Antony does not rule out force against Chinese intrusion - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 1 May 2013

Antony does not rule out force against Chinese intrusion

Antony: “Every possible step, at all levels, to safeguard our interests.”

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 1st May 13

Fifteen days after discovering that a strong Chinese patrol has set up camp on territory that India claims, Defence Minister AK Antony made it clear today that India would employ force if required to safeguard Indian territorial integrity.

“The current situation is not one of our creation.  However, we remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation, through military and diplomatic dialogue within the framework of the agreements for maintaining peace and tranquility.  At the same time, I wish to emphasise that there should not be any doubt that the country remains unanimous in its commitment to take every possible step, at all levels, to safeguard our interests,” said Antony.

The defence minister was addressing his top military officials, including the army, navy and air force chiefs, at the annual meeting of the Unified Commanders Conference in New Delhi.

Later on Tuesday, Antony and the three service chiefs held a special security review meeting with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon. Such a meeting reinforces the signal that India is evaluating options beyond dialogue and diplomacy.

This is the government’s first unambiguously tough statement since Apr 15, when New Delhi learned about the intrusion at Daulat Beg Oldi by 30-40 Chinese soldiers, who military intelligence sources believe are from a border unit of the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF).

On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had stated ambiguously, “We do have a plan.” But he went on to say, “We do not want to accentuate the situation. We do believe that it is possible to resolve this problem.”

Top army sources say the military has been ordered not to physically act against the Chinese border guards, or to even start building up force in anticipation of an operation to evict them. But Business Standard is aware that the army has evolved detailed contingency plans in case a decision is made to use force.

So far, the Indian reaction has come from the Indo-Tibet Border Policy (ITBP), which manages the Sino-Indian border while the regular army remains behind the front lines. The ITBP has set up its own encampment barely 100 yards from the Chinese camp.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has emphasized a peaceful solution from the start. In a media briefing on Apr 23, the MEA spokesperson recounted that New Delhi contacted Beijing on Apr 16, the day after the intrusion was detected, to activate a joint consultative mechanism that was set up to resolve border incidents like this one. On Apr 18, the army held a flag meeting with the PLA; the same evening, the Chinese ambassador to New Delhi was called to the MEA and conveyed India’s concerns. The two armies held a second flag meeting on Apr 23; while China has not yet responded to an India request for a third flag meeting.

The MEA is also placing faith in two high-level political meetings that lie ahead. Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid will visit Beijing on May 09, while China’s new premier, Li Keqiang, is scheduled to visit New Delhi late next month.

“The government has carefully created space for diplomacy and consultation to work. But it is also working with the army to ensure that the military option is available,” says  Srikanth Kondapalli, a China expert from the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

[Not known at the time of going to press]

The third flag meeting was held on Tuesday near Chushul, but did not result in any breakthrough or agreement. During a three-hour discussion between military commanders, the Chinese insisted that India must dismantle certain defence works that it had constructed earlier in the Chushul sector on what China insisted was its territory.


  1. The Anticipation & Apprehension about UPA GOVT. dealing with the Chinese Incursion Finally showing its Sign,the Govt Is hell bent on Diplomacy & More Advance Diplomacy & its superlative Ensuring Long stay of PLA soldiers on our LAND. Govt. Should remap our LAC & surrender J&k to the Chinese.At best they cn do this.

  2. This is the same plan China has for the whole of it's problems with other countries. It sends in some innocent looking people that make it hard to attack them. They will say we do not understand why they attacked them as we were talking with them about it. They will say that they were forced into fighting by a government that left them no choice. They will want the world to see them as victim.

  3. now a days... words doesn't speak... truth... action... counts...

  4. Today the Army Chief was called for briefing the Union Cabinet and the CCS

    So it looks things are getting HOT

    Secondly what will happen if Salman Khurshid is sent back EMPTY HANDED

    Then will we allow the Chinese PM to come to India if the Chinese troops are still present in India

  5. Please for once grow some spine Mr. Minister....whats the point then of boasting off one of the largest armed forces in the world when you cannot use it to protect the nation from foreign agression and might be true that we do not have adequate infrastructure at the right place, unlike the bloody chinese but how wise will it be to wait till we have that in the saying goes 'you go to war with what you have not what you could have had', of all, should support the military Mr. Minister and GET OVER THIS 1962 PHOBIA please

