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India watchful of threat from China

March 21, 2011


NEW DELHI: “India is conscious and watchful of the implication of China’s evolving military profile in the immediate and extended neighborhood,” says Indian Defence Ministry’s Annual Report for 2010-11.

Even as the report says that the country’s relation with China are of “crucial importance” and its policy is to engage Beijing is based on principles of “mutual trust and respect and sensitivity for each other” it has made it obvious that Chinese specific military preparations by India are under consolidation and will gain momentum in future.

Indian military formations, till now have been mostly field formations capable of undertaking operations in plains and not high altitude mountainous terrain which comprises country’s borders with China.

The rising military budget has enabled India to raise mountain divisions and shop for weapon systems that can help her conduct operations against China. India has already raised two mountain divisions comprising 25,000 to 30, 000 troops for deployment along the Chinese borders in Arunachal Pradesh and has started deploying IAF Squadrons closer to Chinese borders. The IAF has deployed two squadrons of Su-30 MKI advance fighter jets at Tezpur (150 km south of border in Arunachal Pradesh) and is in the process of upgrading four to five airfields and Advance Landing Grounds (ALG); including the strategically located ALG at Daulat Beg Oldie and in Chushul in the proximity of the Karakoram Highway.

According to observers, India’s Chinese specific military preparations are indicative of country’s inflexible position on its border related issues with China. It is important to note that India is the only country in the region having such issues.

According to analysts India has begun to raise a military profile that sees China as the major military challenge in the long term and has started building a military capability in line with that assessment.

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