Dr. Susmit Kumar, Ph.D.

There are reports that China has been amassing a large military force in South Tibet because of the tri-junction (where borders of India, Bhutan and China meet) border dispute with India. After winning the undeclared war with its neighbors and the US in South China Sea, after building several illegal artificial islands as military bases, China is trying to intimidate India. India is the only Asian country, with its world’s third largest defense forces, capable to stand before China. It is in the best interest of the US and its Western allies as well as of East Asian countries, to support India, in all possible ways, against China because this war would have profound consequences on containing the Chinese belligerence against its neighbors. If the coming India-China war ends in stalemate, like the 1979 Vietnam-China War, it will give a big blow to China’s claim of super-power status.

After Vietnam’s invasion and occupation of Cambodia in 1978, ending the rule of the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge, China invaded Vietnam in 1979 to teach Vietnam a lesson but despite having a much superior army on paper, the war ended in stalemate. After the 1979 Vietnam War, China has not fought any war. On the other hand, the Indian army has been fighting the un-declared war in Jammu & Kashmir with Pakistan for the last three and hence India’s army is battle-tested and ready to fight any war.

(The following 3 paragraphs are from the book "Casino Capitalism," Susmit Kumar, iUniverse, 2012, pp. 231-4)

China has built massive infrastructure along its India border for quick troop mobilization, whereas India has most of these infrastructure plans only on paper until the Modi administration took over in 2014. After taking the reins, the Modi administration has started working on these infrastructural plans on war footing. China has constructed huge blue-roofed all-weather buildings to house its hundreds of its soldiers during winter. Without any provocative episode or infrastructure built up by India in these sparsely populated areas, the massive infrastructure built by China in a very short duration points to some ulterior motive.

...China may take an adventure in grabbing some of the sparsely populated disputed areas from India. India, an emerging economic and military superpower, is the only country that can match Chinese firepower in Asia. By defeating India, China will try to send a message to its neighboring countries and the Western powers, especially to the United States, that they will have to play according to the rules dictated by China.

India is not in a position to win a localized war in these areas. Hence it would be in the interest of India to widen the war by taking the fight to the Chinese mainland, much in the same way as India’s then prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, did during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. Shastri decided to invade Pakistan all along the India-Pakistan border when he realized that India could not win a localized war in Kashmir. Although India cannot win the war by taking it to the Chinese mainland, it will leave scars in both China and India. Although this war will be a short one, it will result in the deaths of tens of thousands, maybe more, in both countries. Deaths of this many people in mainland China will cause a serious crisis, as the Chinese will blame their own government for these deaths. On the other hand, if the war ends in a stalemate, the Indians will see themselves and their government as victims and blame China for the numerous deaths in India. Apart from this, any Indian governing political party will not want to be identified as a loser in an Indo-China war, as they then will be out of power for several decades. Therefore, it is in the best interest of India to send signals to China at every international forum that in any attack in disputed areas, it will widen the war and take it to mainland China. This will make China think twice before it decides to initiate any adventure against India in disputed areas.

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