  6. Its a game of Chess. China has already calculated and game-planned all Indian moves even before their first "White" pawn was moved. Indian "Black" King is dithering around figuring out his first move, while time is running out. Whichever move he makes he already feels checkmated. What a horrible feeling of hopelessness with our current administration. If they cannot solve this situation to India's advantage, they should quit and make way for somebody who can. All blame is squarely on the ruling coalition's shoulders. Problem with India is we have very few to none all-rounder leaders. Most are local politicians with no knowledge of the length and breadth of India. My thoughts, constitution needs to be revised on the eligibility of becoming a politician. Only those who served with Indian Armed forces can be eligible for politics and top jobs such as Prime-minister, Defence-Minister, Foreign-minister and Law-minister. Its such a feeling of hopelessness with India, while Indians aspire to become World-leaders, without knowing how? They believe Govt. will make them World-leaders! without understanding their leaders are useless. What a waste!

  7. “The current situation is not one of our creation." What does he mean by that? Why is he a Defence Minister? If he was so horribly unprepared so as to not have a clue what our biggest neighbour was up to, then I wonder what else he is unaware of? and to a greater extent what our intelligence agencies are unaware of? War is never sought, it is always thrust upon by larger adversaries. That's the reason to always by prepared. What were our Armed forces doing? What are the spy satellites doing? What about troop mobilization? Have we even trained for such an event? Seems to me, our leaders only talk meaningless words without any meaningful action. I wonder what our capabilities really are? Industrial, Military and Political? When I contemplate about this situation, I feel sad that we will loose Laddhak too! To our IDIOT PM, DEFENCE MINISTER, SONIA, AND CONGRESS, PREPARE FOR ALL-OUT-WAR. GET ME A HUGE CHUNK OF CHINA! This is what all India should demand from our leaders both Armed and Political.

  8. Shukla,

    As per you "Dono Ate Jate Rahaye Hain" as if it is Sasural..

    Then why use force ??

    What a military logic you use !!

  9. Didnt have time to read your article. But going by the headline wanted to leave a comment-

    1. Never blindly rush into combat. Do what the Chinese do. Create diplomatic space and time for strethghtening yourselves and your alternatives. Make it not worth it for the opponnent to indulge in this sort of stuff.

    2. Requires military strenght. Requires infrastructure. Requires strenght of will. Requires strong economic foundations and trade in our favour.

    3. That means intra party political bickering needs to take a backstage. Keep it only to the most essential elements. If those essential elements become too many that it defeats the larger purpose of this #3 sub comment....then we need a change. In the political system. Procrastinating in this will only make the adversary's (china's) position stronger.

    4. Now see how all the above elements have been so successfully followed by the Chinese. After all its their doctrine. And where are we in this? Salman Khurshid and Antony are no Chanakya's. They have no vision. They are political survivors adept at local media image cultivation. That's all.

    5. We don't need just a honest leader. We need someone with a vision. We need a strong Leader, who spawns and creates more leaders everywhere, whilst taking a backseat...yet being all there.

    6. Anyone in sight?

  10. Its a sad for this lame duck govt of India who only believes in talking but no action against Pakistan or China where they have already intruded 20 kms inside ladakh

  11. These Chinese incursions will continue till all important Tibetan Buddhist centres are within their sphere of influence and they can claim their own Buddhist church as they have done with Roman Catholicism, only Buddhism is of greater concern for them. Sangha

  12. This idiot will spend all his time folding his lunki...I really don't understand why this banana republic need Armed forces. Just one more avenue to loot the public money. If the Armed forces can not be used to defend the border, why the hell we need them?

  13. These Chinese incursions will continue till all the Tibetan Buddhist centres of influence come under Beijing's sphere of control; they have done it with the local Roman Catholic church but Tibet is their bigger concern. Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh are the main centres outside Tibet that still foster Tibetan culture and nationalism and so they are vulnerable to Chinese aggression which needs to be tackled with vigour. Sangha

  14. As they have been allowed to come 20 Km inside, then they can further be allowed to come in another 20 Km and then encircle them. At least that will create an angle of surprise.

  15. when a bus or a train accident happens in India, the railway and transport ministers are told to about the PM, President , the FM, are made to resign not because chinese have occupied our territory but them not acting in a manner that will get India back her territory. The yap yap talk talk strategy has failed once again, as no one gives heed and empty vessels make the most noise.....and this strategy has been enforces on India by the PM, FM AND THE LIKES OF Salman Khurshed.tHE MYTH OF 'WAR NOT BEING AN OPTION' which has been reitrated by the Indian govt has gone to a level that alllows others to behad our soldiers and to encorach upon Indian territory. If the govt cannt protect India, it has no right to be in Power and ciollect tax for our security.


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