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China can take Arunachal in 48 hours…

and we are in no hurry to do anything about it.

Excerpts from a very worrying article by Suman Sharma in Open Magazine (Hat Tip: Centerof right; emphasis mine):

Repeated violations of the Indo-Chinese border lead to an escalation in the war of words, but India continues to believe that the Chinese are following their usual pattern of aggravation and conciliation. Rapid Reaction Forces, comprising 4 divisions stationed at Chengdu and Lanzhou after an overnight mobilisation cross rapidly into Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian defences are caught unawares, but the Fifth Mountain Division in Tenga engages the invading forces. They find themselves badly outmatched, not only outnumbered but also out-equipped because the Chinese RRF also include airborne assets. The Indian forces have no immediate airlift capacity to provide back up.

Within the next 48 hours Arunachal is overrun. The other Indian divisions in the region need at least a week to reach the zone of conflict. By then, the Chinese have achieved their goal of winning a limited war.

The above scenario is no conjecture, it is a plausible outcome of the Chinese doctrine of war against India. The Delhi-based Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), a tri-services institution for planning joint doctrines for the Indian military, in its assessment of Chinese military might, has analysed the Chinese plan for winning limited wars under hi-tech conditions.

The document, a copy of which is available with Open, speaks of a Chinese strategy based on the use of RRFs or ‘fist units’ to fight local wars that ‘can achieve the political objective rendering major wars unnecessary’. These fist units are self contained units to be deployed as ground forces in direct combat, and were raised after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) emphasis on numbers-in-action in a numerically huge army gave way to a capability-driven force.

In other words, the PLA has shifted away from the strategy that gave it victory in the 1962 war against India. But even today, the result is unlikely to be much different. Now, instead of overwhelming numbers, it is the rapidity of movement and mobilisation that is likely to overwhelm India, perhaps leading to a scenario no different from what transpired in 1962.

China Border Open Magazine

Bumla: The border post in Arunachal Pradesh where Sino-Indian officials meet at least four times a year. The issues they discuss here range from military incursions to civilians who stray across the border. Image courtesy: Open The Magazine

…Speaking to Open, former Army Chief VP Malik confirms, “The Chinese have built infrastructure and have their Rapid Reaction Forces (RRF) in place, and are prepared for short wars at the border, as far as movement of troops at short notice and arms are concerned, as they’ve been using an active defence strategy all along which has a certain amount of offensive in that. India earlier was thinking of converting one of its Army divisions into rapid reaction, but did not do it. We need to build our forces in terms of lift capability, landing, light arms and weapons, accordingly—something that was suggested by the IAF and Army earlier, but has not really taken off. Even electronically, the Chinese are far ahead of us.”

The IDS assessment of the Chinese War Zone Campaign (WZC) doctrine, done alongwith the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), talks about China’s..elite force sharp arms (that is, suitable hi-tech equipment), fighting a quick battle to force a quick resolution and gaining initiative by striking first.

…Of the six Chinese divisions, four are airborne RRFs and can be moved within 48 hours on the back of airlift capability granted by Y8, IL-76 and H5 transport planes in the region. With rail and road infrastructure in place, mobilisation time could be further reduced. The Lhasa-Beijing railway line, the highest in the world, would further help in transporting troops and logistics.

In contrast, India’s first C-130J transport plane would enter service only in February 2011. As a result, seven of India’s eight mountain divisions in the northeast would be of no use against an offensive as laid out in the Chinese War Doctrine.

…No armoured or airborne units are part of mountain divisions in this region. Moreover, these units require at least a week to be mobilised, which would be time enough for China to bring its entire force of RRFs to bear against India.

…the Indian response to the scenario laid out in documents compiled by its institutions has been slow in coming. India lacks infrastructure in the northeast. The Border Roads Organisation is still in the process of coming up with roads and other structures in the area nearly four decades after the defeat suffered at the hands of the Chinese.

