Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Chinese President Xi Jinping.
PIC: AFP

Describing Xi Jinping as the "architect" of the PLA's recent aggressive moves against India, a leading US magazine has reported that the Chinese President has risked his future with the high-profile incursions into Indian territory that "unexpectedly flopped" in the face of the ferocious fight back by the Indian Army.

Xi, 67, already roiling the Communist Party with a "rectification" campaign and mass persecution of foes, will launch "another brutal purge" following the Chinese army's failures on the Indian border, the Newsweek said in an opinion piece.

"Unfortunately for Xi, he is the "architect" of these aggressive moves into India and his People's Liberation Army (PLA) has unexpectedly flopped. The Chinese army's failures on the Indian border will have consequences," it said, adding that the recent developments give Xi an excuse to pick up the pace of replacing adversaries in the armed forces with loyal elements.

"More important, the failures motivate China's aggressive ruler -- who as chairman of the Party's Central Military Commission, is the leader of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the ruling Communist Party of China -- to launch another offensive against Indian positions," the magazine warned.

"China is thought to have suffered at least 43 deaths in the Galwan clash," the magazine said. Citing Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, it said the number of Chinese killed could exceed 60. "Indian troops fought back ferociously. Beijing won't admit the extent of the debacle," it said.

It said that late last month, for the first time in a half-century, India carried out an offensive against China, taking back high ground the Chinese recently grabbed.

"China's forces were surprised when Indian troops mounted their attempt to retake strategic high points. Stunned Chinese soldiers retreated," it said.

"China's subsequent efforts to counter the Indian moves proved ineffective. At least for the moment, India's troops, in the southernmost of the three areas of conflict, are in control of territory once in Chinese hands," it added.

It said the PLA Ground Force can move against undefended targets. However, it is not clear how effective it is in battle.

"The Ground Force does not have a track record of success in contested situations. Its last major engagement was in 1979 when, in the effort to 'teach Vietnam a lesson,' the Chinese troops were repelled and humiliated by their much smaller neighbour," the magazine noted.

"India is not giving the invaders the opportunity to improve," it said, adding that India's troops are displaying "newfound boldness".

"The game has changed," Paskal said. "You can say the Indians are more aggressive or more aggressively defensive, but they are in fact bolder and better." "The setback in the Himalayas poses problems for Xi, which means it poses a problem for everyone else," it added.

It said that in China's highly politicised system, the setbacks in Ladakh cannot be perceived as Xi's fault, so he will almost surely purge elements of the military.

"PLA leaders begin to see little choice but to undertake offensive military actions to avoid becoming a victim of Xi's internal terror," said Richard Fisher of the Virginia-based International Assessment and Strategy Center.

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