How Mountains Shape the Oceans

This piece is not about the environment or ecosystem. Sometimes headings can be misleading. So you always do not buy a book by looking at its cover. There is a well documented body of evidence on meteorology and environment which covers the essentials of the ecosystem working. I, however, want to use this metaphor for a more pressing geo-strategic tussle occurring in our proximity.

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Indo-China Stand off-Embarrassment at The Grandest Scale

Chinese board game xiangqi is not only a game but a part of larger Chinese culture. It was considered an essential part of the training of men who aspire to rise to commanding heights in various walks of life. Kings, generals, people of letter, and high priests were expected to be well versed in this game. Xiangqi was considered to cultivate virtues like patience, forethought, resolve, and long-term planning.

To a bystander, the game may lack action and thrill but to the players and an ordinary Chinese, this is the way of life in china. Every action must be forethought in every possible detail, though trivial, to avoid changing minds midway or to face some embarrassment as a result. This habit of overthinking is visible inactions of individuals and state functionaries in every day working of Chinese.

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Respect the Folk Wisdom of Warfare

Every aspect of human life has evolved over centuries through hit and trial method. Folk wisdom is not taught; It is learned. Deviation from it can cost from loss of life to loss of face. This is true for individuals and nations, alike. An adage of the military says” you train as you have to fight and you fight as you have been trained “. These are lessons learned through experiences of former generations of soldiers, over centuries and considered near gospel truth globally. Most military commanders, especially those who are well versed in history do not usually temper with lessons of folk wisdom. There are however foolhardy people in every walk of life and militaries are not immune from them.

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