China-India border dispute.

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
An Indian MiG-29UPG was spotted near the border area. Earlier MKIs were seen there.


Also upgraded T-72M1s.


Meanwhile China is conducting large scale UAV exercises including swarm tactics.


And exercises for mech-infantry formations with armor.

 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wrong analysis of alternatives does not help solve the border problem - Part 3

11. With the Sino-Indian border dispute entering its 5th month, the focus has now shifted towards logistics, ensuring that over 40,000 Indian soldiers at the LAC are fed, clothed and sheltered through the approaching winter. Two rounds of high-level talks, between Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar and his counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on 4 Sep 2020, and between Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe, have failed to resolve matters to any satisfaction.

12. Leh, the capital of the newly established Ladakh Union territory, is the fulcrum of this military logistics effort. The Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport is one span of an air bridge stretching 700 km south into the Indian hinterland. Flights of Soviet-built IL-76s and US-built C-17s fly nonstop daily sorties from Chandigarh to here ferrying essential supplies. From here, the cargo is offloaded into helicopters and flown or trucked to the army’s forward posts.

13. By Oct 2020, winter will set in over India’s largest high altitude cold desert, Ladakh. The skies become overcast, icy skin-lacerating winds whip around the barren landscape, temperatures dip to as low as 40 degrees C below zero and the snow piles up to 40 feet. Fresh eggs, juices and vegetable oil flown in by the air bridge from Chandigarh turn to stone by the time they reach the forward posts.

14. The Indians expect China to demand talks on the Chushul (Kailash range) situation. But India will stick to its stand that the principle of ‘first in, first out’ must apply. This means the Indians expect that China must start the 3-step process of disengage, deescalate and deinduct. But there are 4 key issues:

(i) India's perception of LAC;​
(ii) India's patrolling points;​
(iii) China's perception of LAC; and​
(iv) China's patrolling points.​

What's happening in 2020 is mostly a patrolling point blocking game (except for Pangong Tso).

15. The Chinese garrison on Pangong Lake, which straddles the India-China border, has been reinforced by 6 Type-092D assault boats — allowing for the rapid deployment of 60 PLA troops, as a QRF to any location on the shores of this high altitude lake.

16. There is also growing concern amongst Indian security analysts that China could be diverting India’s attention from the far more important Depsang region through its aggressive manoeuvres in the Pangong Tso-Chushul and other areas lower down along the frontier in Ladakh.
 
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cdxbow

Active Member
Wrong analysis of alternatives does not help solve the border problem - Part 3

11. With the Sino-Indian border dispute entering its 5th month, the focus has now shifted towards logistics, ensuring that over 40,000 Indian soldiers at the LAC are fed, clothed and sheltered through the approaching winter. Two rounds of high-level talks, between Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar and his counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on 4 Sep 2020, and between Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh and Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe, have failed to resolve matters to any satisfaction.

12. Leh, the capital of the newly established Ladakh Union territory, is the fulcrum of this military logistics effort. The Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport is one span of an air bridge stretching 700 km south into the Indian hinterland. Flights of Soviet-built IL-76s and US-built C-17s fly nonstop daily sorties from Chandigarh to here ferrying essential supplies. From here, the cargo is offloaded into helicopters and flown or trucked to the army’s forward posts.

13. By Oct 2020, winter will set in over India’s largest high altitude cold desert, Ladakh. The skies become overcast, icy skin-lacerating winds whip around the barren landscape, temperatures dip to as low as 40 degrees C below zero and the snow piles up to 40 feet. Fresh eggs, juices and vegetable oil flown in by the air bridge from Chandigarh turn to stone by the time they reach the forward posts.

14. The Indians expect China to demand talks on the Chushul (Kailash range) situation. But India will stick to its stand that the principle of ‘first in, first out’ must apply. This means the Indians expect that China must start the 3-step process of disengage, deescalate and deinduct. But there are 4 key issues:

(i) India's perception of LAC;​
(ii) India's patrolling points;​
(iii) China's perception of LAC; and​
(iv) China's patrolling points.​

What's happening in 2020 is mostly a patrolling point blocking game (except for Pangong Tso).

15. The Chinese garrison on Pangong Lake, which straddles the India-China border, has been reinforced by 6 Type-092D assault boats — allowing for the rapid deployment of 60 PLA troops, as a QRF to any location on the shores of this high altitude lake.

