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Saturday, June 3, 2023

History repeating itself? Similarities between events in 1959-62 period and 2020-22

History repeating itself in front of our eyes. Here is an article on astonishing similarities between 1959-1962 events and 2020-22 events.

Let’s start with China’s main objectives behind 1962 war:

1) To claim leadership of Communist/Socialist World replacing USSR.

2) To claim leadership of the Third World.

3) To prove itself as the “true deserving candidate” to lead Asia.

4) To expose USSR ideologically and drive a wedge bw USSR and Bharat.

5) To humiliate Nikita Khrushchev and Nehru (Mao was personally jealous of Nehru’s popularity in Third World and his Non-Aligned Movement).

Mao’s ambitions and domestic issues

1) To provide cover to the Great Leap Forward(GLF)/Cultural Revolution.

2) Due to GLF, there was a power struggle within CCP and Mao wanted to ‘seize’ the moment.

3) Mao replaced Wang Jiaxiang and started to encircle his opponents in the CCP.

4) Mao’s next goal was to bring the PLA under his control and 1962 war was a ‘mean’ to achieve that.

For Mao, 1962 war was a “one stone”to kill many birds.

Before the 1962 war

Nehru was ‘confident’ that China/Mao won’t use force to settle border disputes and gave the slogan of “India-China brother/हिंदी-चीनी भाई-भाई।”

However, things rapidly changed after the 1959 skirmishes in which both sides suffered casualties.

Nehru realized that Mao/China under the ‘guise’ of talks/negotiations was preparing for a war. Mao successfully fooled both Bharat and USSR in believing that he won’t use force.

USSR stand/role

Once Nikita Khrushchev called Mao “a nationalist, an adventurist and a deviationist”, while Mao labeled Khrushchev as “patriarchal, arbitrary, tyrannical and a revisionist renegade who had betrayed true Marxism-Leninism”. There was a rivalry bw USSR and China to gain the leadership of Communist/ Socialist/ Third World.

At the start of 1962 War, the USSR was cautious, though Khrushchev’s sympathies were with Bharat but he couldn’t afford to get too tough with China becaz of “Cuban Missile Crisis”.

The USSR, who was main arms supplier to India, found itself in a “dilemma”. The Soviets ‘requested’ the Chinese to stop their military operations and offered mediation, for which Bharat was ready. USSR was trying very hard to prevent Bharat from looking to the US.

Khrushchev was ‘neutral’ during the 1959 skirmishes which had angered the Chinese. And when 1962 war began, China asked USSR “to denounce the Indian bourgeoisie as a lackey of imperialism”, which USSR refused to do.

However, when the war ended, Khrushchev came out in open support of Bharat and said “we absolutely reject the thoughts that India wanted to start a war with China.”

US stand/role

As Bharat was losing territories, Nehru wrote multiple letters to POTUS Kennedy and sought fighter jets/air support. Nehru asked Kennedy to send US airforce to bomb PLA forward positions in Bharat’s territory (remember China was not a nuclear power, while US was).

In the letters, Nehru assured Kennedy that US aid won’t be used against Pakistan but only for “resistance against the PLA.” Nehru told Kennedy “it’s not just about the survival of India but also about the survival of Democracy and Freedom in the entire subcontinent or Asia.”

But, US refused to send US airforce and “tactically delayed” military assistance to Bharat (willingly or unwilling Bhagwan Krishna knows) and by the time US military assistance arrived, China had already achieved its objectives.

However, US “stopped” Pakistan from opening another front against Bharat (maybe because US didn’t want to lose “moral leadership of Democratic World” or to make too obvious for Bharat).

US, specially CIA, blamed Nehru’s Forward Policy and USSR failure to stop China for 1962 war.


After making major advances & being in a strong position to annex entire of North-East, Mao surprisingly announced an unilateral ceasefire. Two reasons, according to me, could be:

1) Mao achieved all its objectives.

2) PLA supply lines were overstretched and untenable.

Aftermath of 1962 war

China forced Bharat to seek help from the US and at the same time also put the USSR in the same anti-China camp and “snatched” leadership of “Third World” from USSR/Bharat.

China denounced Nehru as “a lackey of US imperialism” and “a pawn” in their hands.

Nehru’s appeal for US aid in his hour of need dented Bharat’s image as a Non-Aligned Nation, thus diminishing its status both in the Communist and the Third World.

China also tried to prove USSR wrong or a fool in choosing Bharat over China as an ally.

In later years

After 7 years of 1962 Indo-China War, USSR and China fought a limited war in 1969.

A new beginning in the relationship of China and US started in 1970s, mediated/ arranged by Pakistan.

Now, as you got a proper context above, here comes the most important part or main purpose of this i.e déjà vu :

1) 1959 skirmishes – 2020 Galwan clashes

2) Mao’s personal ambitions – Xi’s personal ambitions

3) Nehru’s हिंदी-चीनी भाई-भाई – Modi’s Wuhan and Mahabalipuram spirit

4) USSR-China rivalry to gain leadership of Third World – China-Russia rivalry to gain control in Central Asia/Eurasia

5) USSR’s dilemma – Russia’s dilemma in choosing between Bharat and China

6) US refusal to send air support in 1962 – US reluctance to support Bharat’s rise in 2020s

7) Then, Mao/China used talks/negotiations as a “guise” to prepare for war – Now, Xi also using talks/negotiations to strengthen China positions at the LAC

8) Cuban Missile Crisis – Ukraine Crisis

My stand

USSR then knew that allowing West/US/China to coerce/bully Bharat is not in its interests. Not to forget – China and Pakistan enjoyed the fall of USSR, while Bharatiyas mourned.

Follow whichever strategist you want, whether its Chankaya or Machiavelli or Sun Tzu, you will reach same conclusion – Bharat and Russia cannot go against each other because their “geography” and “shared interests” don’t allow that. Both have zero conflicts or historical baggage.

Bharat need Russia’s defense technological expertise, while Russia need Bharat’s economy and big human resources. Both Bharat and Russia shares border with China and need each other to balance China and to maintain own “strategic autonomy”. An “all weather friendship” in true sense.


1) Politics of Sino-Indian Confrontation (book).

2) The Sino-Indian War of 1962 : New Perspectives (book).

3) China’s India War : Collision Course on the Roof of the World (book).

4) JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War(book).

5)USSR Archives.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of @chasing_highs)

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