MAY 16, 2022
Guwahati: The Indian Army’s Eastern Command chief on Monday said China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is engaged in infrastructure capacity enhancement across the international border in Arunachal Pradesh.
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command, Lt Gen R P Kalita, however, said the Indian side is also continuously upgrading its infrastructure and capabilities to deal with any situation that may arise along the border.
“Across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tibet region, a lot of infrastructure development is going on. The other side is constantly upgrading their road, rail and air connectivity as well as 5G mobile network so that they are in a better position to respond to a situation or mobilise forces,” he said at a press conference here.
The Chinese authorities have built border villages close to the LAC that can be used for dual purposes, Kalita said.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation. We are also upgrading our infrastructure and capabilities as well as the mechanism to handle the situation. These have put us in a robust position,” he added.
Kalita asserted that the Indian Army is fully ready with “high level of operational preparedness”.
The Indian Army Commander acknowledged that difficult terrain and inclement weather conditions have been the biggest challenges while enhancing capabilities and infrastructure in forward locations, leading to delays in completion of the projects.
When asked about the border stand-offs between the two large armed forces at several places, he said that the actual boundary is not properly demarcated, especially along the McMahon Line.
“It has created different perceptions of the border between India and China that are not agreed upon by both sides. While most of the time, we handle the situation through existing mechanisms, at times it has led to frictions,” Kalita said.
He also denied that any intrusion is taking place along the border with China and whatever is reported, that is only due to the perceptional issue.
“Once the boundary is properly demarcated, I hope there will be no problem,” he said, adding there has been no case of intrusion since the 1962 war.
Asked about the Land Borders Law that China enacted from January giving more power to the PLA to protect their sovereignty and boundary, he said that the Army and other stakeholders are analysing various implications of the new laws.
“The necessary deductions have been made and we are preparing our forces to meet the challenge,” he said without elaborating.
Kalita added, “The eastern border has numerous challenges. We have displayed exemplary professionalism and bravery. Last one year has been extremely eventful and we have been rising up to meet all challenges. We are ready to take on all challenges in the future.”
He said that for the India-China border, the Indian Army has a robust mechanism in place. This includes bilateral agreements and various protocols to defuse tensions and maintain peace and tranquility.