China will definitely win.
While India is busy countering the Chinese might on its borders with weapons and men, China are busy wrecking the balance for us in other areas, with better brains and plans. Don’t get aghast or angry and reach any premature conclusions. Let me elaborate first.
Quite recently, there was a lot of furore and razzmatazz over the Doklam issue. India and its citizens rejoiced over the way India had been able to give a whooping to the growing Chinese hegemony in the southern sub-continent. I also was one of those Indians who proudly wrote about it. Meanwhile, our conclusions were only far away from the truth.
The Chinese were busy creating a situation which would force us to bend without any warfare or weapons involved at all. What they did was, they simply denied to share the hydrological data on the Brahmaputra with us with the excuse that they had been revamping all 14 of their data fetching facilities on the Brahmaputra.
And, that’s absurd because that reason didn’t stop them from sharing the same invaluable data with Bangladesh. This is a very serious matter risking lives and resources belonging to tens of millions of people.
China is an upstream country with respect to the flow of Brahmaputra, while India is a downstream one. The data about the flow of Brahmaputra is of critical value to India for dealing with annual flooding situations in densely populated and resource-rich states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and several other states of North East. And, it’s not like India had been begging China to give away that data for free of cost. We had been paying hefty sums of money for it.
This time though, India did pay the fee but didn’t get the data it needed. With this data unavailable, India is now naturally lesser equipped to concoct meaningful plans and strategies to deal with the flooding in the said areas. All this while we all quite know that flooding in the northeast can shake up the very economies and lifestyles of these areas every passing year.
This, in turn, could mean a pandemonium of unprecedented scale. With no data, we could lose way more resources, endless livestock, and needless to mention, the loss of lives which simply can’t be summed up in mere numbers. And, that’s the dirty war that China fights, while keeping its opponents busy and distracted on the borders or mired in other such disputes in the seas.
And, since India did bite the bullet that Xi Jinping-led China threw its way, it was bound to lose in these games of war against the ruthless Chinese. After all, ever since India did withdraw its troops, the Chinese have been building another road in an area very close to Doklam. They have further intensified their patrolling in the region as well. All this while, we also lost the very important hydrological data on the Brahmaputra.
That’s a perfect case for “The Art of War by Sun Tzu” realized in the real world. The Chinese have become pretty good with it, as it’s their regular strategy to scare the world with their rising military might, while it slowly gains an upper arm on other grounds, be it economic, environmental, political.
To counter China in a true sense, India needs to think over and beyond the military approaches and possibilities. It needs to identify other grey areas which have nothing to do with land and borders but can provide India a few solid vantage points against China. And, it has to create masterful strategies to exploit those grey areas to its interests when the need arises. Because even if we don’t do that, the Chinese are already doing it anyway.
Further, they are only going to use such measures far more in future, as India evolves into a countering regional power against them. Ergo, real war against China will always be fought in areas far beyond the physical borders and disputed lands. And, until India acknowledges and does something about it, we don’t really stand much of a ground.
As a patriotic and enthusiastic Indian, typing out those words is always painful.