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A China-India war means an invading Chinese force and a defending India force, since India does not claim large parts of China. To answer this question, let me start with some history.
Contrary to popular perception, 1962 war was not an Indian defeat if strategic land capture is considered. In fact it was not even a war in a true sense as no air force or navy was used by either side. In 1962, India did not have a definite agenda, it did try to prick the Chinese under the false impression that Chinese also want peace. Aksai Chin was already under Chinese control, and the Chinese were ok with Arunachal Pradesh (called North East Frontier Province – NEFP) being part of India. However, China was always afraid that India may help Tibet regain independence, and it wanted to psychologically defeat India through a small military victory that will reinforce its superiority.
In the eight months leading up to the breakout of the first battle in October 1962, China was busy moving heavy artillery and specialized troops deployed in Taiwan and Korea to Tibet. China could move its troops from these locations as US assured China that it will not meddle in affairs between Taiwan and China. Knowing that the Indian army was very experienced, and had senior officers who had fought the Nazis in the 2nd World war, the Chinese wanted their best resources and men for the war. On top of that, they planned their assault very well. Knowing that in spite of being a communist country, USSR will support India and not China, and that USA may also step in to India’s aid, the Chinese attacked when the US and USSR were busy with the Cuban missile crisis.
Under the hope that US and Russia will come to its assistance, India did not focus on developing any military capability while knowing that China was preparing for a war. India’s premier of that time, Jawaharlal Nehru was known to a very naive person especially in military matters. He had appointed his close friend Lt. Gen. B.M. Kaul as Chief of General Staff of the Indian army, leading to a politization of the Indian army. On top of that Nehru believed that India, being a peace loving nation did not need an army and police will be enough for any internal disturbances. All this lead to 12,000 Indian troops facing the Chinese PLA force of over 80,000 which had much superior artillery and even some armored units. Toward the end of the war, the Chinese had pushed 20 kms into NEFP in south, but stopped at the marked border in Aksai Chin in the west. The border town of Tawang in NEFP, which was also an army garrison was captured. However, the Chinese completely withdrew from NEFP, citing reasons that they wanted peace (again playing a psychological game). Even though the area captured was only 20kms the Chinese, like today, had always claimed that NEFP was part of South Tibet, hence part of China by default. By withdrawing from the only area they had captured it is unknown why 1962 is known as a Chinese ‘victory’ and India’s ‘humiliating defeat’.
The real reason for the with-drawl was that ahead of NEFP, lay highly fortified positions of the Indian army and better sense seemed to be prevailing on Nehru to utilize India’s much superior air force. On top of that, USA finally dispatched a carrier battle group to provide air support to India and started to air-rush war supplies.
Hence, continuing the war would not have made any sense for China, as their objective of teaching India a lesson (so that it never interferes with Tibet) was achieved. Or was it?
The 1962 war hit the India polity like a storm. The peace loving nation finally realized that to be taken seriously in geo-politics, a country needs a strong military and China was no longer a friend. The Indian army doubled in size in 2 years, it setup training schools for specialized troops in mountain warfare, defense budget was tripled, and the Indian army along with the Air Force and Navy went through an entire revamp in it organization, training and Orbat. Thanks to this Chinese ‘lesson’, India beat a superior Pakistan military in 1965, and completely annihilated them in 1971. Since then the India military has not lost a single battle while engaging in several conflicts in Kashmir, Sri Lanka, North East and UN operations.
Fast forward to 2017. The same factors that stopped the Chinese advances in 1962 exist today, but right at the border. The border town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is a fortress, defenses of which baring a tactical nuclear attack, will be very hard to penetrate. The air force has a much higher number of forward bases with more front-line aircraft than China can field. Indian army has much powerful artillery, not even counting the long range weapons like BrahMos (which was recently tested in mountain attack mode) or tactical ballistic missiles like Prithvi. To top it off there are 10 mountain divisions totaling 150,000 troops, which are considered by many to be the best mountain troops in the world. This is not counting the 90,000 soldiers of the specialized para-military the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). And if shit really hits the fan, an immensely more powerful (relative to 1962) Navy can block oil supplies to China. Right now the PLA Navy has no means to stop the Indian Navy in its own backyard.
While US and Russian support is no longer there, it is not needed to the extent it was needed in 1962 when India even asked for US fighter pilots.
The PLA undoubtedly has also advanced too, and is much larger. But even if they post every single of its 2.3 million troops to the border they will not have the 1:6 numerical advantage they had in 1962. Today even reaching 1:2 will be impossible, as India has a much higher number of reserve soldiers than China and has 3 large para-militaries (ITBP, BSF, CRPF).
