Washington: Noting that India is increasingly
getting concerned about China`s posture on its border, a top
US intelligence official on Wednesday said that the Indian Army is
strengthening itself for a "limited conflict" with China.
"Despite public statements intended to downplay tensions
between India and China, we judge that India is increasingly
concerned about China`s posture along their disputed border
and Beijing`s perceived aggressive posture in the Indian Ocean
and Asia-Pacific region," Director of National Intelligence
James Clapper said in his prepared testimony before the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence.
"The Indian Army believes a major Sino-Indian conflict is
not imminent, but the Indian military is strengthening its
forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the
disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power
projection in the Indian Ocean," he said.
India, Clapper said, has expressed support for a strong
US military posture in East Asia and US engagement in Asia. He
said China in 2011 appeared to temper the assertive behaviour
that characterised its foreign policy the year before, but the
internal and external drivers of that behaviour persist.
"Moreover, although Chinese leaders have affirmed their
commitment to a peaceful and pragmatic foreign policy - and
especially to stable relations with China`s neighbours and the
rest of the world - Beijing may take actions contrary to that
goal if it perceives that China`s sovereignty or national
security is being seriously challenged," he said.
Many of Beijing`s military capability goals have now been
realised, resulting in impressive military might.
Other goals remain longer term, but the Chinese Army is
receiving the funding and political support to transform it
into a fully modern force, capable of sustained operations
in Asia and beyond, he said.