China has 21,83,000 active military personnel and a mammoth budget of $261 billion compared to India’s 14,44,000 and $71 billion respectively. And yet China is unlikely to use it’s military.
Why? Because they know India’s response will leave them in no state of having another war ever and ultimately it will be a loss for them. So might is not the solution but the “mind”!
Psychological warfare is one of the key components of China’s warfare Strategy. It is aimed at influencing a target audience’s value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior.
“When one defeats the enemy, it is not solely by killing the enemy, or winning a piece of ground, but is mainly in terms of cowing the enemy’s heart.”
So whose minds will they attack, the soldiers? No, targets can be governments, organizations, groups, and individuals not just soldiers.
There are many ways through which you can have an impact on people’s minds. It could be done using a plethora of mediums right from State-run news channels, effective use of social media, fueling protests, or even helping the enemy to change his mind 🙂
The primary objective of such efforts is to generate confusion, doubt, anxiety, fear, terror, regret, and exhaustion in an opponent.
How do they do it?
- Spread Fake information
It’s a very old method of speaking lies but gained immense popularity due to the advent of social media
This is an old video of 2017 so it’s fake. The intent was to convey might of PLA as none of the Chinese soldiers died and they were compassionate to save Indian soldiers. China has already accepted that many died but not yet disclosed the figure.
The above tweet was Shared by NDTV, Wire Journalist Swati Chartuvedi along with Michael Safi from The Guardian.
Several Chinese social media handles do this. BTW Twitter, FB, Instagram are not allowed in China 😀
2. Alter the Interpretation
The idea is to change the meaning/story to suit their purpose and show the enemy as fostering ill intentions.
A Chinese observation post which was set up at the bend of Galwan River was found to be on the Indian side of LAC and an agreement was reached between both sides to dismantle the same. So the Chinese dismantled it! But the structure re-emerged overnight(as per the plans) and when Col Babu went with his team to inquire if it was due a mistake, he was pushed aside with expletives in the Chinese language. Soon more Chinese soldiers came as in as it was planned, the Indian soldiers stopped them trying to intrude into the Indian side. Both sides lost men.
The Chinese tried to pin the blame on the Indian side by showing them aggressive and that they have always been as Innocent as a lamb.
Someone, please remind them of Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South China Sea, Vietnam, etc
3. Slow down/ Kill the spread of information
This way requires that you don’t allow your opponent’s side to be heard. Therefore, they blocked the Narendra Modi’s website in China and even MEA’s response to the Galwan valley clash.
This ensures only Chinese propaganda reaches their citizens so they will never know the truth and so they won’t ever ask questions to the govt.
Oh wait, they can’t do that even if they know !! Otherwise, they meet the fate of Dr. Li Wenliang who was silenced forever for issuing a warning about a strange new virus.
4. Play down the protests against them
The Indian’s have started with the boycott of Chinese products due to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers on the border. Any economic boycott will prove counter-intuitive to their pre-planned strategy of extra-territorial ambitions.
Here, they will tell you that if you try to boycott then you will fail.
Note — Kindly tell the author that the picture they have used is of Indian Liquor shop which sells local made liquor (Facepalm)
Sure, OnePlus 8 sold out in minutes but what choices did the consumers have as they are flooded with Chinese phones. The lockdown has created more demand for mobiles and laptops.
None the less, POCO announced that they have started MakeInIndia in June.
Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth said all their smartphones are “Made in India” and the company sources “more than 60 per cent” components from local suppliers.
Recently, Govt has mandated the information on Country of Origin to be part of the products they are selling on https://gem.gov.in.
5. Remind them of their everlasting Nirbharta
If your opponent is dependent on you for any of the essential needs then you let them know of it.
It’s not restricted to just goods/materials. We have your citizens in our country. If you cause us any damage, we can inflict the same on your people.
6. Undermine the will to resist
This is an emotional approach. You convince the other side by your good conduct that you don’t want a war even though that’s what your intention is.
They even posted news about Indian restaurants doing well as if we asked 🙂
7. Escalate Internal Issues of the Country
This is one of the most significant of all due to it’s high impact. Every country has certain fault lines. The Chinese study different countries and find out various internal issues which can chaos and disruption. If any of these is used, it will sow a seed of discord within it’s citizens that it will be effectively used to weaken the response.
These are the important ones which are used:-
The UK based Sikh Separatist group “Sikhs For Justice” which demands separation of Punjab writes to Chinese President 2 days after the Galwan valley clash.
They forgot that 4 Sikh soldiers in the Indian army died during the clash! Essentially, the Chinese strategy to rake up Khalistan issue is evident and it will push it more in the coming years with the help of Pakistan
The outfit has been banned by the GoI last year.
b. Terrorism & Kashmir
An enemy of my enemy is my friend
If you are friends with Pakistan you get a premium subscription to their Terror camps and all you have to do is buy a yearly package for more features. Chinese will not fight and they will outsource it’s war to another neighbour which does all in the name of Jihad.
However, it’s a give and take the relationship between them. Pakistan gets to keep it’s terrorists like JeM chief Masood Azhar safe with the help of China’s permanent seat in the UNSC. It also saves them be blacklisted in the FATF which is currently presided by Beijing.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan inturn overlooks all the atrocities committed by China on Uighur Muslims.
c. Insurgency — Maoism/Naxalism
China’s proxy soldiers!
As per Indian intelligence inputs, there are attempts to create many such pro-China leftists and ultra-leftists segments in other universities in places like Kurukshetra and Dehradun, some in the name of highly revered Indian figures like Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Charu Mazumdar, the pioneer of the Naxalite movement had said:
“China’s Chairman is our Chairman and China’s path is our path”
Govt has banned these organizations but then they have penetrated far more than just that and so some political parties are very China oriented.
Some of them even have MoU signed up for Inter party ties between CCP :).
It’s a very effective tool used in subtle ways that impact a country’s working. They can use media across the globe, use political parties to fuel several protests across the nation to further their agenda which gives them more notice and representation. Protests could be on anything and everything, even for a tree being cut or a protest for not allowing a protest itself. So instead of questioning the aggressors, people question their govt which weakens the nation’s mood for a strong response.
China itself doesn’t bother about this method of subversion as there is just one strong party, with recent changes in the law the president itself can be in power for as long as it wants and there are no independent media in the communist country.