…But in Arunachal Pradesh…(airfields in) Machuka, Tuting, Paasighat and Along still await re-activation. And it is here that the Indian vulnerability which was so badly exposed in 1962 persists. India had only two divisions of troops in the region of the conflict, and as a result, China registered major gains over India and seized Rezang La in Chushul in the western theatre and Tawang in the eastern theatre. The Chinese strategy was clear: the main assault was launched in the eastern sector, while a simultaneous but smaller assault took place in the western sector. All Indian troops in territories that China claimed belonged to it in the eastern sector were ousted before China declared a ceasefire in November 1962.

The Government’s own assessment of the failures of 1962, recorded in the official history of the war, reads: ‘Strategically, Walong, Tawang and the forward areas in Ladakh were indefensible in 1962 against a major attack. But, regarding eastern Ladakh in particular, it is difficult to think up any viable strategy to save it once the Chinese have stolen a march in logistics by quietly building the road through Akshai Chin.’ That is precisely what the Chinese are busy doing now: stealing the march in logistics.

India, on the other hand, continues to respond slowly. Two Sukhoi-30 squadrons are planned for Tezpur and one for Mohanbari, but only Six Sukhoi-30 aircraft are flying in Tezpur currently. Six C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, which India is buying from the US, are to be based in the northeast, in all likelihood in Jorhat as these aircraft need very little space and can take off and land on short runways.

There is no armoured regiment in the east or northeast. The 66 Armoured Regiment at the Indo-Bangladesh border is to be used for any eventuality in the east and northeast, till light tanks are bought for use at high altitudes.

The Indian Army plans to buy around 300 light tanks, mainly for the China-centric Karu-based 3rd Division, but plans to increase armoured presence in the North Sikkim plateau are also under active consideration.

But even as India gears up to meet the current Chinese threat, China is already planning for the future. As a result, the gap in capabilities is unlikely to shrink, if not grow wider.

In 1962 as well, the Indian establishment misjudged the intent of the Chinese. The Indian intelligence apparatus told the Government in Delhi that the Chinese ‘were not likely to use force against any of our posts, even if they were in a position to do so’.

The 1962 incursion proved it wrong. The closing remarks of SN Prasad, chief editor of that war’s official history that was commissioned by the Union Ministry of Defence, sound a note of caution worth mentioning here:

In the long history of war, defeat has always proved a better teacher than victory. The 1962 war proved it once again. But no nation can afford to have many such teachers.

Also read:

Inch by inch, slowly but surely, we keep loosing territory…

Bumla: The border post in Arunachal Pradesh where Sino-Indian officials meet at least four times a year. The issues they discuss here range from military incursions to civilians who stray across the border.

April 20th, 2010 Posted by | China related, Geo-Strategic Issues (incl. Nuclear, Oil, Energy), India & Its Neighbours, Politics and Governance in India | 26 comments


  1. This scares the crap out of me. We can’t trust China one bit and Congress is doing nothing about it.


    Comment by Jai Joshi | April 20, 2010

  2. In this context,it would be good to remember “Number one enemy” comment of Shri.Fernandes in 1998.

    Comment by Bharat | April 20, 2010

  3. This issue is certainly worrying. Arun Shourie in his, ‘Are we deceiving ourselves again?’ raises the China question exclusively. He analyzes the situation and concludes that if China can do anything with Arunachal if it wants to.

    There was a similar situation in 1960s when Nehru was very secular and very confident of the Indo-China peace. The danger was staring him in the face and yet he denied to recognize it. Sita Ram Goel warned him about the danger in a series of articles. The same can be happening again.

    I stumbled upon a great poem about the current position of India. Will share it with you guys here.


    Comment by Pankaj Saksena | April 20, 2010

  4. Our Govt must not keep quiet this time Govt must take extreme step towards China & China is very danger for us they support pakistan for the supply of Nuclear plants so never trust chinese. At any cost we should not give up Arunachal pradesh it is the part of India not China else we will fight agaiinst China we are not cowards no worry whatever might be the result atleast something is better than nothing & we are strong in defence let us attack china before then attack on us & throw them out of our country and remember UN,USA should not poke their nose in our affairs this countries always in the search of their own profit.

