India Playing Chinese Checkers

Published By : Admin | April 12, 2024 | 17:42 IST

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) separates Chinese-controlled territory from Indian-controlled territory and is generally divided into three sectors: Eastern, Middle, and Western. The Eastern sector spans the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the Middle sector spans the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the Western sector spans the Union Territory of Ladakh. Historically, the two countries have differed in their opinions regarding the length of the LAC. As a result, there are disputes in all three sectors.

For over a decade now, China has been following a 'Salami Slicing' tactic, "faits accomplis and international expansion in the shadow of major war," to press its claim at the LAC. The consistent goal of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is to move forward in unexpected new areas along the India-China border and then inch backwards to reach somewhere halfway after prolonged negotiations while retaining some of the grabbed portions for themselves. The 2013 Depsang standoff demonstrated Chinese salami-slicing tactics when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China made an incursion in the Depsang Bulge area, 30 km south of Daulat Beg Oldi near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the disputed Aksai Chin region.

The unwavering stand of India during the Doklam standoff, the push back during Galwan and subsequent deployment of troops has demonstreated that India will fight back. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, India has responded to China on all forums as per the needs.

The Indian prime minister reminded the neighbour about the ancient Indian belief in the concept of "universal brotherhood" but affirmed India's "commitment and might when it comes to safeguarding her sovereignty and territorial integrity." China had sought to delink the standoff from bilateral ties, saying the border situation was "stable". India's stand on the matter was unchanged: relations cannot be normal unless the border row is resolved.

What followed was a concerted effort to use India's economic, diplomatic, and military power to push China to return to the status quo through a "strategy of hurt." This strategy communicated a simple message to Beijing: China should remove its soldiers, or India would inflict economic, diplomatic, and military costs.

PM Narendra Modi's first action was to put economic sanctions on Chinese firms operating in the country. As the border crisis escalated, India banned several Chinese apps, including PUBG and TikTok and disallowed Chinese state-owned companies from investing in infrastructure projects in India. The threat of economic decoupling followed, including a ban on Huawei from India's 5G infrastructure.
Militarily, India built up a preponderance of forces and materials to deter Chinese activities. India upgraded military-related infrastructure along with the border areas, moved missiles and aircraft to the border, and positioned more troops. In 2021, the Modi government deployed an additional 50,000 soldiers to patrol the LAC. The effort marked the biggest mobilization of the Indian Armed Forces. The army positioned almost three divisions in eastern Ladakh, including an armoured one. India deployed the game-changer S-400 air defence system along the LAC to ensure that PLA respects and adheres to the Boundary Settlement negotiations. The air force also shifted its foremost assets to the region, including MiG-29s, Sukhoi-30s, and Mirage 2000s. The navy's P-8I Poseidon aircraft also conducted reconnaissance and surveillance missions over the high Himalayas.

The unprecedented deployment of troops, backed by their own dedicated artillery and air support by the Modi government, ultimately led Beijing to agree to a reinstatement of the status quo. Meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in August 2023, Modi and Xi agreed to intensify efforts for "expeditious disengagement and de-escalation" of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

Under Narendra Modi's leadership, India is giving a massive border infrastructure push. The Modi government has built a massive infrastructure, the showpiece of which is the recently inaugurated Sela Tunnel in Arunchal Pradesh by PM Narendra Modi. The Sela Pass is the primary link between the Tawang district and the rest of Arunachal Pradesh, enhancing the Indian Army's strategic and operational capabilities. This tunnel provides "all-weather" connectivity to Tawang, a region's remote and strategically significant district in the eastern sector of the LAC.

Before 2014, the military infrastructure at the LAC favoured China. The previous Congress governments used to say that there was a security concern about carrying out infrastructure development near the LAC. The UPA-era Defence Minister A.K. Anthony admitted in the parliament that "compared to India, in the area of building infrastructure, China is much advanced. Their [China] infrastructure development [at LAC] is superior to India" The defence minister also stated that the 'mistake' not to develop border areas is a 'legacy,' carried from older days. The previous governments were wary of strengthening road connectivity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for fear of Chinese aggression, as these governments' fallacy was a belief that "the best defence is not to develop the border."

However, in a turnaround from the decades-old policy of the policy, there has been a complete change under the Modi government. The government has focused on speeding road and air connectivity projects and building adequate infrastructure at the LAC. India has now started playing the Chinese Checkers and has challenged the hegemony of China that was wielded in the Himalayan peaks and troughs.

