Eric Margolis

Will there be a major war between China and India? That’s the 64,000 rupee question addressed by the highly respected British magazine “The Economist” in a major article in their 21 August issue. The “Economist” warns that the long contested border between the two giant Asian rivals risks sparking future clashes or even a full-scale war.

I know something about this subject, having authored a book about it a decade ago, “War at the Top of the World,” that warned of the dangers of a future war between China and India. Today, their combined population has reached a staggering 2.3 billion.

My book was directly inspired by meeting the Dalai Lama. In the mid-1990’s, I heard him give a long, very interesting speech on the Indian-Chinese border conflict, which I had studied in depth as a result of my deep interest in the grand strategy of the Himalayas.

The audience that came to hear His Holiness expected to hear a warm, fuzzy talk about the meaning of life. Instead, they were totally bemused by the Dalai Lama’s discussion of the Tibetan-Indian border that had been drawn by Imperial Britain with no regard to China.

I was the only person in the audience to understand the subject or to ask questions about it.   After, His Holiness took me aside and we talked at length about the contested border, from Ladakh and Kashmir in the West to India’s Assam and Northeast Frontier Agency (today Arunachal Pradesh), and Tibet’s future.

We also talked for a long time about cats, but that’s another story that will be in my next book.

So from my encounter with the Dalai Lama came my first book, “War at the Top of the World” (now in its fourth, revised edition), which also covered then little-known Afghanistan and the endless conflict between India and Pakistan.

In my book, I predicted that the first major crisis of the 21st Century would occur in Afghanistan

When 9/11 occurred soon after ‘War” came out, I was swamped by calls from the media to talk about Afghanistan and a certain Osama bin Laden.

“How did you know?” everyone asked me in amazement.

“Because I was watching that part of the world when few others were doing so,” came my reply.

In 1962, India moved troops into remote valleys on the eastern Himalayas claimed by China. Beijing proclaimed it would “teach India a lesson.”

It certainly did. Marching over the high mountains, Chinese troops quickly outflanked static Indian forces – as they did with American troops in Korea in 1950. The Indians were routed. The People’s Liberation Army took much of Arunachal Pradesh, and stood before tea-producing Assam. From there, it was only a short distance to Calcutta.

Satisfied by his “lesson,” Chairman Mao ordered his troops to withdraw.

Proud India was humiliated and deeply shocked. Since then, India has built up its forces in the region to over three army corps of 100,000 mountain troops, backed by high-altitude air bases and a network of new roads and supply depots.

The long, poorly demarcated border has been tense ever since. India claims two large chunks of territory in the west held by China: Aksai Chin and a portion of Kashmir given by Pakistan to China. Both are over 15,000 ft altitude. I have explored both frozen wastelands.

On the eastern end of the Indo-Chinese mountain border, known as the McMahon line, China claims most of Indian-held Arunachal Pradesh.

India has only grudgingly accepted China’s 1950 takeover of Tibet and has harbored anti- Chinese groups dedicated to liberating the mountain kingdom.

India sees the growing array of Chinese bases in Tibet as an extreme danger. China’s air, missile and intelligence bases in Tibet look down on the vast plains of India.

India’s leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, once complained of this danger to China’s Premier Chou Enlai. Chou laughed and retorted, “if I wanted to destroy India, I would march 100 million Chinese to the edge of the Tibetan plateau and order them to piss downhill. We would wash you into the Indian Ocean.”

Tibet controls most of the headwaters of India’s great rivers. Delhi has long feared that China may one day dam and divert their waters to China’s dry western provinces.

Other serious potential flashpoints exist. India’s old foe, Pakistan, with whom it has fought four wars, is China’s closet ally. Beijing arms Pakistan and has built up its nuclear arms program.   An Indian-Pakistan war over divided Kashmir, or an Indian intervention in a fragmenting Pakistan or Afghanistan, could draw China into the fray. A new port in western Pakistan at Gwadar will give China port rights on the Arabian Sea.

Burma (today Myanmar), on India’s troubled eastern flank, which is rent by tribal uprisings, deeply worries Delhi. Strategic Burma is rapidly becoming an important forward Chinese base. A new road links China with Burma, and provides China’s navy a badly needed port on the Andaman Sea, an arm of the Indian Ocean.

