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Chinese Warfare Doctrine: Understanding the ways of the dragon

  • Vishwaksen | TeamPresentMirror | Updated: July 3, 2020, 6:53 a.m.

Chinese dominion is ringing at Indian borders and only a shift of policy and proper understanding of the Chinese war doctrine can save the world's largest democracy. The war however will not just be fought at the military level. The WZC doctrine and 3Ws of Chinese warfare has to be countered by joint participation of the Indian populace and the Modi government.


China is a country currently run by Hans, a Family, which is both corrupt and ambitious. Xi Jinping is facing a strong political opposition in his own country. Censoring things out of proportion is now backfiring at the Poker-faced President. Be it censoring Panama papers, callous approach to COVID-19 or hiding numbers of their own soldiers in the recent India China Faceoff, current Chinese dispensation is staring at a cruel exit from the political chair. What makes the Situation more worrisome is that the Mao imitator of China can go at any length to justify his lifetime claim on the chair. Recent Chinese intrusions in Hongkong, South China sea, Nepal and Ladakh proves the desperation of the overhyped dragon rider.

While for India the enemy is purely political, the situational crisis has made the PLA knock at Indian Borders with a very large force this time. What happened in the Galwan Valley and events that followed are just a trailer, symbolizing the fangs of Chinese warfare and the extent it can go to destroy autonomy of an Independent nation. Hence it becomes important to understand the Chinese warfare intricacy and the history around it.

It is intriguing to note that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not a national army dedicated to defense and welfare of people of China but actually the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The main aim of PLA is to create a powerful presence of the CCP and help execute its political goals. The PLA is more like a paid army. It doesn’t work on principles of nationalism like in most other countries. It is also China’s weakness as well as strength.

“They do not understand that the Chinese Red Army is an armed body for carrying out the political tasks of the revolution. The Red Army should certainly not confine itself to fighting; besides fighting to destroy the enemy's military strength, it should shoulder such important tasks as doing propaganda among the masses, organizing the masses, arming them, helping them to establish revolutionary political power and setting up Party organizations.” These are the words of Comrade Mao Zedong.

The three-warfare policy of China

China is known to successfully try the infamous ‘three warfares’ (3Ws), i.e. Psychological Warfare, Media Warfare and the Legal Warfare as a part of its WZC war doctrine. The main aim is to harm its adversaries by weakening them from inside as well as outside, subdue its powers, meanwhile spreading an atmosphere of chaos and distrust for the government and then strike when the enemy is weakest in the regions where China wants to extend the Hand. The Hand is till where the political paws of Beijing can reach. For now, Tibet as the palm and Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nepal and Ladakh as its fingers. And the 3Ws strategy is a doctrine to achieve the same.

1. Media warfare

China spends billion dollars to build its own narrative in the foreign media. A report in Economist suggests how China is spending recklessly to be in good books of the media. The Print recently reported on how China pays correspondents of various news agencies in India, gives them red carpet treatment in Beijing’s most plush residences costing about 2.4 lakh per day with a monthly stipend of 50K and free tours to Chinese provinces only to report what China wants. Big names like Indian Express, TOI, PTI are part of such tours. In a country like India where Journalists change narratives for 2BHK flats, it is not too difficult for China to take hold of Indian Media.

The Indian media on the issue of Sino Indian faceoff has been victim of this warfare. The Indian media having no idea of the terrain of the Galwan valley or the truths there, has been reporting contradictory news confusing the Indian masses and trying to establish an atmosphere of chaos and disorder. According to officials, the last the media is allowed is at Leh, some 218 kms from the site of conflict, yet the Media keeps spreading beds of lies in a bid to play the Chinese tape and in turn murders all tenets of journalism.

Media Warfare is aimed at taking control of minds of gullible masses, intellectuals and the elites and expose them to campaigns of misinformation, untruths and propaganda. Shed some money, buy few people and own the narratives of an entire country is the first W in the Chinese Warfare.

2. Psy Ops or the Psychological Warfare

The main aim of Psychological Warfare is to influence the enemy’s views mentally, keeping the enemy bewildered and disoriented by implicitly employing various forms of communication to justify its diplomatic moves and present the views of other party as fallacy in front of the World, while foster a positive nationalist image among the gullible Chinese populace.

In the Galwan valley Faceoff, the Chinese on military level talks and media promised that they are deescalating while they kept transgressing their constructions across the border and tried to annex PP14 but heroic display by Bihar and Punjab regiments of Indian Army left them with a bloodied tooth. Again, they tried to create tensions in Pangong Tso by sending large number of troops after being chased away from the Galwan Valley, while concurrently talks after talks they kept insisting on de-escalation. Say something else, do something else and keep the enemy guessing, is just the basic implementation of 3Ws doctrine of the PLA.

The Chinese believe in Mobility, they have built several roads and constructions across LAC to surprise the enemy anytime with strength. India could never fathom when the sweet-talking Chinese backstabs behind and strikes you. And this is not done randomly. It is well planned beforehand. PLA has a separate department for psychological warfare, General Political Department (GPD). The role of GPD is to implement 3Ws and unlike General Staff Department (GSD) is not involved in planning military warfare.

During WWII, the 1st Special Service Force Consisting of American and Canadian officers, was an elite unit with a remarkable record of never having lost a battle. Because they were outnumbered, they resorted to vicious psychological tactics to intimidate German troops. The Germans were so psychologically affected that they thought their numbers to be 20000, however they were just 800. Psy Warfare can do severe damage to the enemy if not controlled.

Another significant part of PSY Ops is Cyber Warfare, the PLA has a separate department for this as well. Honey trapping rival Army officials, getting information out of them and then use these to hack the defense servers are few motives of the wing.

