India bets on talks to resolve China border row even as it prepares for a two-front threat on the ground

India bets on talks to resolve China border row even as it prepares for a two-front threat on the ground
Indian Army chief, General Manoj Mukund NaravaneBCCL

  • Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane believes that the tensions between India and China along the border can be resolved through talks.
  • The countries’ defence ministers are likely to interact on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Moscow and the foreign ministers will bump shoulders during the BRICS virtual meeting, later today.
  • However, India remains alert on the ground matching its troops to China’s build up and putting up tougher scrutiny of Chinese influence groups.
India and China continue to face-off along the border in Ladakh, but Indian Army chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, believes that the ongoing talks between the two countries will help bring an end to the situation.

“We are sure the problem can be resolved fully through talks,” he told ANI while highlighting that the situation along the border between India and China is ‘slightly tense’. India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is also likely to meet his Chinese counterpart in Moscow today evening on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet.

China and India’s foreign ministers are also set to bump shoulders at the BRICS virtual meeting later today.

But, it’s not just China that India has to worry about. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat believes that China is in cahoots with Pakistan to initiate ‘coordinated action’ along the northern and western borders of India.

He added that even if that is the case, India is capable of handling the two-front threat while speaking at a seminar organised by the United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum on Navigating New Challenges,

In light of threat, the Indian Army has already repositioned itself along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to strengthen its stance along the border. “The morale of jawans is high and they are ready to deal with all challenges,” Naravane told ANI.

More troops, more visa scrutiny and more pressure from the US
India may be betting on talks to work things out but there is no indication of it backing off from the border. The Indian Army has increased its troop deployment in the northern region to match China’s additional forces.

India bets on talks to resolve China border row even as it prepares for a two-front threat on the ground
Google Earth/BI India

A senior official told India Today that the Indian Army currently dominates the strategic heights in the Finger Area along the banks of Pangong Tso Lake, while the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is currently positioned at the Finger 4 ridge.

“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was taken by complete surprise. It has moved additional forces opposite the Chushul sector in a show of force. But we are well-entrenched and well-prepared there, as elsewhere in eastern Ladakh,” an official told Times of India.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also ordered tougher scrutiny of visa requests by a Chinese non-profit group called the Chinese Association of International Understanding (CAIFU). Sources told Reuters that the group is associated with the Communist Party Central Committee’s United Front Work Department suspected of running influence operations outside China.

The move follows in the footsteps of the US and Australia who are also implementing tougher scrutiny of Chinese cultural and language institutions within their respective countries. According to the US Department of Defence, also called the Pentagon, China will use everything ‘short of armed conflict’ to meet its nationalist objectives.

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