The ‘large-scale build-up’ of Chinese troops and the infrastructure built to sustain them was a ‘matter of concern’, the Army chief said.
Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane on Saturday said that the deployment of Indian soldiers will remain along the Line of Actual Control if the Chinese military continues its “large-scale build-up” along the border in Ladakh, India Today reported.
“…there has been infrastructural build-up by the Chinese side and that means they are there to stay…” Naravane said. “If they are there to stay, we are there to stay too. The build-up on our side and developments on our side, I would say are as good as what the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] has done.”
The Army chief said that the presence of the Chinese Army along the LAC could create a situation similar to that at the Line of Control, where troops are constantly present on the Indian and Pakistani sides.
“But definitely, we will have to keep a close eye on all the [Chinese] troop build-up and deployments to see that they do not get into any misadventure once again,” Naravane said.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their soldiers clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four.
New Delhi and Beijing had disengaged from Pangong Tso Lake in eastern Ladakh in February. After the commander-level talks on July 31, the two countries also agreed to disengage from Gogra.
On Saturday, Naravane also said that China has not been adhering to the protocols at the northern border.
“So, it means that they [People’s Liberation Army] are there to stay,” he said. “We are keeping a close watch on all these developments, but if they are there to stay, we are there to stay too,” he said.
Meanwhile, Naravane said that the Indian Army should focus on improving intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“So that has been the thrust of our modernisation over the last one year,” he said. “Similarly, other weapons and equipment that we thought we need for future, those have got our attention as well.”
Last week, Indian and Chinese troops reportedly engaged in a face-off near the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district. The incident took place between the border pass of Yangtse and Bum La.
Around 200 Chinese soldiers had crossed over into India’s side from Tibet and a few of them were detained. The matter was soon resolved and the Chinese soldiers were released.