By Col NB Saxena (Retd.)
New Delhi. 15 September 2020. The Chinese applecart seems to have turned turtle. The latest defeat of China in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has outmaneuvered it’s strategic moves to place itself in positions of strength in international bodies. The two Asia-Pacific category seats were to be filled through election process by the 54 members of ECOSOC and it came as a big shock to china and a pleasant surprise to the rest of the world when one seat was grabbed by Afghanistan having garnered 39 votes and the second by India with 38 votes while China couldn’t cross even the half way mark of 28 and had to be satisfied with 27 votes.
The defeat of China in UNCSW followed by failed strategy of Xi-Jinping along Indo-China border especially on LAC in Ladakh region has created tremors in the CCP and National People’s Congress which had amended the Party’s constitution to allow Xi-Jinping to be the lifelong President by elevating his level at par with its founding Chairman Mao- Tse- Tung. The normal tenure of any Chinese President is for ten years as per their 1990 Party’s constitution amendment which was earlier only for five years.
Xi-Jinping’s ten years tenure otherwise was supposed to be ending in 2023 as he was elected to this office in March 2013. In his exuberance to fit in the boots of Mao-Tse-Tung he dreamt of China being a superpower by 2049 when it completes hundred years. He started following the strategy and tactics of Mao-Tse-Tung without realizing that the world order has changed and each move of any big country is keenly observed, analysed and reacted. Till 2019 his slow and steady expansion policy through economic and social changes by projecting herself as a friend, guide and helper was doing well with many countries in spite of simmering resentment in many neighboring and other countries involved in trade with her.
The problem started when China hid the spread of Covid-19 virus and it is believed by almost all the major countries that the virus of Covid-19 was deliberately released by China to upset the world economic order and gain the upper hand when the world is suffering. Thinking that the effect of Covid-19 has put the complete world in economic distress and most of them have put their guards down China started physical expansion of his territory in land and sea. This adventurism of China in Strait of Malacca, South China Sea and on Indo-China border met with strong reactions from Countries like USA, Australia, News Land, France, Vietnam, Taiwan, European Nations and India. This resulted in standoff in South China Sea where USA moved in its navy and deployed US air force in support of Taiwan. On Indo-China border Xi-Jinping forces met with unexpected resistance which baffled their commanders.
Earlier India used to give way to China in the name of peace and tranquility at its borders but this time on the contrary India showed no laxity in political and military will to counter Chinese design. The Galwan incident added fuel to the fire and India went in for an offensive defensive posture in South Pangong Tso area by occupying strategic heights along LAC. This stalemate in South China sea and failure to cow down India has put the Chinese plans in quandary. The failure of this adventurism as per Xi-Jinping policy has Jinping put him tight spot and provided a space to Xi-Jinping’s detractors to question his leadership. This failure may lead to make CCP and National People’s Congress to re-think their decision of allowing Xi-Jinping to be the lifelong president of China. Considering these developments Xi-Jinping has to prove himself for which he may go to any extent. This internal conflict of power in China could see some limited offensive at Indian borders as China will not dare to meddle in South China Sea which may escalate situation without any tangible results for internal consumption.
This dimension of Xi-Jinping’s ambitions can find solace to gain his lost reputation only by attacking the soft and disputed LAC along the Indian borders. In view of this India has to be on its guard and not get carried away in superficial peace talks by China. The likely offensive timings could be October- November 2020 or April- May 2021. If Xi- does not act or react than it will be his first step of downfall resulting in rolling down of many heads in CCP causing upheaval in China. Indian politicians should therefore prepare for the worst and see an opportunity in this turmoil to regain its lost territory while re-assuring Tibetans to liberate their homeland in near future.