India's armed forces are capable of handling aggressive Chinese actions in "best suitable ways", Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said on Thursday, remarks that came against the backdrop of China's attempts to change the status quo in certain areas in eastern Ladakh.
In an interactive session at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Gen Rawat said India's policy of engagement, if not backed by credible military power and regional influence, would imply acknowledging China's preeminence in the region.
The former Chief of Army Staff said India faces the most complex threats and challenges spanning a full spectrum of possible conflict -- from nuclear to sub-conventional -- but asserted that the armed forces are ready to deal with them.
"Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways," Gen Rawat said at the online event. In a warning to Pakistan, he said the country will suffer "heavy losses" if it attempts any misadventure against India taking advantage of the border row with China.
The Chief of Defence Staff spoke extensively about how Pakistan has been engaged in a proxy war against India and pushing terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, attempted to spread terrorism in other parts of the country.
He also touched upon a host of other issues including India's vision for the Indo-Pacific region, importance of defence and security ties with the US and the government's focus on self-reliance in defence manufacturing.