Also the PLA has no game changing weapon system like the heavy artillery they had in 1962. The game changer weapons of today, like rail guns, lasers, air artillery, and 5th generation aircraft are only possessed by the US.
If China has 155mm artillery, India has them too. If China has long range rocket launchers, India has them too. If China has Russia’s S-300, India has them too. If China has Russian Su-27s and Su-35s, India has them too (Su-30MKIs is an advanced version of Su-27). If China has short range ballistic missiles, India has them too. If China has ICBM’s, India has them too. If China has MIRV warheads, India has them too. If China has nuclear warheads, India has them too. If China has anti-ballistic missile system, India has them too.
Last but not least, China has the willpower to use all the weapons at their disposal but under it’s current leadership India has the that too.
Hence, right now it is highly unlikely for India to lose a war where it is defending its territory against Chinese invasion.
Firstly, I’m a Chinese. Maybe my English is not very good,But for this incident, I do not think China will win.
Most importantly, for conflict areas.Where the distance from China is too far away, the center of China in the eastern coastal areas.The conflict between China and India is a place for the Himalayas, where there are few railways and roads, and it is difficult to transport the troops to war zones.But India is not the problem, whether it is the army or security, can be used for a short time to reach the front. Once a long time, China will lose no doubt.
China is a country without democracy, so everyone is serving the government. It is difficult for Chinese people to have free speech in public. The combat effectiveness of the Chinese army is very weak, management is very strict, the military is not free, all under the care of the government. Many people are dissatisfied with the government, once the outbreak of war, it is difficult to ensure that the Chinese army will fight for the government .
India has a lot of young people can be used as soldiers, and fighting very strong. India can rely on convenient transportation, overwhelming number of troops and durable logistical support. Attack on China.China is difficult to win.
China is only one ally is Pakistan, but India can get the United States, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, South Korea, and a large number of South Asian countries support. China will be in a very passive situation, and the United States has been in a decade ago began to block China in eastern Asia, from Japan – South Korea – Taiwan formed a blockade so that the Chinese navy almost unable to attack. Once the war began, China is likely to be surrounded.
India’s economic development is fast, and China’s economic development has been lower than India, India’s economic aggregate than China is only a matter of time. India has more than China’s aircraft carrier, so that if China and India in the Indian Ocean outbreak of war, China does not have enough aircraft carrier support, will be at a disadvantage. India has a lot of maritime lanes in the Indian Ocean. Once these channels are closed, 40% of China’s merchant ships will not be able to trade. Will make the Chinese economy suffered a lot of losses. And 80% of China’s oil from the Malacca Strait, if the loss of oil, China’s mechanical weapons is just a pile of scrap iron!
India’s weapons are imported from the United States, Russia, the world’s most advanced weapons. While China is using their own manufacturing, the quality of things in China is relatively poor, very backward. My uncle is forced by the government to join the army. He said that the weapons of the Chinese army were much behind the United States and Russia, and many soldiers were reluctant to use Chinese-made weapons.
I am worried that China will defeat surrender and hope that India will not attack China. I hope that one day China will be able to get rid of communist despotism and become a free and democratic country like India and the United States!
I am Chinese. And I think if there is a war between India and China, India will definitely win. There are three reasons for that, in my opinion:
Access to weaponry & military tech. China can use only the weapons that it developed and built on its own, whereas India can buy any weapon they want from USA and Russia. As we all know, the military tech of US and USSR/Russia is far more advanced than that of China. How can we win the war if our sword is just trash in comparison to that of our opponents.
Fundamental population demographic problem of China. All people say that there will be enormous trouble if war starts between China and India, because both have seemingly endless number of people capable of participating in the war. However, since the one child policy lasted for decades in China, most of the Chinese soldiers are the only child of their parents. If you are a parent, will you risk losing your only child for some meaningless war? It is highly likely that the parents would dissuade their child from participating in the war. Thus, I think Chinese war effort will implode from the inside even before there’s a significant offense from the Indian side.
The advantage of the social and political system of India. India is a democratic country whereas China is not. I think Indian soldiers would act much more bravely since they know they are fighting for themselves. The Chinese soldiers, on the other hand, would be fighting just to satisfy the whims of their government.
I really wish there is no war between our countries. Asia is a place full of hope and potential at this time. Don’t we all remember the result of Europe’s wars in the last century?The glorious civilization of EU got severely ruined due to the wars. That’s why USA and USSR could dominate the world for half a century.
I have lived in peace in all past years. I have never been to India, so I wouldn’t even know what this alleged enemy looks like if we were to start a war. There are so many good things in the world to experience and think about, why should I think about starting a war against an undefeatable country?
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