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Managing China painlessly
China is upping its threat post President Trump's policy decision to pull back. China sees India as a major challenger to its ambition of becoming world dominant power. It will continue troubling India. India has some good options in deterrence and alliances to counter China.

Presidents Trump is quite clear in his approach, America first; if it antagonises its traditional allies, then so be it. Benevolent attitude since the demise of Britain as dominant power has taxed US economy heavy and no previous President was bold enough to take such varying stand. But Trump is different and being devoid of any baggage, he takes decisions best for his country. Cutting down/reducing some strategic military ventures' liability would burden many free loaders.

Rising China is desirous of occupying space being ceded by the US. China has the financial might and is slowly developing cutting edge military technology by investing huge in its academic & research establishments. Being quite ruthless, its been stealing technology from all over without caring for ethics and legalities. This has helped China to leap frog in military technology. Thus, it has the potential to fill the void.

China's rise is scaring most of the world nations used to international laws and treaties for its conduct and resolving disputes through consensus whereas Chinese prefer use of force to ensure its right of way. Chinese rise is scary and causing quite a lot of discomfort amongst all. China sees India as biggest threat at regional level and has the potential of creating powerful alliances to counter Chinese threat. It would aim to keep India embroiled with Pakistan and creating crisis or raking up irritants on regular basis, through proxies in South Asia.

China has its huge vulnerabilities too. Rogue nations of North Korea & Pakistan will keep on embarrassing China on its high moralistic ground whenever it takes. Tibet & Xingziang are restive and use of brute force attracts adverse opinion unacceptable to powerful nation. Despite drastic measures initiated by China Islamic terror is creeping in; slowing economy; rising inflation; unemployment; demanding population and corruption are very severe problems which are going to grow in magnitude.

Few genuine friends, unholy alliances and total mistrust is hallmark of China's international relationships. Economically its blood sucker with interests rates that would cripple any economy.

China has some peculiarities

One, supremely egoistic with tremendous pride in its past and desires to dominate the world. Second, extremely patient during negotiations. In fact masters in using time to cause attrition on opponent by sheer delay. Thirdly, its extremely sensitive to dissent and any threat to its unity. Tibet, Xingxiang or Islamic terror could dismember China. Its really scared of these forces.

Lastly it uses mind games, blackmail, sanctions etc to force favourable decisions without combat, war being the last resort which is best avoided. And it respects strength.

India has plenty of options without confronting China directly militarily. Alliances with own modern and powerful defence forces is the key.

Indian economy is rising and China's is slowing down. Any trade restriction would hurt China real bad adding to its unemployment and dissent amongst masses with severe ramifications.

Disturbed PoK and Western Pakistan hampering CPEC

China is investing billions to access Gwadar and Middle East's oil so that its vulnerable SLOC/Jugular at extremely vulnerable Malacca straight are taken care of to a large extent. India can ensure turbulence with Afghanistan/US/Iran aiding. Drag China to ICJ for construction activity in PoK which is our area under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

Economically weak, impoverished and internally unstable Pakistan with radicals, mullahs and terrorists calling shots would be nightmare of Chinese ambitions of safe Gwader passage. With intelligent covert action it can be China's Vietnam experience.

HH Dalai Lama and Buddhist world over congregating in India from time to time and Buddhist tourists from Japan, Myanmar and other countries visiting monasteries and HH would be great pain for China. An issue with tremendous soft power potential dreaded by China. Budhists in Nepal and Myanmar must be encouraged to interact with Tibetian Buddhists, great soft power application with very positive ramifications. Annual international Buddhist meetings in India under tutelage of HH Dalai Lama would energise and unite this community.

SAARC nations economic integration on all soft power issues. China trying to control governments through economic lucrative offerings but masses more in harmony with India. This must be further strengthened. Masses are what matters.

Above measures demand proactive aggressive orientation by our strategic planners. The present tendency of Meekly Defensive approach is disastrous giving all options to adversary. Time for offensive defensive; use of mind; exploiting Chinese traits and using our massive soft power to deter China from any war.

Indian army must have adequate contingency plans to deter any localised skirmishes by quickly mobilising resources by having quality satellite/human intelligence to ensure timely and effective response.

In any hostile activity with Chinese, the aim should be deterrence. Loss of face is traumatic for Chinese establishment and it would avoid any confrontations where outcome would be a stalemate. It would resort to border skirmishes on plea of border demarcation issues or at best localised conflicts with threats of escalation wherein weal political leadership may loose its nerves.

On the seafront, navy is already into quality alliances with other regional navies and ensuring 24×7 monitoring of hostile shipping activity.

India can't and must not fight 2/3 front war, its sure recipe for disaster. Our polity and diplomatic force has to ensure this does not happen. Domination at sea and deterrence on land and air/space/cyber and emerging frontiers adequately meets our defence needs of territorial integrity and safeguarding areas of interests. Nation must invest in AI and other emerging dual cutting edge technology. Soon technology and not brute military force will decide the winner, so the combination of lean and thin army coupled with powerful technology must be the way ahead.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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