Indian Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pandey stated that the situation along the India-China border is stable but unpredictable, and China can’t be trusted easily.
During the annual pre-Army Day meeting with the media, Gen Pandey addressed the border issue and assured that the Army is ready for any situation. He further added that adequate force is deployed along the Line of Actual Control.
India and China have continued to hold talks to settle all the issues, both at diplomatic and military levels. According to the Chief of Army Staff, five of the seven unsettled issues have been solved now, without any disturbance.
Without naming China in his statements, Gen Pandey said, “All the attempts to break the peaceful status at the LAC have been prevented successfully. In Doklam, all the activities are strictly monitored”.
Gen. Pandey further elaborated by appreciating the infrastructure upgrade along the India-China border. Around Rs 1300 crores have been spent in the Ladakh region for infrastructural and habitat requirements of forces in the past 3 years.
Past clashes along India-China Border
China has been notorious in the past few years. The number of clashes along the border is on the rise since 2020. During the summer of 2020, when the whole world was suffering from the deadly Coronavirus, China, the epicenter of the very virus, was fighting Indian soldiers at the Galwan valley. India-China held 17 military talks to solve these clashes.
19 Indian Soldiers and their superior Colonel Santosh Babu, were killed in these clashes. China only admitted the loss of 4 of their soldiers, however, according to the Indian Army, the number was relatively higher as compared to Indian soldiers.
However, China repeated the act on 9 December 2022. This clash went down in Tawang, Andhra Pradesh, where hundreds of soldiers from both sides clashed along the border and sustained some serious injuries, but no deaths were reported.
This area of Tawang has seen some deadly clashes in the past as China claims it to be a part of South Tibet. On October 2021, China tried intruding into this valley but had to face the Indian soldiers deployed there.
The Chief of Army Staff also spoke on the situation in Joshimath town in Uttarakhand. He informed the media that around 25 army buildings have cracks, and some troops have been relocated for safety purposes. He added that if the situation does not get better, they will have to permanently move their base to Auli but will also provide all the necessary help to the local administration.
Joshimath has been a matter of concern because it is a pivotal route to the Chinese border. The bypass road work has temporarily been stopped. However, the accessibility to further operational areas and the readiness of the Indian Army have not been affected.
At the end of the discussion, Gen. Pandey said that this year Army Day is going to be celebrated as a very special occasion in honor of India’s 75th Independence year and that women officers are soon to be commissioned in the Indian Army Corps of Artillery.
“We are also fully assigned to future national vision. We have decided to undertake the transformation,” he said.
Addressing the recent Army Martial Arts Routine and practice sessions with the foreign forces, Gen Pandey said that it will help forces to master the combat techniques and help in any further disputes along the country’s border.