File image of Chinese President Xi Jinping | Photo: Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg
File image of Chinese President Xi Jinping | Photo: Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: The Chinese military operation in Ladakh, which has resulted in a month-long standoff with Indian troops, has been sanctioned by President Xi Jinping himself, according Jayadeva Ranade, former member of the National Security Advisory Board and an expert on the neighbouring country.

Ranade, now president of think-tank Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS), said India should not be in a hurry to settle the issue just to quieten down things. He added that the fresh tensions are a major and serious issue, because they come after the two big meetings between PM Narendra Modi and the Chinese President since the Doklam stand-off — Wuhan summit in 2018 and the Mamallapuram meeting near Chennai last year.

“For a military operation of the kind we have seen, regardless of whether there is any gunfire or not, the fact that the Chinese have deployed troops all across our northern border means that a number of forces have been brought up and there has been considerable planning,” Ranade told ThePrint.

“This has to have been cleared by the Central Military Commission headed by President Xi Jinping, if not initiated by him. That is why I say it is quite different from the previous standoffs. And we have to keep this in mind,” he said.

Also read: China is on the defensive and has adopted ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy. Here’s what it means

Xi’s grip on PLA

Ranade, a former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, said there is little doubt that President Xi has a firm grip on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). He underlined that he is not suggesting that everyone in the PLA is supportive of Xi because off and on, it comes out that certain generals have been dismissed on various grounds.

“Obviously there is some element of either opposition or something that Xi Jinping is dissatisfied with. Otherwise, by and large, he has a grip on the PLA. Virtually all the generals in place now have been appointed by him in his tenure, and he is also now the Commander-in-Chief,” he said.

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Ranade explained that unlike in India where the President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Xi holds the functional operational post of commander.

“There is no doubt that he is not only in the picture, but was very much involved in the planning of this entire exercise,” he said, adding that one should not forget the issue of Nepal raising its border dispute with India.

Consolidation of Xi’s position in China

Ranade said there are many factors for Xi carrying out this action, including consolidation of his position within China.

“The (India-China) relationship itself has been, if I may use the term, deteriorating or sliding. There are many factors for this, some which the Chinese share. If we are looking for a time period, we need to look at April 2015, when Xi flew to Islamabad and announced the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he said.

“Since that date, Chinese have been telling us at the official level, at the level of think-tanks, at the level of track-one-and-a-half, that resume your talks with Pakistan, resolve the Kashmir issue, and then look to improve relations with China. It has been that explicit and has been steady. That is one factor.”

Also read: Remember Vajpayee-Nehru episode? That is why Congress must let Modi off the hook on China

Military talks

On the talks set to take place between divisional commanders of the Indian and Chinese armies this Saturday, Ranade said it indicates that the matter is serious, and that the military is taking it seriously and is prepared for a long-drawn process.

“It is a good sign that they are meeting and talking… I hope that the fact that they are meeting at this level after a series of preparatory meetings at lower levels is not an indication or does not hint at a desire to settle matters quickly. We should settle it, but with the status quo ante — everyone goes back to where they were,” he said.

“I don’t think our armed forces should be in a hurry to settle just to quieten things down. I don’t think that should be the government’s position either, nor do I think it is.”

Ranade said the bigger question is why China actually carried out this operation, because it involves a lot of planning and money.

“Was it to test our responses in multiple places? If yes, then it is a preparation for something else. Or was it just a message that we can do what we can at any time? If it is the latter, it is a very expensive way of communicating,” he said.

Also read: India, China need to break stalemate, greater challenges ahead: Former envoy Ashok Kantha


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10 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Sir,Yesterday Article Captioned:-
    India’s Fingers have come under Chinese boots. Denial won’t help us

    Is very much Demeaning and Derregotary to Read. The Caption didn’t go down well with me as an Indian.
    Is the Owner of Newspaper an Indian or Chinese?
    Had I been holding any position I would have better Captioned it
    India is well positioned to Finger Chinese 🥾
    Or much better
    Chinese boot🥾 My Foot!

