New Delhi: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that China is attempting to 'change the status quo' on its border with India and incidents like the ongoing stand-off in the Doklam area are likely to 'increase' in future.
Speaking on the topic ‘India’s Challenges in the Current Geo-Strategic Construct’at the General BC Joshi Memorial Lecture , Rawat asserted, "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."
"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). Transgressions across Line of Actual Control do happen and sometimes they do lead to some kind of misunderstanding between the forward troops...however, we do have joint mechanisms in place to address such situations," said Rawat.
He said that during the flag meetings with Chinese counterparts, the Indian Army keeps insisting that both sides 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," Rawat stated.
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 reporters and explaining his statement that incidents like 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 a different sector. "It is always better to be prepared and alert than think that this will not happen again. So my message to troops is that do not let your guard down," Rawat added.