India and China have been involved in a stand-off along part of their 3,500km (2,174-mile) shared border.
The two nations fought a war over the border in 1962 and disputes remain unresolved in several areas, causing tensions to rise from time to time.
On Monday in Guwahati Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen Rana Pratap Kalita informed that China is upgrading its infrastructure along the International borders of Arunachal Pradesh. Addressing a press conference GOC Eastern Command emphasized that from roads, railways as well as the construction of airports and helipads, China was engaging in ‘capabilities enhancement’ along the Eastern flank of the LAC, and was also building ‘dual-infra’ villages, which could serve military purposes in times of war.
“Across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tibet region, a lot of infrastructure upgradation is going on. The other side is continuously developing their road, rail and air connectivity as well as 5G mobile network to improve their position to respond to a situation or mobilise forces.”
“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.
Interacting to media for the first time after taking over the responsibility of Eastern command he said, “roads are constructed and old advanced landing grounds are revived in the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh.”
“The border villages can be used for civilians as well as to mobilise troops to the forward areas,” the Eastern Command GoC added..
“The Indian Army has displayed exemplary professionalism and bravery. It was extremely eventful during the past one year and we have dealt with all the challenges,” R P Kalita added.
He said the Army is happy because it can now focus on its primary duty of external threats instead of internal security. “The capability of the CAPF and police has been enhanced tremendously,” he said.
Last month, the Centre announced the withdrawal of AFSPA from different areas under 15 police station limits in the valley districts of Manipur.
“Following the notification on reduction of AFSPA, some portion of the army has been withdrawn from counter insurgency operations and re-inducted and tasked to focus on the primary front, that is the Northern borders.”
“On the firing incident in Nagaland’s Mon district on December 4 in which 14 civilians and a security personnel had died, Lt Gen R P Kalita said: “It was a case of mistaken identity. The court of inquiry report is examined; we are in receipt of the SIT report and both have been analysed. Necessary action for the lapses will be taken. As per the Army Act and provisions, necessary action will be taken for delinquency.”
Lt Gen Kalita assured that Indian Army are fully ready for the high level of operational preparedness.
However “At present, the world’s largest and experienced country with plateau and mountain troops is neither the US, Russia nor any European power house, but India”,wrote Huang Guozhi, senior editor of Bejing’s Modern Weaponry. This magazine,a respected defence journal,is affiliated to the state owned China North Industries Group Corporation Limited(NORINCO) the main supplier of military hardware for the PLA.
Huang Guozhi added “India has the world’s largest and most experienced troops trained for high altitude battle and mountain warfare.”
When asked about the border stand-offs between the two large armed forces at several places, GOC eastern Command said that the actual boundary is not properly demarcated, especially along the McMahon Line.
Lt Gen Kalita also said that the security situation in Northeast India has improved now.
(With inputs from Pratyusha Mukherjee )