India-China Tensions :CDS General Rawat says military options on table if talks fail

India-China Tensions :CDS General Rawat says military options on table if talks fail

A military option to deal with transgressions by the Chinese Army in Ladakh is on the table, India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has said, while adding that it will be exercised only if talks between the two armies and the diplomatic option fail.

CDS General Bipin Rawat told India Today that transgressions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) occur due to differing perceptions about its alignment.

“The military option to deal with the transgressions by the Chinese is still on but will be considered only if the talks at the diplomatic and military level fail,” CDS General Bipin Rawat said. The CDS, however, declined to discuss military options.

India and China have been engaged in conflict since April-May timeframe this year where the Chinese, in the garb of an exercise in the Xinjiang province on its side of the Line of Actual Control, rushed troops to transgress into Indian territories in the Ladakh region.

Chinese troops have been sitting in Indian areas and several other friction points along the LAC and have refused to disengage since mid-July. They have been raising unacceptable points before the Indian military.

India and China have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks in the last two-and-half months but no significant headway has been made in resolution of the border row.

Last week, India and China held a fresh round of diplomatic talks to resolve the border row in Ladakh.

The Indian Army is strongly insisting during the talks that the Chinese side must restore the status quo ante of April this year to resolve the row, they added.

The sources said the assessment by the Army is that the Chinese military is not serious about the resolution of the border conflict.

Even as both sides have been engaged in diplomatic and military talks, the Indian Army is making elaborate preparation to maintain its current strength of troops in all key areas in eastern Ladakh in the harsh winter months. "The Army is ready for a long haul along the Line of Actual Control," a military official had said earlier on the condition of anonymity.

Army Chief Gen Naravane has already conveyed to all senior commanders of the Army, overseeing operation of the frontline formations along the LAC, to keep up a significantly high state of alertness and maintain the aggressive posturing to deal with any Chinese "misadventure", the sources said.

The Army is also in the process of procuring a number of weapons, ammunition and winter gears for the frontline troops, they added.