A serious military confrontation had started building up between India and China in Ladakh during early summer this year. Now, the summer months are over and we are in early winters without any resolution of the issues. The Doklam stand-off between the two armies, witnessed in 2017, had lasted only 73 days and here we are into seventh month of the crisis already. It is a stalemate for now and over a dozen military dialogues between the two sides have failed to lead to effective disengagement. The defence ministers of the two sides had also met in Moscow but no forward movement is discernible. Now, one thing is clear that far more Indian troops than during the past few years will have to remain in Leh during winters. That is a given in situation of mirror deployments of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Indian Army on Line of Control (LAC). How does India need to deal with China given its intransigence and aggressive behaviour on the LAC? That is a question that all Indians have to consider now and ignoring the question is not an option. Incidentally, ignoring this question and trying hard to play down China’s aggression had remained an unstated policy for several decades now. In 2013, China entered into Indian side for several kilometres in Depsang plains. Then Union Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid pushed it under the carpet as did PM Manmohan Singh. The support of the communist parties to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) meant lumping up the Chinese aggression. Things changed only after the Left parties parted company with the Congress over civil nuclear deal with the US. At the crossroads today, India needs to disengage China economically in all spheres of activity and the citizens should stop buying Chinese products. Be it battery operated automobiles, pharmaceutical products, telecom sector, Chinese goods are now ubiquitous in India. That also means the Indian market is important for Chinese companies for selling their goods. Looking out for their alternatives, items sourced through other countries, is what needs to be done. Banning of several Chinese apps by the Indian government was meant to signal to China what can happen if push comes to a shove. Citizens need to consciously try and weed out Chinese products from their lives as that can be their way of joining the fight against the Dragon.
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