'There is still no road on the last 37 km between the McMahon Line and Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh. Ironically, during my visit, Beijing announced the opening of a 117- km highway linking Metok, located just north of the McMahon Line.'
'My local friends kept saying with some envy in their voices, "The Chinese are very much in advance on us".' Claude Arpi on a recent visit to the last large village before the McMahon Line that divides India and China.
India should take a lesson from what China thinks and does, as there is no doubt that the Chinese are better planners than Indians.
Already when he was heir apparent, Xi Jinping stated: 'We must implement Mao's strategic concept of the 'unity between soldiers and civilians" and both the army and regional civilian authorities should assiduously pool our resources in the preparation for military struggle.'
What does it mean?
It signifies that the civil administration as well as the private sector should participate in the nation's preparedness to defend its borders.
Chairman Mao was an ardent advocate of 'The synthesis between the requirements of peacetime and war.' In other words, civilian infrastructure projects like airports, roads and railways should be designed to serve both peace and war needs.
It is not that Indians are unable to think far ahead. Sardar Patel had a far-sighted vision about Indian border issues.
On November 7, 1950 (just five weeks before he passed away), he wrote to Nehru on the following requirements:
- A military and intelligence appreciation of the Chinese threat to India both on the frontier and internal security.
- An appraisement of strength of our forces; A long-term consideration of our defense needs.
- The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our Northern and North-Eastern Frontier.
- Improvement of our communication, road, rail, air and wireless in these areas and with the frontier outposts.
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