    Comment by Churchill Kumar | April 20, 2010

  5. Shantanu,

    Good point.
    But one point we “War-mongering” “dirty” nationalists fail to get: the burden of carrying a peaceful flag alone is too heavy. See, we are trained to be good boys of the world. We write computer programs for the first world but can not use any of them because “yeh sab India mein nahi chalta”. Our kids would burn mid night oil for answering the complains of American consumer, we can not even think of establishing a 911-like system. We go to international conferences to teach others about peace and then we are humiliated like Pandavas in Kaurava-sabha. Not only we suck it up, we create reasons to blame ourselves (what other purpose sinophile and anglophile lefty writers are for?). After 800 years of being slapped around by Islamic thugs and European banyas, being slapped around by Americans-high-on-steroids is considered an honor now. Who will save the mother who gave birth to so many self-defeating cowards?
    The ideologue full whom we call our first prime minister was the parting slap we got from the British. Ever since then our love affair with defeatism continues. A humiliating defeat in 1962, multiple bombings, loss of so-many lives – nothing can wake us from our deep slumber. One half would be dominated by Islamic Capliphate and the other part would be dominated by PRC – is that supposed to be our future?

    Comment by Sid | April 20, 2010

  6. Jai, Bharat, Pankaj, Churchill and Sid: Thanks for sharing your thoughts…I have been very slow in responding to comments etc as I am stranded away from home as a result of severe flight disruption world-wide.

    Pl continue the discussion though. Thanks

    Pankaj: Thanks for the link to the poem.

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 20, 2010

  7. […] paranoia. The latest to join the list of such distinguished commentators is Suman Sharma. (LT Satyameva Jayate) Central to her argument that Chinese forces will be able to mobilise and capture Arunachal Pradesh […]

    Pingback by Say no to Sinophobia « Amar – on Centre Right India | April 20, 2010

  8. A worth reading letter to the Editor by Sh Ram Naidu published in The Hindu almost 10 years ago.


    If any reader has access to the IDS report (mentioned in the post above), I would be grateful for a copy. Thanks

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 21, 2010

  9. Shantanu: Doubt the IDS report will be published. Looks like Suman was offered a peek and off she went to town with it. :)

    In any case my friend professional studies of the Chinese War Zone Campaign doctrine, the 15th Air Borne Corps and the rapid reaction forces are well researched topics. A number of resources exist on the internet.

    http://www.china-defense.com/ is an excellent website run by ex-officers and other avid China watchers. Fully recommended!

    Comment by Amar | April 21, 2010

  10. The timing of this article/discussion is in line with the happenings in Arunachal. An pilgrim who travelled as recently as Feb ‘10, was mentioning that he could feel the Chinese presence-lots of posters, agenda material et al freely in circulation. Alarming for the security of the nation, which UPA-2 n AK Antony is ignoring. Nehru with his Socialist agenda, ignored Chinese agenda. The earlier attempt by China again was a surprise attack, well planned penetration combined with element of surprise. Our Nation was shocked, but the limited attack could have something to do with Indo-Russia relationship. The events unfolding in the last two decades has adverse security implications for our Nation in the Northern borders. China has aggressively supported Pakistan in building their arms capability. Pakistan agenda on Kashmir is an advantage for China, they could ferment Taliban & J&K jihadi cos to wage attacks in the North West frontier. Our forces would be engaging North West, Kashmir. Another added misfortune has been the victory of Maoist in Nepal. We have close to 4 states infiltrated by Maoist, they are causing lot of distraction masking border issues. The current Govt.& the Congress is divided over the action plan on Maoist. If the Maoist are negotiated, then they would regenerate, renew their force and wait for the command from Chinese handlers. Now we are certainly sure that China has strike ready force in North East, the Rapid Reaction Force- 3 coys. The scenario is more than alarming, China can instigate engagement of the North West, internal strife through Maoist & with all this diversion slip into Arunachal Pradesh & maybe more areas . As mentioned by Former Military Officers, our Governments in the past & present have not acted on the past experience, are not learning to plan for the future & be prepared for such eventualities. They should have brainstormed with the Forces, brought in reforms in the Forces, put in place an action plan to counter the Chinese, which till now is absent. Also as mentioned in the articles, China has planned well for the future, we are only trying to counter the present. Very short sighted view, even Economics play a role, China has a competitor in Asia and that’s India. One more Chinese anger at us would be the adoption of Buddhism in China centuries back, they are seeking revenge for this, & naturally Tibet is another pawn which China hates India supporting. Considering these view points my gut feeling is we are in midst of carefully planned strategy by China to destabilize Indian establishment, intrude & occupy with surprise our Territory. UPA-2, BJP & all Bharat Varshi should wake up to this reality, start forming opinion bombard the Govt. to action plan. Our Armed Forces are the very best in terms of sacrifice, but they should be armed the latest technology. Long tenure of Cong Govt. , Corruption in the Govt.(Bofors, sub deal, current carrier), ignorance of facts & history, last but not the least a Nation & Media more worried about Cricket. Irony is Chinese don’t play Cricket.
    P.S: Pray God that this figment of imagination of my mind is wrong.

