Rebalancing approach to deal with security challenges along frontier with China: Army Chief

Addressing a press conference on the eve of Army Day, Gen Naravane also said the long-pending hotline between the two militaries will be set up soon as differences over it have been resolved.

Published: 11th January 2020 10:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2020 10:48 PM   |  A+A-

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For representational purposes (File | AFP)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Army Chief Gen M M Naravane on Saturday said the Army is taking a raft of measures including moving advanced weapons and developing infrastructure as part of its approach of "rebalancing" operational preparedness for combating any security challenges along the frontier with China.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of Army Day, Gen Naravane also said the long-pending hotline between the two militaries will be set up soon as differences over it have been resolved.

"We have to balance out our preparation along the northern border. We are going in for a lot of capacity building, laying roads to forward areas, creating storage for ammunition and moving advanced weapon systems to our eastern side," he said.

Asked about the situation at Siachen glacier, Gen Naravane said Indian forces should not lose sight as threat of collusion between China and Pakistan is maximum in the area.

"We need to hold on to it. This can take place at any level, but Siachen and Shaksgam Valley are the places where the territory of these two countries meets," said the Army Chief.

Gen Naravane said the Indian Army is now prepared for any challenge along the frontier with China as a result of "rebalancing" its preparedness.

"At one point of time, the focus was more towards the western front (Pakistan). We think, now, that both western and northern fronts are equally important and it is in that context, rebalancing is taking place," he said.

Asked how prepared the Army is to deal with a two-front war involving Pakistan and China simultaneously, he said a primary front and a secondary front would be identified.

He said the bulk of the resources would be deployed on the primary front and an approach of deterrent posture would be adopted to deal with the secondary front.

On incidents of transgressions by the Chinese Army, Gen Naravane said such issues are being addressed under the broad framework of strategic guidelines given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Army Chief said maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border will help the negotiators in arriving at a solution to the boundary issue.

On the visit of Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh to China, Gen Naravane said he had been extended all the courtesies and the trip reflected the bonhomie between the two sides.

The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.

Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas.

The focus of the second informal summit between Modi and Xi in Mamallapuram in October was to further broaden India-China ties.

The two leaders held their first informal summit in April 2018 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, months after India-China relations came under severe strain following a 73-day standoff between their armies in Doklam.

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