Despite India’s continuing faith in dialogue, diplomacy and existing protocols with China for resolving the LAC
standoff, it is clear that other than the cosmetic disengagement from friction points that has materialised, nothing more can be expected as New Delhi has failed to create any ‘pressure points’ (barring the occupation of Chushul heights) to force Beijing into implementing restoration of status quo ante.
India has rejected a Chinese proposal to prioritise de-escalation over disengagement.
While this will let PLA intrusions remain intact, it will help in defusing tension by withdrawal of heavy equipment like tanks and guns. The capacity constraints and the power differential do not allow India to exercise any punitive options other than on trade and investment which hurt it more than they do China.
The option to create a pressure point in the maritime domain has not been developed into one usable though this month some tentative steps were taken towards shaping a maritime deterrent by expanding Malabar naval exercises, strengthening Quad and sealing foundational security agreements with US.
On its own, India cannot restore status quo ante (fait accompli on the ground). The cumulative gap in conventional and strategic forces with China cannot be bridged without an external balancer and/or a concert of countries that are tied in a military structure like NATO with an Article 5 to invoke collective response to aggression.Read more…