Army Chief: Mutual distrust and confrontation is rising due to China`s action
On Friday, army chief General Manoj Naravane said that the confrontation and mutual distrust has started as China is rising footprint in India`s neighbourhood, with that country to unilaterally alter the status quo along borders.
This statement has come at a time when there is disengagement between Indian and Chinese troop in the Pangong Tso area of Ladakh.
“China’s aggressive behaviour along the Line of Actual Control as part of its strategy of military coercion, and increased footprint and investments in India’s neighbourhood aim at restricting India strategic space and leadership role,” said Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (retd), a former director general of military operations.
The army chief said, “The regional security environment was characterised by Chinese belligerence in the Indo-Pacific, Beijing’s hostility towards weaker nations and its relentless drive to create regional dependencies through steps such as the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)– a state-backed global infrastructure development project covering scores of countries”.
Both India and the United States oppose BRI because it favours Chinese firms and Beijing employs predatory lending practices.
“The resultant Sino-US rivalry has created regional imbalances and instability,” Naravane said.
“Although endowed with natural resources, the North-east is a laggard in growth and development. Protracted insurgencies, legacy issues further accentuated after partition and inefficient integration with rest of India account for much of what the region faces today,” Naravane said.
He said, “The security situation in the North-east had improved significantly and two army divisions had been pulled out of counter-insurgency and internal security duties, and were now solely focused on their operational role along the northern borders. This has been a significant achievement. The operational responsibility of these areas has now been taken over by the Assam Rifles”.
The focus on borders and training for conventional operations will increase and will help the army. The exposure of army should be reduced to counter insurgency and counter terrorism duties as it results in blunting the force`s focus on its main task- defending the country from external aggression, several parliamentary panels have made recommendations in their reports.