Various small clashes over the past year culminated in a fairly large scale skirmish on Monday in Ladakh that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and killed at least that many Chinese troops (Indian Times). It is less than a week since China seized 60 square km of Indian land in the Himalayas (Telegraph), an “invasion” that was supported by 12000 Chinese troops.
China has increased its harassment of Taiwan by sending fighters into Taiwanese airspace, has annexed Hong Kong, and has allowed its client state, N.Korea, to increase tensions with the South by blowing up a liaison office on the border. It is heavily reinforcing the border with India and allowed COVID19 to spread globally. China is on the move.
The immediate Chinese objectives are to annex the South China Sea, which is claimed by Vietnam and others, to conquer Taiwan and extend its power with the Belt and Road strategy.
How are the Chinese actions linked to their objectives?
The Chinese claims in the South China Sea are often glossed over by the UK Broadcast Media as of little consequence but they are a major play to control the ocean in South East Asia:
|Wikipedia Chinese territorial claim edged in red|
The world would be foolish to permit this control and could only construe it as the first move of wider territorial ambitions. It also sets an appalling example for other States with territorial ambitions.
|Defense News:Huge Chinese Military Base on Spratly Islands|
The Subi Reef military base on the Spratly Islands (above) is in waters that are disputed by Vietnam and the Philippines.
The Chinese actions in the Himalayas are linked to its recent alliance with Pakistan. China appears to be building a major military base at Jiwani on the Indian Ocean (Washington Post). The ultimate objective of the Chinese-Indian skirmishes is most likely the need to build communication links through Kashmir as part of the Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative. The current road from China to Pakistan over the Karakoram (and onwards) is subject to landslides and can be closed for the winter.
|The Chinese Objective?|
The new link would be only 300 km long. China is building a rail link that looks like it could be directed at Ladakh.
China is absolutely implacable in its claim over Taiwan. There can be little doubt that this will result in conflict over the next 50 years.
So what is going to happen?
China is pumping arms into Pakistan which has equipped it for another war over Kashmir. It is possible that China is unbalancing Indian forces in Kashmir by drawing them to Ladakh on the Eastern border. If this is the case expect a Pakistani attack in the West. Or they may just be testing Indian military reactions for a future war.
China cannot expect an easy victory in the South China Sea or Taiwan. It needs a diversion. My guess is that it will instruct N. Korea to mount a nuclear attack on S. Korea with the expectation that the USA will intervene with nuclear weapons. In the ensuing chaos and universal condemnation of the USA it will move forward in the South China Sea. This sounds plausible but the outcome is insufficiently guaranteed for China. How will they do it?
Certainly UK Broadcasters, especially the BBC, will cover up what is happening until it is all too late. The refrain will be “nobody told us about China”.
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://pol-check.blogspot.com/2020/06/what-is-chinas-plan.html