‘Handling Chinese Not Easy’
“During meetings, they come with a prepared script and refuse to accept any change,” says Major General M Vinaya Chandran (retd) who has negotiated the border issue with his Chinese counterparts as a commander at the Line of Actual Control.
General Chandran served the Indian Army for 36 years and retired as the senior instructor at the prestigious National Defence College in New Delhi which provides future decision-makers the necessary skills and background for filling senior positions in national security and associated fields.
The scholar-soldier is pursuing a PhD after his retirement from the army last year. In an interview with Rediff.com‘s Archana Masih, General Chandran says in the current situation, both India and China will continue to hold whatever positions they are holding and over a period of time it will become the new normal.
Five levels of military level talks over 4 months have not been successful in breaking the deadlock with the PLA and withdrawal of Chinese troops.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the Indian Army at the LAC at this moment and in the months ahead?
The Chinese intransigence came as a surprise, but we reacted fast and it resulted in a stalemate.
We have to further develop our infrastructure and deploy additional troops to cater for a permanent threat from China.
This would have been a part of our long-term plan, but now we have to fast track and do it in this season.
Our biggest challenge is that we have to divert funds from other important areas, putting our long-term economic development plans in jeopardy.
If resources are made available, the army has no problems in dealing with the PLA.
Since talks between the military commanders of both countries have borne no fruit, do you feel diplomatic talks and economic pressure on China can achieve what the military couldn’t — get the Chinese to vacate Indian territory?
Military and diplomatic efforts have always been going on simultaneously.
The military efforts focused on situation on the ground and diplomatic efforts were held at the government level.
It is taking a long time to resolve the issue because China is playing for time.
They initiated the issue to divert attention from their internal problems, especially Xi Jinping’s waning popularity.
A solution to our issue is possible only after Xi regains confidence.
The Chinese economy is too big for India to put any pressure. Even the USA could not. They have lot of spare cash and don’t have to justify its use to the nation.
Courtesy – Rediff.com