New Delhi, 27 August 2017
Chief of Army Staff, Genera Bipin Rawat, while delivering General BP Joshi Memorial Lecture at Savitribai Phule Pune University said that China is attempting to ‘change the status quo’ on its border with India and incidents like the ongoing stand-off in the Doklam area are ‘likely to increase in future’.
“The recent stand-off in the Doklam plateau by the Chinese side attempting to change the status quo are issues which we need to be wary about, and I think such kind of incidents are likely to increase in the future”.
He also said that “Transgressions across Line of Actual Control do happen and sometimes they do lead to some kind of misunderstanding between the forward troops. However, we do have joint mechanisms in place to address such situations”
He added that during the flag meetings with Chinese counterparts, the Indian Army keeps insisting that both sides should return to the pre-June 16 positions (before the stand-off began), but no resolution has been found yet. “Now it is happening at the diplomatic and political level, as it needs to be resolved diplomatically and through political initiatives.
General Rawat in his lecture observed that “China continues to enhance its influence in the region. It is dong so by increased defence and economic partnerships in the neighbourhood specially in Pakistan, Maldives, Srilanka and Myanmar”. He also insisted that “China Pakistan Economic Corridor or the CPEC passing through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) challenges India’s sovereignty”.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.