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Harvard study says India holds conventional edge over China

Harvard study says India holds conventional edge over China. Check DetailsA recent study at US’ esteemed Harvard University has said that India has a conventional advantage over China to avoid any 1962 level setback in case the situation escalates between the two countries.
Harvard study says India holds conventional edge against China.
Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been eyeball to eyeball in the last one month in the Galwan Valley region of Ladakh. This growing tension resulted in a confrontation on Monday (June 15) which led to casualties on both sides. While the exact number of casualties in the PLA are unknown, at least 20 casualties were inflicted on the Indian Army. This has been the biggest military confrontation between the two South Asian giants since 1975, when the last bullet was fired at the Indo-Sino border.

A recent study at US’ esteemed Harvard University has said that India has a conventional advantage over China to avoid any 1962 level setback in case the situation escalates between the two countries.

A research paper published by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School earlier this year analyzed comparative data of the Indian and Chinese strategic capabilities.

The study notes that India’s conventional advantage remains ‘under-appreciated’ in Indian discourse.

The study took into account the nuclear capabilities of both countries, ground military forces of both countries and the two air forces which could be used at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) if things go south.

“We assess that India has key under-appreciated conventional advantages that reduce its vulnerability to Chinese threats and attacks. India appears to have cause for greater confidence in its military position against China than is typically acknowledged in Indian debates, providing the country an opportunity for leadership in international efforts toward nuclear transparency and restraint,” the report read.

The report further dwells into the conventional capabilities of the PLA and says that the apparent numerical near-equivalence with the Indian Army in the ground forces is ‘misleading’. ” Even in a war with India, a significant proportion of these forces will be unavailable, reserved either for Russian taskings or for countering insurrection in Xinjiang and Tibet. The majority of forces are located further from the Indian border, posing a striking contrast with the majority of forward-deployed Indian forces with a single China defense mission,” said the Harvard report.

PLA Air Force suffers from numerical disparity
“The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) also suffers from a numerical disparity to the IAF in the border region. Unlike the tripartite organizational division of Chinese ground forces facing India, the Western Theater Command has assumed control of all regional strike aircraft. A proportion of these are reserved for Russia-centric missions. By comparison, as noted earlier, the Indian Eastern Air Command can field around 101 fighters against China alone,” the report reads while comparing the two Air Forces.

On a strict comparison of available 4th generation fighters, authoritative assessments hold that China’s J-10 fighter is technically comparable to India’s Mirage-2000, and that the Indian Su-30MKI is superior to all theater Chinese fighters, including the additional J-11 and Su-27 models.27 China hosts a total of around 101 4th-generation fighters in the theater, of which a proportion must be retained for Russian defense, while India has around 122 of its comparable models, solely directed at China.


India deploys air defence systems in Ladakh

The Indian Air Force has already moved its frontline Sukhoi 30-MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to key air bases. Additional Indian Army troops are also being moved to forward locations.

Indian armed forces have deployed air defence systems in the Ladakh area amid escalating border tension with China. According to reports, defence forces have deployed surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems in eastern Ladakh to counter a potential aerial threat from the Chinese Air Force and possible violation of Indian air space.

New Delhi is building up military strength in the area after the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Galwan valley on the night of June 15-16. Twenty Indian soldiers, including an officer, were killed in the clash. While the Chinese side is also believed to have had casualties, the number remains unclear.

India has already mobilised fighter jets and sent thousands of additional Army troops to forward locations along the border with China.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly moved a sizeable number of its frontline Sukhoi 30-MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to several key airbases including Leh and Srinagar in the last five days.

According to another report in The Economic Times, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is currently visiting Russia, is likely to push for faster delivery of the S-400 Triumf anti-missile system.

Russia is believed to have delayed delivery of the $5.4-billion system to December 2021 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the report adds.

Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria on June 20 said the IAF is “well prepared” and “suitably deployed” to counter any security challenge along the border with China and even hinted that his force has flown combat air patrols in the Ladakh region as part of heightened preparedness.

India and China are holding another round of Lt. General-level talks on June 22 to discuss ways to de-escalate tension between the two sides. The talks were scheduled to happen at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Chushul sector.

The Indian delegation at the talks is being led by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen. Harinder Singh.

