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4 pm Apr 30, 2013

Can India force the Chinese to abandon their positions on the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh?

The Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers have pitched their fifth tent in Ladakh after their intrusion, almost 18 km into Indian territory from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was first detected. How should India respond to this? Does India have the political will and other required capacities to force the Chinese to go back to their side of the LAC? Discuss with one of India's leading strategic analysts.
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24 questions answered | No question pending
  • Is Give and take a viable and permanent solution for this border dispute? If yes, what will go and what will get? Asked by: Tenzin
  • Bharat Karnad No. The Chinese have already taken a good part of Indian Aksai China. We have taken nothing. So, where's the give on the Chinese part?
  • What should India's approach be towards both Pakistan & China, so that they refrain from any kinds of incursions? Asked by: Rohan
  • Bharat Karnad Very different approaches: Pakistan should be coopted with all knids of economic and other inducements. The better to marshal our national resources to confront China militarily and in every other way.
  • Can india air force give befitting reply to china? Asked by: Mukesh shah
  • Bharat Karnad Possibly. But IAF has never been a proactive force where China is concerned, and will act intimidated should the Chines AF heave into view.
  • DO you think Leaders like Namo, if came to power, will change the situation? Asked by: Ankit
  • Bharat Karnad From what one can make of him, yes. In fact, he criticized the Indian govt for taking the Chinese aggression lying down.
  • The youth of this country are disillusioned with non alignment policy pursued by the Government. In the name of the outdated non alignment policy Govt. cannot take affirmative action in dealing with recalcitrant countries like China. Do you think the time has come to get rid non alignment and adopt a new foreign policy that is reflective of today's times? Asked by: Bhumish Khudkhudia
  • Bharat Karnad The present phrase for the nonalignment concept is "strategic autonomy". We need friends, of course, like Japan and the US to deal with China. But the Americans won't fight the war for us. That we'll have to do ourselves! But, a strongwilled Indian govt would have replied to this Chinese adventure with appropriate harshness.
  • Will the govt end neocolonial trade with china? Asked by: Rohan
  • Bharat Karnad This govt seems disinclined to do anything. ANYTHING AT ALL!
  • Is PRC's occupation of Tibet in 1959 the main cause of the border problem? Will border problems resolves if Tibetan issues resolve? Asked by: Tenzin
  • Bharat Karnad Absoluetely! China had no legal right to Tibet. But might is right, so they annexed it.
  • Is raising mountain division the right way to deal with china? any suggestion from your side Asked by: Roshni
  • Bharat Karnad Mountain Divisions, I have argued, will be useful only if they are specially tasked for offensive warfare, not for the kind of defensive LAC-hugging presence Mtn Divs are presently deployed in.
  • Can we expect a limited conflict like the kargil war with the chinese and if our leaders are bold enough to do so what will be the repercussions ? Asked by: Raja
  • Bharat Karnad No, China has too much to lose, it will, with its belligerence, frighten away the few friends it has in Asia and the world.
  • intrusion in 19 kms, Was our army sleeping? Asked by: Ankit
  • Bharat Karnad Perhaps.
  • What impact these Chinese incursions have on trade of imported Chinese products in future in India? Asked by: Rohan
  • Bharat Karnad I thought I replied to this: the present neocolonial [pattern of trade with china has to end - one in which India exports raw materials like iron ore to China, and imports finished goods.
  • Are we helpless in front of the mighty Chinese? or are we lacking the leader of the caliber of Indira Gandhi who even faced the US during liberation of Bangladesh? Asked by: Prathap
  • Bharat Karnad India lacks a strong leader who will take no guff from any foreign country.
  • Will this be a right time to recognize Tibet as a soverign state by the inidan Government along with military aid to counter chinese intrusion? Asked by: Raja
  • Bharat Karnad Tibet card has to be begun to be played by India. Not with recognition to start with but by withdrawing from our position of accepting Chinese sovereognty over Tibet.
  • What is the Ideal way of dealing with chinese ? Asked by: Rakesh
  • Bharat Karnad India should exactly reciprocate Chinese actions and policies in all spheres, and not be in a hurry to resolve the border dispute because Beijing believes the longer the wait, the better the deal they can extract out of India.