    Also I would like to ask a question why does your news are always carrying anti india sentiment or presented in such a way that Government has some point of time hammered you badly.

  2. “Ranade said the bigger question is why China actually carried out this operation, because it involves a lot of planning and money”
    the only probable answer: Pakistan. The campaign of vituperation, belligerence and saber rattling by all echelons of India state, from the highest political leadership to “patriotic media” brigade to trolls was breaching all limits of arrogance and churlishness. In India Name Pakistan is only a euphemism for Indian Muslims. The leadership which orchestrated this campaign expected to go it unchallenged by a weaker Pakistan.They were not wise enough to take into consideration the fact that China is strategically important ally of Pakistan economically and geopolitically. Now they have to face the music.
    it is very unlikely that tomorrow’s meet between generals will bring any solution. It has to be political resolution at the highest level. Wait and see

  3. Beieve me, in Xi Jinping’s china not a blade of grass or not a pebble moves out of place without his permission. Such a massive movement of armed forces to border does not happen because some chinese general went berserk! As regards linking problems created with China to talks with Pakistan on Kashmir, China has no business to dictate terms to India. In any case, China cannot be trusted not to make problems even if India were agree to talk to Pakistan. We have had border problem with China well before Kashmir issue raised its ugly head. I am glad, at last some pragmatic thinking is emerging in India about China, not the simplistic woolly headed ideas of UPA regime.

  4. Watched Snehesh interview as usual asking knowledgeable questions to people who are actually involved in action. Always informative.

  5. What an Idiotic article!!!

    As Lord Buddha once said: If in a battlefield an arrow pierces your foot, would you question from which direction it was fired? What kind of wood is it made of? Would you try to know the distance from which it has been fired or

    would any sensible soldier…………………try to get the damn arrow out of the foot !!!!

  6. It is now clear that except Sardar Patel, no one understood the real nature of the Chinese regime and every successive Prime Minister gave in to various concessions to placate China. Luckily, Modi played smarter as he was preparing our border infrastructure and simultaneously hobnobbing with Xi in Wuhan and Chennai. As rightly said by Jayadev Ranade, we should not be in a hurry to settle the issue with China. Now that we shown that we can respond quickly and effectively, we should now fully build up our infrastructure on the border to be on par with China and practically convert LAC into LOC, pending resolution of border dispute. The areas of differing boundary perceptions should be narrowed and specifically recognized. In any case, this is the last time Chinese have played this trick; next time around, they will be checkmated as they start moving in!

    At the same time, we need to go into a fast mode on integration of POK and GB areas. One way is to offer original version of Art 370 to Kashmir (including POK) and GB excluding Jammu and Ladakh and have one nation two system kind of governance. That should ensure our control of the portion of CPEC! Also, we should have a deal with Taliban wherein they recognize J&K being integral part of India and we recognize that Duran Line is not the border between Afghanistan and India. That should keep Pakistan busy on its western border!

  7. That goes without saying. For someone who does not understand matters military, that was my first thought. Not just sanctioned, directed. There is zero discretion with the military officers who are meeting regularly. Government to government, where the wires have got crossed, they will have to be untangled patiently. 2. Although these things are not publicised and done quietly, accountability for lapses should be enforced.

  8. Months of planning must have gone into the recent territory invasions by China. How come we caught napping?. Should not Army Brigadiers (& Rajnath Singh) be held accountable for this blunder? Should not we have increased our armed reinforcements along the border?
    Our Intelligence has been quite dismal of late AND adversaries are two three steps ahead of us in cyber/intelligence/social-media warfare.
    This all points to lack of co-ordination among various agencies. The left hand does not know what the right is doing and vice-versa.

    The Chinese had come there very well prepared and they will back off after getting India to give up on crucial infrastructure related developments.

  9. China is trying to exert power and feels India ia a competitor for long haul and must be weakened.
    In fact 2020 is very unlucky year for china. If they go for war they will lose it.


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