India's softly-softly approach to the latest instance of Chinese border provocation in Ladakh shows that it has not learnt one important lesson: rolling over and playing dead is a bad strategy to take on Chinese aggression on the border.
Chinese officials have dismissed Chinese General Luo Yan's tough talk against India as not representing the official view. But Luo frequently channels a hardline Chinese military view that is increasingly hard to dismiss.
For perhaps the first time, media commentaries in China are conceding that Indian perceptions and fears about China needed to be understood and acknowledged. And that the Chinese lacked an understanding and a respect of India.
The currency of choice for trade transactions is determined by what's called the "network effect". We use it because others use it - and that's not going to change unless the dynamics of trade change.
India signalled to visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that the border issue is of "core interest", and withheld boilerplate acknowledge of India's commitment to the 'one China' principle. These are not without significance.
India's discourse with China has traditionally been trapped in the Mao-ist maze that defines how "friends" ought to conduct themselves. But Chinese statecraft has evolved, and India too must up its diplomatic game.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang begins his India visit today. If India plays its cards right, and protects its interests with finesse, the two countries have the capacity to reset their relationship.
Indian suspicions about Chinese grand strategems should not be allowed to impede any progress in the Sino-Indian border talks. But it is important to mark the boundary before committing to a freeze on troop and infrastructure build-up.
India and China have backed off from their eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in the Himalayas. But there is reason to believe that India may have paid a high price by giving China the right to determine what happens on our side of the fence.
There is diplomatic space for India to exert itself against the Chinese incursion without resorting to military adventurism. But to exert the levers of coercive diplomacy, you need to know that you have a spine in the first place.
To the extent that Chinese troops are still in notionally Indian territory and are looking to extract a price for their withdrawal, China is looking to expand its sovereignty map - without firing a single shot.
Perhaps this incursion was intended by the new Chinese leadership to signal Chinese frustration at the lack of progress in the talks on the border dispute despite years of negotiations. If that is so, it reflects raw power, not sagacity.
There are a whole range of graded options for India to signal its mind without resorting to belligerence. There is no time like the present to exercise them.
So long as India insists on pussyfooting its way around Chinese sensibilities, even in the face of grave provocations, India will continue be seen as a pushover.
Within the space of a month, Xi Jinping moderated his approach to settling the border dispute with India.
India's opposition to Chinese violation of the principle of equality effectively meant that the BRICS Bank was a non-starter.
The US, the UK, France and Russia were among those that backed membership for India in the NSG, but China is dragging its feet and emphasising the need for equal treatment in South Asia".
The fledgling economic recovery is worth little if it doesn't generate the critical mass of jobs in the manufacturing sector. In face, even the famed BPO sector is losing jobs to Philippines and other emerging centres.
The neighbours do not really need an arms race. The competition for growth and infrastructure is suicidal enough.
There has been an inexplicable thaw in Sino-Indian relations, but it masks the fact that China is proceeding with its strategic outreach into India's neighbourhood.