This is Part-1 of a two-part article. This part shows how peace and tranquility at LAC is sought to be restored, in spite of a rare clash at Galwan last year. LAC was a rare border where not a single shot was fired, and none killed, in over four decades despite it being a disputed border.
It further shows how when Chinese Communist Party celebrated its centenary recently (July1, 2021), the media made a villain out of China and communism, even while Indian ruling class parties, more so BJP, had developed relations with not only China, but with CPC.
Part-2 will show the duplicity, how India at the same time pursues a policy that is dove-tailed to US global strategy against China, and to New Cold War efforts by Biden-led US, even when it harms India’s interests.
India and China have completed troop disengagement from the Gogra area of eastern Ladakh, after 15 months of a “sensitive face-off”, the Indian Army announced August 6 Friday. The statement of the army, released by the PIB reads:
As conveyed earlier this week, the twelfth round of talks between the Corps Commanders of India and China were held on 31 July 2021 at Chushul Moldo Meeting Point in Eastern Ladakh. The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. As an outcome of the meeting, both sides agreed on disengagement in the area of Gogra. The troops in this area have been in a face-off situation since May last year. As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The disengagement process was carried out over two days i.e. 04 and 05 August 2021. The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases. All temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled and mutually verified. The landform in the area has been restored by both sides to pre-stand off period. This agreement ensures that the LAC in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there is no unilateral change in status quo. With this one more sensitive area of face-off has been resolved. Both sides have expressed commitment to take the talks forward and resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. The Indian Army along with ITBP is totally committed to ensure the sovereignty of the nation and maintain peace & tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said that as part of the disengagement process, which was first initiated in the area in 2020 but not completed by China, a buffer zone has been created. No patrolling will take place in the area in the foreseeable future, by either India or China, they said. Sources said the dis-engagement , was “on equal footing” and involved a “platoon-plus (around 25 ) strength” on both sides, was the outcome of a “step-by-step” process, which involved a lot of “patience and perseverance”.
While Gogra disengagement has been finalised now, disengagement has also been completed at two other points of friction, Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley, since last year. The corps commander talks held last month were the shortest-ever, but were described as successful, and forward movement was expected. Sources said the next focus of India-China talks will be the Hot Springs area, which is Patrolling Point 17A, also doable and there is “not much difference” in the opinions put forward by both sides. The remaining friction points — like Depsang Plains and Demchok — will take time. (theprint.in , 6 August, 2021)
China’s Global Times had earlier reported the agreement on August 2:
The two sides constructively discussed the resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of border areas, the Chinese Defense Ministry had earlier announced on August 2 Monday. Unlike the 11th round of talks that did not result in a joint statement, the latest round reached more consensus, but will not likely be as big as the ninth meeting that saw the disengagement in Pangong Tso, Chinese experts said on Monday.
The meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side, following the meeting of the two country’s foreign ministers on July 14 and the 22nd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs on June 25, according to a joint press release by the two countries’ defense ministries.
The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on resolving the remaining areas related to disengagement along the LAC in the Western Sector of India-China border areas, and both sides noted that this round of meeting was constructive, which further enhanced mutual understanding, the press release said.
China and India disengaged their frontline troops stationed at the southern and northern banks of the Pangong Tso in early February in accordance with a consensus reached during the ninth round of the corps commander level meeting, the smooth completion of which was confirmed in the 10th round of corps commander level meeting later in the month.
However, in the 11th round corps commander level in April where an agreement on further disengagement was initially expected, no joint statement was released, which analysts said indicated that solving the remaining issues were challenging for both sides at that time.
In the 12th round of talks, China and India agreed to resolve remaining issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols, and maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations, and that in the interim they will continue their effective efforts in ensuring stability along the LAC in the Western Sector and jointly maintain peace and tranquility, according to the latest release.
The joint press release and the word “constructive” are also a message to the international community, dismissing the idea that there could be another standoff or conflict amid recent media reports suggesting new troops and more advanced weapons were being deployed to border regions, because both sides are committed to resolving the question through talks, said, Qian Feng. He is the director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, who told the Global Times on August 2 Monday that the latest meeting saw less differences between both sides; no joint press release was made last time.
“No attempt by China to occupy Ladakh”: Indian Army trashes jingoistic media reports
Hindustan Times Map, not to scale. “ While Gogra disengagement has been finalised now, disengagement has also been completed at two other points of friction, Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley, since last year.”
India and China had been locked in a stand-off at the LAC since April-May last year — a stand-off that also resulted in a clash at Galwan Valley that killed 20 Indian soldiers, and an unknown number of Chinese. Efforts have been underway at multiple levels since last year to resolve the tensions.
That was the first time, since 1975, that a face-off had turned violent, but without the actual use of firearms, in line with the confidence-building measures in place for a long time now.
