Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat talks tough on China

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat talks tough on China

Social media and government schools in Jammu and Kashmir are spreading a "disinformation campaign" resulting in radicalisation of youth, Army chief General Bipin Rawat claimed Friday, and called for "some control" over mosques and madrasas in the state. I think time has come for us to focus on the northern border.

The past year witnessed swift retributions by the Indian Army to excursions along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, most recently when Indian commandos crossed the LoC to kill 3 Pakistani soldiers after the death of an Indian Army Major and 3 Jawans.

In reply to another question, he said India and the United States were deliberating on a proposal to appoint military liaison officers at each others combatant commands.

"Contact started increasing with increase in patrolling by both sides".

Talking about the Doklam issue, the Army chief said Chinese troops have maintained their presence in the northern part of Doklam, which is Chinese territory.

India and China were locked in a 75-day standoff previous year at Doklam on the trijunction with Bhutan over the building of a road by the Chinese military.

However, Rawat admitted that the Chinese troop strength in Doklam had gone down recently.

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"Why are they taking risks?"

Rawat said Indian soldiers crossed into foreign territory during the standoff but only because Chinese forces had "big equipment and they meant business".

The army chief's comments assume significance given that in recent past, China has been deepening ties with some South Asian nations and providing them with huge financial aid, which, some experts feel, may draw India's neighbours including the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal towards Beijing.

"The Chinese have stayed put in the area".

"As far as the north Doklam area comes, the Chinese are still there but there, too, they are thinning out". "It is again and again asking for going back to the 2003 ceasefire because of the pain felt", the Army chief said.

"It is not because we saw a threat".

General Rawat said the thinning might be due to the winter season, or because China wanted to de-escalate.

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