New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa said on Thursday that the Indian Air Force has a superior position against China - especially in India's eastern sector. His statement comes just days after Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat expressed concern over Chinese buildup in the disputed Doklam region.
Speaking at Halwara Air Force Station, where President Ram Nath Kovind presented the President’s Standard to 51 Squadron and President’s Colours to the 230 Signal Unit of the IAF, Dhanoa said that the IAF is better prepared and better equipped than the Chinese. "The air force is on a strong wicket against China. Whatever requirements are there from the budget, have been sent to the government," he told members of the press. He also said that he had no objection to dual use of airports - for the military as well as civilian purposes, especially in the north-east region of the country.
Security analysts have generally agreed that the IAF has a dominant position in the north-east sector, courtesy geographical factors. While China is rapidly expanding and modernising its military, and with President Xi Jinping recently saying his country 'won't cede an inch of land', India's need for a more comprehensive military has only increased. Doklam, in particular, remains a cause of worry with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman too recently admitting that the Chinese had stepped up its activities here.
The other area of concern, apart from Doklam, is the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) where presence of Chinese warships and submarines have increased. The Indian Navy remains vigilant and the government also recently made a provision under which the commander-in-chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) will have increased powers for better synergy between the three wings of India's Armed Forces.