It is well known that it has been one of the most peaceful borders despite being a disputed one, and despite a war-like situation created in the Indian media. Not a single shot was fired for over four decades despite the LAC being a disputed one.
Jingoistic Indian media, egged on by the US and western lobbies, the arms business lobbies, serving merchants of death, always carry on a media war that vitiate efforts for peace. The electronic media is busy with stories peppered with visuals of the so-called ‘barbaric Talibans’.
‘Be constantly ready for a Chinese offensive’ was the title of another media interview (February 19, 2021) with Lieutenant General P J S Pannu (retd), former commander of the Leh-based XIV Corps. ‘The last ten months show that India is not going to trust China.’
‘Our military commanders are not going to believe that all is well till it actually is.’
“Could India be heading for a short war with China?” That was the sensational title of a long interview ( Rediff.com June 29, 2021), with Dr Kanti Bajpai, author of the new book India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends. Dr Bajpai is Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew University.
Indian media in all languages is once again carrying on a jingoistic propaganda against China. They are now linking it with US withdrawal from Afghanistan, reviving stories of an alleged China-Pak-Taliban axis.
They depict the brazen US aggression for over two decades, which ended in ignominy, as if it was peace. They conceal the fact that US bargained with Taliban for a long time and now exited from Afghanistan, only to continue their conspiratorial strategies from the neighborhood. They are reportedly working on another QUAD-2 aimed against China. Biden already revealed his new Cold war efforts.
It is against this new context that the Army had to now refute reports of another clash between the troops of both countries.
‘There has been no attempt by the Indian or the Chinese side to occupy the areas in eastern Ladakh from where they disengaged in February and both sides are engaged in talks to resolve the remaining issues in the region,’ the army had said earlier on July 14 Wednesday, as PTI reported:
The army made the comments as part of a statement trashing a media report that said the Chinese military has again crossed the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh at several places and that there has been at least one incident of clash between the two sides.
“Ever since the disengagement agreement in February this year, there has been no attempt by either side to occupy the areas from where the disengagement had been undertaken. There have been no clashes in Galwan or any other area, as reported in the article,” the army said.
It also said that the report mentioning that agreements with China have collapsed is “false and baseless”. The latest Gogra agreement proved them wrong.
This is not the first time Indian army trashed media reports that were cooked up by pro-US and anti-China hawks.
Whenever peace efforts are made, the media war is aggravated, aided and abetted by hawks in the Establishment, and fueled by agencies linked with the US, the Pentagon, and the West in general. They cook up incidents, video-clips too, as revealed and trashed by the Army last year:
The Indian Army, it may be recalled, that on May 31 last year likewise rejected a video, which emerged on the social media, purportedly showing clashes between Chinese and Indian troops in eastern Ladakh.
The undated video purportedly shows clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh. “Currently no violence is happening. Differences are being addressed through interaction between military commanders, guided by established protocols on management of borders between the two countries,” the Army had said.
“We strongly condemn attempts to sensationalise issues impacting national security. The media is requested not to air visuals that are likely to vitiate the current situation on the borders,” it added.
(see Flood of Misinformation on the eve of India China Talks,countercurrents.org, June 5, 2020.)
False stories despite official clarifications
General VK Singh former Chief of Army Staff (COAS -in office until May 2012), who served during UPA-2, from March 2010-May2012, later became a Minister in NDA-1, 2014-19, in Foreign Ministry, and now in NDA-2 as Minister…he was connected with both UPA and now NDA, has continuity, is well-informed, with first hand info, we may say.
“There are no intrusions. They are not on our territory.The LAC is not marked on the ground, there is no agreement on it” : Gen VK Singh
He gave an interview to Hindustan Times Jun 21, 2020, i.e., after the deadly clash and after the All Party Meet. His answers carry lot of weight, and answer many questions raised by Congress and others too, including chauvinists, hence important.
See Excerpts below, (emphases added):
Q: As an ex-army chief what is your reading of the ground situation?
A: It is firmly in control of the Indian troops. There are no intrusions. There are transgressions, not intrusions.
Where (petrol point) PP 14 is concerned, there is no intrusion whatsoever. Where PP 15 area is concerned, every year they have been trying to transgress and every year we push them to go back.
(It means, we may say, nothing new that is adverse to India happened.)
Q: There are questions about the policy of using arms at LAC too.
A: In the dark of the (June 15) night… you are among 600 people carrying weapons, you don’t know where your people are. What happens if somebody fires breaking the agreement? These agreements have been there and both sides are adhering to it, if one side breaks it then the other side will also break it.
So far, we haven’t had any problems. That is why this pushing and jostling took place, otherwise firing would’ve taken place…
There are protocols that have come into being over a period of time after negotiations…(on LAC)
As a military man, I can say, I don’t think the military wanted it (the clah) and I don’t think the military was even consulted on it.
