While US and N Korea indulge in nuclear war-cry, Chinese and Indian soldiers fight stone-age battle

After being pushed back across Line of Actual Control, the People’s Liberation Army resorted to stone pelting, not realising that Indian Army is used to it in other parts of Jammu & Kashmir

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Soroor Ahmed

When the North Korean and US presidents were locked in a verbal ‘nuclear duel’, armies of the two most populated nations of the world were engaged in a ‘stone-age’ battle amid the lofty Himalayan range in Ladakh. After being pushed back across the Line of Actual Control on August 15, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) resorted to stone pelting, not realising that the Indian Army is used to it in other parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Army personnel maintained restraint and did not resort to firing. Instead, according to reports, it too hit back with stones. Officials said that this was not the first incident of its kind.

The Chinese forces had intruded into Ladakh on September 17, 2014, when President Xi Jinping, with his wife, was in Ahmedabad. This was happening when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was rolling out a red carpet for the Chinese first family. President Xi was the first top Chinese leader to visit India after Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s trip to India in 2005.

The intrusion by any army when its President is on our soil is something very strange. Media then highlighted how the two armies shoved and pushed each other when the leaders of their respective countries were exchanging pleasantries.

Though Narendra Modi too visited China, yet it remained a mystery as to why the relationship between the two countries – instead of improving – deteriorated so sharply and that too after such a promising start in the initial days of Modi’s tenure. Never in the last so many years, have Chinese PLA soldiers intruded into India so brazenly and frequently as now.

Curiously, the two Asian giants were locked in stone-pelting when Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump were talking of playing a nuclear battle. After all, the latter thought that this was the best way to make America a great nation again.

But Kim’s patrons in Beijing have a different strategy. China did try to seize disputed territories from Japan and Philippines without even throwing a single stone and reached Gwadar (Pakistan), a port in the Arabian Sea, Kyaukpyu (Myanmar) in Bay of Bengal and Hambantota (Sri Lanka) in Indian Ocean without firing a shot.

About four decades back, the then Soviet Union sent its forces to Afghanistan as part of a long-term strategy to reach the coast of Baluchistan to neutralise the US influence in West Asia, especially after Iran had witnessed the Islamic Revolution.

While the Soviet Union could never reach the Arabian Sea, in its eight-year stay in Afghanistan, it lost thousands of its soldiers. A couple of years after its withdrawal, Soviet Union got dismembered.

As India is a much bigger power, Chinese thought that it can not annex land from it as it did try to from countries, for example Senkaku from Japan. Thus, it tried to adopt another psychological tactic and literally indulged in arm-twisting.

Ironically North Korea, which is no doubt a stooge of China, is threatening to ‘pelt’ Guam with nuclear bombs, the US military base in Far East. Thank God, of late, he had softened his stand a bit.

But the clash of western and eastern civilisations across the International Date Line has the potential to engulf the whole world in an enormous conflict. The tragedy is that neither young Kim nor elderly Trump are prepared to understand the ramifications of their stupidity.

But Kim has a problem. While India and China have a common border their forces can throw stones at each other and indulge in wrestling, boxing, judo or karate. But the US and North Korea are two distant enemies, where attacks can be carried by missiles and long-distance air raids alone.

Luckily the two Korean armies are not embroiled in stone-pelting across the 38th Parallel.

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Published: 21 Aug 2017, 4:41 PM