India China Faceoff

North East India became a vital passage due to the India China face off in 2022

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The face off among India and China in 2022 adds to the longstanding rivalry between India and China on the North Eastern border was rekindled in December 2022. China’s attempt to set up an observation post by trespassing the LAC resulted in this India China recent conflict.

On December 9, 2022, Indian troops successfully resisted the Chinese PLA attempt to destroy an Indian garrison. Indian Army obstructed the Chinese troops to set up an illegal observation post in the LAC. It made the Indian and Chinese forces fight with each other in the Tawang Sector of Arunachal Pradesh near the LAC. This started the India China face off. The India China latest news reported that both sides claimed minor casualties. At least six Indian soldiers were hurt during the confrontation and transported to Guwahati for medical attention.

The Chinese Army has focused on the Tawang and Anjaw regions because of their strategic significance for China. Bhutan shares a border with Tawang to the west and with Tibet to the north. The National Highway 13 connects the Walong cantonment in the southwest Anjaw district and northwest Tawang district. Walong Cantonment, located close to the banks of the Lohit River, is around 25 kilometers from the Indo-China border. The river originates in Tibet and becomes a tributary of the Brahmaputra. However, it has come to light in recent years that Chinese forces are using these river channels to penetrate Indian territory.

Apart from religious ties, there are too many cultural aspects to ignore. As descendants of the Mongolian race, tribes like the Tagin, Nyishi, and Galo share an ancestry with the Tibetan people. Considering the pro-democratic activities which are rife in the northern region of Dharamshala, the existence of these tribes in Arunachal Pradesh could threaten China. Concern regarding the current Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan administration will always exist. Although it could seem simple for Chinese troops to penetrate the Indian territory but in reality, it might be very different.

Indo China faceoff 2022
Siliguri Corridor known as the Chicken’s Neck

India puts more emphasis on the Chicken’s Neck or the Siliguri corridor

The Siliguri corridor, referred to as the “Chicken’s Neck”, connects the North Eastern states to mainland India. It is almost 25 kilometres long. Bangladesh lies to the south of the Siliguri Corridor, and Nepal is to the north. Due to recent changes in Indian geopolitics, Nepal has shown no signs of good relations.

China has also sponsored some anti-state elements in Bangladesh and West Bengal. The North Eastern states have been bargaining with the Indian government for their demands. They do so keeping in mind the strategic importance of the Siliguri corridor. The North East India conflicts can make it easier for China to plan for future incursions into Indian territory.

China many times had crossed borders and created conflicts in the areas nearby Chicken’s neck or the Siliguri corridor. It is clear that China’s intension is to cut off India’s North Eastern Part from India by attacking the most delicate passage of Siliguri Corridor. India should deploy more armed forces and plan accordingly to counter this threat.    

A brief background of the India China face off 

Early in May 2020, a conflict broke out between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). It occurred at various points along the disputed border between China and India, known as the fictitious Line of Actual Control (LAC). The situation deteriorated. Many people died on both sides. Shots were fired in the LAC on September 7, 2020, for the first time in 45 years. Each side blamed the other for the shooting. Additionally, the Indian media reported that on August 30, 2020, the Indian troops blasted warning rounds at the PLA. The broader Sino-Indian border dispute includes the confrontations between China and India in 2020–2022. 

PM Modi’s initiative and development programs for North East India play a vital part

The Union Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region recently. This Rs 6,600 crore program supports infrastructure, industry, and other livelihood projects in the North Eastern states. According to an official announcement, the new program will be implemented during the final four years of the 15th Finance Commission, from 2022–2023 to 2025–2026, with support from the Central Government. It will be overseen by the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region. Also, central government had initiated several infrastructure development projects in North Eastern states of India.

These infrastructure development initiatives will not only help people of North East but also the armed forces to move faster. It can help in quick arms deployment and logistics mobility. From independence this is the first-time government is emphasizing so much in North East.

Indo China Faceoff 2022

India’s strategic advantage in the face off 

Bhutan will be encircled by China on both the eastern and western sides; if China gains Tawang. It is because Arunachal Pradesh protects it from the east. China has built a motorable road (G204) on Bhutan’s western border. The road connects to the Chinese National Highway (G318) close to the border with India, China and Bhutan. The Doklam event in 2017 happened close to it. India is with Bhutan’s claim in this incident as a part of Operation Juniper.

The road extension from China to Bhutan will put India at risk. In addition, it has brought the Siliguri corridor under control. China has also taken the lead in certain railway development that can be used for military and other logistical supplies near the Arunachal Pradesh border. China aims to move its tri-junction corridor further south to get closer to the Siliguri corridor to widen the intrusion.

There have been numerous standoffs in the past due to the high level of animosity between the two nations. The India China conflict 2022 has added to this hostility. The current government’s temperament places a stronger emphasis on national strength and integrity than the previous ones. The Silk Route Era was when India and China first developed their cultural and commercial ties are still being followed today. China overtook the United States as India’s top trading partner in 2008. The two nations strengthened their strategic and military ties in the 1980s when they successfully rebuilt their diplomatic and economic ties. Determining the India China relations may be challenging owing to the India China face off, but normalization is the only outcome that can be anticipated.

For more news about India, Check out: India eyeing its first very own semiconductor plant keeping the next-gen economy in mind and India to acquire TU-160: The most Dangerous strategic bomber Russia

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