PM Modi in the All Party Meet (APM) on June 19,2020….focused mainly on June 15 clash. This is what Modi said there as per ndtv.com. corroborated by others:
“ Neither is anyone sitting inside our borders nor is any post been captured. The entire country is hurt and angered by what China did at the LAC (Line of Actual Control),” PM Modi said, categorically rejecting suggestions that the Chinese had intruded and were sitting on Indian territory.”
Notably, all this was said by General VK Singh, a military cum political leader, and PM Modi himself, both after Galwan clash.
India-China relations: Double-tongue and hypocrisy of the ruling classes
When CCP celebrated its centenary recently (July1, 2021), the media made a villain out of China, the CPC, and Xi Jinping. What is the reality? It is instructive to recall how Indian polity, even BJP, had developed relations with not only China, but with CPC.
A video clip (October, 2017) showing then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman teaching the meaning of ‘namaste’ to the PLA soldiers, several Chinese media groups shared it widely. It was at a sensitive Nathu La border post, in East sikkim, adjoining Tibet. Both sides were trying to put the bitterness of the Doklam standoff behind. Now the same LAC is shown in a different, hostile light.
Bullet-proof shields for Indian soldiers were dependent on China… the raw materials being imported from China. That was so until June 15, 2020 Galwan border clash…And then came Boycott China goods!
It is not as if China is an enemy of India as projected by the media of the ruling classes, the ruling parties, and by Rahul Gandhi whenever it suits him. Not only official relations with Beijing, both major ruling parties, Congress and BJP, had relations with CPC too.
The two major ruling class parties in India are known for their duplicity. They blame each other, and their role depends on their being in power or in opposition.
And both being pro-US, they subordinate the foreign policy to the whims and fancies of the super power. Media serves the imperialists and manufactures news and moulds public opinion.
It is instructive to recall a few examples.
BJP Chief Nadda had questioned the Congress on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of August, 2008.
“First, Congress signs MoU with the Chinese Communist Party. Then, Congress surrenders land to China. During the Doklam issue, Rahul Gandhi secretly goes to the Chinese embassy. During crucial situations, Rahul Gandhi tries to divide the nation and demoralise armed forces. Effects of MoU?” Nadda tweeted on 23 June, 2020.
BJP’s Relations with China Communist Party are quite old and deep
BJP as Opposition party also, officially greeted, in 2012 November, CCP on its 18th Party Congress :
Shri Nitin Gadkari, then BJP president greeted: The BJP … congratulated the convening of the 18th National Congress of the CPC, expressed its desire to maintain strong goodwill relations with China, appreciated the CPC’s steering of the people of China on the path of prosperity in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres, and commented that now as China had been enjoying global prestige and position in world affairs, the BJP was sure that the 18th National Congress of CPC should further formulate strategic policies for nation building and push forward the economic and social development of China.
Many other parties, including Congress, also greeted.
Despite his anti-communist RSS Ideology, veteran Sri Dattopant Tengadi (1920-2004), Founder of SJM (Swadeshi Jagran Manch and BMS) upon an invitation by China’s ruling party, had visited and studied China in 1985 (viswa samvad kendra, vsktelenagana.org,2017 Nov 11. swarjyamag.com also reported); he wrote and spoke appreciatively how they worked for their country and people. Modernization without westernization is one of his works, and he could see that practiced in China. Since then till recently, a delegation of BMS has been a regular invited guest to China almost every year.
BJP delegation in Beijing for a week-long tour of China
It was not only Modi-led NDA government that maintained relations with China, but BJP too, and that with the Chinese Communist Party CCP…and that for decades. The latest was in August 2019, a few months after NDA-2 came to power and passed Kashmir Bills, and ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in October, by an 11-member BJP delegation led by party general secretary Arun Singh. (reported economictimes.com, Aug 27, 2019)
The International Department of the CPC, said its Chief Song Tao, maintains regular contact with over 500 political parties and organizations of different types in more than 160 countries and regions. He disclosed that most foreign political parties are interested in how the CPC governs such a big country.(People’s Daily Online, 05, October 23, 2019). It is part of China’s diplomacy for peace and development.
The BJP delegation visited China between 26 August and 1 September, 2019. Photo: Arun Singh, BJP national secretary | Twitter
“The BJP and CPC have discussed ways to enable greater exchanges between both parties. Our party leadership felt this was the right time for the exchange, considering the PM is set to meet the Chinese president shortly,” said BJP’s foreign affairs department in-charge Vijay Chauthaiwale, who is part of the delegation.
“Understanding the party discipline and control over the Chinese economy, and foreign policy will help us get a better picture on how India should go about its policies,” a member of the delegation said.
