China Challenging Might of USA as it Gave Equal Importance to Military and Economy: Army Chief
"The Chinese have finally arrived. I can say that. They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy, that is why they stand strong today in the international world order, challenging the might of USA," Army chief General Bipin Rawat said in New Delhi.
File photo of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Tuesday that China has arrived on the world stage and was challenging the dominance of United States of America as they understood the importance of ratcheting up defence prowess alongside their economy.
"The Chinese have finally arrived. I can say that. They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy, that is why they stand strong today in the international world order, challenging the might of USA," he said while giving a speech on 'Changing Security Environment: The Role of Indian Army' in New Delhi.
Hinting that India should follow suit, he said that the global spotlight was now on India as countries now look at New Delhi to act as a counter-balance.
"After that focus of the international community shifted towards Indo-Pacific region. As China has risen, countries have started looking up to India to see whether we can also become a nation that can balance the rise of China. It is all because of China's assertiveness," he said.
Rawat also sought to bust the myth that money spent on military is money down the drain. “There is a belief that the defence expenditure is actually a burden on the state. I want to dispel that myth. If your economy has to rise, you have to ensure security to that establishment that is going to be poured in your country," he said.
"Is entire defence expenditure being utilized only for maintaining military? This is the second myth I wish to dispel. Almost 35% of our budget goes into nation-building," he added.
The Army Chief also announced that the annual India-China military exercise will resume, noting that the relationship between the two countries which had turned "sour" after the Doklam stand-off was now improving.
He said the military diplomacy with China worked and the border personnel meetings that had stopped post Doklam stand-off have begun again. The "bonhomie" between the two forces was back, Rawat said.
"The hand-in-hand exercise with China happens every year. Only in the last year, this exercise was shelved (due to simmering tensions over Doklam), but this exercise is back on the cards," he said in response to a question. The border personnel of India and China were locked in a 73-day stand-off last year in Doklam.
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