The first round of Lt Gen-level talks was held on June 6 during which both sides decided to “disengage” in all the sensitive areas.
India has the upper hand in military deployments along its border with China, says a recent Harvard University assessment. If the Chinese attacked, co-author Frank O’Donnell of the US Naval War College told HT, “due to the larger permanent military presence of Indian forces vis-a-vis Chinese forces along the border areas, India would eventually be able to force China back across the LAC, although casualties would be extremely high on both sides.” One unknown in such a conflict would be China’s ability to use cyberattacks to disable Indian communications and logistics. (Moneycontrol News and PTI)


At Talks, China Confirms Commanding Officer Was Killed In Ladakh: Sources

Reported by Vishnu Som:
New Delhi: A Chinese commanding officer was among those killed in the June 15 clash in eastern Ladakh, China’s army confirmed during military talks with India at Galwan last week, according to sources.
This emerged at a time India and China held Lieutenant General-level talks at Moldo on the Chinese side of Chushul today to resume discussions on the disengagement process, which was stalled by the worst-ever border confrontation between the Indian and Chinese armies since 1967.

The first admission from China of any casualty has emerged a week after the clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action. Army sources have said 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured in the brawl that erupted near Galwan River 15,000 feet high in the Himalayas. However, Beijing has not given any casualty figure so far, claiming it does not want any escalation.

An Indian officer, Colonel BL Santosh Babu, was also killed in the line of duty. Seventy-six Indian soldiers were injured and are likely to rejoin duty within weeks, after recovery, army sources said.

Indian soldiers were assaulted brutally with crude but deadly weapons like spiked rods and rocks and clubs wrapped in barbed wire in the fight that last for hours.

Since the clash, there have been military talks between the two sides at Galwan to defuse tension. Ten Indian soldiers detained by the Chinese army after the clash were released after three days of negotiations between military commanders of India and China.


Ladakh face-off | Armed forces ‘given free hand’ to counter attack of Chinese PLA

India has deployed its specialised high altitude warfare forces along the 3,488 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) to repel any transgression by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in either western, middle or eastern sectors.

Top government sources confirmed that Indian Army has been directed to safeguard the LAC from any cross-border aggression by the PLA, which is showing hostile intent by amassing troops in a bid to cow down the Narendra Modi government.

It is understood that specialised forces trained over the past decades for fighting on the northern front have been pushed up to the frontier to impose military costs if the red flag goes up. Unlike the PLA which moves in infantry combat vehicles and paved metalled roads to move, the Indian mountain troops are trained in guerrilla warfare and fighting in high altitude as shown by them in Kargil War.

“The art of mountain fighting is the toughest as the cost of human casualties is 10 to each troop of the adversary sitting on a height. The troops from Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Gorkha, Arunachal and Sikkim have adapted to the rarefied heights over centuries and hence their capability of fighting is close quarter combats is without match. The artillery and the missiles have to have pin-pointed accuracy or else they miss the mountain target by miles,” said a former Indian Army chief.

The other thing that works for the army is that the Tibetan plateau is flat on the Chinese side while the Indian side starts from K2 peak in Karakoram, to Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand, to Kanchenjung in Sikkim and Namche Barwa across Arunachal Pradesh border. “In mountains, it is not only difficult to capture territory but more difficult to hold it,” a China expert with South Block said.

While India has noted with appreciation the voices coming out in its support from the Trump administration, including the President himself, the mood in Delhi is more like “atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat” with no intent of asking anyone for military or diplomatic support. “I have my battalions lined up with armoured personnel carriers and artillery. India will not instigate or precipitate any skirmish but will reply to any transgression. The days of LAC nibbling are over. This is a battle of nerves and India is prepared to wait, come snow come sunshine,” said a senior minister.

The Modi government is very unhappy that the Chinese President Xi Jinping broke all the “peace and tranquility” promises by not reining his favourite PLA western theatre commander Gen Zhao Zongqi, who is insistent on imposing 1960 eastern Ladakh map based on exaggerated territorial claims on India. This map where China claims territory upto Kongka La was unveiled by then Chinese premier Chou En lai.

Incidentally, Chou En Lai, the premier during 1962 conflict, had close links with President Xi Jinping’s family and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s wife is the daughter of secretary of the former premier. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar father K Subrahmanyam was involved in India’s war effort as an officer in the Defence Ministry.

It was only to set aside these historical baggage that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had initiated the Wuhan and Chennai understandings so that the two leaders could promote the bilateral relations post-Doklam. It is quite evident that President Xi had no such plans and has used tensions in East Ladakh to divert global attention from failure of China to alert the world about coronavirus. In the same way, another paramount leader used the 1962 conflict to deflect attention from the famine, due to failure of Great Leap Forward movement, in which millions of Chinese died. Ladakh face-off | Armed forces ‘given free hand’ to respond to situation at LAC The armed forces are said to have been given a free hand to assess the situation on the ground along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and take appropriate action as required in case of any escalation from the other side, a defence source on Sunday. This was conveyed during a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with the Chief of Defence Staff and the three Service Chiefs.

