23 junho, 2020

Salami-Slicing, Chinese Style


China’s salami-slicing style.
in “The Washington Times” at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/6/chellaney-chinas-salami-slicing-strategy/

The term salami-slicing was coined by the head of the Hungarian Communist Party (HCP), Matias Rakosi, in the late 1940s. He explained it by sowing divisions among other political parties whilst showing an apparently friendly posture towards them. In fact, he was pushing them to fight each other and weakening them internally, till they were so weakened and divided, they were unable to confront the HPC. They had been sliced like salami.
Or, as Rakosi put it, “cutting them off [non-communist parties] like slices of salami”.
Faithful to its communist and Stalinist heritage, China’s Communist Party (CCP) has been applying its own brand of salami-slicing. The targets are not opponent political parties (there are none), but the adjacent seas and countries that China aims to coerce, fragment and control.
This is true for the South China Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, as well as the Philippines, South Korea, the whole of Southeast Asia, Burma and several other nations across the Indian Ocean, South Asia and Central Asia.

Line of Actual Control and the flashpoints created by the Chinese invasion.

in “The Telegraph” at www.telegraph.co.uk

Apparently, China is taking her salami task up to a new level: doing it to India. India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) share a long and contentious border (4056km), over which limits New Delhi and Beijing cannot find common ground. This disagreement has sparked the 1962 Sino-Indian War, which was the most serious and deadly conflict (88 Indian soldiers and 340 Chinese troops were killed with a total of 1050 casualties). There was another significant clash in 1967 and yet another in 1975, the last time fire arms were used in Sino-Indian clashes. Subsequent conflicts were not more than scuffles using fists, rods bats and stones, but some of them were deadly.
Such was the case this month when dozens from both sides died. The Chinese started trespassing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in April and, benefitting from India’s neglectful posture, assuming it was just an accidental event. However, there is barely anything accidental on the PRC’s actions and, accordingly, she took advantage of New Delhi’s passivity to encroach on the LAC’s Indian side, occupying 60 km2.
Unlike previous episodes, including the 2017 Doklam standoff, this Chinese incursion took place in several fronts and was supported by building civil and military infrastructure and the deployment of a significant military contingent which leaves the Indians in a quandary: either accept the Chinese fait accompli, or engage in a violent confrontation.

The former is humiliating and hardly acceptable by the Indian population and the latter would have an unpredictable outcome. There is, of course, a third and best option which would be the statu quo ante bellum, however, that would be almost entirely up to China’s acceptance of suspending the salami-slicing strategy in the Himalayas.