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China can never win against India. Here are some reality checks.

tetnology.com prepares india war against china
china India border map by tetnology.com

Why cant China attack India?

Himalaya is world’s highest mountain range and 90% of Chinese arsenal is useless in that theater.

It needs 9:1 supremacy to dislodge an enemy in mountainous terrain.

Far from China having that sort of military supremacy, it is practically impotent in mountain warfare with it having 3 acclimatized brigades with two Squadrons of J10/11 deployed in Tibet. One division in the Aksai chin front and one Squadron of J10/11 fighters. That’s it.

India’s deployment WRT to China: On the Northeast front India has 4 Corps of Mountain Infantry, 8 Air bases, 7 Advanced landing grounds mere 20 kms from the LAC. On the northern side one Mountain Corps, one Infantry Corps, 4 air bases and 5 Advanced landing grounds just for Chinese front.

Mountain warfare is fought and won by infantry and you could not rush soldiers directly from plains as they would die of vomiting their guts, if rushed in without acclimatizing. PLA ( people liberation Army )  is mostly composed of Hans who have lived in the plains for centuries. Acclimating is one thing, to be war fighting fit in those heights, genetics and evolution come into play.

We have Dogras, Kumaoni, Ladakhi, Nagas and Gurkhas. Native of the mountains, naturally acclimated to heights as a gift of nature.

The new light tank of China is a desperate measure from their part which is to be used defensively, if India break through Himalaya and marches onto Lhasa.

There is one major Rail link and 3 major roads from China into Tibet which would be taken out within first few hours of a conflict. It would cut Chinese armies deployed against India off their supplies, while Indian Army supply lines are very short and local.
Eastern sector in Arunachal. No country for tanks or mechanized vehicles.

A somewhat old and rough map from TetNology.com .

India have 1 brahmos regiment already deployed in Arunachal with 100 missiles targeting mainly supply depots and rail/road links into Tibet.

Another regiment will be raised with Mountain Strike Corps.

3 more brahmos regiments will be raised, with ~240-300 missiles will target pakistan if required.

India may target with Brahmos which is  simple, India may destroy the gas pipeline from the mainland that supplies fuel for vehicles/aircraft in tibet and  destroy the 2-3 main road and rail links that connect tibet with xinjiang and mainland china. This can be done quickly and easily and repeated several times even if repaired. Once these road/rail links are destroyed and fuel is gone it doesn’t matter how many soldiers you have in tibet, they will starve. No oil,no ammo,no reinforcements. You can see the main road/rail links in the above map.

On top of it, China has not fought a shooting war since 1979 & best practice its conscript army has got has been shooting at cardboard targets, while thanks to Pakistan army and their jihadis, every Indian soldier has battle experience.

China has bad quality knockoff planes, of which only few could be deployed on bases in Tibet and Chengdhu from where they could reach India and even they could not take off from Tibet with full load as rarefied air of Tibet reduces thrust of aircrafts. On top of it, only J-11D in PLAAF has OBOG ( on board oxygen generation system )  system, while all frontline Indian planes have OBOG system, thus reducing high altitude fighting capability of PLAAF( Peoples liberation Armed Airforce )  even further.

The Russian Aircraft upgraded by Chinese forces. The J-11D’s most noticeable upgrade is an upwardly canted radar dome, which carries an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, as well as further use of composites and stealth coatings in the fuselage to reduce weight. The fighter’s Infrared Search and Tracking (IRST) pod has been relocated starboard of the cockpit, to accommodate a retractable inflight refueling (IFR) probe. The J-11D is also believed to have improved weapons hardpoints to carry the latest Chinese weapons, such as the PL-10 air to air missile, long range PL-21 missile and YJ-12 antiship missile

An important point to note here is that in mountain warfare, defenders have massive advantage. While China does not have military strength to defeat India in mountain warfare, India also could not mount deep invasion into Tibet as logistic problem would be turned on its head. Indian forces would come in range of PLAAF ( people liberation armed air forces )  flying from airfields in mainland China (from where they could fly with full load)

In Navy, Pakistan is a bigger challenger of Indian Navy in Indian ocean than PLAN ( people liberation armed navel ) . India could block Oil supplies of China from Middle East easily. Indian navy will choke Strait of Malacca China’s lifeline and China has to contend with India’s unsinkable aircraft carrier: the Andaman and Nicobar Islands located close to the choke point of Malacca Strait.

