SOURCE: ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
As a kid my grandfather would tell me ” China can’t do anything to India! We have the Himalayas”. my grandfather’s belief was an assumption that was passed down from a generation of Indians who for centuries knew that India can never be invaded from the North-Eastern sector largely attributed to the long mountainous terrains which simply made it very difficult terrain to fight a war and even more difficult to capture or move into Indian plans.
1962 Sino-India war was wake up call to many in India but Chinese withdrawal from parts of the state of Arunachal Pradesh which Bejing calls its South Tibet also pointed out the weakness of the Chinese military which logistically and geography were too far away from their supply chains to sustain their occupation for long ultimately leading to their withdrawals from areas which it calls its own.
Strategically sensitive Tibetan region has always remained a key focus of the Chinese Government since the 1962 war, but since then China has made great strides in the country and has emerged as Economic Superpower which again has rekindled China’s legendary revolutionary leader Mao Zedong five fingers strategic where Mao described Tibet right palm and Ladakh, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and Arunachal Pradesh its five fingers which need to be taken back by China which they claim historically was theirs.
Over the years China has deployed more troops and significantly increased patrolling in the mountainous terrains especially in the Tibetan region in Arunachal sector which was followed up with Doklam face-off which is closer to India’s Chicken’s neck or Siliguri Corridor. China is making all-out effort to have all Roads and Strategic Rails links at its disposable which can isolate Northeast from rest of India in case of aggression from Chinses military.
China has consistently built its border infrastructure including railway lines, strategic airfields, and roads that can bear the weight of heaviest vehicles, leading right up to the LAC and to also ensure quick deployment of troops in case of war. China literally has moved on to Phase-II of this development in the border areas that are to sustain supply chain and reinforcements throughout the year in case it goes on to occupy parts of India.
Indian aerial and artillery assaults are only things which can disturb this supply lines which could reduce PLA’s capabilities to fight but China is well aware of this weakness and is trying to build multiple entry points in India so that supply lines can be maintained for a longer period allowing its troops to fight for days or weeks.
Chinese military wants to ensure that if another Sino-Indian war breaks out next time it has enough supplies to hold on to the occupied areas before it can force India for a cease-fire. India needs to ensure that India can hold on to the Chinese military for long at the border so that their plans for rapid incursions never happen to force them to retreat and maintain status duo.