Doklam-like incidents may increase, can’t take it easy: Army chief Bipin Rawat

Army chief Bipin Rawat said, “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.”

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Updated: August 27, 2017 8:03 am
doklam standoff, india china ties, doklam issue, General Bipin Rawat, doklam incidents, Chinese troops, Line of Actual Control, LAC, china, india news Army chief General Bipin Rawat in Pune on Saturday. (Source: Express photo by Sandip Daundkar)

CHIEF of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said incidents like the ongoing Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were likely to “increase in the future” with China “attempting to change the status quo between the two countries”.

Saying that the Chinese armed forces had made “significant progress in capabilities for force mobilisation… and sustenance of operations, particularly in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China”, Rawat said, “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.”

However, the Army chief also said there were “joint mechanisms” to address such situations. “Pockets of disputes and contested claims to territory continue to exist between our two nations. These are due to differing perceptions on the alignment of the LAC. Transgressions along LAC do happen. And sometimes these do lead to some kind of misunderstanding between forward troops deployed along the LAC. However, we do have joint mechanisms in place…” He was speaking on the topic ‘India’s Challenges in the Current Geo-Strategic Construct’ at the General BC Joshi Memorial Lecture at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune.

Later, during an interaction with the media on the sidelines of the event, when he was asked to elaborate on why he said Doklam-like incidents were “likely to increase”, he replied, “What I am trying to say is we should not be complacent. Let us say this standoff gets resolved, our troops on the border should not think it cannot happen again; it can happen in another sector. It is always better to be prepared and be alert rather than think that this will not happen again. So my message to troops is, do not let your guard down.”

He also said that China was yet to confirm its participation in an annual joint military exercise. “We do have joint exercises with China that have been conducted over the past several years, but this year, the confirmation from the Chinese side is awaited,” he said, adding, “But on the other hand, diplomacy between the two countries and the flag meetings do continue.”

On Pakistan, Rawat said, “Pakistan continues to wage a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. The increasing presence of transnational actors in Pakistan with fundamentalist ideologies is a matter of grave concern… This can lead to the possibility of Pakistan being a conduit for the eastward spread of fundamentalists and Islamic State ideology.”

As per tradition, the Gen B C Joshi Memorial lecture is delivered by a serving service chief. The lecture was organised by the department of defence and strategic studies of Savitribai Phule Pune University and the Southern Command Headquarters.

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  1. Ashish Moulik
    Aug 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm
    Ignoring neighbors China planned his expansionism desire,suger coated with extending help for development with bully approach,shall be cause of conflict to day or tomorrow.still neighbors calmly watching China's move,any extension shall be cause to disturb this area,pak region will also come to turmoil,China has to face a big blow for cepak,as army dominance reduces in pak which is due in very short time as perception is changing very fast .hence war is inevitable to bring natural balance in this region,after that no one afford to play a bully approach to neighbour.
    1. W
      Aug 27, 2017 at 1:04 pm
      The truth is there is no India this country in history, The India is a combination called 'east india company' only.
      1. Joji Cherian
        Aug 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm
        I DO believe that there is a Pakistani angle in the Chinese posturing.And the problem as I see it is being aggravated by the fanatic pseudo nationalists' chest thumping war cry against Pakistan.This war cry is for internal consumption.Pakistan being only a euphemism.It is against the Muslims within the country.For that purpose only they target Pakistan.It is an obvious reality that China will protect Pakistan.Only those who are being carried away by hatred and prejudice are blind to this fact. There are elements in the establishment who believe that the resentment of America towards China can be capitalised in India's favor in the possible scenario of an armed conflict.How naive
        1. K
          K Janardhana
          Aug 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm
          Sir, to counter PLA threat from China, the retired defence personnel may be given a chance on contract basis offering good pay to counter them to match their numbers.
          1. Damodar Biswal
            Aug 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm
            The dragon has realised that India is not what it was in 1962 n has wisely backed out.No body wants a full scale war which may bring destruction to the entire human community.Both India n china understand this.The global community has rightly backed India which wants peace.
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