The delegation will also meet Chinese think tanks and lawmakers during the visit, and “study the CPC’s internal party structure, political functioning and its role in establishing a welfare society.”
In 2015, home minister Amit Shah had met Wang Jiarui, the minister of the international department of the CCP at the BJP headquarters. In 2014, a delegation of BJP MPs visited CPC school in Guangzhou and studied the “reform process initiated by the Communists in China in sectors such as manufacturing.”
Boycott China goods is a policy of convenience to suit interests of the business classes, Indian and imperialist. Modi-led Gujarat had several agreements with China, and that was part of his Gujarat model.
dailypioneer.com, 03 September 2019 said :
The BJP delegation also discussed about the promise of Chinese investors, who were in Jharkhand last year, and assured investment in the State.
The BJP delegation and Chinese counterparts discussed on the ways of strengthening the 2500 years old relation between the two countries, as presently the two countries comprises one third of World’s total population.
Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Poddar at BJP party office said, “The visit was very fruitful as the delegation discussed various social, political and cultural relations between the two countries. The delegation met political leadership of Communist Party, government officials and even Chinese businessmen and discussed several issues.”
BJP leaders, who visited China in the last week of August, told ThePrint (11 September, 2019) :
The BJP delegation stressed on the fact that while there is government to government interaction, there is a need for a party to party and people to people connect too.
The Hindu , June 10, 2019 reported an earlier visit by CCP to BJP office in Delhi, “amid the din of the Lok Sabha election and government formation at the Centre…the first after the Doklam stand-off ended.”
Senior BJP general secretaries Ram Madhav and Bhupendra Yadav, along with the party’s foreign affairs cell head Vijay Chauthaiwale, played host to Li Xi, a member of the Politburo… Mr. Li met members of the Congress, but the BJP’s interest in a visit by the Chinese delegation was noteworthy.
When Nitin Gadkari was party president (2009-13), he led a high-level delegation to China… “making attempts to draw up some institutional connectivity between the two parties…,” said a party source.
outlookindia.com, 16 June 2014, and economictimes.com reported :
A delegation of CCP visited the BJP headquarters and congratulated the party leadership for the win in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. BJP Chief Nadda who led the BJP team said BJP’s commitment for strong India-China ties was based on mutual interests, exchange of scholars, exchange programmes at the student, youth and women level for more in- depth relations.
BJP leader Ram Lal called for close contact between leaders of India and China to advise solutions at economic, political and cultural levels. BJP delegation was invited to China.
business-standard.com, November 15, 2014 reported :
… of a 13-member delegation of BJP MPs and MLAs from various states to China and they will try to understand the internal structure of the CCP and the political functioning there. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and officials briefed the delegation… that will also seek an understanding of the role of the political set-up in establishing a welfare society in China.,.. will also emphasize on establishing and strengthening ties between the two parties, “aimed at building cordial relations between the two major Asian countries.”
India had joint military exercises with China until December 2019!
Public memory is short they say. Reality is it is drowned in ever new crazy and false stories in the media. See how India had joint military exercises with China, and they had anti-terrorism cooperation in their agenda, and all this not long ago.
business-standard.com, December 22, 2018, reported: The 7th edition of anti-terrorism India-China joint military exercise concluded, in Chengdu area of China, Indian Defence Ministry said in a statement:
“The exercise included lectures and discussions on various counter-terrorism aspects, like cordon and search operations, raid on terrorist hideouts, intelligence collection and joint operations. Also, integrated live firing was conducted for both contingents to enhance inter-operability and promote jointmanship..
“As part of validation exercise, troops of both armies carried out specialised joint counter-terrorist operations including room intervention and hostage rescue which was witnessed by dignitaries of both armies.”
See a Report indiatoday.in, December 20, 2019:
The 8th India-China joint training exercise, a joint military exercise between Indian and Chinese troops.. concludes in Meghalaya… The exercise aimed at enriching both contingents from each other’s experiences in counter-terrorism operations.
The Chinese contingent from the Tibet Military command comprising 130 personnel and the Indian Contingent had participated in the 14-day-long training exercise.
Joint military and anti-terrorism exercises with China continued from UPA days till December 2019. They reveal the hypocrisy of anti-China politics of both the ruling class parties.
Liberalizing Defence sector with 100 percent FDI, and allowing free play for private sector are the latest measures even as Self-Reliance and Boycott China goods is mouthed.
The anti-China rhetoric is promoted by the arms lobby and merchants of death headquartered in USA.
People of India should note the double-tongue and hypocrisy of the ruling classes, and reject their jingoism, which is aided and abetted by the US, the West, and the slavish Big Media.
Biden revived and activated the New Cold War, and the media war against China is part of that.
It hurts India and its impoverished people; and harms the cause of peace and development, and the promise of an Asian Century.