Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger

How the 1976 Bruce Lee movie title best describes the Indo-China standoff today

Hari Hara Mishra | July 8, 2020


#Galwan Valley   #China   #Economy   #Defence   #Diplomacy   #TikTok   #apps  


In a major development on July 6, the Chinese army started moving back its tents, vehicles as well as troops from locations where disengagement was agreed upon in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. This is a significant milestone in regional geopolitics with India having been successful in isolating the ‘expansionist’ design of an increasingly belligerent China aggressively pushing its strength across all neighbouring countries. This has been possible due to our integrated approach of handling the issue at all three levels – military, diplomatic and economic.

First, the military part. The Indian army has successfully demonstrated it is combat ready and is second to none. While the casualty in the Chinese camp is not officially described, by all estimates our brave soldiers have been able to retaliate with a ferocity that the Chinese would not have anticipated. The Indian army has fought successful battles, while the Chinese did not have much history of successful battle in recent times. The PLA was last at war in the mid-1980s, some 35 years ago. Today’s Chinese military has very little combat experience. Apart from combat experience, the morale of Indian troops is at very high, with the whole country lauding their sacrifice. Each martyr has been given the honour that he deserved. In contrast, China has not even officially released the number of casualties, forget about giving them the due recognition and dignity. The recent visit of prime minister Narendra Modi to Ladakh has been a huge morale booster to all those who are at the forefront of the fight.

Second. China has been on an overdrive in pursuit of its expansionary design by initiatives like the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. It represents Chinese thrusts, both towards central and south Asia along with other strategic initiatives like the Maritime Silk Route. This route aims at creating a network of warm water ports in South and West Asia and Africa, giving China a stronghold over the Indian Ocean. Rightly appreciating the Chinese design and threat, India, Japan, Vietnam and US are amongst the non-signatories. To checkmate Chinese posturing, the Quad – an informal consultative mechanism comprising the United States, Australia, Japan, and India – has been in place to counter China’s continued militarization of and attempts to control strategic waterways throughout the region. China has staked a claim to a large part of the South China Sea. Countries like Philippines started arbitrary proceedings against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS has implicitly invalidated China’s territorial claims.

Against the background of the current standoff, the entry of two US aircraft carriers recently in the flashpoint South China Sea last week is a clear signal of consolidation of efforts to counter expansionism.

Third, China is an export-led economy with a positive trade balance of $25 billion. Most of its exports are to the US, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. As far as India is concerned, China is our largest importing partner (14%) against Indian exports of only 5%. Chinese exports to India comprise smartphones, electrical appliances, power plant inputs, fertilisers, auto components, finished steel products, capital goods like power plants, telecom equipment, metro rail coaches, iron and steel products, pharmaceutical ingredients, and chemicals and plastics etc.

Recently in India, there has been a banning of 59 Chinese apps. Chinese products and services and Investments are being shunned. Many contracts and MoUs are now being terminated by India. In respect of apps, India contributes a respectable number of users which drive valuation. TikTok owner Byte Dance has a valuation over $100 billion which would make it the most valuable start-up in the world. Its download in India is more than even in its home country China, and the ban in India will sharply bring down its valuations.

A combination of all the three, giving a befitting military reply, successfully isolating China diplomatically and economic boycott, has helped India in achieving its national interest and successful in resulting in a pushback to the Chinese in their advancement.

In 1976 there was a Bruce Lee movie, ‘Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger’. The reel caption seems the best to describe the real episode in the Sino-India standoff today in 2020.

Mishra is a policy analyst and columnist.

Comments

 

Other News

Bank loan recovery in recent years has mirrored Hindu rate of growth

At the outset, for those who are not familiar with the nomenclature ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’, it refers to the low economic growth in post-independent India till the 1990s, when several economic liberalisation measures were undertaken. Till the 1990s, the growth rate was around 4%, which accelera

“Indian Navy needs more capabilities to build ships”

As India faces increasing threats from China and Pakistan on sea, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief (FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command, has said that the Indian Navy needs to scale up its capabilities and have more budgets allocated. Speaking to members of t

Mumbai issues strict guidelines for home quarantine of all international passengers

In view of the emerging threat of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) Saturday issued strict guidelines for surveillance of all international travellers arriving in the metro and especially those from ‘at risk’ nations. Outlining SO

Omicron: Maharashtra revises travel guidelines

A day after the union health secretary wrote to it that its order on SOPs for air travellers was in divergence with guidelines issued by the MoHFW, GoI in view of the Omicron threat, the Maharashtra government on Thursday revised its guidelines for passengers arriving in the state. Issuing

Omicron: Centre asks Maharashtra to follow uniform guidelines

With the threat of Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus, looming large, the union health ministry has written to the Maharashtra government to align orders issued by the state with the ministry’s guidelines for uniform implementation. The state government in its order dated Nove

Central Railways runs over 800 Kisan Railway trips

To ensure bigger access to farm produce and provide new markets with quick transportation and subsidy at 50%, the Kisan Rail has been bringing prosperity, joy, and hope to farmers of Maharashtra. On November 28, the Central Railway ran its 800th  trip of Kisan Rail from Sangola to Muzaffarpur.

Visionary Talks: Dr. Naresh Trehan, CMD Medanta Heart Institute with Kailashnath Adhikari



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter