Updated: June 19, 2020 9:10:23 pm
The deaths of 20 soldiers in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese forces are facing off, is the first such incident in 45 years. According to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress leader in Lok Sabha, this escalation “underlines the scale of the problem and the challenge ahead” for New Delhi in its dealings with Beijing. Chowdhury argues in The Indian Express that “China has clearly twisted the crisis into a strategic opportunity by taking advantage of the geo-political distraction”.
That China is becoming more belligerent across strategic theatres, challenging the status quo, is supported by multiple examples from the South China Sea. For the Government of India, this is a moment to guard against complacency, fostered by decades of nimble diplomacy that led to equilibrium, however precarious, on the border issue with China. It was complacency, fostered by the 1999 bus ride to Lahore, that perhaps led to the Kargil conflict.
The Congress leader has urged the government to take the Opposition into confidence, and call an all-party meeting to discuss the China issue. “There seem to be no limits to the Chinese strategy of extending land towards India till they are pushed back. The professed aim of the Chinese establishment is to reclaim the ‘Middle Kingdom’, which it asserts was lost to foreign powers when China was weak,” Chowdhury writes.
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He also suggests that India revive and strengthen the relationships with its neighbours, especially Nepal. Building solidarities is a strategic necessity against an aggressive China.
Finally, he argues for maintaining communal and social harmony for internal cohesion. It is important to be prepared (militarily), prudent, and united while facing the dragon, Chowdhury says.
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