16. There is also growing concern amongst Indian security analysts that China could be diverting India’s attention from the far more important Depsang region through its aggressive manoeuvres in the Pangong Tso-Chushul and other areas lower down along the frontier in Ladakh.
OPSSG, would you say both sides are showing significant 'resolve' at this stage? Perhaps there were questions about Indians resolve and you have eluded to the PRC 'beating them down with stick', currently, despite some stick, they seem to be standing firm. Both sides appear to be reinforcing their respective positions. A quick win by the PRC does not seem possible. The diplomatic fallout with India has been immense, some on the PRC side may be asking questions about the wisdom of these actions.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wrong analysis of alternatives does not help solve the border problem - Part 4
OPSSG, would you say both sides are showing significant 'resolve' at this stage?
17. At a military to military level both sides have shown firm resolve — the Indian Army is planning a 2.5 front war, if things go tits up. The PLA, as the aggressor, is also not backing down. A Chinese military spokesperson said: “We demand India immediately withdraw troops that had illegally intruded the Chinese border, and urge the Indian side to stop all provocative actions and strictly control frontline troops to avoid further escalation.”
Perhaps there were questions about Indians resolve and you have eluded to the PRC 'beating them down with stick', currently, despite some stick, they seem to be standing firm.
18. With a FY2020-21 defence budget of ₹4,71,378 crores (or US$65.86 billion) that is less than 2.5% of the country’s GDP, my criticism has always been directed at the Indian politicians.
(a) Some observers have argued that the Ladakh clash has hardened the hawkish stance of PM Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).​
(b) Others hold the belief that Modi’s weakness only whetted Xi’s appetite. The Chinese leader concluded that he was succeeding in establishing psychological dominance over the Indian PM. And Xi wanted to consolidate that pre-eminence. The Chinese leader perceived a perfect opportunity in the circumstances that prevailed in April: a raging Covid-19 pandemic, New Delhi’s weakened position in the sub-continent, India’s unprecedented economic slowdown and America’s inward preoccupation with the bruising 2020 election battle.​
(c) Analysts such as Oriana Skylar Mastro and Arzan Tarapore, Jeff Smith and Shashank Joshi are of the view that at the 2017 Doklam standoff, China was caught off balance by India's military response of deterrence by denial.​
(d) “Besides affirming his paramountcy over Modi, Xi would also have aimed to show Washington that its putative regional partner could not even safeguard its territory from China. Finally, Xi also wanted to show regional countries India’s subordinate place,” says the former PMO official.​

19. What is worse that China’s Wolf Warrior diplomats? These Wolf Warrior diplomats have sought to resorting to mud throwing and likewise India’s BJP chicken-hawks, do themselves little credit. BJP politicians like Sambit Patra (an official spokesperson of the BJP), and Om Prakash Dhankar (Senior BJP leader and former Haryana minister) who weaken India’s cohesion by allowing politics of hate and division to drive wedges between different ethnic groupings and religious groupings in India.
(a) To their credit, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval have kept lines of communications open with their counterparts in China. Doval and his counterpart Yang Jiechi (member of the political bureau of the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs), have known each other for a long time and share a bonhomie of sorts. During the 2017 Doklam stand-off, it was this personal rapport that helped settle matters, after both these cabinet-level officials met on the sidelines of a similar BRICS meeting, sources said.​

(b) IMO, India politicians on both sides of their domestic political divide, when faced with China, typically lack real resolve to commit to sustained multi-year spending increases on defence in a manner that increases relative capability.​
(c) India’s political establishment is treading cautiously on China because it has no consensus on how to handle China and how close to be with America. Policymakers in Washington should not read India’s friendly gestures toward the US as a hawkish stance toward China.​
Both sides appear to be reinforcing their respective positions. A quick win by the PRC does not seem possible.
20. The PLA has advanced its positions in accordance with its perception of LAC. But it does not mean they ‘won’, as it is now a stalemate that has become a battle of the logisticians (to keep their respective forward troops fed and warm). See this 2018 article by Zhang Jian : TOWARDS A ‘WORLD CLASS’ MILITARY: REFORMING THE PLA UNDER XI JINPING
The diplomatic fallout with India has been immense, some on the PRC side may be asking questions about the wisdom of these actions.
21. From a Western and Indian perspective, yes — China will pay a diplomatic cost; but I would not characterise the diplomatic cost to be immense.

