New Delhi: Four years since China intruded into Indian Territory in eastern Ladakh, leading to a continued standoff but subsequent pullback to their side, the question of why they did it still confounds the Indian defence and security establishment.
While noting that only time will tell at which level the decision was taken to stir tensions with India at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), former Army chief Gen Manoj Naravane said it worked out well for India because it is now more aware of where the actual threat is.
“Why they did what they did is a question which continues to confound us. Especially because they did it when the world was in the claws of the Covid pandemic,” Gen Naravane said Saturday, speaking at the WordsCount literature festival held at the Mayo College in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
He said that given the nature of the Chinese system, it is very unlikely that the decision to do what they did was taken at a local level, that is, by some miscalculation by the Battalion Commander.
“Had to be something which had to be coordinated much higher up. Whether that much higher up is at the level of their Western Theatre Command or right up to the Politburo (of the Chinese Communist Party), that time will tell,” he said.
Speaking at the annual event hosted by author and scriptwriter Advaita Kala, he added, “But what has happened is not a bad thing. Because for a very long time, we were shying away from calling out China as the No. 1 threat”.
India, he said, has always referred to China with euphuism, “like our friend to the north”.
“We were always hoping that by being decent and conciliatory and agreeing to what they are saying, they would return that favour in full measure and also give us the respect that is due. So obviously that was not coming… as a result of activities of 2020, we are more focused now on where the threat actually lies,” he said. (Agencies)
- February 25, 2024