India `watchful` about China`s military profile

In the wake of China`s massive armed forces` modernisation plans, India has said it is "conscious and watchful" of the implications of Beijing`s evolving military profile in its immediate and extended neighbourhood.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2011, 18:51 PM IST

New Delhi: In the wake of China`s massive
armed forces` modernisation plans, India has said it is
"conscious and watchful" of the implications of Beijing`s
evolving military profile in its immediate and extended
neighbourhood.

It, however, has said the country`s relations with China
are of "crucial importance" and its policy is to engage
Beijing on the principles of "mutual trust and respect and
sensitivity for each other".

"India is conscious and watchful of the implications of
China`s evolving military profile in the immediate and
extended neighbourhood," the Defence Ministry in its Annual
Report for 2010-11 has said.

The remarks come at a time when China is building and
developing military capabilities in its areas adjoining India
and also in places under Islamabad`s control such as the
Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. It is also reportedly building its
military assets in countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka and
Pakistan.

China with an official defence budget of more than USD
91 billion, almost three times the Indian defence budget of
around USD 35 billion, has built a network of rail lines and
more than 58,000 km of roads in the Tibet Autonomous Region
(TAR) along with nuclear missile silos.

Five airfields in TAR have become operational and
include Gongar, Linchi, Pangta, Hoping and Gar Gunsa.

In response to the enhanced Chinese military activity,
India has also started building its capabilities to meet the
security challenges.

Recently, Defence Minister A K Antony had said the
government was taking "necessary steps" in consonance with its
national security concerns.

"Military capacity enhancement and modernisation of
armed forces is a dynamic process, which takes into account
the cumulative challenges envisaged by the nation," he had
stated.

The steps include the raising of two Mountain Divisions
of the Army in the northeast, deployment of four squadrons of
its frontline Su-30 MKI fighters. Besides, it is also
considering deployment of Ultra Light Howitzers (ULHs) and
light tanks in the territories along the LAC.

Several new and old air fields have been activated and
new roads constructed to enable a quicker movement of troops
and equipment in the region.

PTI