First, the frontline border troops of China and India successfully disengaged in the Pangong Lake area. The subsequent tenth round of the China-India military commander-level talks evaluated the result positively, and the joint press release issued by the two sides observed that “this is an important development that provides a basis for resolving other issues in the Line of Actual Control in the Western section of the China-India border”. The two Foreign Ministers also called the disengagement an “important achievement” during their telephone conversation on February 25th, noting that “both parties must cherish the hard-won situation and jointly consolidate the existing results”.
At the same time, there are contradictory voices coming out of India. Joshi, the Commander of the North Indian Military Region, claimed that India had achieved a “great victory” during the disengagement process, and China “had nothing but lost face.” So-called sources in India said that “the Chinese withdrew first and the Indians withdrew later” and made up the claim that the Chinese withdrew further than the Indians. The Chief of Staff of the Army, Joshi’s boss, Narawan, said that disengagement in the Pangong Lake area was a “win-win option”. The leaders of the Indian National Congress, some retired generals, and some experts and scholars accused the Indian government of abandoning the heights on the southern bank of Pangong Lake to accommodate China as an “act of betrayal”.
In addition, Indian netizens refuse to accept the fact that the number of deaths on the Indian side is five times that on the Chinese side, and questioned that China must have concealed the casualty figures in releasing the list of four heroic officers and soldiers who died in the conflict in the Galwan Valley. Some netizens, in accordance with the Indian army’s “one for ten” combat strength, said the number of deaths of the People’s Liberation Army should be no less than 200, and some even regarded Song Jiang and others who were hyped up on the Internet last year as the list of the Chinese killed. This kind of “fanatical confidence” has a big market in India, which can be called the “Indian psychological victory” propensity.
Facts can not be tampered with, heroes can not be forgotten. By carefully comparing the official statements and spokespersons of the Foreign and Defense Ministries of China and India, and checking with authoritative sources, I found that the false reports of the Indian media and the lies of a handful of politicians can not withstand scrutiny, and the “Indian-style psychological victory” is like a soap bubble that bursts as soon as it is poked, so this article is hereby written to set the record straight.
First of all, the responsibility for provoking the Sino-Indian border conflict last year rests entirely with India. In June last year, the Indian border guards illegally crossed the Western section of the China-India border, took the lead in provoking, and violently attacked the Chinese negotiators, deliberately creating conflicts in the Galwan Valley, causing casualties on both sides. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech at the All-Party Conference in India on June 19, publicly acknowledging that “no one has invaded Indian territory and no Indian outposts have been occupied”. This is enough to prove who is right and who is wrong. As the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The merits of this incident are very clear, and China is not responsible at all. First, the Indian border guards illegally crossed the line first. Second, the Indian side violated the consensus of the two sides and provoked first. Third. , It was the Indian side who violated international rules and attacked first”.
At the end of August, Indian troops again illegally crossed the line and occupied the southern bank of Pangong Lake, and brazenly fired gunshots to provoke, breaking a 45-year record of no gunfire on the Sino-Indian border. The Indian Defense Ministry’s August 31 statement also shamelessly claimed that the Indian troops had taken “pre-emptive” action. This is an absolute self-confession, voluntarily admitting that the Indians planned and created the military activities across the line, and the so-called “pre-emptive action” is just a cover for the Indians to justify their illegal acts. The Indian Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, former Chief of Army Staff V.K. Singh, openly said in an interview that the Indian army had crossed the border at least five times more than the Chinese side, causing an uproar in the Indian media.
Secondly, the disengagement of Chinese and Indian troops at Pangong Lake was a synchronized action agreed to by both sides. On February 10, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense issued an authoritative statement, “According to the consensus reached at the ninth round of military commander-level talks between China and India, the troops of the two armies located on the southern and northern banks of Pangong Lake began synchronized operations on February 10 to organize disengagement as planned.” This was a plan jointly agreed to by the two sides after diplomatic and military consultations, and was organized and implemented by both sides simultaneously, with neither any sequencingl nor the question of who wins and who loses. Even the Indian Defense Minister did not dare to claim that the Indians won when he answered a question in Parliament, but simply said that India did not lose territory.
According to satellite images and authoritative sources, all Indian troops and armored vehicles on the Southern bank of Pangong lake have been withdrawn and all facilities across the line have been dismantled and destroyed. On the Northern bank of Pangong Lake, Indian troops retain only a small frontline presence at the Dan Singh post near the 3rd finger, with the bulk of the force withdrawn far to the west of the 1st finger. If there had to be a win-lose comparison in the withdrawal process, even the Indian media admitted that the speed of the Chinese armored withdrawal surprised the Indians. However, Indian tanks broke down frequently during the withdrawal process, and previously there was an accident of tank flooding in the Galwan Valley, which is rumored to be one of the reasons for the dismissal of Harinder Singh, former commander of the Indian 14th Army.
Third, we didn’t want to see bloodshed and casualties at the China-India border. The nation was moved by the heroic deeds announced by China to defend the border, and each martyr was given the honorary title he deserved; the motherland and the people will never forget their sacrifice and dedication. China did not announce the number of casualties on either side after the conflict, purely from the perspective of maintaining the overall situation of relations between the two countries and the two armies, in order to promote de-escalation and cooling down of the situation, reflecting China’s bearing and inclination as a responsible power. However, India maliciously exaggerated the speculation on this issue, distorted the truth, slandered Chinese border officials and soldiers, and attempted to mislead international public opinion, so China had to clarify the truth to set the record straight.
After the Chinese side announced the truth, especially the video, the Indian media were dumbfounded collectively. Although they still did not admit that the number of casualties in China was far lower than that of the Indian army, they knew the true level of combat effectiveness of the army. The scenes of an Indian soldier wiping out thousands of foreign soldiers in Bollywood dramas are all over the place, but in the real world a swollen face will only lead to a bloodbath. After all, it is not enough to rely on the “Indian delusion of psychological victory” to compete with the PLA in terms of combat power.
Finally, it must be pointed out that China has never considered India as an enemy or an adversary, and has no intention of resolving the border-territory issue by force, as it has always insisted that “not an inch of someone else’s territory is coveted; not an inch of its own territory is ceded”. As two large developing countries and emerging economies, both China and India are facing the important task of economic development, improving people’s livelihood and the challenge of the novel corona pneumonia epidemic, and should not fight with each other and consume themselves unnecessarily on the border-territory issue. A few days ago, General Secretary Xi Jinping solemnly declared to the world that China has achieved a comprehensive victory in the battle against poverty. The Indian media had a rare positive report on this and issued a soul-crushing question to the Indian government: Why India cannot achieve poverty eradication when China can? It is hoped that the Indian side will learn from the historical lessons on the Sino-Indian border issue, stop military violence and the so-called “forward policy”, and achieve peaceful coexistence and common development with China. This is the right choice for the two neighboring powers to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
(The author is an observer of international issues)