China only understands the language of strength. And India so knows it

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 11, 2021, 11:19 PM(IST)

india china flags (representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Simply put, India called China's bluff, and dealt with Beijing in the only language it understands -- the language of strength.

Two things are absolutely clear -- India has not succumbed to Chinese threats, and China only understands the language of strength.

The border provocation in Galwan was perhaps the most serious military challenge that India has faced in decades. It was unprecedented -- in terms of its scale, planning and intent.

As many as 20 indian soldiers were killed in action. And the Chinese were fully prepared for further escalation.

The pandemic had dented Beijing's image, and Xi Jinping was on a shaky wicket. He desperately needed a geopolitical maneuver to bolster his image.

But he underestimated India's strength and resolve. In the past, India acquiesced to China.

But now, India stands its ground. From Doklam in 2017 to Ladakh in 2020, India has refused to appease China -- unlike its other smaller neighbours.

India has made specific pre-conditions for normalising ties, and used the same policy it has used on Pakistan for decades.

If talks and terror can't go hand in hand, neither can border aggression and business.

On the military front, India ensured it won't be caught off guard again.

From Galwan to Spanggur to Depsang, India ramped up its defences, activated its entire logistics network, matched China's military deployments, and secured its frontiers.

By October, 40,000 Indian troops were braving the freezing temperatures in eastern Ladakh.

To add to that, India ensured that the special frontier force spearheaded the operation, a force which had Tibetans fighting for India.

Thousands of Tibetans have made India their home since the Dalai Lama was forced into exile.

India hit China where it hurt the most. Then we come to the economic front.

India weaponised its market, curbed the flow of Chinese cash in the Indian economy. It started by amending its FDI policy to curb opportunistic takeovers.

In 2019, the fund inflows from Chinese companies in India was 229 million dollars.

By September, 2020, it had declined by 28.48 per cent to 163 million dollars.

India carried out what's been called a digital strike. It banned Chinese apps -- a move that reduced China's influence on the internet economy.

Last we checked, India had banned at least 200 Chinese apps. This provided a model for other countries to do the same - America and Japan for instance.

Then, India extended anti-dumping duty on a range of products from China. Mostly on anti-bacterial drugs and Chinese steel.

This impacted the price of Chinese products coming to India, and adversely affected profits for Chinese manufacturers.

India also challenged China's Pharma supremacy, and began nursing the world -- from Afghanistan to Egypt; from South Africa to Brazil.

An array of countries received the 'Made in India' vaccine -- as a result of which, the Chinese state media was so rattled that it began accusing India of smearing its efforts.

India's vaccine diplomacy clearly outfoxed China's wolf warrior diplomacy.

India also strengthened its security co-operation, primarily through the Quad -- the quadrilateral security dialogue -- a strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

This is to counter China's aggressive military expansionism.

The group is set to meet soon.

India also held multiple important naval exercises with an eye on China.

China President Xi Jinping hoped that he could simply wear India down.

But India outsmarted and isolated China on all fronts -- militarily, economically, and diplomatically. It understood the gap between China's words and actions and kept the pressure on for full disengagement.

Simply put, India called China's bluff, and dealt with Beijing in the only language it understands -- the language of strength.

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