China's South Tibet ambition: Will it cost India Kashmir too?

The Chinese juggernaut has been rollicking on for quite some years now and the trepidations are very much visible in its neighbourhood as well as all over the globe.

But this should be an awakener for India and the world: "The Six Wars China is Sure to Fight in the next 50 Years."

An article with this precise heading was published by the pro-Beijing Chinese language daily Wen Wei Po on 8 July 2013.

This writer is certain that this article must have seized the Indian government by its balls, so to say, but this writer is not sure that the general Indian public would have been aware of it. That is why this write-up.

A Chinese naval ship. AFP

A Chinese naval ship. AFP

As per this article, China will wage these six wars in the next fifty years to reclaim what the Chinese believe to be national territories lost since Imperial China was defeated by the British in the Opium War of 1840-42. In the Chinese perspective, as per this article, that particular defeat triggered China’s "Hundred Years of Humiliation".

Moreover, the newspaper has also given the approximate time frame when and exactly where China will be fighting these "sure" wars in the next fifty years.

By the newspaper’s account, China’s upcoming wars in the next half a century will be these:

* The 1st War: Unification of Taiwan (Year 2020 to 2025).

* The 2nd War: "Reconquest" of Spratly Islands (Year 2025 to 2030)

* The 3rd War: "Reconquest" of Southern Tibet (Year 2035 to 2040)

* The 4th War: "Reconquest" of Diaoyu Island [Senkaku] and Ryukyu Islands (Year 2040 to 2045)

* The 5th War: Unification of Outer Mongolia (Year 2045 to 2050)

* The 6th War: Taking back lands lost to Russia (Year 2055 to 2060)

The Indians will naturally be most interested in the third war in this list. Therefore, it is worthwhile to reproduce in full what the newspaper says about it. Here it is.

The 3rd War: "Reconquest" of Southern Tibet (Year 2035 to 2040)

China and India share a long border, but the only sparking point of conflicts between the two countries is only the part of Southern Tibet. China has long been the imaginary enemy of India. The military objective of India is to surpass China. India aims to achieve this by self-development and importing advanced military technologies and weapons from the US, Russia and Europe, chasing closely to China in its economic and military development.

In India, the official and media attitude is more friendly (sic.) towards the US, Russia and Europe, and is repellent or even hostile against China. This leads to unresolvable (sic.) conflicts with China. On the other hand, India values itself highly with the aids from the US, Russia and Europe, thinking it can beat China in wars. This is also the reason of long lasting land disputes.

Twenty years later, although India will lag behind more compared to China in military power, yet it is still one of the few world powers. If China uses military force to conquer Southern Tibet, it has to bear some losses. In my opinion, the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India. By dividing into several countries, India will have no power to cope with China.

Of course, such plan may fail. But China should at least try its best to incite Assam province and once conquered Sikkim to gain independence, in order to weaken the power of India. This is the best strategy.

The second best plan is to export advanced weapons to Pakistan, helping Pakistan to conquer Southern Kashmir region in 2035 and to achieve its unification. While India and Pakistan are busy fighting against each other, China should take a Blitz to conquer Southern Tibet, at the time occupied by India.

India will not be able to fight a two front war, and is deemed to lose both. China can retake Southern Tibet easily, while Pakistan can control the whole Kashmir. If this plan cannot be adopted, the worst case is direct military action to take back Southern Tibet.

After the first two wars, China has rested for around ten years, and has become a world power both in terms of military and economy. There will only be the US and Europe (on the condition that it becomes a united country. If not, this will be replaced by Russia. But from my point of view, European integration is quite probable) able to cope with China in the top three list in world power.

After taking back Taiwan and Spratly Islands, China has great leap forward in its military power in army, navy, air force and space warfare. China will be on the leading role in its military power may be only second to the US. Therefore, India will lose this war.

Before we go any further it would be better to know more about Wen Wei Po. It is a broadsheet Chinese language daily, being published for past over 75 years. It started publication from Shanghai in January 1938 but ten years later shifted its headquarters to Hong Kong. Westerners have dubbed it as “a mouthpiece of China”, barring a rare exception when the paper criticized use of force in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Soon thereafter the top brass of the editorial board was shunted out.

This brings forth many questions and posers.

First of all, it paints China in a very bad light. It shows that the so-called Chinese "peaceful rise" will not be that "peaceful" after all. If China continues to progress, economically and militarily, at the breakneck speed it is currently progressing then it is a sure cause of worry for the region and for the entire international community.

It proves that the international community is, after all, not unnecessarily worked up over China’s "peaceful rise". The international community indeed needs to do something, and fast, to ensure that the world does not get gobbled up by the unstoppable Chinese might.

Two, from the Indian perspective, it is yet another provocation from the Chinese or China-controlled or China-influenced media that the world is not safe if China continues to beef up its military and economic muscles. After all, last year there was a write-up from a Chinese think tank writer, extensively covered by the state-controlled Chinese media that India needs to be broken into “thirty or forty parts".

There has been no condemnation of the earlier write-up or the “six wars" article by the Chinese so far that this writer is aware of.

Three, the Wen Wei Po article has been in public domain for over 100 days now. But what is not in the public domain is the Chinese reaction to this.

This is dangerous for the immediate neighbours at large and the world in particular. This also puts a big question mark on the new Chinese leadership as to how the new generation Chinese leaders is going to present itself before the world community.

If the Chinese strategy is correctly reflected from this article, then China will be seen as a relentless, power-thirsty nation whose abiding principle is “might is right” and with scant regard for international relations.

As per this article, China is all set to wage a war not just against rivals like India, Japan and Vietnam, but also friends like Russia.

Though the article looks like a midsummer night dream of a fool without taking into account the vast array of imponderables and geo-strategic imperatives, it is for Beijing to set the record straight and ally the international community’s fears that have been enormously heightened by this article.

After all, the affected nations like India cannot be expected to demand an explanation from Beijing merely on the basis of a media article!

The writer is a FirstPost columnist and a strategic analyst who tweets @Kishkindha.


Published Date: Oct 27, 2013 05:03 pm | Updated Date: Oct 27, 2013 05:47 pm