Get ready for more Doklam-like cases, declares General Bipin Rawat

Pune: There is a strong possibility of China attempting to “change the status quo” on its border with India and cases such as ongoing stand-off in the Doklam area are all set to “increase” in future. This was said by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.

“The recent stand-off in the Doklam plateau by the Chinese side attempting to change the status quo are issues which we need to be wary about, and I think such kind of incidents are likely to increase in the future,” he said.

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General Bipin Rawat was giving the General B C Joshi Memorial Lecture on ‘India’s Challenges in the Current Geo-Strategic Construct’ organised by the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies of Savitribai Phule Pune University here this evening.

“Pockets of dispute and contested claims to the territory continue to exist. These are due to differing perceptions on the alignments of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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“Transgressions across Line of Actual Control do happen and sometimes they do lead to some kind of misunderstanding between the forward trrops..However, we do have joint mechanisms in place to address such situations,” said Rawat.

Rawat further went on to add that at the time of flag meetings with Chinese counterparts, the Indian Army has always maintained that both countries should return to the pre-June 16 positions (before the stand- off began), but no resolution has been found yet.

“Now it is happening at the diplomatic and political level, as it needs to be resolved diplomatically and through political initiatives,” he said.

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There is no denying the fact that Chinese armed forces have made significant progress in capabilities for mobilisation, application and sustenance of operations, particularly in the Tibet autonomous region of China, he noted.

“This is due to the development of force infrastructure of military significance. Their force reorganisation along with developing capabilities in space and network-centric warfare is likely to provide them greater synergy in force application,” Rawat said.

Later, speaking to media and explaining his point of view that incidents such as Doklam are likely to “increase”, Rawat said, “We should not be complacent. Let us say that this stand-off is resolved, but our troops should not feel that it can not happen again in different sector.

“It is always better to be prepared and alert than think that this will not happen again. So my message to troops that do not let your guard down,” the Army Chief added.

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