South Asia and Beyond

China’s Reluctance To Restore Status Quo Ante Makes India’s Military Options More Real: Academic Ayesha Ray

NEW DELHI: No mention of returning to the status quo ante in the India-China joint statement is “problematic” because it “leaves India with very few options and the military one is a very real one,” says academic and author Dr Ayesha Ray about the outcome of the meeting between External Affairs Ministers Dr S. Jaishankar and Wang Yi in Moscow. “Saying you’re disengaging is not enough” unless China answers the question of whether it agrees to go back to the pre-April ground situation. If not, the Associate Professor of Political Science at King’s College, Pennsylvania, added that “we’re going to be stuck in a situation with repeated confrontations or skirmishes.” India needs to send the Chinese leadership “coherent and consistent messages,” the author of ‘The Soldier and the State in India: Nuclear Weapons, Counterinsurgency, and the Transformation of Indian Civil-Military Relations’ said.

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Speaking to StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, Dr Ray pointed out that “India must maintain its bargaining leverage gained from the latest tactical military occupation” but be prepared for a “prolonged cat and mouse game” since Beijing is showing “no intent of pulling its forces back.” She also warned of China “trying to pull a surprise” militarily by “retaliating in a different sector,” making it “imperative for India’s leadership and forces not to fall asleep on the table”.

Amitabh P. Revi

Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.