India believes China is trying to strategically encircle it.
To the west, Pakistan; to the north, Tibet; to the east, Burma. To the south, China is busy cultivating Sri Lanka.

In spite of million man armed forces and nuclear weapons, India feels increasingly threatened by China’s rise.   The Indians know full well that China expects obedience from its neighbors.   Even a small border clash between these two arrogant giants could light the fuse of a broad and very frightening conflict. The scramble for oil and gas offers ample causes of yet more conflict in Central Asia and even the Gulf, where today America’s rules supreme.

Such was my prediction a decade ago, and I’m sticking to it.

4 Responses

  1. sana says:

    Safety of India lies peacefull living with Pakistan. India be friedly with Pakistan. Solve all issues including Kashmir.

  2. Confrontation between the Peoples’ Republic China and The ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged democracy & The Sikh Factor.

    by Dr Awatar Singh Sekhon (Machaki)

    Dear Sirs/Madams,


    Questions have been arising whether there would be another confrontation between the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged Indian democracy and the Peoples’ Republic of China, despite a big defeat of the alleged Indian democracy headed by the JL Nehru administration. In fact, this defeat of the alleged Indian democracy proved to be the JL Nehru’s China fiasco (1962). Undoubtedly, in the present time the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ (4+11% of the total population of more than 1.2 billion hungry mouths and one-third of these hungry mouths, i. e., more than 400 million mouths go to sleep hungry, every night for 365 nights of a year) military might is at least 10 times bigger than the JL Nehru’s fiasco of 1960s. Let us not forget that during Nehru’s fiasco, the propaganda mechanics of the state-controlled All India Radio (AIR; it should be noted that there had been no ‘Doordarshan or Television propaganda’ had not arrived in India or the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged Indian democracy) has been propagating after every 30-min news, for 24-h in a day that “our forces fought bravely and after fighting they reversed.” Indeed, this was the worst defeat of the alleged Indian administration and its armed forces. The JL Nehru administration was no less than a ‘head-less’ chicken. And the Nehru fiasco took the toll of JL Nehru himself in 1964.
    One should not forget and ignore the ‘Sikh factor’ (the product of the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ day light ‘robbery’ of the divided Sikh Nation Punjab, the first ‘Sovereign and Secular Sikh Nation of South Asia, 1799 to 14th March, 1849, of monarch Ranjit Singh) in the JL Nehru’s China fiasco. This Sikh factor appeared when the ‘Captain of the Western Command headquarters abandoned his ship before sinking’. This captain was a Kashmiri Brahmin Lt-Gen Raina, who was replaced by a Sikh as the Chief of the Western command. In this China fiasco, these had been the Sikhs, by and large, who fought with the Chinese soldiers ‘fist to fist’ in the mountaneous despite begin the well prepared Chinese army. The same ‘Sikh factor’ had been present isubsequently when the deceitful and divious ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ NDA waged wars against Pakistan (now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan) and during the dismemberment of East Pakistan. The very ‘Sikh Factor’ has not gone any where, rather it is far more active, since the time of an ‘Undeclared war against the ‘Landless Sikh Nation, PUNJAB, in the form of a brutal military “Operation Bluestar” of June, 1984, including the Darbar Sahib Complex, Sikhs’ supreme Seat of Sikh Polity, Gurdwaras, and making the ‘Landless Sikh Nation, Punjab, a ‘Concentration Camp’ to regard the Sikhs criminals. This ‘undeclared’ war on the k’Landless Sikh Nation, Punjab’ took a toll of more than 270,000 innocent Sikhs between the period of 1st June, 1984 and to this day of writing. According to the reliable sources, more than 2-million Sikhs were slaughtered in the decades of 1980s and 1990s. The part of the ‘Sikh factor’ was tried to disappear by using by the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ New Delhi administration (NDA) an ‘unelected’ member of parliament, i. e., Manmohan Sinh. Sinh is the card the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ of the NDA has been playing actively against all non-Brahmins-Hindus minorities, including the Sikhs of the ‘Landless Sikh Nation, PUNJAB’. The ‘Sikh Factor’ will make a tremendous effect should a military confrontation take place between the mighty armed forces of the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged Indian democracy and the Peoples’ Republic of China. Regardless of the big heads like turbaned ‘Brahmins-Hindus like Manmohan Sinh, Prakash (Hanera/Darkness) Sinh Badal, Badal’s “joe boys and joe girls”, the Akali Dal-Badal Private Limited Incorporation, politicians in the Congress and non-Sikh parties. The ‘Sikh Factor’ will demonstrate to the ‘Brahmins-Hindus of the NDA, as how to keep the Sikh youth prisoners in the high security jails since 1980s, without trials and charges? How to keep the Sikhs like ‘Jail Singhs and Jail Kaurs’ born in jails since 1980s? The ‘Sikh Factor’ will become a severe ‘headache’ to the alleged Indian democracy of the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’, let there be a confrontation between the Brahmins-Hindus and the Peoples’ Republic of China. The ‘Brahmins-Hindus, in the author’s view, are not only afraid but suspecious of the Sikhs, because they are Sikhs and they are ‘law-less people and dangerous to the law-abiding ‘Brahmins-Hindus. The seed planted by the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ national poet, Rabindernath Tagore. This person used to share his mistress with the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ father, MK Gandhi.

