HomeIndian ArmyIndia’s Military Studying Options for Any China-Taiwan War

India’s Military Studying Options for Any China-Taiwan War

India is studying possible responses to a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan following discreet inquiries from the US on how the nation could contribute in the event of a war, senior Indian government officials said.

About six weeks ago, Indian Defense Chief General Anil Chauhan — India’s top military commander — commissioned a study to examine the wider impact of any war over Taiwan that also involves the US and its allies, and what action India could take in response, two senior Indian officials said, who asked not to be named as discussions are private.

The order came after the US raised the issue in several different forums, they said.

The study would assess various war scenarios and provide options for India in case a conflict breaks out, they said.

Some Indian military commanders believe that strong statements might suffice as a response in case the war is short, but ultimately that would not be enough if the conflict drags on like the Ukraine war, the officials said.

India’s preparation for a potential war over Taiwan shows how its policy of “multi-alignment” would be tested in the event of a drastic deterioration of US-China ties.

Under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country has forged its own path on international relations, effectively hedging its bets by developing close ties to the US, while refusing to join international sanctions on Russia.

Yet tensions with China have also flared along their disputed Himalayan border, contributing to a deterioration in relations that might have prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) to skip the G20 summit this weekend in New Delhi.

India has strengthened defense ties with the US in recent years, joining the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) along with Japan and Australia — a band of democracies intent on countering China’s growing influence.

One option the Indian military would study involves serving as a logistics hub to provide repair and maintenance facilities for allied warships and aircraft, as well as food, fuel and medical equipment for armies resisting China, the officials said.

A more extreme scenario, they added, would assess the potential for India to get directly involved along their northern border, opening a new theater of war for China.

While no deadline has been set to complete the study, the Indian military is under orders to finish it as soon as possible, one of the officials said.

The options prepared would be available for Modi and other political leaders to make a final call on any action should the need arise, the official said.

The Indian Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to e-mailed questions. The US Department of State also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

India and China have mobilized thousands of troops, artillery guns, tanks and missiles closer to the unmarked border running about 3,500km.

Diplomatic talks have yielded little, with China last month releasing a new map claiming India-controlled territory that Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar described as “absurd.”

India has publicly resisted efforts to make the Quad appear like a military alliance, and remains reliant on Russia — China’s most important diplomatic partner — for weapons that would be used in any regional war.

Even so, it has quietly sought better relations with Taiwan: Three former Indian military chiefs who stepped down in the past year all visited Taiwan last month.

Five years ago, India and the US signed the Logistics-Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, a foundational pact to allow refueling and replenishing of warships and aircraft, as well as access to bases when required.


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