    Comment by Ranga | April 21, 2010

  11. @ Amit: Thanks for the comment and the link. I will have a look. I should also check out the relevant threads on Bharat-Rakshak. Will do that once I have some breathing space.


    @ Ranga: Thanks for your comment…I share many of your concerns..while there is point in scare-mongeirng, we do need to be aware and vigilant…Sadly, mainstream media appears to have other priorities.

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 22, 2010

  12. its easy to say china can take arunachal in 48 hours.

    Comment by aap | July 11, 2010

  13. I am really surprise what people think about india.

    no power in the world can attack india this time.

    China always scared about india defence technology.

    Comment by Israel | July 15, 2010

  14. Attack is the best defence..

    Understand chinas weakness..

    There is very weak link of road transport between main land China and Tibet and with proper planning it can be cut effectively.

    Pakistan policy towards India of Nuclear deterrance can also be very effective.. same policy India can use against China.

    But we must keep in mind China has very good leadership while India has third rate leadership, untill and unless we have good leader and a system that supports and promotes competent leadership we shall not be able to stand against China…

    Comment by Milind Kotwal | July 15, 2010

  15. In this context, pl read: Chinese Special Forces cut off Siliguri corridor: 2012 by Bharat Verma published in the latest issue of Indian Defence Review (Vol 25.2 Apr-Jun 2010).

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 15, 2010

  16. From ToI: …While the line to Xigaze near Tibet’s border with Nepal will extend south-west from Lhasa, the line to Nyangtri will extend towards Arunachal in the south-east.
    …China’s focus on expanding its railway south of Lhasa is alarming also because of reports that for the first time earlier this year “combat readiness material” meant for the PLA air force was transported to the region through the Tibet rail link. The PLA Daily recently reported that China conducted its first major parachute exercise in Tibet to demonstrate its capability to rapidly send troops on the world’s highest plateau.

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 14, 2010

  17. […] paranoia. The latest to join the list of such distinguished commentators is Suman Sharma. (LT Satyameva Jayate) Central to her argument that Chinese forces will be able to mobilise and capture Arunachal Pradesh […]

    Pingback by Centre Right India » Say no to Sinophobia | November 2, 2010

  18. From Army warns PM: China can deploy 500,000 troops on LAC:
    ..While the government is tight-lipped about the presentation, the military brass told the PM that Chinese PLA has acquired the capability to deploy 34 troop divisions (one division has 23,000 troops) along the LAC in case of a high threat scenario by pulling out troops from Chengdu and Lanzhou military regions. When compared to the Indian strength of nine holding divisions along the northern borders, the PLA with a defence budget estimated at $150 billion holds overwhelming advantage.
    As part of major infrastructure upgradation in Tibet and Xinjiang, China is doing the following:
    Connection with all counties in Tibet with border roads completed. Road network increased from 51,000 km in 2008 to 58,000 km in 2010. Plans to increase black topped roads by another 70,000 km on the anvil.
    Extension of Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Golmund to Lhasa and thereon to Shigatse (close to Sikkim). Rail connectivity is planned to link Kathmandu, Myanmar, Bhutan, Pakistan and Central Asian republics. Eleven new rail lines on the anvil in Tibet and Xinjiang for rapid deployment of PLA.
    There are eight airfields in Tibet, including five operational ones; 18 air bases in Tibet and Xinjiang have the capability to put India under range of Sukhoi 27 aircraft.

