Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

5 possible outcomes of the China-India border dispute

India withdrawing troops and coming back to the peace table, ideally at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, remains the best option for all parties. The US getting involved is an even more dangerous possibility than a short Sino-Indian war.

Published

on

1,540 Views

The current border dispute between China and India centred around the tri-junction of the borders of India, Bhutan and China in an area India calls Doklam and China calls Donglang, is showing no signs of being resolved.

China has once again blasted India for literally refusing to budge on the issue.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry has most recently stated,

“Over one month has passed since the outbreak of the incident. The Indian border troops still illegally stay in the Chinese territory. Moreover, the Indian side is building roads, hoarding supplies and deploying a large number of armed forces on the Indian side of the boundary”.

China continues to accuse India of provocative measures that work against the interests of peace. China furthermore accuses India of using the excuse of supposedly aiding the small state of Bhutan when in reality, India simply seeks to encroach on what Beijing views as sovereign Chinese land. While in the 1950s, India and China settled disputes over the poorly written 1890 border agreement between China and British colonial India, Bhutan was not a party to the treaty and therefore the so-called ‘Bhutan excuse’ has become India’s justification for encroaching on what China claims as its territory, territory India prefers to consider part of the pro-India Bhutanese state.

India has thus far refused to engage in dialogue nor has India agreed to a withdrawal of troops from the disputed region, which is China’s major prerequisite for peace talks.

Due to the intransigence of the situation. Here are possible outcomes to consider.

1. India eventually withdraws and returns to dialogue

This is by far the best possible scenario for all sides involved and it is luckily a realistic one. India and China have mechanisms in place to settle such disputes without resorting to a standoff. As mutual members of both the BRICS economic cooperation union as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), India and China could both rely on these bodies to provide a peaceful solution to the current tensions. In particular, the SCO is in many ways tailor made as the best possible organisation through which to resolve the crisis.

Such organisations did not exist during China and India’s short border war in 1962. Furthermore, in 1962, China and the Soviet Union were rivals where today Russia is an ally to both China and India. As a fellow member of both the BRICS and SCO, Russia could act as a third party mediator in the conflict as Moscow is respected by both sides and has in Syria, proved successful negotiation skills between generally adverse parties. Russia brought Turkey and Iran to the same peace table in Astana and also reached a situation where representatives of the secular Syrian government sat across the room from jihadist terrorists that the west calls ‘moderate’.

There is some hope that perhaps China and India could even solve the dispute bilaterally. In 2014, shortly after the current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office and shortly before a scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two countries engaged in a protracted stand-off in the Ladakh region. India eventually stepped down while Modi claimed a kind of moral victory before his Hindutva base for “standing up” to China.

The current dispute could end in this way with India backing off of the dispute while Modi and his followers simultaneously play the role of victim and hero, an odd combination that is increasingly the narrative in Modi’s India. The only analogous political narrative in the world is the Israeli propaganda known in Tel Aviv as Hasbara.

In spite of such a politically awkward narrative, if this brings peace, it is still the best possible outcome.

2. War 

In 1962, China and India fought a short but fully fledged border war in which China won a resounding victory. In 1987, both countries engaged in what is generally called a ‘skirmish’ in which both sides claimed a kind of victory.

If the tensions do not die down quickly, there is a chance for war. Many Chinese commentators have soberly and regretfully remarked that such a thing is possible even though China has made it clear that it is not an option that China considers to be a pleasant one.

The following video from China, made for an international, but particularly an Indian audience, makes it clear that China sees the conflict as one where Indian chauvinism is something of a post-colonial holdover whereby Indian ultra-nationalists have adopted much of the language and legal positions of their former European colonial masters.

China seeks Asian unity and continues to seek India’s participation in the One Belt–One Road initiative that could not only turn China and India’s relationship into one based on mutual prosperity but could also help to ease long-term tensions between Pakistan and India as Islamabad is an eager participant in One Belt–One Road.

War remains on the Chinese table but only as a regrettable last resort.

3. Trade war 

India has already made it clear that they see their so-called North-South trade corridor as an alternative to One Belt–One Road where in reality it would function best as an integral tributary of the Chinese belt and road.

As I wrote only yesterday in The Duran, in respect of India’s attempt to build a rival to One Belt–One road,

“As with many of the self-styled ‘big ideas’ coming out of  Modi’s India, the problem is not so much that the ideas are bad but rather that the ‘big ideas’ are rather quite limited and limiting. While China’s One Belt–One Road is literally a global land and sea super-highway, India’s North-South corridor is by comparison a small, however important roundabout.

This is proof positive that India would only benefit by linking its own ambitious infrastructure and trade projects with the larger one being built by China and her partners. In a competition between a set of important regions and the wider world, the latter will always be more vital and more attractive to potential partners.

This is why if India cooperated with Russia, India could make the most of its own ambitions while reaping the benefits afforded to all nations, but particularly to large nations which are part of One Belt–One Road.

If India insists on sitting out of One Belt–One Road, the road will simply circumvent India via the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, thus affording increased benefits to India’s regional rival that could otherwise be distributed across South Asia.

