Air Marshal rejects US report on India-China war

BANGALORE: A top military officer on Friday dismissed a US intelligence assessment that the Indian Army is strengthening itself for a "limited conflict" with China, asserting the cou

Published: 04th February 2012 12:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:49 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: A top military officer on Friday dismissed a US intelligence assessment that the Indian Army is strengthening itself for a "limited conflict" with China, asserting the country's armed forces are more of deterrence to rivals.

"The US intelligence publishes reports specially pertaining to other countries ... our strong armed forces are more of deterrence to enemies eyeing our territories," Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Headquarters Training Command, Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja told reporters in Bangalore.

India does not have any territorial aspirations and is a peaceful country, Kukreja said, adding, "to maintain peace, the country needs to have strong armed forces."

Director of US National Intelligence James Clapper had early this week said, "The Indian Army believes a major Sino-Indian conflict is not imminent, but the Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean."

India is looking at peaceful interaction with nations in the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying Indian strategic interests have extended up to countries like Vietnam, Kukreja said.

Asked if the US was having any motive behind predicting limited India-China conflict, he said "I can't say there is any motive ... Every country has self-interest and it works accordingly."

To a query if Chinese acquisitions were a cause of worry for India, Kukreja claimed, "Chinese technology is not sound compared to India's."

"Of whatever I have seen in the market ... Chinese toys break within two months ... a DVD and a camera lasts for one month ... Whatever we are acquiring and developing is far better than the Chinese ...," Kukreja said.

Replying to another query, he said the armed forces are prepared 24/7 and there should not be any cause for worry on "war" preparedness.

"Even though we have not been at war for over four decades, we are prepared 24/7 for 365 days," he said.

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