If China attacks, India will respond with the same aggression - letter to Xi Jinping

For all its posturing, the PLA has never actually fought a war.

 |  3-minute read |   01-08-2017
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Dear President Xi,

Not a great idea to jump into the ring, your excellency. By playing to the gallery you are not just revealing unbelievable immaturity, but also a complete lack of history.

Despite 1962 or may be because of it, India has been a tenacious fighter for its territory. You may want to Google Nathu La 1967, Pakistan 1965 and 1971 and Kargil in 1999. The last named was an interesting example where Indian forces counter-attacked an enemy strategically perched at various heights, fought from huge location disadvantages and won back territory. Many uninvolved military analysts treat Kargil as a case-study for achieving the impossible.

By raising the pitch personally as president, you are ensuring that anything less than complete capitulation by India would be unacceptable to your people. Surely you know as well as the next man that no such thing will happen.

If you attack, India will respond with the same aggression. Since both countries have had time to prepare, the encounter will be fierce and much blood will be shed.

If you are then tempted to expand the theatre of conflict, so will India. Both countries have massive defence forces, more than enough to inflict unimaginable damage on each other even without the use of the nuclear option.

Should an encounter actually happen, India with a median age of 27 will find it easier to bounce back. China is now a rapidly ageing country. Its demographic dividend and the days of double-digit growth are over. No matter how much you try to prevent it, in another five years, your growth rate shall fall to below 5 per cent. This is not India’s wishful thinking but a historic reality.

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Growth rates fall sharply once demographic dividend years are over. Ask Europe if you don’t believe me.

With a median age of 37, China is now at the stage that Germany and Japan were in the early 1990s. By 2021, half your population will be over the age of 40. By 2025, your work-force will actually start shrinking. And when that happens, you not just need India as one-fifth of the global market, but also as a source of skilled manpower to run your vast manufacturing machine.

Why let ego get the better of your judgement and cause untold harm to your country?

Though this may hurt, it needs to be said. For all its posturing, the PLA has never actually fought a war. Am assuming you understand that the odd border skirmish with Vietnam does not really count as battle experience.

When the PLA takes on the Indian Army, it takes on a force whose war-time experience stretches back to the 19th century.

Lastly, do remember what Uncle Confucius said about atomic bombs. "Collect thou not a thousand. Thou needest only one."

(This post first appeared on the writer's Facebook page.)

Also read: India-China standoff: Do we have an exit plan in Doklam?

Writer

Preet KS Bedi Preet KS Bedi

Chief Executive Officer of Percept Pictures Company.

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