India is only selling itself short by trying to sell the world an alternative to One Belt–One Road. In this sense, One Belt–One Road can function without India, but India cannot function at its optimum potential outside of One Belt–One Road”.

India, fearing she could lose another war to China might prefer to wage a kind of trade war which doubles as a cold war. While this might sound ridiculous as both states have mutual allies, mutual interests and are both members of the BRICS and SCO, if India continues its stance as a kind of unwilling outlier to One Belt–One Road, the reality is that the short term embarrassment of losing a hot war to China would merely be replaced by the more long term embarrassment of losing out in participating in the most ambitious Asia-centric trading initiative of the modern age.

The only silver lining to such a scenario is that so long as no blood is shed, there is at least some possibility for a future generation of Indian leaders to correct the short sighted attitude of the Modi government.

4. US proxy war leading to WWIII

Luckily, this is among the least likely scenario, but due to America’s erratic behaviour in areas close to China, including the South China Sea, Yellow Sea and Korean peninsula, it is not a scenario that can be entirely ruled out.

Under Modi, India has begun buying overpriced weapons from the United States. The US under Donald Trump is enjoying counting the money (he more or less said so at a press conference with Modi) while India has convinced itself that the US is now a fully fledged military ally, as though forgetting that throughout the Cold War, the opposite was the case in many respects and that the current US policy on South Asia remains confused as Washington has not fully adjusted to the post-Cold War realities of the region.

However, now that the US has shown its cards in respect of using the Korean crisis in order to distract China from One Belt-One Road and to provoke China on the Chinese doorstep to which the US has the greatest access due to its relationship with Seoul, the US could potentially make a decision laden with both hubris and foolishness and seek to send so-called ‘peace keeping troops’ to the foreboding Himalayas.

READ MORE: America uses North Korea as a transparent excuse for meddling in South Korea and provoking China

If America did this, it would be seen as the most provocative measure against China since the hot phase of the Korean War. If the hypothetical US troops strayed into Chinese territory, it could lead to a war between super-powers with the added element of India being a nuclear armed state.

This scenario would not only be dangerous but it is one that without resorting to the deployment of nuclear weapons, the US could not win. The US has little experience in fighting mountainous conflicts and judging by the difficulties the US had in securing the Tora Bora in Afghanistan, it would be very ugly indeed.

One ought to hope that the US is not as stupid as it looks, in this respect.

5. The United Nations Security Council 

In an ideal world, there would be no better place to peacefully thrash out a resolution to the conflict than the United Nations Security Council. However, given the UNSC’s composition, such an attempt would only unnecessarily magnify the current geo-political alignments which have contributed to the crisis in the first place.

As China is a permanent member of the UNSC, China would obviously vote in favour of the well known Chinese position. Russia would of course try to do from the UN what it would otherwise most likely do if invited as a third party mediator in a bilateral discussion between Beijing and New Delhi. However, forcing Russia to abstain on a vote in a dispute between two Russian allies is an awkward situation that Russia doesn’t need. In this sense Russia would prefer to act as a friend of both India and China in a situation where Russia wouldn’t be forced to publicly vote for one side versus the other.

The US and its UNSC allies Britain and France would almost certainly make matters worse due to a combination of former colonial arrogance and America’s capacity to work against China at any given opportunity.

In this sense, while the UN might seem like an ideal place to settle the dispute, in reality, it would only magnify tensions.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

Published

on

By

Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

Published

on

Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Crimea: The Geopolitical Jewel Russia Continues to Polish

As Putin continues to polish his Black Sea jewel, Europe has to decide if it is going to continue playing the U.S’s games over Ukraine or begin the next phase of its independence.

Published

on

Authored by Tom Luongo via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


With all that is happening in the world Crimea has taken a bit of a backseat recently. Yes, the US, EU and Canada just added more sanctions on Russia via the odious Magnitsky legislation but this is inconsequential.

There’s been a flurry of good news coming out of Crimea and the Black Sea recently that bears discussion. Let’s start with the most important. President Vladimir Putin was in Crimea earlier this week to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia. There he also officially inaugurated two major upgrades to Crimea’s power grid.

Located in Simferopol and Sevastopol, two new power plants will produce 940 megawatts and secure Crimea’s energy needs for now and into the future.

Power has been Crimea’s Achilles’ heel since breaking off from Ukraine in 2014. It received almost 90% of its power from the mainland. In November 2015, the trunk lines into Crimea were sabotaged by Ukrainian nationalist radicals, encouraged by President Petro Poroshenko plunging it into darkness as winter took hold.

Does this sound familiar? A place that defies US edicts geopolitically is first hit with a full trade embargo, sanctions and threatened militarily by proxies before having its electricity shut off?

*Cough* Venezuela *Cough*

And there are reports that the US has game-planned a similar fate for Iran as well. For Crimea it was easy because of the single-point-of-failure, the trunks from the mainland. For Venezuela it was as well, with the Guri dam, which affected nearly 70 percent of the country.

