China and India are not the best of friends despite a burgeoning trade of $72 billion. In 1962 the Indian army had moved 5 AMX tanks to fight the Chinese, but the tanks failed as they were not suited to fight in the rarified atmosphere of Ladakh. Times have changed and with China adopting an aggressive posture on the line of control in Ladakh, Modi ordered the Indian army to beef up to prevent a recurrence of the 1962 war result.

Positioning of the T-72 tanks

After the 1962 border war with China, a LOC exists in Ladakh. The Chinese have occupied the entire Aksai Chin which is claimed by India.

The Chinese also have an armored squadron facing India. Jettisoning the age old policy of previous governments, the Modi government has decided to match the Chinese.

The Indian army has now deployed over a 100 T-72 tanks on the border. These are part of the Indian army's strike corps and has alarmed Beijing.

Operating tanks at this high altitude requires great skill and operation of the machine. Special additives are added to the fuel to prevent freezing. The tanks are also constantly run to ensure frost does not harm the mechanism. The battle tanks on China's border is a worry for the Chinese. The USA has been kept informed in view of the India-USA strategic relationship.

China rings the alarm bells

The Chinese can ill afford a confrontation with the Indian army as they are under threat of the USA and Japan in the South China Sea. Beijing has called for the withdrawal of the tanks. It has also hinted that Chinese investment in India which last year was 800 million dollars could be affected. They opine that Chinese businessmen may be scared to come to India in case there is tension on the border.

This is typical of the Chinese to cry wolf, forgetting that they have armor in the region. The present Indian move with Modi at the helm marks a welcome change of the earlier policy of appeasement. Maybe it has something to do with India's rising economic power. India at 7.5% has the best growth rate among the great powers.

The Indians under Modi have shown that they can match the Chinese. It is part of India's growth to great power status. In the meantime, the T-72 tanks continue exercises on the LOC facing China.

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