“The situation along the LAC and preparedness of the armed forces was reviewed at the meeting. Forces have a free hand to assess the situation and to take action as required. While we don’t want escalation but if it happens by the other side, appropriate action will be taken. Clear cut instructions to this effect were given,” a defence source said on Sunday.
Courtesy: The Hindu


Govt must provide highest measures of safety to jawans: Arunachal Congress


The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Friday said it is the responsibility of the Central government to ensure that the highest measures of safety and security are provided to the jawans deployed at the border.

Expressing shock over Monday’s clashes between the Indian and Chinese armies in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh, the Congress said the Central government should intervene as early and as effectively as possible so that the sacrifice made by the jawans does not go in vain.

“We cannot afford to lose another precious life in this manner. Just the way, our jawans protect our country; it is the responsibility of our government to ensure the highest measures of safety and security is provided for them. The APCC hopes that the government will take the necessary steps to address the issue,” Congress general secretary and spokesperson Chera Taya said in a statement.

We are utterly shocked over the way 20 of our brave jawans were killed by the Chinese soldiers.

The entire country is profoundly aggrieved by the loss of those brave fighters. We salute the courage of those brave hearts and sincerely sympathize with the families and friends whom they left behind, Taya said.

The Confederation of Service Associations of Arunachal Pradesh (CoSAAP) has called upon the Arunachal Pradesh government to pass a legislation in the state assembly banning the selling and purchasing of Chinese products permanently in the state.

“We appeal all Indians, especially the people of Arunachal Pradesh to boycott/reject the Chinese products permanently and opt for alternative Indian goods. In this way, we can make India a self reliant nation and in the process, China can be taught a good lesson by Indians,” a statement from the organization said on Friday.

The CoSAAP also condemned the killing of 20 Indian Army jawans by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday


Chinese Army build-up from Ladakh to Arunachal

NEW DELHI: Even as India and China continue to discuss ways to reduce tensions in Eastern Ladakh, it is emerging that the Chinese Army has deployed its troops all along the over 4,000 kilometre-long Line of Actual Control after which India has also rushed its fighting formations to forward locations in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

India and China have been engaged in one of the biggest disputes over territory in several years after the Chinese military started building up along the Line of Actual Control in May first week along the Ladakh sector and Sikkim where they came to the Naku La area and had a face-off with the Indian troops there.

“The Chinese military has done military build-up not just in Ladakh but also in other sectors including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh wherever it shares borders with us. The build-up includes troops and heavy weaponry which are deployed in rear positions,” government sources told ANI here.

To avoid any possibility of any misadventure by the Chinese, we have rushed in our fighting formations to forward locations in all these sectors, the sources said.

The reserve brigades of a Corps with an area of responsibility including Himachal Pradesh have gone up to the Ladakh sector to provide backup and cushion to the 3 Infantry Division based in Karu there. Additional fighting formations have also been moved forward to the border locations in Himachal Pradesh where Chinese choppers had shown up in April.

In Uttarakhand also, additional troops have been deployed in the Harsil-Barahoti-Nelang Valley and other sectors as Chinese choppers had come there also before the build-up started and have been seen carrying out foot patrols.

In the Eastern sector starting from the Chicken’s neck corridor, the training brigades of the Corps formations including the Sukna-based 33 Corps and Tezpur-based 4 Corps have been deployed on the front locations and a Brigade of the 17 Mountain Strike Corps is also ready for deployment, the sources said.

The Indian side has also rushed in its new ultra-light howitzers and other heavy weaponry to the forward locations for countering this build up on the other side by China.

When the Chinese build-up started, their choppers had started unusual activity at multiple locations including the Ladakh sector where they came right above the new bridge being built by the Indian Army to connect the all-important Durbuk-Shyok-DaulatBegOldie road with the Patrolling Point 14 in the Galwan area. The chopper had flown close to the Indian territory in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district and Barahoti in Uttarakhand in an apparent bid to confuse the Indian side about their intentions all along the LAC.

Along the Line of Control in the Ladakh sector only, the Chinese side has deployed over 10,000 troops and heavy weaponry including tanks and long-range artillery guns and India wants that they should de-induct troops from the rear positions before, for the tensions to really end along the LAC.

India, at present, is talking to the Chinese military leadership for resolving the dispute at three sites including the Galwan area, Patrolling Point 15 (114 Brigade area) and Patrolling Point 17 (Hot Springs) at multiple levels from battalion commanders to the Corps Commander.