So, Putin timing the fifth anniversary of reunification with the announcement of the plants moving to full operational status was yet another smooth bit of international political maneuvering.

A not-so-subtle poke in the eye of the Gang Who Can’t Sanction Straight in D.C. as well as lame duck Poroshenko. Elections are at the end of the month and this celebration by Russia and Crimea will not sit well with many Ukrainians, especially the diaspora here in the US which is virulently anti-Putin in my experience.

Secure and stable power generation is a hallmark of a first world territory. Without that economic growth and stability are impossible. This is why to first help stabilize the situation in Crimea after the blackout Russia brought in 400 MW of power across the Kerch Strait from Krasnodor.

Tying Crimea to the mainland via the Kerch Strait bridge was a masterstroke by Putin. The initial power lines were simply a necessity. For those that complain he isn’t doing enough to counter US and European aggression need only look at the Kerch Strait bridge.

Not only did the Russians not seek international approval given the nearly universal refusal to recognize Crimea as Russian they built the thing in a time frame that defies description.

Imagine if this had been an EU project. They would still be debating the initial engineering plans and the political effects on some protected minority.

Not only does it open up the Eastern Black Sea to trade via Crimea but it ends the use of the Sea of Azov as a potential staging ground for naval provocations as last fall’s incident proved. Ukraine is cut off from acting aggressively and cannot count on any help from the US and Europe.

Moreover, Crimea is now permanently Russia’s. And every bit of infrastructure Russia builds there ties the two further together and weakens any bonds Crimea had with Ukraine. The resultant growth and modernization will make its way, economically and culturally back into southern Ukraine and erode the hard border over time.

This is far more important than striking out and metaphorically punching Poroshenko in the mouth, that many of Putin’s detractors wish for.

Presidents change, after all. Patience and attrition is how you beat an aggressive, distant enemy like the US

To remind everyone just how insane the Trump White House has become on matters international, no less than Vice President Mike Pence lobbied Germany to provoke another naval incident at the Kerch Strait.

If there was ever an example of how little Trump’s gang of moldy neocons think of Europe it is this bit of news. In effect, Pence was saying, “We can’t start a war with Russia because it would go nuclear, but you can because Russia can’t live without your trade.”

This coming after the US unilaterally pulled out of the INF treaty and is now flying nuclear bombers to eastern Europe. The message is clear. If the EU doesn’t get with this open-ended belligerent program against Russia and China of John Bolton’s they will be the ones paying the price when chaos breaks out.

On the other side there is Putin; building bridges, pipelines, power plants and roads.

He’s making it clear what the future holds not only for Europe but the Middle East, central Asia and India. We will defend Crimea at all costs, develop it not only into a tourist destination but also a major trade hub as well.

You are more than welcome to join us. But, we don’t need you.

These power plants will raise Crimea’s power output well beyond its current needs, allowing first export of power as well as providing the foundation for future growth.

And as if it weren’t coordinated in any way, the Chinese, on the morning of Putin’s speech, announced that Crimea would be an excellent fit for investment projects attached to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

That’s according to the head of the association of Chinese compatriots on the peninsula, Ge Zhili. “Our organization is bolstering cooperation ties, exchanges and friendly contacts with the Crimean society,” he said at an event dedicated to the fifth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, which was held in the Russian Embassy in Beijing on Monday.

It is also ready to contribute to the establishment of “reliable partner ties” and the explanation of legal details of business cooperation with Crimea, Ge Zhili said. “The Chinese society hopes for the development of friendly cooperation with Crimea; we are ready to overcome difficulties for fruitful results.”

Again this is a direct challenge to the US who has Crimea under strict sanctions in the West. China is happy now to move forward with integrating Crimea into its plans. It’s just another example of how Russia and China simply ignore Trump’s fulminations and move on.

I can’t wait until I get to write this article all over again, this time about North Korea, now that Bolton has thrown Russian and Chinese assistance in getting North Korea to the negotiating table back in their face by destroying the Hanoi talks.

This announcement is not to be underestimated given that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping is in Rome this week to open up relations with the new Italian government. Five Star Movement’s Leader Luigi Di Maio said he would welcome becoming a part of BRI, much to the consternation of Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as his coalition partner Lega Leader Matteo Salvini.

It’s already well known that Salvini is interested in ending sanctions on Crimea and re-opening trade with Russia. Italy is desperate for new markets and opportunities, currently stifled under the euro itself as well as Germany’s insistence on austerity hollowing out Italy’s economy and its future prospects.

These issues as well as energy security ones are coming to a head this year with Brexit, the European Parliamentary elections in May and the completion of the Nordstream 2 pipeline later this year.

As Putin continues to polish his Black Sea jewel, Europe has to decide if it is going to continue playing the U.S’s games over Ukraine or begin the next phase of its independence. Salvini will lead a Euroskeptic revolt within the European Parliament in May. It may be big enough to finally defy Merkel and end EU sanctions on Russia over Crimea.

At that point the US will also have a choice, burn down the world economy with even more sanctions, tariffs and acts of war or accept the facts on the ground.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending