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More Doklam-like Standoffs with China Likely in Future, Says Army Chief Bipin Rawat

General Bipin Rawat said that during the flag meetings with Chinese counterparts, the Indian Army keeps insisting that both sides should return to the pre-June 16 positions (before the stand-off began), but no resolution has been found yet.


Updated:August 27, 2017, 8:08 AM IST
More Doklam-like Standoffs with China Likely in Future, Says Army Chief Bipin Rawat
File photo of Army chief General Bipin Rawat. (PTI)
Pune: With China attempting to “change the status quo” on the Indo-China border, incidents like the Doklam standoff are likely to "increase" in the future, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat threatened on Saturday.

“The recent standoff in the Doklam plateau by the Chinese side attempting to change the status quo are issues which we need to be wary about, and I think such kind of incidents are likely to increase in the future," Rawat said.

The Army chief was delivering the General B C Joshi Memorial Lecture on ‘India’s Challenges in the Current Geo-Strategic Construct’. The event was being organised by the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies of Savitribai Phule Pune University here on Saturday evening.

Later, while speaking to the reporters on the sidelines, he explained the statement and said, "We should not be complacent. Let us say that this standoff is resolved, but our troops should not feel that it cannot happen again in another sector.”

"Pockets of dispute and contested claims to the territory continue to exist. These are due to differing perceptions on the alignments of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).”

"Transgressions across Line of Actual Control do happen and sometimes they do lead to some kind of misunderstanding between the forward troops... however, we do have joint mechanisms in place to address such situations," said Rawat.

General Bipin Rawat further added that during the flag meetings with their Chinese counterparts, the Indian Army keeps keep insisting that both sides should return to the pre-June 16 positions (before the stand-off began), but there has been no mutual agreement on it.

"Now it is happening at the diplomatic and political level, as it needs to be resolved diplomatically and through political initiatives," he said.

Chinese armed forces have made significant progress in capabilities for mobilisation, application and sustenance of operations, particularly in the Tibet autonomous region of China, he noted.

"This is due to the development of force infrastructure of military significance. Their force re-organisation along with developing capabilities in space and network-centric warfare is likely to provide them greater synergy in force application," Rawat said.

While China continues to enhance its influence in the region, the Army Chief said, “It is always better to be prepared and alert than think that this will not happen again. So my message to troops is that do not let your guard down."

"China is already doing so by increasing the defence and economic partnerships in the neighbourhood, especially in Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) challenges India's sovereignty," he stated.

Confirmation for annual joint military exercises with China is still awaited this year, he said. "We have been doing the exercise every year. One year our team goes to China and on the second year, their team comes to us. While this time the exercise is planned in October, it is not being confirmed (from their side) yet, whether it will take place or not," he said.

Asked if the ongoing stand-off was the reason for this, Rawat said, "It could be, but we are not sure."

Rawat also slammed Pakistan for waging a proxy war in Jammu & Kashmir and said the increasing presence of transnational actors with fundamental ideologies in that country is a matter of grave concern.

“Pakistan's unabated reliance and support to Jihadi groups have serious ramifications. This can lead to the possibility of Pakistan being a conduit for the eastward spread of fundamentalist and the Islamic ideology. This lends a complex dimension to the threat not only for us, but also for other countries of South and East Asia, including China," Rawat said.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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