The mad human race:
History is full of repetition. Actually human race has worst record of learning from history. The result is that history keeps on repeating itself even if it does not repeat at the same place.
Talking of place, in the case of Galwan Valley where China has invaded and is presently picketing while making bunkers is next to same place where the China had betrayed Nehru. Aksai Chin is the neighbourhood where China had invaded in 1962 and occupied it. It has an area equivalent to State of Goa in India or perhaps equal to size of Norway.
We do not know much about that time except that Nehru had a ‘vision‘ that every one in Asia will unite and lead to progress. But this time it is interesting. One possibility is that it has something to do with waning influence of Xi Jin Ping in China’s Communist Party.
India and China did not share a border. Tibet was the immediate neighbour of India. But China invaded it in 1950 and by 1957 completely acceded it with Nehru overtly conceding this outrageous act of aggression on Tibetan people. It is said no good deed goes unpunished. In 1962 Nehru got his reward. China crawled into Aksai Chin and killed all the soldiers of India present there. India did not use it’s Air power for reasons buried with Nehru alone, even though China had no match for air power of India. Something which may be true even today.
The Salami Obsession:
Every country has a national obsession. Some have terrorism a national cause and dying for it only matters. For some killing Americans or finishing America is that obsession. China wants land. More and more land. It crawls into neighbours land say for 3x area and when challenged it returns to 2x back. This is called the Salami slicing policy.China presently has an area out of which about 70% is occupied land of neighbours since 1950, in tacit approval of the world. The world is getting the reward for it’s good deeds. See this Map :
In 2017 it tried this Salami in Doklam. It went back but we will never know how much Salami was taken by it in the process.
This summer, first the China waited for snow to melt and weather to be habitable and entered into Galwan Valley and is now occupying it claiming it to be theirs. Unfortunately the name of river ‘Galwan’ is not after any Chinese person. As per wikipedia:
“The river is named after Ghulam Rasool Galwan, a Ladakhi explorer of Kashmiri descent, who first explored the course of the river. In 1899, he was part of a British expedition team that was exploring the areas to the north of the Chang Chenmo valley, when he ran into this previously unknown river valley.”
This valley is a buffer area in which both India and China do their patrol and when one patrolling party is shown flag by the other they return to their base. This was the protocol till May 5th 2020.
After the Chinese occupation, Government of India in a usual manner denied the occupation. However the army of India stopped Chinese army mid way and there was a scuffle by stone and batons resulting in minor injuries. The negotiations started between the armies and on 6th June it was decided that both the armies will return to it’s previous position i.e. 2.5 kilometre backward.
It may be recalled that both the countries had entered into an agreement in 1996 which was reinforced again in 2005 that there shall be no firing of fire arm or explosion of any kind ‘within 2.5 kilometre of line of actual control‘.
On the night of 15-16th June, when a patrol party of 10-15 Indian Army reached a patrol point 14 it found a tent erected there which was being converted into a bunker. Chinese were asked to comply with the agreement. Thereafter what happened is not very clear and there are many versions. But it was a free fight with fists on Indian side and Chinese had come with club with nails with which they attacked the Indians. See picture:
20 Soldiers of India lost life. But no shot was fired. As per reports China lost twice that number but that does not matter. The violence and the manner is not just primitive but barbarous. China has also hit a new low.
Breach of trust
Narendra Modi is the only Prime Minister of India who has met Chinese counterpart 18 times in past 6 years. Several one to one meets. Yet what China has done is, seen as an act of betrayal. The area may not be that big but it is Nehru moment for Modi. In any case the opposition party wants to play it that way especially the descendants of Nehru.
The out rage is palpable and things are unfolding. We do not know what will be happening next but problem is far from over. The world war 3 has taken another angle.
There is a conspiracy theory as well. Chinese Army is the only army in which a member of Communist Party is attached to each command post. The theory is that this incident of not respecting the mutual agreement is an act of disobedience to Xi Jin Ping as an alternate power centre is emerging in China which wants to undermine Xi who is presently acting as an emperor without any limit to his term in office.
We have to wait and watch.