The Galwan clash and beyond: When India did not bring knife to a gunfight

By Financial express

The history of China’s duplicitous behaviour with India is long and well-chronicled. Strategic wisdom demands that we do not read the adversary’s intent with our template of ‘rationality’; two of our neighbours have repeatedly demonstrated the core wisdom of that thought by acting with ‘cultivated irrationality’.

A great deal has already been said about the Chinese perfidy in quietly tearing up the Panchsheel, while prosecuting actions leading up to the 1962 war. China’s occupation of Wangdung in the pasture of Sumdorong Chu in 1986 was unprecedented and largely inexplicable. It resulted in a massive counter move by the Indian Army, moving troops and logistical set up to the Lungro La and Hathung La massifs.

In the early 1990s, I was a part of an Indian contingent that attended a Border Persons Meeting with the Chinese Army. Even to my inexperienced mind, it was more than evident that while there was bonhomie at the display, the Chinese had every intention of letting the border question simmer.

When Prime Minister Modi came to power, India made a substantial effort to reach out to China. During the visit of Xi Jin Ping in September 2014, the Prime Minister personally accorded a warm and affectionate welcome, escorting the Chinese premier to his home and later characterising the relationship between the two countries as ‘two bodies one spirit’.

It must be noted that during that very visit, there were unconfirmed Hindustan Times and The Guardian reports of the incursion of 200 People Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers into Indian territory.

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