Increase in PLA deployment, China border unpredictable, says Indian Army Chief

Republic of China forces in Taiwan. [Photo: Twitter/MoNDefense]

While the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) remains “stable but unpredictable,” Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Manoj Pande warned on Thursday that there has been a “slight uptick” in the deployment of Chinese troops opposing the Army’s Eastern Command.

The situation in the northern frontiers, according to Pande, is one of the biggest challenges the Indian armed forces are now facing. But he made no mention of China whatsoever.

He stated the PLA’s buildup on the other side is occurring gradually and was referring to the situation at the Eastern Command. Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed in this sector in the Tawang region in December.

“In the northern borders the situation is stable and under control yet unpredictable. You are aware of the ongoing talks (both at military as well as diplomatic levels) wherein we’ve been able to resolve five out of seven issues that were there on the table,” the Army Chief said at the annual Army Day presser.

Pande also said China continues to deploy PLA soldiers and India has been able to match their strength along the border areas.

“The deployment from the adversary side continued in the same manner. We have an equal number of troops on our side. We have adequate reserves to cater for all contingencies… There has been a slight increase in the number of troops that we find opposite our Eastern Command but we are keeping a close watch on the movements and activities there with all the surveillance and resources that are available at our disposal,” he stressed.

The COAS stated that the Army has made certain adjustments to its force deployments near the LAC due to the winter season. According to him, the Chinese are training their soldiers close to the LAC and then leaving the area, adding to the already present forces.

“But our soldiers are deployed along the LAC in a firm and resolute manner. I think we have been able to maintain a very robust and defensive posture and prevent any attempts by our adversary to unilaterally change the status quo,” he said.

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