National

China’s actions in South China Sea shows changing geopolitical realities, says Gen. Naravane

Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane. | File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The nature of warfare has changed, with geostrategic realities being altered without a shot being fired and China’s island reclamation in the South China Sea is a prime example, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Wednesday.

Referring to the Balakot air strike as an example, he said military escalation could be managed if played with skill.

“China’s dominance and its taking over of the islands in the South China Sea is a prime example of this. With small incremental steps, none of which by themselves were serious enough to warrant any action or reaction, but cumulatively they achieved their aim without firing a shot,” he said, adding geostrategic spaces were being constricted without altering the state of peace.

Also read: China has realised it cannot support Pak. all the time: Army Chief

He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Changing characteristics of land warfare and its impact on the military’ organised by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies.

Gen. Naravane said there was also a new phenomenon, the availability of sufficient space for demonstration of military prowess/ascendancy “below the threshold of an all-out conflict” and referred to the attack by Houthi rebels on Riyadh airport and oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the Balakot air strike by the Indian Air Force.

Also read: India reserves right to preemptively strike at sources of terror, says Army Chief

He said these incidents showed “short, intense, escalatory cycles, of military activity, in full media glare, where sophisticated information narratives played an equally important role.”

“For years, we were told that if and when air force crosses the International Border, it would escalate to full-fledged war,” Gen. Naravane said, adding, “Balakot demonstrated that if you play the escalatory game with skill, military ascendancy can be established in short cycles of conflict that do not necessarily lead to war.”

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:30:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/focusing-on-dynamic-response-that-is-below-threshold-of-all-out-war-army-chief/article30979297.ece

Next Story