Why China will not wage a war with India
New Delhi, Aug 19: Tensions between India and China have been high ever since the incurrsion by the latter along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The tensions bring back memories of the 1962 war which India lost inspite of the extreme bravery of the Indian soldiers such as Dashrath Singh or Shaitan Singh at Rezang La.
The war of 1962 scared the Indian Army's psyche deeply. Now to avoid a similar situation India has been upgrading its capabilities in the Armed Forces. India has not only put in place modern technological devices but also boosted cyber warfare capabilities.
China has been stopping Indian patrols and building of outposts and infrastructure. However the current government's precision guided military has left China surprised. India now enjoys military advantage over China in many border areas.
On August 29 2020, India launched its own deception with 'Operation Snow Leopard' and took control of the heights in the Chushul region. This made the Chinese Moldo Garrison vulnerable. Further India also consolidated its positions in the Spannggur Gap which blocked further Chinese movement.
The Chinese are also aware that Indian soldiers have long Himalayan experience such as the Siachen Glacier. The Peoples Liberation Army soldiers on the other hand need at least 14 days of acclimatisation before they are combat ready.
In the 1962 war the Army Headquarters in Delhi issued the order to fight to the last man and the last round.
The Indian troops had occupied Daulat Beg Old in Ladakh around 16 kilometres from the Karakoram Pass. The terrain was harsh and had skeletons of humans and animals. There were just 20 soldiers to man each of the 60 new posts along the unmarked border with China. At that time the Chinese army had many more men.
However that is different today and the Indian Army is a formidable war machine which has decades of fighting experience unlike the Chinese who are better at putting down political unrest.
Speaking of statistics, China has a little over 22 lakh soldiers as compared to India 28.44 lakh. However the Chinese have a reserve of 14.25 lakh soldiers when compared to India's 28.44 lakh. A CNAS report from 2019 said, "To weather a potential PLA attack, India has placed greater emphasis on infrastructure hardening; base resiliency; redundant command, control, and communications systems; and improved air defence."
In terms of tank strength the Chinese have 6,457 of them when compared to India's 4,426. However the Indian tanks are bigger and powerful. India has 6,704 armoured combat vehicles while China has 4,788. India has 7,414 artillery pieces while China has 6,246. China has 4,788 armoured combat vehicles and India has 6,704 as of 2020.
India also cleared the production of 114 Dhanush guns, the Advanced Artillery Gun System and the K9 Vajras. India has also augmented the firepower M777 Ultra Light Howitzers, Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers and missiles such as the Brahmos and Pinkaka.
In the initial stage China's can neutralise all marked targets in the scenario of a war with its 1,200 missiles. Further it would require 220 ballistic missiles to take out one Indian airfield for a day. This would finish off China's missile stock. India on the other hand has 109 Agni-III launchers which are capable of hitting the entire Chinese mainland. It required 8 of them to reach central China.
One of the main reasons for the defeat in the 1962 war is that India decided not to use the Air Force. China has 1,385 aircraft as opposed to India's 809 in 2020. India has also added to its firepower immensely by inducting the Rafale.
"Recent conflicts with Pakistan give the current IAF a level of institutional experience in actual networked combat," the Belfare Center notes. Chinese pilots would be hard pressed to think dynamically in a real-time battle in the air. While China is restricted to joint military drills with Pakistan and Russia, India regularly takes part in such drills with the US, France, Japan and Australia.
Further India's recent acquisitions of Apache and Chinook rotary-wing assets and military transport aircraft such as the C-130 and the C-17 Globemaster will add rapid firepower support to isolated troops, the CNAS notes.
China has the largest navy in the world is trying to overthrow US superiority from the seas. China's 22,457 kilometre of seaboard is vulnerable due to its hostility with most of the 14 countries on its coastal borders. India's coastline on the other hand is safe from attack.
Another deterrent for an attack on India would be America's military might and presence in the region. New Delhi's growing proximity with Washington is another reason what would make China edgy.