The possibility of transgressions and confrontations on the border spiralling into a larger conflict cannot be ruled out, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has said, adding that India will not accept any shifting of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and China is facing “unanticipated consequences of its misadventure in Ladakh.”
“In the overall security calculus, border confrontation, transgressions and unprovoked tactical military actions spiralling into a larger conflict cannot be discounted,” Gen Rawat said at the diamond jubilee seminar of the National Defence College, in a reference to the current border situation.
The CDS said that India’s posturing on the LAC is clear that it would not accept any changes to the boundary. “The situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh remains tense and the PLA is facing unanticipated consequences of its misadventure in Ladakh because of the Indian armed forces firm and strong response,” Gen Rawat said, in a reference to Indian actions in Chushul that have troubled China.
Chief of defence staff has said on a firm and strong response come even as another round of Corps Commander level talks are ongoing in Ladakh. Gen Rawat also raised the increasing collusion between China and Pakistan as a security challenge for India and said that it presents the danger of regional instability with the potential for escalation.
“Constant friction with our two nuclear-armed neighbours with whom India has fought wards, increasingly acting in collusion, poses an omnipresent danger of regional strategic instability with the potential for escalation,” the officer said.
The CDS, who spoke of the planned transformation of the forces into theatre commands and other reforms, also referred to China’s increasing footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). “The future world would witness increasing militarisation of the key Belt and Road outposts in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR),” Gen Rawat said, adding that the perception of the vulnerability of the IOR is a serious security challenge to India.
India and China have been locked in a tense border confrontation since early May when the PLA moved thousands of troops accompanied by armour and rocket forces to Eastern Ladakh. The PLA has taken control of a disputed area along the northern banks of the Pangong lake while India has deployed troops on the heights of the southern bank. A bloody clash took place on June 15 in the Galwan valley, leading to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and an undeclared number of PLA troops.