According to sources, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said on Wednesday that China manages to achieve its objectives without firing a bullet or losing lives as its incremental moves were not contested, but this strategy won’t work against India.
Referring to Beijing’s aggressive and expansionist moves, the Army chief said China is in the habit of creeping forward and making very small incremental changes.“Because of the very small incremental moves, which were never contested, China has been able to achieve its aims (territorial expansion) without firing a shot without any loss of life,” Gen Naravane said.
The Army Chief was addressing a webinar organized by the Vivekanand International Foundation. He said this is a glaring example of China’s moves in the South China Sea, but added that India will not allow this to happen.
Referring to India’s resolve in Ladakh he said, “I think more than anything else what we have achieved is to show that this strategy will not work with us. Every such move will be met resolutely.”
He called the recent disengagement in Pangong Tso a “win-win situation”. On the other hand, he cautioned about other areas in Eastern Ladakh.
“Going forward, there are some issues which remain which we mentioned in areas of Depsang. Defence Minister (Rajnath Singh) himself mentioned this in his update to Parliament. There are pending issues in Eastern Ladakh, besides other issues along the Line of Actual Control. We have our strategies in place for that,” the Army chief said.
Praising the Indian soldiers for showing their brave resolve in Ladakh during the clash with PLA, he said, “We owe it to the great determination of men on the ground and junior leadership who struck out through very adverse winter conditions and were willing to go that extra mile in carrying out their duties. We actually owe it all to them.”
Despite the initial disengagement, the Army Chief sounded a warning while dealing with China and stated that the Chinese side cannot be trusted.
“In whatever we are doing, we also keep in mind that we have to be wary. We will be very cautious and I mentioned in my talk also that there is a trust deficit. Unless that trust deficit is removed, we will of course continue to be very wary and watch whatever movement happen on either side. But I think at the end of the day we have achieved a lot,” he said.
Speaking about the disengagement process, he said there is still a long way to go. “We now have to go at a stage of de-escalation and of course, after that moving back of troops and the de-induction of troops will have to be carried out.”