Why China is saber rattling is not entirely clear. But Indians applying supposed reasonableness and perspective in response to this belligerence is foolish. China is a bully and it has been their standard Han technique when dealing with all barbarians, which is how they view peoples beyond their own borders. Indians must first of all purge their liberal instincts, the only attribute of their crafty colonial masters they managed to retain instead of the whole panoply of methods and gestures that should have included complete Curzonian cynicism and a healthy capacity to promise severe retaliation when threatened by an adversary.
Discussing China in a historical vacuum is quite typical of Indian analysts and lots of footnotes in a long recent book on the subject make no difference to the argument. But when the conclusion begins to favour Chinese claims against India, one wonders exactly what is going on. Of course, China has control over one leading southern newspaper and plenty of Indian parliamentarians swear allegiance to it. These venal, lowly Indian communists also supported Yahya Khan and his genocide in East Pakistan in order to oppose alleged Indian hegemonism. There will come a time, during a major national crisis, when they will simply be taken from their beds by India’s armed forces and shot, much like how that great communist/patriot Joseph Stalin treated traitors.
The first thing our half-wit Indian geniuses must remember is that all border disputes with China derive from its illegal occupation of Tibet and the prolonged brutal subjugation of its people. Talking about the Indo-Tibetan border without recognising the imperative need to first end China’s occupation and demographic war against the Tibetan people is a non-starter.
Besides, China is not serious at all about resolving the border dispute with India because that will upset the Pakistanis. This is exactly the same reason why Pakistan will never allow resolution of their dispute over Kashmir. If either dispute ended Indian forces would only have to deal with one major border threat and massive redeployment of Indian forces would occur. That is something neither China nor Pakistan would be stupid enough to facilitate. And each party has an understanding with the other that the persistence of the two claims against India keep Indian forces divided and make having to fight a war simultaneously against both antagonists a serious disadvantage. Do you think the Chinese want India to be able to move 800,000+ forces and huge air power into Arunachal, etc. from the J&K front? Indians may be too stupid to notice this blinding rationale for keeping the disputes alive, but the Chinese certainly have not been.
China is sabre-rattling because Pakistan feels vulnerable at present (given its own well-deserved domestic preoccupations) and a Chinese threat to India means that Indian forces will have to factor in the two-front scenario, which is what prompted India’s nuclear tests in 1998. Such Chinese threats also allow Pakistan to send jehadis into India in the way they did in 26/11. Indians are hesitant to retaliate if Chinese forces are expected to attack India while it is busy neutering jehadis inside Pakistan. Of course, these jehadis are getting full logistical and intelligence backing from China in return for their all-weather friendship and the blank cheque offered to China by Pakistan recently.
But not all is lost for India since its current ruling elites (including former members of the erstwhile NDA) and the media regard Narendra Modi as their biggest problem. Indeed they have exonerated the jehadi, Ishrat Jehan and her Pakistani associates in an attempt to unseat Modi and legitimate jehadi bomb attacks against a Gujarat that is by implication a fascist political dispensation. Jehadis justify attacks all over India by referring to a fictitious genocide in Gujarat and quote people like Teesta Setalvad, NDTV, the Times of India, the wretched Arundhati Roy, Amartya Sen, etc. etc. The subtext is that it is OK to kill these Gujaratis since they vote for the fascist Modi. Most interesting of all is that each Islamist terror attack further consolidates and mobilises an anxious Islamic vote across in India in favour of the political parties that have traditionally depended on it.
A strategically alert Indian government would instigate media speculation that if Pakistan launches a nuclear assault, something it constantly threatens to do if Indian forces merely cross the border to stop jehadis attacking Indian territory, it will deal with real owners and financiers of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. This is all about dire threats, uncertainty and how a country once devastated by a nuclear first strike might behave irrationally (do read the superb Thomas Schelling on this subject) when it retaliates with its surviving second strike. India should allow speculation that its second strike retaliation will be against Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Riyadh, Mecca and Medina (the real owners of Pakistan’s nuclear assets). And the GoI itself should maintain a pointedly studious silence when this public speculation and purposive leaks are discussed in the media. But I suppose Modi is such a distraction for many secular Indians, who prefer Musharaff, the author of Kargil and the torture and murder of Lt. Kalia to him!