Over 70 percent Chinese support govt in retaliating strongly against Indian provocations: Survey

China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR)

BEIJING, Aug 27 (APP): The results of a survey recently conducted by Global Times and China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) showed that more than 70 percent of participants supported the government in retaliating strongly against Indian provocations.

If India makes more provocations in the future and launches new border conflicts against China, about 90 percent of participants support China in defending itself and striking back at India with force.

The survey launched by the Global Times Research Center and Institute of South Asian Studies of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) was conducted from August 17-20, executed by DATA 100, a market survey company, and covered 10 major cities across all regions of the country – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Shenyang, Wuhan, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Qingdao and Kunming.

This kind of confidence also showed in the results of other questions related to the military and economy.

The survey showed that 57.1 percent of the participants did not believe the Indian military poses a threat to China and 49.6 percent of them believed that the Indian economy was heavily reliant on China.

Xie Chao, an assistant professor of Indian studies at Tsinghua University, said India became independent from British colonization in 1947, and the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, and at that time, India was more developed than China in terms of infrastructure and economy, but now China is way ahead of India in terms of infrastructure, urbanization, modernization, education, people’s livelihood, science and technology, military and economy, so most Chinese have a strong sense of superiority and confidence when looking at India.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, said it is true that China has much greater military strength than India, and due to media reports about some mistakes made by the Indian military, such as human errors that lead to frequent air crashes and submarine explosions, as well as the undeveloped and corrupt defense industry in India, many Chinese people, especially military enthusiasts, believe that the Indian army “is just a joke.”

But this was not a fair understanding of the Indian military, Song noted, adding that Indian military forces had more combat experience since they had frequent military conflicts, and they had deployed more troops in the border regions than the Chinese army, “so if we want to defeat our rivals in a potential real combat in the future, whether they are Indians or anyone else, we should respect and learn from our rivals instead of laughing at them. Laughing won’t help our military win a war.”

A Beijing-based military expert who asked not to be named said the People’s Liberation Army defeated an Indian invasion with an overwhelming victory in 1962, giving a great deal of confidence to the Chinese people. And in the latest border conflict and tension in the Galwan River valley from June to July, Indian troops attacked Chinese soldiers again on June 15 but still paid a heavy price and suffered serious causalities (20 deaths, 76 injured and 10 captured as reported by media), so most Chinese people see the Indian military as a “weak but annoying trouble maker.”

This is why 70.5 percent of participants agree that the Chinese government should be tough in fighting back against India’s provocations, and 89.1 percent of participants support military retaliation when India once again launched border conflicts, and 50.4 percent of them “strongly support” self-defense and counter-attacks with force, while 38.7 percent of them “relatively support” it.

Chinese analysts said the Chinese government did not use public opinion to escalate tensions with India, and decided to control and manage the conflicts, which was a very mature and responsible decision aimed at minimizing the damage to the two countries’ overall relations, but the Indian government has failed to control its domestic nationalism and even used it to launch unfair sanctions against Chinese firms in the country.

Interestingly, when asked “how long would India take to surpass China in terms of comprehensive national strength,” 54 percent of surveyed respondents believe India “will never surpass China” and 10.4 of them said, “It will be possible in 100 years.”

Xie said it is hard to answer this question, but currently, China’s economic size is five times bigger than India, so in terms of economy, it would be impossible for India to surpass China in the short term.

Chinese analysts said before talking about surpassing China, India should at least solve its own long-held domestic problems, have an efficient and modern governance system, and improve the literacy and education situation among its 1.3 billion people, otherwise the world’s second largest population won’t have a sufficiently large skilled labor force.