Galwan- The Catalyst for Transformation of Global and National Strategic Perceptions on China

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army committed yet another Himalayan Blunder on 15 June 2020 in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh, amid the Global COVID War that accusatively emanated from Wuhan, and shrouded many controversies including insinuations of Bio Warfare. Twenty Indian soldiers were martyred after a bloody clash with the Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control. Barely after seventy-five days of completing 70 years of bilateral relations between two of the oldest civilizations of the world, China opted for treacherous and deceitful violence, violating the principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which can never augur well for India-China bonds ahead.

Supreme sacrifices of twenty braves including the CO, speak volumes of Indian soldierly mettle on any call of national security to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The superiority of the Indian combat experience in mountainous and high Himalayan altitude swallowed the over-projected and under-experienced Chinese soldiers. The second and third violent and bloody faceoff caused an intolerable loss of Chinese soldiers, but the Chinese government evaded owning the deaths in a rather deplorable attempt to cover up their blunder. The year 2020 witnessed the boldest strike back by India in the last fifty-eight winters that stumped out Chinese decisiveness. They had to swallow a massive loss, and added criticism in the time when they are already held accountable for a pandemic.

The aftermath of the Chinese crossing all boundaries of peace and tranquillity at border areas and the consequences of their confidence-building measures lay wreathing, thereafter. The glaring fatality of Galwan was the strangulation of the so-called trust in China and the PLA: it was the last straw in the series of Chinese misdemeanors. The faith in protocols, practices, and agreements over conduct and ethics at border areas was forgone by China, with realities crying aloud for fresh rules of engagement hereafter.

The clash had numerous covert and overt consequences, some of which showed effect soon enough. The martyrdom of those twenty Braveheart’s acted as a unifying force throughout the nation against the unreliability of China, prodding boycott and ban of all Chinese products, projects, and linkages.

The Indian Government issued a ban on 59 Chinese apps in the interest of national sovereignty and protection of user data, no later than June 29. The move significantly enjoined the global diplomatic landscape to check Chinese expansionism and aggression, with countries such as the USA also in tow, planning their own boycott of widely popular Chinese apps. Another pre-emptive expeditious step taken by India, as a direct result of the Galwan needling by China saw a recent hike in defence acquisitions of Rafale from France, S400 Anti-Ballistic Missiles Defence Systems from Russia, MH60 Romeo helicopters from America, and Drones from Israel.

Very importantly, where in past India had been too caught up with diplomatic politeness, Chinese threats and their relentless quest for expansionism have thrown all previous niceties out of the way. Earlier diplomatic rubrics had always been accommodative of Chinese business and territorial sensitivities and prevented honest expressions of Indian sensitivities, but after the clash in Galwan, India is all ready to adopt a more assertive stance. No more will there be a projection of tolerance and acceptance despite own severe discomfort. India, as hinted by the aforementioned measures, is ready to teach the infamous Asian bully a lesson.

Diplomatically, India has done away with many erstwhile words and verses of expression of bilaterality on the Himalayan challenges in expansionism. Indian leadership would go to any height to project the newfound resolve, decision-making, and its sheer will to protect its sovereignty. Operationally, the border inclusive of Aksai Chin is the shift from LAC or its status-quo, for long/mid-

term perspectives of politico-military ingenuities. Red Lines and enough coefficients have been redrawn to stop the China-Pakistan economic corridor, as part of the newer politico-diplomatic and military parlance adopted by India. The narrative, missions, and objectives of India have visibly transformed as a direct result of the Galwan conflict.

The identification of China as a primary threat to national security, more so post Galwan, has cemented the oneness of all the organs of the Indian Armed Forces, and shown the world that India is indeed ready to cross the thresholds of diplomatic expression on sensitive issues pertaining to national integrity. The Indian majority, at this time, has commendably set aside its consumerist behaviors and shifted their attitude in favor of the new national policies, staying coherent with national interests and security.

When it comes to Chinese conflicts with other nations, perpetual Chinese maritime acquisitive endeavours in the South and East seas have caused prolonged distress to the neighbouring Asian countries, and with USA’s prominent presence in the area, these countries along with America, also sympathise with the Indian cause; all the recent events antagonising nations against China.

The fixation over China’s one-China policy having been thrown to the winds, the actions of the Chinese has resulted in a call for an independent investigation of COVID-19- especially when Hong Kong and Taiwan (most disputed of all Chinese territories) are being internationally praised for their containment of the virus.

From the point of view of the global economy, there has begun a significant decoupling of international businesses from China, which is only a natural resetting considering the international flak towards China for the way they treated the novel coronavirus. The East Coast of China which boasts of high- scale manufacturing and supply chains is seeing a shift, where many countries are choosing to move their businesses elsewhere.

Notably, the Chinese civilisational wisdom is under the microscopic glare, wherein its military aggressiveness and provocative postures in all conflictual frontages, wolf warrior’s diplomacy and possible internal fissures, pressures, and protests against leadership and systems within are tearing at its seams. The combined challenges of China and its proxies and purchased lobbies have been exposed, with their bare fangs against democratic and developmental forces laid out for all to witness. COVID-19 seems determined to reset natural and strategic forces globally, the transformed mould altering all elements of power and security, reshaping economic, diplomatic, military, and informational structures in the 21st Century. In such uncertain, changing times, China’s aggressive expansionist actions, and its otherwise treatment of international affairs does not put it in a safe position in the national and global radar. Even though times are difficult for all nations and the global economy is subject to change drastically, Indian civilizational, cultural, and historical mooring would steer its course towards a better future, in post-COVID times.