Book review | Elephant on the high Himalayas



To take the big picture, we have China facing India head-on along the Current Line of Control, while trying to encircle it by dominating Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. and Afghanistan, contiguous to India.

By Lieutenant-Colonel Manoj K Channan

The current standoff between India and China along the Himalayas turns out to be “the shock of the 21st century”, directly involving a third of humanity, having a geopolitical impact on almost half of the world. Asia, economically involving the world’s second and third largest economies in terms of purchasing power parity, and being challenged by two armies that are among the world’s top four armies in fighting power. The confrontation defines the geostrategic discourse for the world as a whole, making it truly the “Asian century”.

China, in its well-known quest to usurp global leadership from the United States, has also put in place a very well-crafted plan to ensure its expansionary fashion plans go unhindered. Dominance of the South China Sea, claims and seizes the island’s territories of its maritime region, the vigorous pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), are as many means by which China wishes to secure its lines of communication in addition to ensuring the security of its maritime lines of communication (SLOC).

The Sino-Indian conflict dates back to the late 1940s, after China’s independence, when it annexed Tibet and claimed Indian territories in the North Eastern Frontier Agency, now Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh region , Sikkim and Bhutan, which are still pending.

The 1962 conflict and the ensuing 1967 confrontation at Nathu La, Sikkim imposed a warning on the CCP / APL not to engage in a kinetic battle that might not help them achieve their military goals.

After setting the context for current Chinese expansionist policies and India’s position on the real line of control, veteran author Colonel RS Sidhu, SM took the opportunity to put the prognosis of the problem into perspective. in question and the likely options that are available for India.

Why should you read this book?

The author, Colonel RS Sidhu, is a decorated veteran with extensive combat experience. He has the right credentials to write on the subject, with an MA in History from the University of Delhi, and an amateur China Watcher for more than three decades. He is also the author of the bestselling book THE SUCCESS OF BEING CRAZY, ten veteran entrepreneurs of the armed forces.

His writings are available on his blog spot [email protected]

The author sees in it a civilizational shock “it is the vision of the world of the two cultures which defines most clearly the difference of approach of the two nations. Bharat sees the world as an interconnected whole, “Vasudev Kutumbakam” – (the world is one). China, for its part, sees itself as the center of the Universe before which all other countries must bow down… A resurgent Bharat is seen as a key threat by China to achieve its ambition to establish a new Sino world order -centric. A threat that must be nipped in the bud, before it becomes too powerful to be thwarted.

As China focused on its overall development to become the unipolar superpower, India fumbled as the corridors of power in the southern bloc remained separated from a strategic mindset, focused on internal consolidation. power versus a focus on developing India’s national power.

The author has done some quality research and explains how to advance its stranglehold on the creation of an alternative global infrastructure: “China provides silent state support through an injection of capital and technology to create companies. global, such as Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent, ZTE. etc. Undercutting and outbidding their competitors through price manipulation, improving the scale and speed of operations, and acquiring controlling stakes in identified global technology companies, is the path followed by Chinese companies to marginalize their competitors.

Highlights of the book are a vision document for a resurgent India to combat the long-term Chinese threat, an overview of the ongoing political discourse on reforming India’s defense and security architecture with specific reference to China, and the influence of India -China’s rivalry over geostrategy foreshadows Asia in 2020-2025.

Recent developments in Afghanistan, following the United States’ exit from a two-decade war on terrorism, have left a void that many countries in the region are silently trying to fill by engaging with the Taliban. China appears to be a likely favorite, with deep pockets and funds to pour into the Afghan economy, ostensibly to bring much relief to the Afghan people who face multiple challenges, while expanding their strategic reach in this sensitive region. .

To take the big picture, we have China facing India head-on along the Current Line of Control, while trying to encircle it by dominating Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. and Afghanistan, contiguous to India.

Besides the domination of the Indian subcontinent region by the PCC / APL, the author dwelled on China’s energy needs through various corridors to include another option through the Wakhan corridor from Afghanistan to Iran.

A challenge in writing a book review is not to let the thunder fly by revealing too much, so as to take away the pleasure of reading the book.

“It is the fist posted behind clasped hands that provides the peace essential for successful engagement in trade and commerce.”

To sum up, this book is not an ordinary assessment based on a thought process promulgated by think tanks or reputable military and diplomatic thinkers, who have been forced to reflect on a particular line of thought.

The author’s in-depth study and his own analysis is essential reading for students, military and bureaucratic leaders, and of course political leaders to think outside the box in taming the Dragon at our doorstep.

“The hallmark of a born leader is his ability, under stress, to transcend the barriers of fear and conventional wisdom, by taking actions capable of causing geostrategic ripples beyond the expected time and space. . “

(The book reviewer is a veteran of the Indian Army. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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