  • Hi..I think just before the FM's visit to China, these guys will abandon the post and go back so as to soften India's response..I think if they do not do it then the FM should cancel the visit..Also do the Chinese military generals actually have more power than projected publicly and they seem to be flexing their muscles with most of their neighbors? Asked by: JK
  • Bharat Karnad PLA now has more political power and influence in the Chinese govt than was teh case earlier, what with Xi Jinping becoming President of China with the military's help
  • I suppose India has excess imported product sales from china. Is this the reason behind India's silence over this incursion issue for a long time? if not, what is the reason behind the delay to take decision? Asked by: Shobana
  • Bharat Karnad India is in a neocolonial trading pattern with China -- we export raw materials, like iron ore, they export finished products. It is best to cut off that kind of Chinese exports altogether, India won't lose.
  • Can you please compare the depth and scope of the intrusion with that of Kargil? Asked by: Venky
  • Bharat Karnad The armed intrusion here is 19 kms. In Kargil it was less -- some 10 kms!
  • assuming we give them a hard response, something like pulling off economic ties by taxing them more or put more & aggressive forces on lac, what do you thin their response would be? Asked by: Ankit
  • Bharat Karnad PLA response cn be expected, so India better prepare for it by airlifting mountain Divisions to the Leh, 14 Corps, sector just in case.
  • assuming we give them a hard response, something like pulling off economic ties by taxing them more or put more & aggressive forces on lac, what do you thin their response would be? Asked by: Ankit
  • Bharat Karnad It would be foolish for the hard response to be a severance of trade and economic links. It has to be military action --like warning the Chinese it will shoot down any helicopters seeking to resupply the forward Chinese unit, and if this warning is disregarded, shooting down any PLA helicopters!
  • Dont you think its completly our fault having not build infrastruture, still thinking about proposed 2 mountain division and now we are helpless? What answer should india give? Asked by: Jayesh Joshi
  • Bharat Karnad It is entirely our fault -- the fault of the Indian govt in not directing the army to concentrate on the major adversary, China, and of the army for misorienting to the lesser threat, Pakistan, and spending the national resources on the western front.
  • to my mind we are in catch 22 situation-as we do not have good road newtwork-have to depand on ALG s in DBO & Fukuche-we just can not abondon that option-so the situation will be resolved-understand chinese have objection to fukuche (where exactly is is located ?) Asked by: avinash
  • Bharat Karnad Well, the Chinese have this fantastical notion they are trying to ram down Manmohan Singh govt's throat that while it is alright for them to build up in strength on their side of LAC, India shouldn't do the same -- bldg up ALGs, border roads, etc.for the sake of peace and tranquility!
  • I have a question related to this incident and the guts and lie of congress rule Indian Govt. In 1986/87 Chinese occupied/intrude “Sumdorong Chu” as I came across through some discussion in various TV channel. I want to know whether Chinese are still there or it is under the control of Indian administration. If it is still under chineses control, than there is no reason of discussing all these non sense. The rulling govt as it is doing and will keep doing secularism and communalism. Asked by: Satya
  • Bharat Karnad The Chinese have withdrawn from the forward position they took on the Somdurong chu in 1987. The reason India compelled China to back down was because then army chief Gen. Sundarji DID NOT follow procedure, DID NOT consult MEA, etc and immediately ordered an airlift of troops, positioning of guns on the surrounding heights, and a tentage presence just 10 meters from the Chinese camp! The PLA lost its nerve!
  • How do you read Chinese negotiating behaviour against India? Do you think they will eventually withdraw from the occupied space under diplomatic bargaining or India has to exert military pressure to push them out from the current position? Asked by: Gyana
  • Bharat Karnad Yes, they will but not before proving to the world that India does not have the guts to face them down in the Depsang Valley, and after extorting some concession or the other. Talk of military pressure is, in the circumstances, so much hot air!
  • why are we such a weak nation? China scares us being a bigger country & pakistan scares despite being a smaller country. Why are our leaders so weak? Asked by: Ankit
  • Bharat Karnad Indian leaders and the government they head lack in vision, lose their nerves easily in even the smallest crisis, and simply don't appreciate the utility of hard military power of the state because of their oft-mentioned belief that as a "responsible" state India shouldn't rattle its sabres. When these elements are combined what you get is the kind of defensive inaction we see today.

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Bharat Karnad
Strategic affairs expert