Explore More
No ifs and buts in anybody's mind about India’s capabilities: PM Modi on 77th Independence Day at Red Fort

Popular Speeches

No ifs and buts in anybody's mind about India’s capabilities: PM Modi on 77th Independence Day at Red Fort
New tax regime changes explained: Income up to Rs 7.75 lakh exempt from tax, Rs 17,500 savings

Media Coverage

New tax regime changes explained: Income up to Rs 7.75 lakh exempt from tax, Rs 17,500 savings
NM on the go

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
PM Modi’s Vision Fuels Delhi’s Development
April 12, 2024

“Delhi has the good fortune to get an opportunity of keeping the flag of nations' prestige flying high.”
- PM Narendra Modi as Delhi prepared to host the G20 Summit

The last ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have set in motion the creation of a New India—from rural to urban, from water to electricity, from houses to health, from education to employment, from castes to classes—a comprehensive plan bringing growth and prosperity to each doorstep.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi has emerged as a pivotal part of this dynamic developmental momentum spearheaded by PM Modi throughout this transformative decade.

The city has been at the heart of the infrastructural shift that has given a dedicated facelift to the entire nation. Today infrastructural marvels like Atal Setu, Chenab Bridge, Statue of Unity, and Zojila Tunnel dot India’s ever-evolving landscape.

With its focus on revamping transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, the Modi government has launched an array of transformative initiatives. From railways, highways to airports, these initiatives have been key in galvanising inclusive and sustainable development across the length and breadth of the country.

The impressive expansion of the metro rail network has revolutionised urban commuting in India. From a mere 5 cities in 2014, the metro rail network now serves 21 cities across the nation—expanding from 248 km in 2014 to 945 km by 2024, with 919 km of lines under construction in 26 additional cities.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved two new corridors of Delhi Metro Phase-IV—Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. Both the lines have a combined length of over 20 kms with a project cost of over Rs. 8,000 crore (funding being sourced from the Union Govt, Govt of Delhi, and international agencies). The Inderlok- Indraprastha line will play a significant role in enhancing connectivity to the Bahadurgarh region of Haryana. Additionally, India’s first Namo Bharat train, operating on the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor further underlines the Modi government’s commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and upgrading its transportation infrastructure.

Further, the Bharatmala Pariyojana envisages improved logistics efficiency and connectivity via the development of nearly 35,000 km of National Highway corridors. 25 greenfield high-speed corridors have been planned under the plan out of which four intersect with Delhi’s growing infra capacity: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway, and the Urban Extension Road-II. The total project length sanctioned for Delhi is 203 km with an allocation of over Rs. 18,000 crore.

Over the past decade, the Modi government has consistently dedicated efforts towards augmenting capacity and decongestion of airports. After the IGI Airport Delhi became the first airport in the country to have four runways and an elevated taxiway, the expanded state-of-the-art Terminal 1 has also been inaugurated recently. In addition, the upcoming Noida International Airport (Jewar) shall further contribute to decongestion of the Delhi airport which is serving millions of passengers annually.

Besides, the inauguration of the New Parliament has further added civilisational yet modern connotations to the city’s landscape. Inauguration of the Yashobhoomi (India International Convention & Expo Centre) has given Delhi India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, offering a mixed purpose tourism experience. Along with Yashobhoomi, the Bharat Mandapam, a world-class convention and exhibition centre, showcases India to the world.

In terms of welfare, the Modi government has launched several schemes benefitting people hitherto on the margins of growth and development. Women’s safety in Delhi has been a key concern. To address the same, the Modi government strengthened the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the quantum of punishment for rape, including capital punishment for rape of a girlchild below the age of 12.

The Union Home Ministry established a separate Women Safety Division back in 2018. One-stop centers, Sakhi Niwas, Safe City Project, Nirbhaya Fund, SHe-Box, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, and Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) among others are significant additions in the government’s campaign towards women safety.

In addition, Swachh Bharat Mission, PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have further led to the empowerment of Nari Shakti in India.

As India becomes the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Delhi is also contributing significantly towards this development. Today over 13,000 DPIIT-recognised startups are functioning in Delhi even as the government is promoting self-employment through PM MUDRA Yojana with over 2.3 lakh loans sanctioned worth over Rs. 3,000 crore for FY2023-24 (as on 26.01.2024).

PM SVANidhi, which provides collateral free loans to street vendors, is supporting over 1.67 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. Further, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched in 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic, over 2.2 lakh employees benefitted in Delhi.

Further, nearly 30,000 houses have been sanctioned and completed in Delhi under PM Awas Yojana (Urban).

Air pollution has been a recurring problem for the people of Delhi. Conscious of this reality, the central government has launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution level across the country.

The Modi government's tenure over the last decade has brought about a remarkable transformation in Delhi across various fronts. From infrastructure development to governance reforms, from education to employment, the government's initiatives have left an indelible mark on the capital city. As Delhi continues on its journey of progress and development, the contributions of the Modi government are set to shape its future trajectory for years to come.