Former Foreign Minister and Ambassador to China, Vijay Gokhale, issued a warning that China’s presumption that India is risk-averse and won’t react to light coercion on the Line of Actual Control may no longer be valid.
In a study posted on the Carnegie India website on 13th December, 2022, Gokhale claimed that the 2020 Galwan incident “reshaped national public opinion about China” and changed the political class’s willingness to take risks.
He also warned that Chinese scholars may need to revisit the idea that an Indian response to future military coercion will remain indefinitely low, as India is more willing and committed to enhancing military capacity in preparation for a situation of armed coexistence along the LAC. He also claimed that the ambiguity that prevailed in India’s decision-making and strategic circles on whether China is a partner or a rival has been replaced by strategic clarity, and that the geopolitical backlash is likely to increase for China.
Gokhale noted that China’s behaviour is now considered as adversarial and few are willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, while expressing concern that the geopolitical retaliation is also likely to increase for China.
Source: The Indian Express