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Jayadeva Ranade, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat and Government of India, warned Chinese soldiers have been “training for action” as he revealed what he believes will be the next steps of aggression by Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army. Mr Ranade told Express.co.uk tensions between China and India were “uneasy” following border clashes over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh as he warned Xi Jinping could be plotting a “military manoeuvre to cut India’s access to the Siachin Glacier or Daulet Beg Oldi and the Aksai Chin area.”
He warned India to be prepared for a “sudden offensive” in Arunachal Pradesh where China could look to “seize” Tawang, a small town in India.
The President of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy said: “India-China relations are tense and uneasy.
“Beijing has shown it does not accord no priority to maintaining good relations with India. It has, additionally, exhibited disregard for the various bilateral agreements signed thus far.
“It is difficult to say what next steps the Chinese are planning.
“In my reckoning, the Chinese agenda has not been fulfilled and this may entail a military manoeuvre to cut India’s access to the Siachin Glacier or Daulet Beg Oldi and the Aksai Chin area. This will secure Chinese investments in the region and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“China could also well plan a sudden offensive in Arunachal Pradesh to seize Tawang.”
The skirmish between Chinese and Indian troops over a long-disputed border in June is being treated in New Delhi as the country’s worst diplomatic crisis in decades even as it is downplayed by Beijing.
Troops fought for hours with rods and clubs on the night of June 15, with some falling to their deaths in the freezing waters of the Galwan river in the western Himalayas.
China has never confirmed whether it suffered casualties but the Indian deaths are the highest along the border in more than five decades, a dramatic escalation that led to weeks of talks between senior military officials on how to ease tensions.
The two sides were working to ease tensions, but so far they have failed to reach a breakthrough.
Speaking about the next Chinese Army’s next moves, Mr Ranade added: “In my assessment, the Chinese leadership has planned to ‘test’ the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since it began implementing the most extensive and far reaching reforms ever in the PLA in 2015 and 2016.
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“It is very likely that the leadership contemplated targeting India after the 73-day face-off at Doklam, but India’s scrapping Article 370 of its Constitution firmed the decision as it got China anxious about the safety and security of its strategic and fiscal investments in the wider Ladakh area, which includes Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Gilgit, Baltistan and Aksai Chin.
“It rendered the CPEC vulnerable. There have been a number of indicators that PLA was training for action in the high-altitude mountainous Tibet region. “
Since the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in hand-to-hand fighting in the Galwan Valley, in the worst combat losses on the de facto border with China in more than 50 years, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced heated calls for a strong response.
Mr Ranade warned the potential for conflict over the contested border was rising as “China becomes more expansionist and strives to become the unrivalled predominant power in the region”.
He said although India had sought to “avoid” war, the nation would “not back down” and would always be “better prepared” for conflict against its foe.
Mr Ranade said: “There is concern that there could be future conflicts.
“As China becomes more expansionist and strives to become the unrivalled predominant power in the region, the potential for conflict will increase. This is likely to include the
maritime region too.
“While India has always sought to avoid conflict or confrontation with China, India will not back down from a conflict.
“With the passage of time, India will be still better prepared.”
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