The Indian leadership has put forth its claim boldly that it won't get suppressed by the Chinese side and developed a series of surveillance equipment to keep the Chinese transgressions in check by deploying them at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector.
India and China's bilateral relations have witnessed some infamous and historical scrutiny which has affected the global arena. China's provocations have brought a new low to the long-standing confrontations and border disputes.
The Galwan clash came as a surprise to some, but historical scrutiny suggests that Sino-Indian confrontations on the border often happen during times of Chinese vulnerability. After over four decades of relative silence on the India-China border, Chinese and Indian troops suffered losses in the Galwan Valley. Besides the actual conflict at the border, India has issues of cyber attacks, fake propaganda and hostile reactions from the Chinese Communist Party. China's nefarious intents and recent activities across the border have augmented and exacerbated the tension between the two.
Chumbi Valley is a strategic location wedged between India and Bhutan from where the PLA can theoretically challenge the "chicken neck" access to the northeastern states. The Chinese side has recruited at least 350 locals this year itself, deploying them to critical locations of potential conflict.
There has been a sharp increase in Chinese military activity since May 2020. Land and air incursions in the eastern sector have increased amid a build-up of PLA forces, described by some as the sharpest increase since the 1962 war. In addition, more aggressive patrolling by the Chinese is being reported.
The Indian Army has indigenously designed and developed a series of surveillance equipment to keep the Chinese transgressions in check. It has deployed them at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern sector to track frequent exercises closely and heightened patrolling activities by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops at the disputed borders. The Army's homegrown innovations have been developed by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies.
For instance, Major Bhavya Sharma has developed the face recognition software, which has been deployed close to the LAC to keep track of PLA soldiers whenever they are spotted in the disputed areas adjoining the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.
The software can help identify PLA personnel coming close to the LAC by matching them with a preset database collected over a while through various surveillance measures. India has shown its vigilance without fearing the imposing and overbearing Chinese leadership.
China has passed a law spelling out how it guards its land borders, 'Land Border Law of the People's Republic of China, which will come into effect from January 1, 2022. Asserting that China's sovereignty and territorial integrity are sacred and inviolable, the country's national legislature has adopted a new law on the protection and exploitation of the land border areas, which could have a bearing on Beijing's border dispute with India. India's foreign ministry said that "China's unilateral decision to bring about a legislation which can have an implication on our existing bilateral arrangements on border management and on the boundary question is of concern to us."
Claims between the two countries overlap along the 3,488-kilometer so-called Line of Actual Control that serves as their de facto border. India's bold statements have shown that India will not let China get away with its ill- intents.
Amid continuing tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), including in the eastern sector, the 17 Mountain Strike Corps (MSC) has rebalanced and beefed up itself in Arunachal Pradesh to fine-tune its Integrated Battle Group (IBG) strategy for the winter.
The defence and security establishment said units from the Panagarh-based MSC is in Arunachal Pradesh, undergoing acclimatisation before heading for high-altitude regions to train in cold conditions. The exercise will also see the use of various IAF assets and integrated operations, focusing on springing offensive capabilities quickly.
The Union government has approved all-weather, high-altitude solar power tents deployed at an altitude above 17,000 ft and can function between minus 35 degrees to 40 degrees plus temperature. The high-altitude solar tents, approved by experts, require that their colours be such that they can camouflage with the surroundings and the material used in the construction of these tents is fireproof.
There are nearly 180 border posts along the India-China border, from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. An additional 47 border outposts and 12 staging camps are under construction to provide ration, logistics and a place to stay for ITBP personnel during the long-range patrols along the Himalayan frontier. India is strengthening itself to prepare for any unprecedented eventuality.
Indian Army gives a big push to integrate warfare in Eastern Front active vis-à-vis China. At 15,000 feet with temperatures dipping to minus five during the day and harsh winter approaching, the Indian Army is carrying out rigorous drills to be battle-ready in Bum La (line of actual control), Arunachal Pradesh, in the Eastern sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Bum La, which is 37km away from Tawang and 43km from the China-administered Tsona Dzong town in Tibet, is strategically located as India occupies the heights overlooking the Tibetan Plateau. The induction of new weapon systems and tweaked tactics aimed at integrated war machinery is the way forward. This comes in the wake of exercises being done by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) for carrying out joint military operations in the Eastern sector as the Ladakh tussle in the northern sector has continued since May 2020.
India has significantly cranked up its day and night surveillance at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Arunachal Pradesh sector using a fleet of remotely piloted aircraft and other assets as part of a broad strategy strengthen overall military preparedness to deal with any Chinese misadventure.
As tensions boiled over between the two countries following the Galwan Valley clashes last year, India ramped up its overall deployment along the nearly 3,400-km-long LAC besides speeding up infrastructure development to gain a tactical advantage.
A sizeable fleet of Israeli-made Heron medium-altitude long-endurance drones carry out round-the-clock surveillance over the LAC in the mountainous terrain. It sends crucial data and images to command-and-control centres. Along with the drones, the Indian Army's aviation wing has also been deploying the Weapon System Integrated (WSI) variant of the Advanced Light Helicopter Rudra in the region, adding more teeth to its tactical missions in the area.
China's misuse of Cyber- technology is a new prism to this confrontation. Chinese hackers are more sophisticated, settling down in any network, striking at will. The rising cyberattacks from China on critical installations were discussed at the National Security Strategies Conference chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah on October 18, 2021. The use of technology, AI, soft power tools, et al. has created a new potential hybrid warfare.
The only apparent difference in this long-going confrontation is how India reacts. India has put forth its claim boldly. The Indian leadership has shown that India won't get suppressed by the Chinese side. India's credibility has compelled the international fraternity to support India's position. India will not lick China's boots. Seeing this has irked China. India is on the bright side.
With the continuous failure of talks because of the unreasonable demands of China to conclude the dispute, it has unfortunately lessened the hope of an amicable solution soon.
However, a hot war is the last resort for both respective countries. Considering the mammoth amount of catastrophe involved, both will deter from this violent approach. China is unnecessarily dragging the border dispute to gloss over China's domestic debacle. It is a wise tactic to throw the scent off from itself.