Chinese army is now facing “unanticipated consequences”
India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that India will not accept any shifting of Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and the Chinese army is now facing “unanticipated consequences” for its misadventure in Eastern Ladakh because of the “firm and strong” responses by the Indian armed forces. Meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria said the proactive deployment of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) “offensive” capabilities in response to the standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh demonstrated its current operational readiness and the strong posturing was instrumental in dissuading the adversary to a large extent. Both were addressing a virtual seminar organized by National Defence College in New Delhi.
Gen Rawat said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh remained tense and that India’s posturing to deal with it has been “unambiguous”, adding the country will not accept any shifting of the LAC. Talking about myriad external security challenges facing the nation, Gen Rawat also referred to “increasing collusion” between Pakistan and China and said it poses an “omnipresent danger” of regional strategic instability and threatens India’s territorial integrity.
We are moving towards a Peninsular/Maritime Theatre Command, an Air Defence Theatre Command and three lands centric Integrated Theatre Commands for our Northern and Western borders.
“The situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh remains tense. The PLA (China’s People Liberation Army) is facing unanticipated consequences of its misadventure in Ladakh because of the Indian defence force’s firm and strong response. Our posturing is unambiguous and we will not accept any shifting of the LAC,” he said
“In the overall security calculus, border confrontations, transgressions and unprovoked tactical military actions spiraling into a larger conflict cannot, therefore, be discounted….The constant friction with two of our nuclear-armed neighbours with whom India has fought wars, with both increasingly acting in collusion, poses an omnipresent danger of regional strategic instability with potential for escalation, threatening our territorial integrity and strategic cohesion,” said General Rawat.
Gen Rawat said Pakistan has continued to remain the epicenter of armed Islamist insurgency and terrorism. “For three decades now, the Pakistan Army and the ISI – known as the ‘Deep State’ have been waging a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir and are now increasingly resorting to non-kinetic means by launching vicious anti-India rhetoric on social media and propagating false communal narratives to create social disharmony within India,” he said.
Gen Rawat also listed various initiatives to reform the Indian defence forces through a variety of measures including ongoing work on setting up of theatre commands, reforming the procurement process to ensure optimal management of the allotted budget, initiatives to ensure jointness among three forces in training and logistics. “We are moving towards a Peninsular/Maritime Theatre Command, an Air Defence Theatre Command and three lands centric Integrated Theatre Commands for our Northern and Western borders. We are presently in advance stages of firming up the contours of the structures and transformation,” he said.
The IAF has deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar, and Mirage 2000 aircraft in the key frontier air bases in Eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Referring to the evolving geo-political situation, the CDS said China, with its ambition of emerging as a global power, is already making inroads into South Asia, Indian Ocean Region (IOR), and especially East Africa through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Chinese aspirations are evident in the ever-expanding Chinese military maritime footprints in the Indo Pacific, huge investments in the IOR littorals, and entering into strategic partnerships with a number of countries in the region like South Africa, Egypt, Pakistan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” he said.
Gen Rawat said the economic slowdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic has made China repressive at home but aggressive abroad as is evident through its posturing in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and Taiwan Straits. “For India, the challenges have manifested with military flare-ups along the LAC. In the coming years, we are likely to witness an aggressive pursuit of hegemonic interests by China manifesting through economic exploitation of weaker nations.”
Indian Air Force Chief Bhadauria said IAF’S strong posturing during the Ladakh standoff helped India ward off any threat from China. The proactive deployment of IAF’s “offensive” capabilities in response to the standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh demonstrated its current operational readiness and the strong posturing was instrumental in dissuading the adversary to a large extent.
“Over the past few months, the proactive deployment of our offensive capabilities in response to developments in Eastern Ladakh, both in terms of deployment of air assets as well as rapid airlifting of Army combat elements, demonstrated the IAF’s operational readiness today,” he said without elaborating.
“It is our belief that our pro-active action and strong posture was instrumental in dissuading the adversary from making further attempts…We remain hopeful that the peace and stability will be restored along the LAC through ongoing dialogue,” he said. The IAF has deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar, and Mirage 2000 aircraft in the key frontier air bases in Eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The newly inducted fleet of Rafale jets has also been carrying out sorties in Eastern Ladakh.
[with PTI inputs]
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