    Besides the ‘Sikh Factor’, there will be other headaches for the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged Indian democracy. For example, the people of the Internationally Disputed Areas of Jammu and Kashmir, who have been suffering for more than 63-years; for example, rapes, torture, impunity, staged-encounters, genocide, burning of houses, gross violations of human rights by the armed forces kept to keep the Kashmiris mouth shut with their intimidation. For their dirty work, turbaned ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ in ‘The Sikh Identity’ and Muslims are widely used in the ‘Task Force for the occupied Jammu and Kashmir’.
    Besides the ‘Sikh Factor’ and the chronic problems of the Internationally Disputed Areas of Jammu and Kashmir, other sufferers are non-Brahmin minorities of Assam, 7-sister of Assam, Manipur, Christians, Dalits, Adivaasis/Moolnivaasis, etc.

    The ‘Sikh Factor’ is aware that the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ of the alleged Indian democracy cannot and will not find passage to wage another war by its mighty armed forces on the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, through the ‘Landless Sikh Nation, PUNJAB’.

    The Players in the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged democracy and the Peoples’ Republic of China Conflict: In addition to these two players, there might be several other interests involved to incite the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ NDA to look after the ‘unknown’ players. These players do not know despite having mighty military machines, the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ are as weak as their mighty armed forces lacking the Sikhs’ presence. This is probably due to their track records that (i) they had been ‘subservient’ up until 14th August, 1947, to the Afghans, Mughals, Sikhs, British, Portuguese, etc., (ii) they have no courage to fight even possessing their intercontinental balastic missle system, and (iii) their highly poor skills in the battlefield. The prime examples are the JL Nehru’s fiasco of China (1962) and the dismemberment of East Pakistan.
    The ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ armed forces problems are further complicated by ‘insulting’ the ‘initiated/Amritdhari’ Sikhs, not letting the Sikhs beyond the rank of a ‘Major’ and a full stop in commissioning the Muslims in the armed forces or not giving commission to any Muslim, etc. The Brahmins-Hindus armed forces chronically lack the leadership. The Chief(s) of army have been involved in the cases of ‘real estate’ irregularity and mistrust, along with more than 12% vacancies at the ‘commissioned ranks’ and there has been problems in the enrollment at the ‘Non-commissioned and Junior Commissioned ranks’.

    Following the politicizing ‘judiciary’, the ‘Brahmins-Hindus alleged democracy’ has politicized the armed forces and other para-military agencies also. Besides armed forces, the Bollywood culture has affected the ‘Brahmins-Hindus and their followers so badly that they do not think beyond the ‘jean and bikni culture’, along with the culture of the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ present in the ‘Caves of Ajanta, Ellora, etc.’

