Friday, August 11, 2017

China Insists India Behave

The Chinese seem to be demanding India back down at the Doka La Pass, or else:

The China Daily editorial said the clock was ticking and that it seemed like a clash would be “an inevitable conclusion” between the two prominent Asian countries if India did pull back its troops from the disputed Doklam region.

I'm not saying war is inevitable.

I am saying that China seems willing to risk a war by insisting that India visibly back down from the border confrontation.

UPDATE: En garde:

India's military has increased operational readiness along the eastern Indian border with China, sources said, as neither side shows any sign of backing off from a face-off in a remote Himalayan region near their disputed frontier.

It's a move typical of activities later in the year, and is precautionary. But stuff happens when everybody takes precautionary actions.

UPDATE: India would lose a war with China. Although the Himalaya Mountains restrict the scope of a defeat, I think.

India's only chance if there is shooting is to win a border battle and end the crisis before it escalates to war. Which requires Chinese cooperation.

Indian air power is particularly bad. I did note that new fighter aircraft was the most important defense issue India faced in this last decade. It is still the most important defense issue India faces this decade and the decade is almost over. If you look up "clusterfuck" in a dictionary, a graph of India's declining fighter strength is the picture used to illustrate the concept.

UPDATE: India is working with Russia on a "5th generation" fighter. Forgive me if I don't hold a lot of hope for this as the great stealth hope for Indian air power. One, it is a frontal-only stealth plane unlike American all-around stealth aircraft. Two, it is a Russian plane, so who knows how good it is. And three, India's dysfunctional defense industry has to build it.

China is not overly worried, I dare say.

A better hope for the Indian navy is a re-do of their failed Tejas fighter that would use American Hornet engines.

China does have some reason to worry in the long run:

“I believe that the US is ready to help India modernise its military. India has been designated a major defence partner of the US. This is a strategic declaration that’s unique to India and the US. It places India on the same level that we have many of our treaty allies,” commander of the US Pacific Command or PACOM Admiral Harry Harris told PTI.

“This is important, and I believe that together we will be able to improve India’s military capabilities in significant and meaningful ways,” said Harris, who has been personally pushing for a strong India-US defence relationship.

This benefits India and benefits everyone else, including America, who would like to see China's military power diluted by having to face more powerful potential enemies.