They feel the head-on confrontation has enhanced India’s image as a ‘strong’ nation.
New Delhi: India’s “strong and sustained” response to China’s aggressiveness and refusal to stand down on its Eastern borders despite facing tough domestic situations, has elicited praise from diplomats posted in India who feel that this confrontation, which is in its fifth month, has enhanced greatly India’s image as a “strong” country.
Multiple diplomats, who spoke to The Sunday Guardian, off the record, stated that till now, India had only “confronted” Pakistan, which is militarily and economically a weaker country. However, by taking the Chinese head-on and occupying key positions at the borders, which were earlier not under their control, Indian strategists have proved their mettle, diplomatically and militarily.
According to a “political officer” with an Asia-Pacific country, which is engaged in a love-hate relationship with China, his initial assessment that he had shared with his headquarters, was that India will have to back down if the confrontation stretches. The diplomat further stated that following the Galwan incident, where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, their “reading” was that India will start looking for reasons to de-escalate the tension in view of the aggressive posture that China had adopted.
“India’s decision to match every move the Chinese are making has come as a surprise. The assessment of our intelligence wing, too, was that India will take a few steps back if the situation is not resolved by June end. Clearly, the assessment has not matched what has actually happened on the ground. We see this ‘event’ as a very significant one as China’s attempt to turn Asia into its territory has been stopped. India’s strategic image has ‘moved’ up several notches due to the way it has handled China,” the diplomat told The Sunday Guardian.
Another defence attaché with a European country, who has been closely following the developments taking place at India’s Eastern borders, said that the banning of Chinese apps by India may not hurt China economically very much, but it had hurt its pride and will encourage other countries to take similar steps in the near future. “China believes in ‘pushing ahead’ like a battering ram. India, which till now was passively resisting this ram, is now actively and very loudly derailing it. Strategists in China, from what we have gathered, were not hoping that India would respond the way it did,” the attached said while referring to the military action taken by the Indian army on 30 August, as a result of which it is now occupying key positions.
The fact that India, for the first time, has decided to show the Chinese that men of Tibetan origin, that constitute the Special Frontier Force (SSF), were used in the recent military activities, too, has come as “surprising pleasant” development for the attaché quoted above. “India has given a very strong message to China by deploying the SSF and telling the world that it has used the SSF in the recent confrontation. It is China which now needs to think twice before stretching and turning this into a bigger confrontation. India has deployed as many men and machines that China has on its border and that too without being apologetic about it,” he said.