22. Not only is the roughly 3,500-kilometer border unsettled and un-demarcated, there are roughly a dozen stretches along the frontier where the two countries cannot even agree on the location of the LAC.
(a) These are the source of hundreds of relatively innocent “transgressions” by Chinese border patrols annually. On occasion, these devolve into more serious “incursions,” as witnessed in 2013 (Depsang incursion), 2014 and 2020 when the PLA spent weeks or months camped across the LAC.​
(b) Given that the number of incursions has grown exponentially in recent years (from 140 in 2006 to 411 in 2013), and given the 2014 incursion followed the same template as the 2013 incursion suggests a coordinated strategy, not a rogue operation.​
(c) In early Sep 2020, New Delhi and Beijing accused each other of firing in the air during renewed confrontation at the unmarked border where opposing troops are positioned in close proximity. India's external affairs ministry said Chinese soldiers who attempted to close-in on one of the Indian forward positions along the de facto border known as the LAC fired "a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate..."​
 
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Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
Updates.

It seems there has been another confrontation between Chinese and Indian service members, this time apparently without violence.


In response to the deployment of Chinese Type-15 tanks, it's reported that India contacted Russia about purchasing a small batch of Sprut-SDM1 light tanks.


Overall the situation seems to have de-escalated considerably but the potential for further escalation remains. I'm also still wondering who really started it and why.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Updates.

It seems there has been another confrontation between Chinese and Indian service members, this time apparently without violence.


In response to the deployment of Chinese Type-15 tanks, it's reported that India contacted Russia about purchasing a small batch of Sprut-SDM1 light tanks.


Overall the situation seems to have de-escalated considerably but the potential for further escalation remains. I'm also still wondering who really started it and why.
As far as i know Russia has only a small amount of around 24 Sprut-SD in use. Is the new Sprut-SDM1 already in production/ordered by Russia?

I only can find an old article about the new version.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
As far as i know Russia has only a small amount of around 24 Sprut-SD in use. Is the new Sprut-SDM1 already in production/ordered by Russia?

I only can find an old article about the new version.
I don't know how many are in active use but iirc Russia purchased like 47 or 57 of them back in the day? I'm working off of memory here but I distinctly recall reading that more then 24 were actually purchased. Though how many are in active service is an open question.

The new Sprut-SDM1 is entering state trials right now and is supposed to get purchased though its exact place in the ORBAT remains sketchy, especially as there is a new SP ATGM carrier on the BTR-MDM chassis being developed (it's likely just a Kornet-D module on that chassis). The Sprut would make sense as a light tank for the VDV but the VDV bought a full tank instead (T-72B3s).

EDIT: There have been proposals to put the Sprut-SD on the BMP-3 chassis which would make far more sense with what India wants them for, but there's likely no time for that given the situation. Personally I think the current situation is a result of classic Indian procurement problems. They've needed a next-generation IFV for over a decade, but they turned down Russian offers of the BMP-3, and haven't really picked an alternative. If the BMP-3 isn't good enough they could have asked for a re-designed BMP-3 like the Dragoon or Manul variants that Kurganmash showed off, of hopped on the Kurganets train (assuming they can't afford to mass-induct an expensive western IFV). Instead they've done their usual song and dance about domestic development which to the best of my knowledge consisted mostly of trying to mess around with a BMP-2 hull and with about as much (or little) success as one would expect. If they had a new medium tracked chassis, they would have a natural platform to adapt for a light/medium tank. But instead they're stuck in a hot spot without the gear they need/want, and are now having to emergency buy to fill capability gaps (real or perceived).
 

Maximuswarrior

New Member
The big elephant in the room has not been mentioned in the entire discussion. As Modi's India has changed the Kashmir status this hasn't gone unnoticed in Beijing. This move might mean little to the outside world, but both China and Pakistan are directly affected by this. The strong reaction by China isn't entirely out of proportion in this sense.

Also I beg to differ strongly on Pakistan's role in forming a two front war against India. It is already happening. Pakistan is providing intel and helping in other meaningful ways as reported by local and international media. As the conflict between China and India accelerates Pakistan's role is going to be more critical. The likelihood of China and Pakistan attacking from both sides is not only logical, but also highly probable. Remember that border skirmishes between India and Pakistan are ongoing even when China and India are engaged with each other.

India feels emboldened by support from the US to contain China. Pakistan US relations have always been in a decline. Pakistan China cooperation was always on the cards. The stage is set for a major confrontation between both camps.
 
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