    Comment by B Shantanu | May 11, 2011

  19. From China now rehearses capture of Tibet passes, Posted: Sun Nov 20 2011, 01:38 hrs:
    ..A year after conducting its first live military exercise in Tibet, China has for the first time rehearsed capture of mountain passes at heights beyond 5,000 metres with the help of armoured vehicles and airborne troops.
    The Chinese Defence Ministry makes this claim in a short official report that describes the exercise as the “first joint actual-troop drill of the PLA air and ground troops under information-based conditions in frigid area with a high altitude”. The joint drill involved the Chinese Air Force, ground troops, armoured columns and a range of support entities.

    Comment by B Shantanu | November 20, 2011

  20. From a recent analysis by Sh B Raman (emphasis added):
    …this does not mean that our capability to protect ourselves tactically against China will improve with the induction of Agni V into our arsenal.
    5. Our ability to protect ourselves tactically will depend on our conventional capability to deter a surprise Chinese strike across the Himalayas to occupy areas—particularly in Arunachal Pradesh which it describes as southern Tibet— that it claims as its territory.

    6. During the last 10 years, the entire Chinese military planning vis-à-vis India has been focussed on giving itself such a surprise strike capability. Its improvement of its road and rail networks in Western China, particularly in Tibet, its attempts for road-rail connectivity with Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh, its improvement of its air bases in Chinese-occupied Tibet and live firing air exercises in Tibet are part of its plans to strengthen its surprise strike capability.
    7. Our Army did badly in the 1962 Sino-Indian war not because it was a bad fighting force, but because our policy-makers had not given it the required capability to neutralise a Chinese surprise strike. If you do not give the Army the required capability, you cannot blame it for doing badly.

    8.Have we now learnt the right lessons from history and given the Army the capability to blunt a surprise Chinese strike and throw them back after inflicting a prohibitive cost on them?
    Unless we confront the Chinese with the prospects of a prohibitive cost and outcome if they indulge in a surprise strike as they did in 1962, the temptation on their part to launch a surprise strike, if they lose patience with the border talks, will remain.

    10. The tactical situation that we face today is less favourable than what the Chinese face…In 1962, we didn’t have to worry about the Chinese Air Force and Navy. Today, we have to.

    11. In 1962, the war plans of the Chinese Air Force were largely focussed on Taiwan. Today, there are indications of a partial shifting of the thinking of their Air Force towards India. In 1962, they had no Navy worth the name. Today, they have a Navy increasingly capable of operations in the Indian Ocean.
    ..12. It is my assessment that if the Chinese mount a surprise tactical strike across the Himalayas now, it will be a joint Army-Air force operation. It will be a lightning strike designed to satisfy their territorial objectives in the shortest possible time without running the risk of a prolonged war. The role of their Navy will be insignificant for some years to come.
    ..13. We have to have a multi-pronged strategy …Such a strategy would call for better intelligence collection, better road-rail-air connectivity to the border areas, more well-equipped bases near the border from where our Army and Air Force can operate and a better logistics trail well-tested during peace time.

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 21, 2012

  21. From “Is China creating a capability for copter-borne operations across Tibet?” by Sh B Raman, C3S Paper No 1008 dated July 13, 2012:
    That is a question that needs to be examined by Indian analysts and experts in the light of a report carried by the “PLA Daily” on July 12,2012, which is annexed.

