New Delhi: With the face-off between India and China at Doklam, Sikkim continuing, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General Sarath Chand said in New Delhi on Tuesday China will continue to remain a threat to the country in future. The Army’s candid admission followed the insistence of China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is the first top Chinese leader to have commented so far on the Doklam dispute, that India should “conscientiously withdraw” its troops from the disputed area for a “simple” solution to the over a month-long border stand-off.
(Video By : NDTV)
“On the North, we have China which has a large landmass, huge resources and a large standing Army. Despite having the Himalayas between us, China is bound to be a threat for us in the years ahead,” he said while addressing a joint seminar of the Army’s Master General Ordnance and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Referring to China’s rapid military modernisation, he said a large portion of Chinese Defence spending remains undisclosed.
“As the second largest economy in the world it is racing to catch up with the US,” he observed. This year China has hiked Defence spending to $152 billion, about three
times that of India, but the real allocation is estimated to be much higher.
Referring to Pakistan, he said being a smaller country with smaller economy, it chooses to provoke and needle India unconventionally rather than engage in a full-fledged war and added, “That suits its all-weather friend China.” Observing that South Asia continues to be one of the most “volatile regions” in the world, Lt Gen Chand said India being in the centre of it is the security provider for this region.
In order to achieve this position and capability, India needs to become economically strong lest not only we have influence in the area but also to secure ourselves.
The world recognises strength both economic and military, he remarked.
Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Minister Wang put the onus on India to end the border stalemate, claimed that India “admitted” to entering Chinese territory.
“The rights and wrongs are very clear and even senior Indian officials have openly stated that Chinese troops did not enter into the Indian territory,” Wang said in Bangkok.
“In other words, the Indian side admitted to entering the Chinese territory. The solution to this problem is very simple: conscientiously withdraw,” he said in a brief quote in Chinese posted on China’s Foreign Ministry’s website.
Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Pioneer.