent's intentions or be found wanting. The trick is anticipation which then leads to prediction. Small things can give an indication to what Chinese are up to.

                                - Physical and medical fitness of troops and officers is essential when being deployed in the mountains. ECC clothing.

                                Click image for larger version  Name:	yangtse thang la.jpg Views:	0 Size:	552.1 KB ID:	1566418Turns out there is a Yangtse and nearby there is a Chantze ..

                                Chinese were trying their tricks at Yangtse & Mera La pass during Kargil.

                                What is interesting is they had to move the Bofor guns between last light and first light to avoid satellite sweeps.

                                WHOSE ? American satellites. Couldn't trust the Americans not to pass the info on to the Chinese (!)
                                Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Oct 20,, 06:38.

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