CPC Congress Sends Strong Signals To India

The second piece from the series on the ongoing 20th CPC Congress | Xi Jinping informed the CPC delegates that he is committed to modernising the once infantry-dominated military by 2027. He also claimed that to achieve that goal, the People’s Liberation Army has undergone tremendous organizational changes and hardware upgrades

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Pamode Mallik
Pamode Mallik
is former BBC Producer and a commentator on international affairs.

While presenting a detailed report on the achievements and transformation of the country in the last five years at the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the General Secretary emphasized the importance of the People’s Liberation Army. Xi Jinping informed the gathering of 2,296 delegates at the Great Hall of the People about the feats of the Chinese Army.

He emphasized the future role of the army and claimed that the PLA should be modern, agile and able to win wars.

Xi Jinping informed the CPC delegates that he is committed to modernising the once infantry-dominated military by 2027. He also claimed that to achieve that goal, the People’s Liberation Army has undergone tremendous organizational changes and hardware upgrades. The General Secretary informed the CPC delegates that the ground force has been trimmed, while other services including the navy and rocket force have gained prominence.

He said, “We will intensify military training under combat conditions across the board to see that our armed forces can fight. We will innovate new military strategic guidance and develop strategies and tactics for people’s war, establish a strong system of strategic deterrence, increase the proportion of new domain forces with new combat capabilities, and intensify military training under combat conditions.”

But there was more in the store and it is very important and equally dangerous for India. While Xi Jinping was talking about these achievements of the army, a video was shown to the delegates.

The video contained the visuals of the clash that had taken place between the Indian and the Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.

As many as 38 Indian soldiers lost their lives in the skirmishes that took place in the Galwan Valley. The PLA and the Chinese MEA confirmed the incident and admitted that Chinese soldiers were killed in the incident, though they refused to divulge the number.

Besides, Qi Fabao, the regimental commander of the PLA, involved in the skirmishes with the Indian Army was given an important place at the Congress. He was sitting in the row just behind Xi Jinping. He was one of the 304 delegates from the PLA and People’s Armed Police chosen to attend the all-important meeting of the party. Before this, Qi Fabao was awarded the title of the Hero Regimental Commander. Not only this, Fabao was chosen by Beijing as the torch-bearer of the Winter Olympics Games held in China last year.

But these are only the tip of the iceberg. China has been accused of violating a number of agreements signed with India after 1993. The two countries signed deals to maintain peace and tranquillity along the Line Of Actual Control. An agreement was signed between the two countries in 1996 that made it mandatory for both of them to inform each other before making any movement involving more than 5,000 troops.

Under the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement of 2013, any doubts on the LAC could be resolved by flag meetings or meetings of high- ranking officials of the two armies.

But all these agreements were thrown into the wind when the PLA troops entered the Indian side of the LAC stealthily in May 2020 and refused to budge claiming that it was their area.

After 16 rounds of talks between local commanders of the two armies, the PLA agreed to pull out most of its troops from the Indian territories. But hundreds of Chinese soldiers are still occupying sizeable areas of Despsang and Doklam.

China has also made permanent constructions, set up a few villages and populated them with their people on the Indian territories, besides making roads and bridges on the Indian side of the much-disputed LAC.

The PLA intruded into India and kept its troops stationed for months at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China in 2018. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2018 and discussed with President Xi Jinping. The Chinese President visited India in 2019 and met Modi in the southern state of Tamilnadu to improve the bilateral ties. Only a few months after this much-hyped summit talks, the PLA sent its troops to capture a big swathe of Indian territory in May 2020.

This happened when Xi Jinping was at the helm of the affair. He held the offices of the CCP General Secretary, Chairman of the Military Commission and the President of the country. He faced no challenge nor was he under any type of pressure in his country.

Playing the video of clashes between the two counties at the once in five year party congress is enough to send strong signals to its neighbours.

Pamode Mallik
Pamode Mallik
is former BBC Producer and a commentator on international affairs.

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