NEW DELHI: Former Indian Ambassador to China, Mr Gautam Bambawale said that the Eastern Ladakh clash in 2020 was different from past clashes, in that, the clash of the patrols was not accidental but a well-thought-out, well-planned, well-simulated and well-carried out operation by the Chinese PLA. “China violated many of the agreements signed earlier between India and China, to maintain peace and tranquillity in India-China border areas because, in all those agreements, the first clause of each of those agreements says that both sides would not move a large number of troops without notifying the other side. However, India’s magnificent and rapid response surprised the Chinese”.
He was speaking at a seminar titled “Chinese Aggression Unabated”, organised jointly by The Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on 12th July 2022 in New Delhi.
The seminar comprising two sessions titled “Chinese Aggressive Policies In The Neighbourhood”, and “India-China: Galwan and After” saw insightful and engaging discussions by a pool of experts on ways to get out of China’s tentacles and the troubles created by Beijing. The experts at the discussion suggested that India should engage more with the neighbourhood to counter Chinese aggression.
Earlier, speaking on the sidelines of the event, Dr Adrian Haack, Director, India Office of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, spoke about how China’s backing of Russia over the invasion of Ukraine has exposed its real face to the world. “Russia and China are brothers in crime, and the only difference between the two of them is that Russia is not a threat to global peace. Russia sets Europe on fire, while China can be a threat to global peace due to its power.”
President of CCAS, Mr Jayadeva Ranade spoke from the perspective of India on Chinese aggressive policies in the neighbourhood. Mr Ranade began with an overview of the current state of international politics including but not limited to the economic downturn, the shift in power relations, the rise of China, India, Japan, Vietnam etc at the time in the Indo-Pacific and the West’s strategy of countering China’s rise with the creation and signing of security pact such as AUKUS, and the strengthening of NATO. He further highlighted the trajectory of China’s strategic and political opportunism starting in 2008 with the global financial crisis, China’s belligerence in India’s borders from Depsang, Demchok, Chushul, and Doklam to Galwan incident; and rigorous propaganda mount by China during or following these border tensions. Mr Ranade also shared his insightful knowledge of China’s massive infrastructural build in Tibet including, highways, railways, airports and border defence villages in and around border areas with India. All these indicate no stress for India, he concluded.
Speaking virtually at the event, Mr Hiroyuki Akita, Commentator on Foreign Affairs and Internationa Security, and Dr Ying Yu Lin, Adjunct Assitant Professor at National Sun Yat-sen University, spoke about “Chinese Aggressive Policies In The Neighbourhood”, and made their presentations respectively from the perspective of Japan and Taiwan on Chinese aggression policies in Asia in general and in the Senkaku Islands and South China Sea etc in particular.
Taking part in the second-panel discussion, Lt. Gen.Sanjay Kulkarni and Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh spoke extensively on China’s increasing belligerence, and assertive behaviour including in the latest clash at Galwan and the west’s miscalculation and projection of China’s rise. Both shared the common vision that India should move ahead by ensuring that relationship in all other fields progresses while it should keep the boundaries questions to be kept separately for discussion.
Overall, the seminar saw engaging and stimulating discussions between the experts, and also question and answer sessions between the experts and the gathering.