Indian army chief wants troops to remain on guard in case of another standoff with China

Indian Amry Cheif Bipin Rawat

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Sunday that situations similar to the ongoing standoff over Doklam Plateau between Indian and Chinese troops could recur in the future, adding that Indian troops should remain on guard, Times of India reported.

According to the Indian daily, the army chief said that even if Beijing and New Delhi arrive at a resolution regarding the current standoff, “our troops on the border should not feel it cannot happen again”.

“My message to the troops is to not let down [their] guard,” TOI quoted the army chief as saying.

The current border tension was triggered by the construction of a road by China in the Doklam area. New Delhi has maintained that the road construction will threaten its national security.

The army chief said that India and China have been unable to arrive at a resolution regarding the tense ongoing standoff between their troops due to different ideas about how it should be carried out, adding that the matter should be “dealt with at diplomatic and political levels,” TOIreported.

According to the daily, the Indian army chief noted that the capabilities of Chinese armed forces had progressed and Beijing’s influence in the region has been increasing as it developed economic and defence ties with neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

He maintained that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor ─ a flagship project of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative ─ is a violation of its sovereignty. India has remained incensed that projects under CPEC cut through the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The border trouble began in June when Chinese soldiers started to extend a road through the Doklam territory ─ known as “Donglang” in Chinese. The tense standoff between India and China has only escalatedsince then, raising concerns in both capitals of an all-out military conflict. Both sides have made threats while simultaneously calling for negotiations.

Source: Dawn

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