1) One of the dangers of over-centralization in any form of government is that at some stage the system tends to become top-heavy and can lead to a systemic failure. That said, governments the world over are tending to concentrate power in the hands of a few. China is perhaps the best example of this system and the aftermath of the 19th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the clear give away. In China today, there is clear one major centre of power and that is President Xi Jinping.
2) He is the ‘Core’ and is the ‘Leader’; in a sense he has gone beyond where Mao Zedong stood. Every organ of the state is reporting to President Xi. The CPC remains in control of various institutions, but these very entities are headed by Xi or his loyalists. Put simply, the leader is holding all the cards. China is being driven by President Xi in both domestic and foreign policy is clear from recent incidents involving India. Take the Chinese troops intrusion into Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh in early January; as media reports said, the Chinese entered for around 200 metres, close to village Tuting in Upper Siang district. For widening the road into Indian territory! Doklam 2017 redux! A little bit of posturing by India resolved the issue with Chinese forces withdrawing and agreeing to not go ahead with plans to build the road.
3) That said there is always the question of why and who ordered this intrusion into Arunachal Pradesh that too in winter? These road construction projects are cleared at the highest level and it is unlikely that some local level commander on the Chinese side will initiate action to get a medal or two! This is something that India is aware of and is said to be taking counter-measures appropriately. Some of the recent Chinese activity is certainly connected to the Doklam episode when India decided to stand up for its rights.
4) This riled the Chinese no end and that is why today they are doing it in Arunachal Pradesh, perhaps thinking that in winter the Indian Army will not notice. The Tuting incident comes at a time when the Chinese Western Theatre Command (WTC) is being reorganized under the orders of President Xi. At the end of 2017, the Chinese state issued new directives on the PLA, placing the People’s Armed Police Force, (PAPF), under the Central Military Commission (CMC). It was earlier under the Ministry of Public Security, but was controlled by both CMC and the State Council.
5) Tibet Military Division (TMD) under the WTC was elevated by one level compared to other provincial-level commands and placed directly under the PLA Army Command. Song Zhongping, a military expert, was quoted in Global Times (in an article written by Kou Jie in May 2016) as saying that the TMD has a great responsibility towards preparing for possible conflicts between China and India. “Military action in the Tibet Military Command requires specialist mountain skills and long-range capabilities, which need the deployment of special military resources,” said Song. Notably, Zhao Zhong, Deputy Director of the Political Work Department of the TMD said “elevation of the authority level is not only an improvement for the troops’ designation, but also an expansion of their function and mission,” according to China Youth Daily.
6) More recently, as part of TMC reorganization, two Mountain Brigades and an Independent Mechanized Brigade stationed close to Arunachal Pradesh have been reconfigured to counter India in border war-fighting. The WTC has two newly designated Group Armies, namely 76st and 77th. Within this, the Xinjiang Military Division and TMD, have eight additional Infantry Divisions and two special operations Brigades at their disposal. Reports say the CPC has given a new impetus to China’s Great Western Development Strategy. One of the directives speaks of employment of local ethnic minorities in large numbers for various activities particularly in villages across the LAC with India.
7) The important thing is that General Zhao Zongqi, WTC commander, gets lot more resources in terms of manpower and materials for two main ops; One internal stability maintenance in Tibet and Xinjiang
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Post time: Jan-26-2018