Indian army chief seeks multi-pronged approach to contain China

Indian army chief seeks multi-pronged approach to contain China

New Delhi, January 12 (  Indian  army chief Gen Bipin Rawat here said on Friday that  India needs a multi-pronged approach to deal with an assertive China that includes diplomatic, military and partnerships with other countries in the region.

“We understand China is a powerful country, but we are not a weak nation. China has to be dealt with by the entire government. Diplomatic engagement with China is one way and is happening well,” Gen.Rawat said.

“The focus has to shift to the northern borders, for too long we have focused on the western borders. We should start preparing for the next kind of warfare, which is cyber and space warfare,” he said at a press conference ahead of Army Day.

Gen Rawat called for a consistent focus on the neighborhood as part of building partnerships with like-minded countries.

“We are not getting into alliances but we are seeking support of other groups of nations in the region so that we are not isolated against an assertive China. We are looking at diplomatic, military and partnership with countries in the region. We cannot let our neighborhood drift away from us,” he asserted.

Gen Rawat said China had been constructing roads in north Doklam for many years and last June they came with a large amount of equipment and soldiers, forcing India to intervene on behalf of Bhutan.

He said as India intervened in the territory of another country, the Ministry of External Affairs was made the sole spokesperson to avoid confusion.

“The impression was they looked like changing the status quo. With China we have an agreement not to change the status quo..This was a change of status quo by building the road. So we intervened,” he said.

”The Chinese troop strength has gone down recently either due to winter or because they wanted to de-escalate. Tents and observation posts remain, a lot of which are temporary structures. We have seen a reduction in manpower. They may come back here after winter.  Should they come again, we will see what we can do,” he said.

Gen. Rawat sad that border demarcation talks between Bhutan and China are on.

(The featured image at the top is that of Indian Army chief, Gen.Bipin Rawat)