2020 was the Year of the Gengzi in China as per the sixty year cycle of the Chinese calendar. Gengzi years presage disaster, and are always calamitous in popular Chinese superstitions and imagination.
In the previous Years of Gengzi, in 1840 the First Opium War broke out beginning China’s ‘Century of Humiliation’, 1900 brought the Boxer Uprising and foreign military intervention, 1960 was the high point of the great famine, that resulted in tens of millions of deaths of starvation. In the latest Year of Gengzi, China exported the COVID 19 that caused immense devastation worldwide, while clamping down on internal information!
Again, in 2020 China stated the Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains were theirs historically, as were Nepal’s Mount Everest, Japan’s southernmost Okinotori Island and Bhutan’s Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary! In 2020 China showed its expansionist vision in Eastern Ladakh! The Dragon was awake, and was vigorously seeking to establish Pax Sinica!
Taking many steps back, India and China have had parleys since 1981, meetings from 1988 to 2005 of Joint Working Groups, 22 of Special Representatives Talks thereafter and in addition many summits and visits at Apex political levels. The two countries had also accepted Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), functional protocols and drills on the border with bilateral agreements signed in 1993, 1996, 2005, 2012 and 2013. In a very large number of face-offs on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the protocols had been followed to the hilt, the troops disengaged and moved to their respective bases.
There were sporadic incidents of scuffles and fisticuffs, the long drawn stand-offs in 2013, 2014 and 2017, which were later discussed at the Border Personnel Meetings and diplomatic levels and resolved.