Amid China’s attempts to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat Thursday said the country’s armed forces are capable of handling aggressive Chinese actions in “best suitable ways”.
“Of late, India has been seeing some aggressive actions by China but we are capable of handling these in the best suitable ways,” Rawat was quoted as saying by PTI at an interactive session at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
Rawat’s remarks come after the Ministry of External Affairs said the situation witnessed in the border areas in eastern Ladakh over the past four months is a “direct result” of actions taken by China aimed at effecting unilateral change in the status quo of the region.
Tensions soared in Ladakh after the Indian Army announced this week that it had taken “measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions” to change the status quo on the south bank of Pangong Tso. This is the latest friction point between the two armies ever since the standoff began in early May.
In a warning to Pakistan, Rawat said the country will suffer “heavy losses” if it attempts any misadventure against India taking advantage of the border row with China.
The former Chief of Army Staff said India’s policy of engagement, if not backed by credible military power and regional influence, would imply acknowledging China’s preeminence in the region, adding that the country faces the most complex threats and challenges spanning a full spectrum of possible conflict — from nuclear to sub-conventional — but asserted that the armed forces are ready to deal with them.
The Chief of Defence Staff also attacked Pakistan for its proxy war against India and “pushing terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, attempted to spread terrorism in other parts of the country”.
He also touched upon a host of other issues including India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region, importance of defence and security ties with the US and the government’s focus on self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
(Inputs from PTI)