In July 2012, email account of several high-level Indian officials were hacked and the main National Informatics Centre’s email server was also breached. The reason for such high level intrusion was alleged honey trapping of officials from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

For PLA the scale of the victory is more in the minds of political decision makers and not much on the troops on ground. The PLA believes in Gaining Initiative by Striking First (GISF), while India maintains a no first strike policy. It is high time India rethinks over this policy because the enemy is knocking at the borders and this time with a much larger force. The Sino-Vietnam war, involved some 30 divisions and lasted some three weeks. The Chinese believe in limited warfare. So to think they won’t strike is a very wrong judgement. Brig Manoj Naravane now General Naravane already warned in 2012 that 'teaching lesson' is one of the Chinese gimmicks for a limited war, already displayed in 1962, and can happen again until India is prepared for the same.

3. Legal Warfare

The last but not the least, this warfare of the PLA is aimed at using loopholes in international laws to justify annexations of various lands and water bodies.

A 2007 report of US Department of Defense report to Congress on China’s military power explained that by using a web of scholarly articles and symposia, China is reshaping the international opinions by distortions of Law of the sea and denying access of Japanese and United States vessels in the South China sea. It is only matter of time till China starts using this warfare to threaten sanctity of Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean.

New victim of the Tibetan trap, Hong Kong

China’s National People Congress, a group of people selected to rubber stamp decisions of CCP, brought a new legislation in Hongkong which threatens the basic law and is an attempt to murder the democratic rights of people of Hong Kong.

Chinese Warfare.jpg

The CCP however promises autonomy to Hong Kong, but the vast protests in Hong Kong prove that the people of Hong Kong don’t want to fall in the Tibet trap.

China promised autonomy to Tibet in 1951 and a 17 point deal was signed between delegates of Mao Zedong and 14th Dalai Lama. But true to their ways, Chinese backstabbed them and soon Tibetans realized that this autonomy was very limited and it is in turn making Tibet a province of China. Mao also took advantage of this to build roadways for heavy mobilization of Chinese troops in the Tibetan region. The Tibetans opposed it, fought and gave their blood for it. Many peace-loving Tibetans were massacred as they were no match to modern Chinese weaponry and tanks. It in then in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama had to leave his own auspicious land and take shelter in India.

By 1976 Mao’s Red Army had destroyed temples and monasteries and made one of most holy land of the world in to ruins of Chinese Tyranny. Like its all other provinces Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Guangxi, the roof top of the world was made another slave province losing its autonomy and freedom. Tibet was brutalized further after Martial Law imposed by Li Peng. Hong Kong will be the next, until powerful nations acknowledge the small helpless Hong Kong as an independent state.

The role of India, Freedom to Tibet and Chaining of the dragon.

Taking British government’s advice and, as revealed in a note on 18 November 1950, Jawahar Lal Nehru announced that “neither India nor any external power could prevent the Chinese takeover of Tibet”. This position of India not only cleared ways of China in annexing a holy land but also ensured a never ending enmity with India which will take birth in 1962. This blunder of Nehru was even bigger than the one of Kashmir. Consequence of which made India border a large area with China which previously bordered with Tibet. Nehru preferred to border with a tyrant over a peace-loving friend.

Chinese Warfare.jpg

Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai, Jawahar Lal Nehru before being backstabbed in 1962

Chinese have got the palm and will not stop till they get hold of the fingers, three of which are integral part of India. This should be taken as the wakeup call for Indian dispensation. India already blundered in 1950. Time has come for India to raise Tibet on all platforms and make allies do the same. Only successful Tibetan diplomacy can safeguard India’s interest. Entire Aksai Chin region also borders with Tibet and so does Doklam and Arunachal Pradesh. And in this fight India savors the key to Tibetan independence, the Dalai Lama. The recent suggestions by the likes of Ram Madhav for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama may just be an indication that government is also thinking on the same lines.

Tibetan Youth Congress, Darjeeling Chapter, Diki Dholkar, said: “Yes, India should fight for us. We have a lot of hope that India will extend support for our Independence. India is our second motherland, but our motherland should be freed under the leadership of India. We condemn Chinese incursion in Ladakh and the killing of 20 Indian soldiers.”

Chinese Warfare.jpg

Image File : Dalai Lama with Indian PM Narendra Modi

The series of steps for banning Chinese products is a well thought step. To counter the 3Ws a multilayered approach is comprehended. It is high time Indian government gives a statuary warning to the Chinese. The greater the delay in de-escalation the larger the economic prize. That should be the clear Indian statement. The more Indian borders are threatened the lesser business Chinese will be left with in India. It begun with the banning 59 apps followed by scrapping of BSNL 4G upgradation project. The blows should be more brutal. The WZC doctrine has no answer to aggression. It preys on limitations of a democratic country. It cannot fathom the largest democracy in the world to be aggressive, replying tit for tat. The Doklam standoff is a live example that CCP only respects power.

Tiktok alone has bled 6 billion dollars. The cuts should get deeper, deeper enough that dragon rider starts screeching in pain. There should be no stopping to this exercise until every single Chinese wing de-escalates away from India. Every day delay should cost a billion dollars to the Chinese. Raising Hong Kong, supporting Taiwan another democracy surviving and challenging the CCP, starting to recognize Tibet and raising its independence by India should be the way forward. Things should be made as difficult in the south China sea as the Chinese are making in Ladakh. The time is to take support of United States and Australia and challenge China’s dominion in South China Sea.

China is that communist which is most imperialistic in nature. The time is to befriend all those on South China sea who are victim of Chinese warfare, empower them like China is empowering Pakistan. It's a situation of an emerging world war. Militarily and Economically, India is at the Centre of it. Chinese dominion is ringing in the Asia Pacific and it is only India who has the ability to reply eye to eye. And this time India is lucky to not have a Nehru to deal with China.

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