    3. It makes three important points:
    • The PLA Army Aviation Force, which was initially raised for giving ground support to the Army inits operations, has now been upgraded to enable it to play an independent assault role.
    • The combat areas of the PLA army aviation force have expanded from plain to plateau.
    • As a result, the PLA army troops possess the capability for launching air-to-ground precision strike in high altitude areas. ( 13-7-12)
      In the summer of last year, a ground-and-air joint combat drill was conducted on the snow-covered plateau, marking that the combat areas of the PLA army aviation force have expanded from plain to plateau. As a result, the PLA army troops possess the capability for launching the air-to-ground precision strike in the high altitude areas.
    Editor:Zhang Tao

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 20, 2012

  22. From India, beware of China’s Himalayan moves!, January 4, 2013 by PC Katoch:
    The Himalayan plunder by China began silently in 1950’s by transcending boundaries of Tibet and steamrolling occupation of Aksai Chin (38,000 square kilometers) that was part of Ladakh region of J&K acceded by Maharaja Gulab Singh to India post Partition.

    China’s National Highway 219, re-paved recently, runs now through Aksai Chin connecting Tibet with the Xinjiang region.

    This Chinese move was not a mere territory grab but part of a larger integrated politico-military strategy that looked far into future considering long term requirements of resources, particularly energy, that would increase in gargantuan proportions, plus the security of the long supply lines.

    China appreciated long back that gas and oil pipelines could be planned in all directions and feasibility of tapping energy in the west / CAR incorporating energy based Eurasian Security Architecture existed.

    However, for ultimate energy security, it was necessary to get to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean by land.

    The latter was no easy task; it implied patience bordering banality and a long gestation period, plus the Himalayan Massif in the south.

    In Pakistan, perpetually in search of its identity, China found an easy ally.

    Zhou-en-Lai visiting Pakistan in early 1960s advised Ayub Khan to raise a militia to fight in the backyard of enemy India, offered arms, technologies and a grateful Pakistan ceded Shaksgam Valley (about 6,000 square kilometers of Indian Territory) to China.

    This was followed by China supplying nuclear technology and ring magnets to Pakistan and the ‘Higher than the Mountains, Deeper than the Ocean’ relationship took off.

    Simultaneously, China went for maximum economic and military cooperation with the military junta in Burma (now Myanmar) developing North-South waterways by making their waters navigable by large vessels, plus road construction and other development projects.

    China resolved her borders with all countries less India and Bhutan, which was by design.

    In certain areas Chinese claim lines kept extending progressively as the years went by — from 1959 claim line to more demanding one in 1963 and subsequently extending further in 1969, 1975 so forth and so on.

    …China has provided support to Pakistan’s anti-India jihad including at the UN. China gave sanctuary to UFA insurgents when routed from Bhutan by RBA.

    More recently, Chinese national were caught with fake Indian documents on mission to contact insurgents in India’s northeast.
    …Reportedly, Pakistan is to lease out Gilgit-Pakistan region to China for 50 years.

    One Pakistani analyst predicts Baluchistan becoming a Chinese-administered province by 2030.

    Pakistani analysts also say that China wants to establish permanent bases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

    PoK will become the geostrategic pivot of China-Pakistan for forays into Afghanistan and Central Asia.
    The push to make India withdraw from the Saltoro Range in Siachen area is part of the same plunder of the Himalayas, egged on by the US which in its bid to prop up Kayani appears intransigent of India’s strategic disadvantage in the instant case.

    Nepalese Maoists apart, today Chinese are even manning three-star hotels in Kathmandu besides numerous development projects in Nepal.

    PLA soldiers in uniform have been sighted in northern Nepal by foreign journalists.

    Further east, China has been claiming the Doklam plateau and the road built between Zuri and Phuteogang Ridge that overlooks the disputed Charithang Valley.

    Doklam plateau if occupied by China will turn the flanks of Indian defences in Sikkim and endanger the Siliguri Corridor — the latter becomes an even more serious concern if terrorism gets a surge again in Bangladesh anytime in future with a pro-China-Pakistan regime.

    Ironically, India has not even objected to Chinese activities in the PoK.

    China hitherto was laying claims only to Tawang, but has suddenly staked its claim to entire Arunachal Pradesh, that too having got Tibet on a plate.

