How do we Indians win a quarrel

Border conflict as a colonial legacyEscalation in the dispute between India and China

The Indian TV channels show one funeral after another for hours. The camera is pointing directly at the relatives of the soldiers. "The brave hearts had to give up their lives", so the subtitles on television. A symbolic burial takes place almost immediately: on a stretcher lies a doll that is supposed to represent the Chinese president, wrapped in the Chinese flag. Most Indians want revenge for the fact that their soldiers were killed by the Chinese: "China cheated on us, that's why we're doing the funeral service for the Chinese president here. The Chinese have always cheated on us."

Controversial borderline of the British

The border between India and China is 3500 kilometers long. The British drew them - like all borders in South Asia, after releasing their colony, British India. To this day, the demarcation between India and China is controversial. In India, therefore, one does not speak of the border, but of the "line of active control". In 1962, the disputes over it led to war. It lasted for a month and thousands of soldiers lost their lives. China had won - a disgrace to the Indian nation to this day.

During protests in India, protesters burn a doll with the likeness of China's President Xi Jinping and a Chinese flag (imago / Samir Jana)

Experts like Doctor Bali Deepak also attribute the current escalation in the border region to the fact that Beijing is now trying to seize the opportunity to demonstrate its military power and expand its political influence, especially in the global pandemic. On the phone with the ARD South Asia studio, Dr. Deepak, one of the leading experts in India who conducts research on China: "But that is also China's general habitus. The Chinese have huge claims to property. They take two steps, then they negotiate and only take one step back. So they always win one Step up to that. China is not abiding by international rules. "

Blame the other side

Beijing rejects that. Both India and China blamed each other for the clash in the border region. In an interview with the ARD studio in Shanghai, Liu Zong Yi from the Institute for International Studies said: "The background to the escalation is the heated competition between China and the USA. China is being put under pressure by the USA and India sees this as an opportunity to move To put pressure on China. That is why this conflict has now taken place in the border area. India believes it can now reap strategic profits. "

The two rivals only agree on one thing: there was no exchange of fire. India and China had already agreed on this in 1996. An agreement between the two countries states that neither side may use firearms or explosives within a two-kilometer radius of the line of current control. The Indian army says the soldiers died in hand-to-hand combat.

India does not want to leave attack unanswered

What may seem quite unusual at first glance, says Smita Prakash, editor of the Indian news agency ANI. Mainly because so many soldiers are posted on both sides, including war machines: "But actually, since the agreement there has been no official exchange of fire in the border region. Sources in the Indian army say, however, that Chinese soldiers used bamboo sticks with nails . And unconfirmed sources say that soldiers fell from cliffs in a fist fight. "

India does not want to let the alleged attack from the Chinese side sit on it: "The sacrifices of our soldiers will not have been in vain," says Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Numerous government meetings are currently taking place to discuss how the Indian side should now act. China expert Dr. Deepak suspects: "Militarily, India will strengthen its border defense and if there is a challenge, India will not bow to China. India will face China hostile, even if it is a limited conflict. Because India does not want to escalate the conflict at the moment."

India is economically and militarily inferior

Beijing is not interested in this either, says Liu Zong Yi: "Nobody wants a so-called hot war. China has never seen India as an enemy. The Indian military is not strong enough and the economic conditions there are too bad for them to be would dare a war against us. "
This is not just pure arrogance, it is actually the truth. That is why the drums against China are much louder in India than the other way around. Anti-Chinese hashtags such as "Boycott Chinese products" are trending on social media. Indeed, the Indian government is also considering it. But India will have to admit to itself that the country is dependent on Chinese products. On June 23, the foreign ministers of India and China want to join forces with the foreign minister of Russia in a video conference to discuss the current tensions.