The truth with China is that, while it is a decent military power, it is not as strong as people make it out to be, and it depends on propaganda and intimidation to achieve its objective. For Ex: Its DF-21 ASBM ( anti ship ballistic missiles ) which it has tested on an stationary target, but never gathered enough courage to test on a moving target. The reason for this is that it knows that an ASBM ( anti ship ballistic missiles ) could not hit a moving target due to some shortcoming that originate from basic Physics. Similarly, in mountainous regions, it is not strong enough to be aggressive against India.

This answer is a little reality check for CCP ( Chinese communist party ) fanboys. The actual situation on the ground rather than paper strength.

Terrain issue was there even in 1962. How did China win ?

Jawahar Lal Nehru was at helm. India would have lost J&K to Pakistan, had Pakistan attacked India when he was PM. Had India not lost to China in 1962, we would have lost to Pakistan in 1965.

Nehru was follower of school of thought which believed that armies are not good for anything except march pasts and had disbanded major portions of WWII army and had retooled armament factories to produce coffee percolators.

Krishna Menon had politicized army and army leadership in 1962 was comparable to that of state police. Menon was a communist, and like his idol Stalin fascinated with purges and interfering in promotions. It was 1962 defeat which stopped Indian Armed forces slide to mediocrity.

When Nehru decided to send army to front after getting humiliated in parliament for Chinese incursions, it was done in form of establishing small outposts, separated from each other in name of “forward policy”. China outnumbered IA 8:1 in Himalayan theater and had much better weapons and experience.

Please do write your comments and queries . The Author would be happy to have more detailed discussion or edits if required.

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3 Thoughts to “China can never win against India. Here are some reality checks.”

  1. Good analysis. However I think you should also consider the scenario of a joint Chinese – Pakistani attack on India. Given the constraints you have mentioned, it is quite likely that the Chinese will draft its all-to-eager sidekick into the war and outsource the dirty work. Also China is likely to attack Ladakh and Kashmir rather than Arunanchal as the Chinese will face tremendous resistance from the citizens of Arunanchal Pradesh and Sikkim if they invade them. Would like to see your analysis of that scenario too. In my view in case of such a scenario, India should make it clear that it will escalate the conflict to using strategic missiles to hit Han Chinese cities on its east coast and also completely wipe out the CPEC. China does not care about Tibetans getting hit. SO we should make it clear that there will be no winners in this war so that they sober up.

    1. Rahul

      Currently Pakistan military force is decentralized, demotivated.

      Navy base near Ormara Balochistan – Pakistan, is short of natural resources ( petroleum ) . As much as any weapon system is vital to an ongoing military campaign, wars still rely on the availability of natural resources, namely petroleum (oil). BBL/DY ( Barrels Per Day ).

      Recent political turmoil in Pakistan makes China’s relation unclear. Army chief of Pakistan Qamar Jawed Bajwa, was appointed by the then Prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The Post of Amy chief is now endangered.

      Islamabad is not at all able to keep pace with the development pace of NewDelhi.

      So China teaming with Pakistan to defeat India, is out of question.

      China People Liberation Army ( PLA ) is invading Barahoti region in Uattrakhand ( Indian state ) Chamoli district. The Line of Control is unclear here which creates tension both sides. The North side of India is more vulnerable.
      China will not fight for Arunachal Pradesh.( Indian state ) as you rightly said.

  2. Rahul

    Today fact sheet submitted by PLA to India. PLA claims that Indian defense force is crossing international border line.
    India ( Sikkim ) , Bhutan and China have discrepancy related to international border marking.

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