New Delhi: Even as India struggles to match its eastern neighbour’s infrastructure along the border between the two countries, reports claimed Wednesday, that China now has the capability to deploy and maintain more than five lakh troops for over a month on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in case of a threat scenario with India.
As per a newspaper report, Indian Army has apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the threat perception emerging out of China’s assertive stance.
The Indian military`s top brass had last month given a presentation on the developing scenario in South Block to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony, National Security Adviser SS Menon, Principal Secretary TK Nair and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, the report said.
Concerns about China’s plans are well founded as Beijing has been carrying out a major infrastructure upgradation in Xinjiang and Tibet bordering India. Its assertiveness over Arunachal Pradesh and active role in the Ladakh region has also been a cause of worry for New Delhi.
The report said that the PM has been informed that Chinese People’s Liberation Army, with a defence budget estimated at $150 billion, can rapidly deploy 34 troop divisions (23,000 soldiers form one division) along the LAC by pulling t troops from Chengdu and Lanzhou regions.
In comparison, India is said to only have the capability to the hold nine divisions along the northern borders.
China has been, notwithstanding the treacherous terrain, quietly but resolutely building infrastructure along its border with India
There is now 58,000 km of roads in Tibet region besides the plan to build 11 new rail lines in Tibet and Xinjiang, which will ensure rapid deployment of troops by PLA.
To the south of Tibet, the railway is being extended to Shigatse (close to Sikkim).
Moreover, China has announced plans for a rail link to link Kathmandu, Myanmar, Bhutan, Pakistan and Central Asian republics.
In terms of air power, China now has many air bases in Tibet and Xinjiang from where India is well “within the range”.
Not to forget China’s all-weather friendship with Pakistan and Beijing’s greater involvement in the Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Surely, Indian security planners have a tough job at hand.