The world does not understand the power of argument but the argument of power. This power theory is universally acceptable in every domain of business. In the geopolitical game, to advance a country’s national interest, it is imperative that its words are backed by significant ground action. Similarly, earlier China used to threaten India with border aggression. They made dual-use villages, military camps and other infrastructure around the Line of Actual Control (LAC) endangering India’s territorial sovereignty. But, after India’s disproportionate counteraction in both Doklam as well as in Galwan, China realised the argument of power. Further, when India inflicted an economic war, the Dragon now seemed to be speaking the language of peace and leaving its aggression towards the nation.
Disengagement Around Flash Point in Ladakh
After successive failures of 15 rounds of disengagement talks, China now has agreed to withdraw its troops from the area of Gogra-Hotsprings (PP-15) in a coordinated and planned way. In compliance with the 16th round of talks on September 8th, 2022, India and China carried out verification to confirm the withdrawal of troops from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area of Eastern Ladakh.
Quoting official sources, The Hindu reported that, “both sides have completed disengagement at PP15 in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas”.
Last week speaking about the process of disengagement, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that “the two sides have agreed to cease forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas. It has been agreed that all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides will be dismantled and mutually verified. The landforms in the area will be restored to the pre stand-off period by both sides strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there will be no unilateral change in status quo”.
India’s Economic War & Military Build-up
The sudden consensus of disengagement by China is the result of India’s firm stand on the issue. Without backing an inch from the ground, India launched both economic as well military strikes on China.
To counter the Chinese aggression, India recently deployed its state-of-the-art military hardware along the LAC. In its military build-up, India deployed Apache attack helicopters, Chinook weight lifting helicopters, Rafale combat jets, and advanced versions of SWITCH tactical drones and light tanks for high-altitude areas like Ladakh, and Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C).
India also started deploying the recently procured S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems along the Chinese borders. The capabilities of the S-400 to detect and destroy hostile fighters, strategic bombers, missiles, and drones at long ranges will deter the Chinese provocation. Moreover, India has finally completed the encirclement of China with the strategic cooperation of Mongolia, Japan and ASEAN countries.
Other than military deterrence, India also launched an economic war on China. The decision was taken after China’s constant aggression and trade deficit issues. It was reported that many Chinese companies are engaged in illegal tax evasion and siphoning profits to their home country. The Enforcement Directorate stated that a single smartphone company Vivo sent Rs 62,476 Crore worth of turnover to China to avoid getting taxed in India. Further, other Chinese companies like ZTE, Huawei and Xiaomi have also been accused of cumulative tax evasion of Rs 7,300 crore in India. To probe ‘Chinese organised crime’, Indian law enforcement agencies launched a coordinated investigation.
Moreover, to prevent the Indian market from becoming the dumping ground of cheap Chinese products, India took sky high progress in domestic manufacturing. Under the Aatmanirbhar and Make in India project, the country adopted a series of policy initiatives to boost domestic manufacturing. The commerce ministry also recommended imposing an anti-dumping duty on products coming from China.
Dr S Jaishankar on various occasions has said that “State of the border will determine the state of the relationship”. Working on the philosophy, India made sure that for every single misadventure along the LAC, China pays in dollars. The already crumpled Chinese economy earned India’s economic wrath.
China’s Own Compulsion
China’s decision to shun its aggressive push is also driven by its own economic compulsion. Reports suggest that the unending Covid spread and lockdown thereof have strangulated the Chinese economy. According to a report, 54.4% of the national GDP and half of the population were negatively impacted by the harsh lockdown and the latest outbreak of the Chinese Virus. The country has seen a GDP expansion of a mere 0.4% in the first quarter of 2022.
The default of EMI payments and lower property buyout have created a huge liquidity crisis in the real estate sector. The mortgage is also not an easy job for the developers, as home buyers have refused to pay mortgages and they are organizing a social boycott of EMI payments. The looming real estate sector, which accounts for 29% of China’s GDP, has brought the country to the verge of Bankruptcy.
The lockdown has stopped production and the source of income has been trimmed. In this case, the exports, which account for 18% of China’s GDP, are also sliding. China exports about USD 97.71 billion of goods and services to India and the balance of trade value is one-sided in favour of the Chinese companies. In this case, successive import embargoes by India heavily affected the Chinese economy and the Dragon is speaking the language of peace.
Other than India’s economic and military strike, and China’s own misdeed, the third reason for withdrawal is the Russian angle. In a fight against the west, Russia and China both need India’s help.
As Russia is single-handedly fighting with the whole of Europe and America in Ukraine, it is imperative that they get India’s help. To get the help of India, Russia must bring China in terms of a civilised country. It’s not a zero-sum game that my gain is your loss and your loss is my gain. Here, India’s loss is everyone’s loss. Being the second largest population, fifth largest economy and formidable military power, no grouping can hope to downgrade India. With such military and economic might, India can decrease or increase the weight of an organisation. Consequently, Russia would want China to normalise its relationship with India.
Russia, China and India cumulatively form 19% of the global landmass and 33% of the global GDP. Further, Russia, China and India together represent the voice of developing countries of the world. To counter the west, it is important that Russia, China and India stay together. Further, until and unless India and China are not coming together, Asian Century is never going to come.
Considering these various economic, social, political, security and international conditions, China has finally agreed to disengage from the military stand-off. It is the final result of India’s military and economic strength that China is speaking the language of peace. Once former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had said that India must stand up to the world. Unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. Only strength respects strength. It is the strength of India that has bent the Chinese arrogance.
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