New Delhi: The development of new infrastructure to sustain the military build-up and large-scale deployment by China in the eastern Ladakh region is a matter of concern and India keeps a close watch on all activities by the Chinese PLA, Army Chief. Staff General MM Naravane said on Saturday.
He said that if the Chinese army maintains deployment during the second winter, it could lead to a LoC-like situation (Line of Control), though not an active LoC as on the Western Front with Pakistan. The Chinese Army continues its deployment, the Indian Army will also maintain its presence on its side which is “as good as the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has done”.
Indian and Chinese armies have been at a standoff for nearly 17 months in several areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, though the two sides parted ways this year from several friction points after a series of talks.
“Yes, it is a matter of concern that large scale construction has happened and continues, and to sustain that kind of construction, there has been an equal amount of infrastructure development on the Chinese side,” Gen Naravane told Indian Today. Said at the conclave.
“So, that 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 there to stay too,” he said. General Naravane said the construction and infrastructure development on the Indian side is as good as the PLA has done.
“But what it will be, especially if they continue to be there during the second winter, certainly means that we will be in a kind of LC (Line of Control) situation, although not an active LC as in the Western Front.” But of course, we have to keep a close watch on the formation and deployment of all the troops so that they don’t fall into any misadventure once again.”
Responding to a question, General Naravane said it is difficult to understand why China initiated the standoff when the world was battling the COVID-19 pandemic and when that country had some issues on its eastern seaboard.
“Although all this is going on, it is very difficult to understand or understand to open another front. But whatever it may be, I do not think they have been able to achieve any of them because of the rapid response of the Indian armed by forces,” he said.
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 has happened on the northern border is a massive Due to construction. The Chinese side and non-compliance with various protocols. “So it is very clear what was the trigger for what has happened,” General Naravane said.
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 over the past year. Similarly, other weapons and equipment that we thought we would need for the future have also got our attention,” he said.
The border standoff between Indian and Chinese armies started on May 5 last year in eastern Ladakh following violent clashes in the Pangong Lake area. Both sides gradually increased their deployment by carrying thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weapons.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the demilitarization process in the Gogra region in August. In February, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern shores of Pangong Lake in line with an agreement on secession.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive area.