Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane in Ladakh
Army chief says the frontier could be headed towards “a kind of LC (Line of Control) situation” if China continues to maintain the deployment of its forces through the winters for a second year in a row.
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane has raised concerns on China’s continued deployment of forces across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), saying that the frontier could be headed towards “a kind of LC (Line of Control) situation” if China continues to maintain the deployment of its forces through the winters for the second year in a row.
“…if they continue to stay there through the second winter, it definitely means that we will be in a kind of LC (Line of Control) situation though not an active LC as is there on the western front,” he said.
The Army chief also said that China continues to maintain its deployments along the LAC and is also developing infrastructure.
“Yes, it is a matter of concern that the large-scale build-up has occurred and continues to be in place, and to sustain that kind of a build-up, there has been an equal amount of infrastructure development on the Chinese side,” General Naravane said at the Indian Today conclave.
It means they are here to stay, he noted.
“So, it means that they (PLA) are there to stay. We are keeping a close watch on all these developments, but if they are there to stay, we are there to stay too,” he has been quoted by the PTI as saying.
General Naravane’s comments come just a day after news of China’s attempted incursion into Arunachal’s Tawang made headlines. The Indian Army was able to foil the incursion and push back the Chinese soldiers, but this led to some jostling and a minor face-off, reports said.
At least one report said that India had briefly detained a few Chinese soldiers after they entered Indian territory in the Tawang district.
China claims almost the entire Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang, which is home to the second largest monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in the world, the largest one being the Potala Palace in Lhasa. (Read: Why China Wants Tawang, Explained)
General Naravane said that the Indian Army continues to keep a close eye on the build-up of troops by the Chinese.
“But definitely, we will have to keep a close eye on all the troop build-up and deployments to see that they do not get into any misadventure once again,” the Army Chief said at the conclave.
According to the PTI, he also accepted that there is a need to do more in the area of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“So that has been the thrust of our modernisation over the last one year. Similarly, other weapons and equipment that we thought we need for future, those have got our attention also,” General Naravane said.