China’s Game Plan in Ladakh: Imperatives for India

Commodore SL Deshmukh, Nausena Medal (Retd)

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“India should be happy with what has been achieved” China said during the Military Commander Level talks in April 2021, while retracting from its commitment related to troops withdrawal from Gogra and Hot Spring areas, in the Himalayan region. This was indicative of China’s nefarious game plan in the Ladakh region.

China has been nurturing ambitions of being the sole regional power in South Asian and Indo-Pacific regions in the short-term and being a credible global power-capable of countering USA eventually. With rise in stature of India in global political arena, China realised that India would be the only obstacle in its becoming the sole regional power and felt the need for clipping India’s wings.

Ironically, reasons for China’s increasing belligerence lie in India’s historical misreading of China’s intentions and its weak reactions. The time has now come for India to take a holistic view of China’s intentions in general and its moves in the Ladakh sector in particular and recalibrate its own response, commensurate with China’s bigger game plan.

This monograph thus attempts to evaluate historic Indo-China border dispute, Tibet and Ladakh region’s connect with it, reasons for various actions China may adapt for engaging with India, need for holistic review of Indo-China relations by India and some viable options for India to safeguard its military, maritime, economic, geopolitical interest in the regional and global arenas.

Commodore SL Deshmukh, Nausena Medal (Retd) , has served in the Indian Navy for 32 years. His educational qualifications include BE (Mech), MSc (Def Sc), PGDM (Gold Medallist). He holds a qualification both in Marine & Aviation fields. He served on-board ships and aircraft carriers. He is a specialist in the maintenance of Fighter aircraft and Anti Submarines Warfare Helicopters. He is alumni of Defence Services Staff College (Wellington, Nilgiris).





Executive Summary

1. Introduction
2. Methodology used in Compilation of Monograph, Literature Review and Findings and Summary
3. China’s Mindset and Aggressive Behaviour: Historical Connect
4. India-China Relations and Tibet’s Connect
5. India-China Border Dispute: Historical Perspective
6. Earlier Attempts to Resolve Boundary Issues and Status
7. Importance of Ladakh Region for China
8. Deciphering China’s Moves in Ladakh Sector
9. Probable Reasons for China’s Offer for Withdrawal for Pangong Tso (Ladakh Sector)
10. China’s Agreement for Troops Disengagement & Going Back on its Words
11. China’s Probable Future Plans
12. Some Global Opinions on Indo-China Stand-off at Ladakh
13. Implications for India and Need for Recalibration of its Response
14. Conclusion and Recommendations



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