Updated on: Friday, November 12, 2021, 06:01 PM IST

China biggest security threat to India, says Defence chief Bipin Rawat: Report


China has become India’s biggest security threat and the tens of thousands of troops and weaponry that New Delhi rushed to secure its disputed Himalayan border last year will not be able to return to base for a long time, Defense Chief General Bipin Rawat told Bloomberg.

India has positioned a large number of military personnel along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between Indian and Chinese territories, which will remain there for a long time, the General Rawat told Bloomberg. A trust deficit and mounting suspicion have become obstacles in the resolution process between the countries, he added.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat on Thursday had said the controversy about the Chinese coming into the Indian territory and building a new village is "not true", and that the villages were well within the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

He also asserted that China has not transgressed the Indian "perception" of the LAC. A lack of “trust" and growing “suspicion" is coming in the way of resolving the border dispute between the nuclear-armed neighbors, Rawat said late Thursday.

Last month, the 13th round of border talks between Indian and Chinese military commanders ended in a stalemate as both sides couldn’t agree on how to pull back from the border.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has shifted its strategic focus from long-time rival Pakistan after the deadliest India-China fighting in four decades erupted last summer. Twenty Indians and at least four Chinese soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand combat in a clash along the 3,488-kilometer (2,170 miles) border last June.

Since then, China and India have been adding to infrastructure, troops and military hardware along the disputed Himalayan frontier, Rawat said. “India is prepared for any misadventure along the border and in the sea," he added.

His comments coincided with India’s Foreign Ministry’s criticism of new Chinese construction in areas that both sides claim.

While referring to a Pentagon report that mentions a 100-home Chinese village in Arunachal Pradesh, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday said, "China has undertaken construction activities in the past several years along the border areas, including in the areas that it has illegally occupied over decades. India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims”, NDTV reported.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Friday, November 12, 2021, 06:02 PM IST