Day before talks, Army chief says infrastructure shows PLA is 'here to stay' at LAC

Says if the Chinese military maintains the deployment through the second winter, it may lead to an LoC-like situation though not an active LoC as is there on the western front with Pakistan

Day before talks, Army chief says infrastructure shows PLA is 'here to stay' at LAC

Gen MM Naravane. Tribune file

Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 10

Indicating that the militaries of India and China have “dug in their heels” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Saturday said the infrastructure build-up by China along its side of the LAC seems they are “here to stay”.

“We are keeping a close watch on development. If they are there to stay at the LAC we are there to stay too. We have matched the infrastructure on our side,” said the Army Chief.   The built-up by the Chinese shows they are at the LAC for a second winter—the first one being last year.

The Army Chief was speaking at a function organised by media house,  India Today, and his remarks come a day ahead of the scheduled 13th round of talks between senior military commanders of either side.

On being asked if the LAC could turn into a Line of Control (LoC) type deployment, the General said “ We will be in LoC-kind of a situation but not as active as the LoC.”  

The LoC is the 749 km divide between India and Pakistan. Troops are eyeball-to-eyeball.

Talking about the trigger to the ensuing military stand-off in Eastern Ladakh, the Army Chief said the Ministry of External Affairs has made it very clear. On October 7, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said “this (tension along the LAC) started with China’s unilateral move that disturbed peace and tranquility. We made counter deployments to counter China”.

On being asked to judge what could the adversary be thinking, the General said  “This is a question to understand why the Chinese  have done this ( at LAC) when the world was reeling under a pandemic and they had their own issues on their eastern seaboard (with US over Taiwan).” China has not achieved anything because of the rapid response of the Indian Army, he added.  

The nature of warfare is changing and technology is going to play a very important part in war. “Future could have more over the horizon strikes rather than physical engagement,” he said adding in the case of India unsettled borders means we cannot do away with ‘boots on the ground’ as we embrace technology. After the LAC stand off the Army is now focused on intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

 

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