India vs China – a strategic moment

Posted: June 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

The recent battle between Indian and Chinese troops deserves to be examined more deeply.

Since 2014 there have been more confrontations between China and India than from 1962 (last India China war) to 2014.

On the surface a confrontation seems a one way affair with China a clear winner as its army is much more modern. The reality is that while China has the upper hand in a limited confrontation (both are nuclear powers with the complete triad of delivery – from missile to ship) a war would not be so easy as logistic at high altitude is an issue.

The Chinese airfield are such at a high altitude that airplanes can carry only 50% of the load. Also the most modern Chinese equipment is in the South to confront the Americans.

But aside the potential conflict it is the strategic implications that makes things interesting. India has always tried to appear neutral in the power struggle between the US and China. This latest attack will probably push India to the US side – a moment that could have the same importance of when the US succeeded to separate the USSR from China (1956-1966) that practically laid the foundations to the US victory over the USSR.

India can easily increase the cost of Chinese interference in Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries. China imports 80% of energy needs via the Indian Ocean and Strait of Malacca – with the US more than happy to sell anti-ship missile systems this could create an easy choke point to China.

If India pivots to a US, Japan, Australia alliance it could change the entire strategic map of the Asian power struggle. Interestingly also the issue of the “Western coalition” versus China is that – even if the West has slightly military advantage – it will never have the numbers to confront China. India could tilt this equation quite easily.

As a strategic moment for the balance of power in East – the behaviour of India is of strategic importance.


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