For the last seven years, India has been following a policy of dissuading China, said Air Marshal R K Dhir, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of South Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force, on Friday. “The hostile situation with both our neighbours has been, what it has been, always. As far as China is concerned, in the last seven years… we have gone on a programme where we dissuade them,” said Air Marshal Dhir when asked about India’s preparedness in connection with the stand-off with China at Doklam plateau. The IAF official was interacting with mediapersons at the Air Force Station in Vadsar, about 20 km from Ahmedabad city.
India and China have been locked in a tense stand-off in the Sikkim sector since Indian troops opposed the construction of a road by China’s People’s Liberation Army in the disputed territory towards Doklam plateau, an objection that the Royal Bhutanese Army has also raised, “As far as the border roads are concerned, the government has taken steps in the last 5-6 years to have specific improvement in movement of troops in the eastern region. As far as the movement of air force equipment and army personnel is required, you are aware that in the last few years, we have got out strategic lift capabilities in form of C-17 (Globemaster) and C-130 (Hercules), so that if there is any contingency, the nation can react as required and we can move our forces from a place to wherever it is needed. I am not being specific to any present day conditions,” Air Marshal Dhir added.
“These kind of things keep on happening and the country takes up a balanced view. But the capability with the defence forces to react in any region exists,” said the chief of SWAC that is headquartered at Gandhinagar.