India China relations
China is shooting itself in the foot and it doesn't realise itReuters

China's failure to push around the Indian troops in the Line of Actual Control (LAC) means that the ability of Chinese President Xi Jinping to intimidate anyone has reduced.

Newsweek, in an opinion article, reported that the Chinese President has risked his future with the failed high-profile incursions of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) into more areas of the LAC, the border between India and China.

The report says that Xi – the "architect" of these aggressive moves into India and the Chinese troops have unexpectedly flopped.

The failures of the Chinese Army at the LAC will have consequences and will give Xi an excuse to pick up the pace of replacing adversaries in the armed forces with loyal elements, the report adds.

At present, there are three factions in China jostling for power — the military, the politburo and within it, Chairman Xi Jinping and his enemies.

However, these failures motivate Xi, who as chairman of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Military Commission, is the leader of the PLA, to renew his bid to launch another offensive against Indian positions.

Mere show of power

Chinese PLA Tibet Military Command drills
The night time high altitude drill by PLA has come amid the ongoing border standoff with India in Ladakh.Image Source:

In early May, Chinese troops advanced south of the LAC in three separate areas in Ladakh. With the boundary poorly demarcated, Chinese forces have trespassed into Indian positions for years, especially after Xi was appointed the party's general secretary in 2012.

Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Newsweek that large-scale maneuvers in Tibet were not preparations for such a move.

In June, China and India were engaged in a violent face-off in Galwan Valley. Chinese troops killed 20 Indian soldiers in a premeditated move and the clash was the first deadly confrontation between the two countries in 45 years.

While the Chinese side is thought to have suffered 43 casualties in the Galwan face-off, the number could exceed 60, according to Paskal.

Late last month, for the first time in a half-century, India launched an offensive against China, taking back strategic points the Chinese recently grabbed. The offensive took the Chinese forces back and they retreated.

China flag
China's flag [Representational Image]Reuters

However, China's subsequent efforts to counter India have proved ineffective. For now, Indian troops, in the southernmost of the three areas of Ladakh, are under its control, which was once in Chinese hands.

"India is not giving the invaders the opportunity to improve. Both sides have just accused the other of violating decades-old rules of engagement by firing warning shots. It appears, however, the Chinese are the ones closer to the truth: India's troops are displaying newfound boldness," the report says.

Meanwhile, the PLA leadership has begun to see little choice but to undertake offensive military actions to avoid becoming a victim of Xi's internal terror, it said further.

Shooting itself in the foot

China's President Xi Jinping
China's President Xi JinpingREUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Xi has shown that he is good at the political mobilization of the army and can spend huge amounts on military equipment but the real show of his military might is yet to be seen. As a result, the Chinese president, who once appeared to be invincible, is absolutely determined to make his point by launching another attempt to break India apart in order to "prove something".

In addition, Xi has also come under pressure on the global stage over claims of a cover-up surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan. Australia has been one of the most vocal and early advocates of an independent investigation into the origins and early handling of the outbreak, a stance that provoked fury in Beijing. But the world lined up behind the move, with 137 nations co-sponsoring a resolution at the World Health Assembly for an investigation into the pandemic.

An independent panel, headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is expected to deliver an interim report in November. And as per media reports, the report could spell disaster for Xi's future as CCP leader.

In other words, the damage has already been done to the Chinese economy as well as the country's global stature. Now the only act of contrition that the CCP could do in a bid to restore more positive Sino-Western relations is to forces Xi to step down.

"If Xi refuses to go, there could be a power struggle and China could unravel from within, but this is an unlikely scenario. If Xi is as powerful as some think he is, then nothing will happen. But this will accelerate a new Cold War," former British Army Officer Nicholas Drummond tells