War Between India and China?


All of a sudden, a military conflict is imminent between India and China. Three weeks ago, out of the blue, Indian troops crossed the Sikkim border and squatted 100 meters inside Chinese territory. They were held there by Chinese border troops. India declared that the 1890 border treaty between China and Sikkim, a formerly independent tiny nation that had been annexed by India in 1975, is non-effective (even though former Indian Prime Minister Nehru had acknowledged in writing twice in the 1950s that the border was valid and absent of dispute). Beginning last week, 100,000 Indian troops were being deployed toward the border, accompanied by combative mobilization. Refusing to talk or budge, India is posturing as a “slimer”. China has to react.

It seems to be a weird coincidence. But after meeting with Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia and now India have made sudden moves that riled up dangerous tensions in sensitive regions. China clearly does not want to go to war. After getting Trump to sell some advanced weaponry (at more than four times the price tag)for the first time to India, Prime Minister Modi was euphoric. His military people are now clamoring to buy more, and fighting over who gets what. It is possible that a limited war with China at the border might just get them their wish.

China is faced with a tough decision. It is no surprise that India is placing itself as a geopolitical blocker of what it perceives to be China’s accessway to its One Belt One Road initiative (in reality, it is not). To be drawn into such a war seems to have no upside. Therefore, if China goes to war, it will do it in such a way as to achieve substantial sunstantive strategy gains. India, and those who prod it on, will have to watch out.


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