With India and China scheduled to hold the 13th round of Corps Commander talks on Sunday, Army chief General Manoj Naravane, referring to the largescale build-up by China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, on Saturday said that if the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is there to stay, the Indian Army is there to stay too.
Gen. Naravane said if the Chinese side maintained the deployment through the second winter it would “definitely mean that we will be in a kind of LoC [Line of Control] situation though not an active LoC as is there on the western front”.
“Yes, it is a matter of concern that the largescale build-up has occurred and continues to be in place, and to sustain that kind of a build-up, there has been an equal amount of infrastructure development on the Chinese side,” Gen. Naravane said at the India Today conclave. “So, it means that they (China) are there to stay. 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.
Gen. Naravane said it was difficult to understand why China sort of opened one more front (in Ladakh) while it has problems on its other borders. “But whatever it might have been, I do not think they have been able to achieve any of those because of the rapid response by the Indian armed forces,” he added.
Last week, during a visit to the forward areas of eastern Ladakh, the Army chief had expressed confidence that through talks they would be able to reach a consensus on how the disengagement would take place and all the friction points resolved.
At the same time, he said China had deployed troops in considerable numbers across eastern Ladakh and the northern front right up to the Eastern Command, but added that the Indian side was well poised to meet “any eventuality”.
Citing Chinese military sources, State run newspaper China Daily termed reports of Chinese soldiers being detained by Indian soldiers after a face-off near Yangtse in the Tawang Sector of Arunachal Pradesh as “purely fabricated and hyped by Indian media” and a “smear campaign” by the Indian side.
The incident occurred last week as the two patrol teams came face to face and clashed following which some Chinese soldiers were detained for a few hours and released after the issue was resolved by the local commanders.
According to a military source cited by China Daily , the Chinese border troops conducted a routine patrol on September 28 in the Dongzhang area on the “Chinese side of the Sino-Indian border and encountered unreasonable obstruction from the Indian military”.
“The Chinese officers and soldiers took countermeasures resolutely and returned after the patrol mission was completed,” the newspaper quoted the source as having said.