    The Sikh Factor: It will work against the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’, because the Sikhs and entire world knows that the ‘Brahmins-Hindus are the ‘Butchers of our world’, according to the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Baba Nanak Sahib, as inscribed in the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. The deeds of the ‘Brahmins-Hindus NDA are self-explanatory, because of their treatments with the non-Brahmins-Hindus, the Sikhs, Muslims in general, the Christians and other non-Brahmins-Hindus.

    The turbaned ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ in ‘The Sikh Identity’ have deliberately disturbed the ‘Education of the Sikh children in the ‘Landless Sikh Nation,PUNJAB’. Here, the turbaned ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ are bound to suffer and bury themselves in the graves they have dug up to follow blindly the ‘Butchers of Mankind’. These turbaned ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ are like a product achieved from the ‘cross of a crow and swan’.

    The Sikh Factor as it has been discussed above, the author would suggest to the NDA’s prime enemy, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, not to feel over confident in any way. Rather, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, as the author would like to see, should be ready to face any kind of ‘unforeseen’ eventuality(ies). It would be best for the great Awam of Pakistan to strengthen their democratic institutions by the qualitative administration and administrative machinery.

    The Sikh Factor will play a positive role in the developments of South Asia, as the Sikhs had been the ‘First Sovereign and Secular’ nation of South Asia, 1799 to 14th March, 1849. The author would have to ask to think more carefully that the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ dare not to face China? The weak hearted creatures who had been claiming for 40+ years as their own, despite their claims they politely and quitely surrendered to China by their criminal Chief, Council of Ministers, the New Delhi administration, AB Vajpayee.

    The decade of 2000 and onwards are highly unpredictable. As such, the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ neighbours should do adequate preparatory work to preserve their political borders under adversary situations.

    The Sikh Factor would prevail far more determined than ever, because the Sikhs have had enough deceits and false promises. Now on they will talk business. The cards will ‘never’ be in the hands of turbaned Brahmins-Hindus in ‘The Sikh Identity’, illiterate jathedars/band leaders, pseudo-saints, derewalas, entertainers (singers, performers, granthis, hymn singers/keertanyes, etc.) and anti-Sikh Nation people. Rather, the Sikh youth, and seasoned and experienced Sikhs will have to control the affairs of their ‘Landless Sikh Nation, PUNJAB’ (under the NDA occupation since 15th August, 1947).

    In summation, should a confrontation occur, it would be more favourable to the non-Brahmins-Hindus. Such a confrontation may wipe out the dreams of the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ and their alleged Indian democracy.

    Awatar Singh Sekhon (Machaki)
    Editor in Chief
    International Journal of Sikh Affairs ISSN 1481-5435

  3. Dear Sirs/Madams,


    I would doubt that there would be any direct confrontation between the Peoples’ Republic China and the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ alleged democracy. You may argue based on the 1960s war which had been the JL Nehru’s fiasco. India dare not to think like that. Presently, the international situation is much different. Players are different. The ‘Brahmins-Hindus (4+11% of the population) are facing one another’s throat, despite the mighty military hardware. I would have to ask who thinks that the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ dare to face China? Certainly not. What the ‘Brahmins-Hindus’ had been claiming for 40+ years as their own, they politely and quitely surrendered to China by the criminal Chief, Council of Ministers, the New Delhi administration, AB Vajpayee.
    Indeed, the ‘Brahmins-Hindus waged an ‘Undeclared’ war on the ‘Landless Sikh Nation, Punjab, in the form of “Operation Bluestar” of June, 1984, and killed more than 270,000 innocent Sikhs, because of the ‘traitors’ in sitting in Punjab in ‘The Sikh Identity’. One must not forget that India’s sophisticated armed forces lost more than 30,000 men as against 169 staunch followers of Shaheed-Bilas Jarnail Singh Khalsa. And India dare not to initiate another confrontation anywhere around its periphery.
    Well, the great people of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-east front will pose a big problem to the divisive, deceitful and apartheid practicing ‘Brahmins-Hindus’, which will bring their own disintegration, soone or later. The sooner is better!
    Best wishes.
    Awatar Singh Sekhon (Machaki)
    Editor in Chief
    International Journal of Sikh Affairs ISSN 1481-5435

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