- Army chief said development of new infrastructure from China is a matter of concern
- Naravane said – both sides have backed out of many points of confrontation after a series of talks
- General said- standoff with China due to non-compliance of various protocols
Army Chief MM Naravane on Saturday said the development of new infrastructure to sustain the Chinese military mobilization and large-scale deployment in the eastern Ladakh region is a matter of concern and India should keep a close watch on all activities of the Chinese PLA. Has happened. Naravane said that if the Chinese Army maintains deployment even during the second winter, it could lead to a LoC (Line of Control)-like situation, though not an active LoC, as is the case with Pakistan on the Western Front.
The Chief of the Army Staff said that if the Chinese Army continues its deployment, the Indian Army will also maintain its presence on its side which is “similar to the PLA”. There has been a standoff between the armies of India and China for almost 17 months in many areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. However, after a series of talks, both sides have backed out of many points of conflict.
General Naravane said in the ‘India Today Conclave’, “Yes, it is a matter of concern that there has been large scale gathering and it continues and to sustain that kind of gathering, there is a similar scale of infrastructure on the China side.” He said, “So, it means they (PLA) are there to stay. We are keeping a close watch on all these developments, but if they are there to stay, then we are also there to stay.
General Naravane said that the deployment and infrastructure development from the Indian side is similar to that of the PLA. “But what will happen, especially if they continue to be there even during the second winter, it definitely means that we will be in a kind of LC (Line of Control) situation, though that’s what it is,” he said. There will not be an active LC as it is on the Western Front.
General Naravane said in response to a question that it is difficult to understand why China started the standoff at a time when the world was battling the Covid-19 Pandemic and when it was facing some issues on the east sea side of the country. He said, “While all this is going on, it is difficult to understand the point of opening another front.” Because of which any one of them could achieve anything.
Asked to comment on the overall situation in eastern Ladakh, Gen Naravane referred to a recent statement by a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs and said that he has clearly mentioned that whatever happened on the northern border is not a matter of China. This is due to massive military gathering on the part and non-compliance of various protocols.
The Army Chief said that after the standoff in Eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army realized that it needed to do more in the area of ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance). “So this has been the biggest force of our modernization in the last one year. Similarly, other weapons and equipment that we thought we would need for the future have also caught our attention.
The border standoff between Indian and Chinese armies began on May 5 last year in eastern Ladakh following violent clashes in the Pangong Lake area. Both sides gradually increased their deployment with thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weapons. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the withdrawal process from the Gogra region in August. In February, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake in line with an agreement. At present, around 50,000 to 60,000 soldiers from both sides are deployed in the sensitive area along the LAC.