Sino-India border issue and China’s psychological war

Published: June 9, 2020 2:21 PM

BOC has bought shares in HDFC bank and the two Chinese banks in India are dishing out loans. They would float their own mutual funds and get into more and more companies, akin to COVID-19. How India copes with all this and what happens under ‘give and take’ is difficult to guess.

China has invested $26 billion-plus in India, US$4 billion in 30 startups, profits US$60 billion annually from trade, and Chinese apps net millions.

By Lt. Gen Prakash Katoch (retd)

China’s psychological operations are part of ‘unrestricted war’ being waged globally at multiple levels. The aim is to keep the Communist Party of China in power and hide pusillanimous conduct of PLA soldiers – mauled by Vietnam (1979) and India (1967 and 1987).

Dovetailed into the overall policy of surprise-ambiguity-deceit and aided by individuals-organizations-media bought in the target country, these operations are highly successful. Zhu en-Lai assured Nehru of no war before China’s 1962 invasion. Despite bonhomie with Modi, Xi Jinping has made multiple intrusions into strategic areas of Ladakh. From our Army holding posts at Yatung and beyond in Tibet in 1950s, six decades down we are ‘defending’ multiple intrusions three km deep.

China has invested $26 billion-plus in India, US$4 billion in 30 startups, profits US$60 billion annually from trade, and Chinese apps net millions. ZTE and Huawei shunned by many countries are in business here. Bank of China (BOC) is the second Chinese bank after Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited to open a branch in Mumbai in March 2019. Yet China had no compunction in making these intrusions.

Despite all the talk about ‘technology’, our satellites failed to detect PLA buildup and intrusions which are in sizeable numbers, as acknowledged by our Defence Minister. How is our media parroting Beijing’s language that differences should not be allowed to become disputes – is it the first dispute? Before the June 6 Corps Commander-level meeting media was highlighting six treaties China broke. Yet China says current standoff will be resolved through existing mechanisms-protocol? Obvious aim to prolong discussions, consolidate intrusions and add to China’s future legal warfare plank.

The intrusions were deliberately planned at the highest level. Knowing there would be no firing PLA carried wooden clubs with iron spikes. Photos of our grievously injured soldier lying on the ground were flashed in Chinese media to boost the morale of PLA and instil fear in India’s decision-makers. Scholars talk of PLA capability to mobilizing 32 Divisions in Tibet, as if ‘Hit’ and ‘Flit’ are not available in India to deal with the onslaught of cockroaches.

Diplomatically China is talking sugar but its state-owned media has launched the virulent attack. Global Times (called Gobar Times on social media) says China will not yield an inch of territory to Indian invaders, and Indians are so used to Chinese products that they cannot do without them. This is to deflect from China’s export-oriented economy getting hit. Xinhua (better known as Chihuahua) is talking of 7-sins of India denouncing Indian aggression. China is more cheeky when opponents don’t stand up.

With the worst human rights record in Xinjiang, Tibet and assisting Pakistan for genocide in Balochistan, China gives sermons to others on human rights. Having biologically bombed the world with China virus, it will probably get away from the blame since the world largely remains divided instead of uniting against China.

How will the standoff fair in coming months, as also Indian political hierarchy’s call to buy ‘swadeshi’? China will go all out to draw India into its strategic sphere and to enter strategic sectors like defence, IT and space. Even if India’s 5G network doesn’t go to Huawei, China would prefer a corporate with Chinese affiliates. The intrusions will add weight in exerting pressure.

BOC has bought shares in HDFC bank and the two Chinese banks in India are dishing out loans. They would float their own mutual funds and get into more and more companies, akin to COVID-19. How India copes with all this and what happens under ‘give and take’ is difficult to guess.

(The author is an Indian Army veteran. Views expressed are personal.)

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