    What more proof is needed of Chinese irredentism? This is perhaps the ultimate objective in Operation ‘Himalayan Plunder’ for gaining control of the Himalayas right from PoK all the way to Arunachal.

    Further, plans to reach the Indian Ocean will be put in place thereafter.

    China is preparing for a future large-scale conventional wars (informationised and mechanised included) on ‘multiple fronts’ against India. Let us not be led astray that China’s development of a globally deployable military force will only be focused on South China Sea for the next couple of years.

    Comment by B Shantanu | January 10, 2013

  23. Somewhat related: http://www.c3sindia.org/china-internal/3558

    B.Raman, C3S Paper No:1136 dated April 26, 2013

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 28, 2013

  24. Placing this here for the record: Failure-bound maritime strategy By Bharat Karnad 09th August 2013

    Comment by B Shantanu | August 9, 2013

  25. From ‘Chinese clearing forest cover to grab border land’ by Deeptiman Tiwary, TNN | Aug 26, 2013,
    NEW DELHI: While the government insists that frequent Chinese incursions on the Sino-Indian border are “routine” and according to “established pattern”, sources in the security establishment say there are reasons to worry as the “pattern” is fast changing. Apart from frequent patrol drills inside Indian territory, agencies have observed that Chinese troops are also clearing forest cover in Arunachal Pradesh and taking away timber and other forest produce.

    Sources said this was a new development as earlier, Chinese troops merely engaged in muscle flexing through intrusions, patrols or short stays on the Indian side. “It has been observed in the recent past that in Arunachal Pradesh, several forest areas along the border have been cleared by Chinese troops. They have carried away timber and other forest produce. There is also evidence of make-shift timber cutting units in the area,” said an officer from the security establishment.

    Sources said this was a way of asserting ownership of the region by the Chinese. “It is basically a way of saying that the natural resources of the region is ours,” the officer said. The August 13 incursion in Arunachal Pradeh’s Chaglagam area by Chinese troops, when they came 20 km inside India’s territory and stayed for three days, is also being cited as a notable change in the Chinese incursion pattern.

    “Most incursions by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh happen in and around the Tawang region. Chaglagam falls in what is called ‘rest of Arunachal Pradesh’ where Chinese troops have comparatively little activity. So, this incursion is worth looking at carefully,” said another officer who has observed Chinese activity in the region.

    China already has a wide network of over 58,000 km of roads near the Indian border and is constantly building on it even as India struggles to catch up due to a late start, poor terrain and red tape. While Chinese troops can make it to the border within 48 hours, it takes Indian forces over a week to reach a border outpost in Arunachal as there are no roads.

    Comment by B Shantanu | August 27, 2013

  26. From ‘China slowly intensified aggression along LAC’ by MANOJ ANAND, Oct 07, 2013:
    …former special director of the Intelligence Bureau R.N. Ravi told this newspaper that internal assessment of the government agencies have estimated a lose of nearly 2,000 sq km area of Indian territory to China.

    Pointing out that China has transgressed over 10 km within Indian territory in the North sub-sector of the western sector of the Indo-China border, Mr Ravi said: “It has also escalated aggression in the eastern subsector along the tri-junction with Burma in Tatu Bowl-Dichu area in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh.”
    The China has escalated its aggression in the eastern sector tri-junction which falls along the flow of Lohit river as it enters from Tibet and joined by two tributaries — Dichu and Wach Chu. The Lohit river flows into India at this point through a gap in a mountain which is known as Madan Ridge. At this point Madan Ridge forks into two spur.
    Pointing out that the McMahon Line is along the northern spur but the Chinese have built a road, in 2009-2010, up to the base of the southern spur, way within the Indian territory, Mr Ravi said: “India has also stopped sending its patrol up to Dichu river since 2009 silently.”
    Regretting that China built a 20 km motorable road along Jeevan Nallah in 2010 and 15 km long motorable road along Raki Nallah from JAK II to GR 626516 in 2011 — both on the Indian side in the Depsang Plain — Mr Ravi said that even smaller nation like Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and Brunei have been challenging China’s territorial hegemony but not India.

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 7, 2014

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