Amid reports of construction activities being done by China in Arunachal Pradesh, Indian Air Force Chief (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Saturday (January 23) issued a stern warning to Beijing asserting that India can also turn aggressive if China will do so.
Addressing a press conference in Jodhpur, Bhadauria said, “If they can be aggressive, we can also be aggressive. We are fully prepared.”
Referring to the trainings that are being conducted at the Eastern border, the IAF chief said that these trainings are part of bilateral exercises and are not meant to harm any country. “It is to develop the capability and improve bilateral ties. If it is not being seen it does not mean it is not happening. Several trainings are also being done there,” IAF chief Bhadauria was quoted as saying by ANI.
It may be recalled that few days ago, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had responded to media reports that China has made constructions in Arunachal Pradesh, saying that the government is closely monitoring the developments which can impact India’s security.
“We have seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along the border areas with India. China has undertaken such infrastructure construction activity in the past several years,” the statement said.
“In response, our government too has stepped up border infrastructure including the construction of roads, bridges etc, which has provided much needed connectivity to the local population along the border,” it added.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, claimed that Beijing is undertaking development and construction activities “within its own territory” is “normal”.
“China’s position on the Zangnan region (South Tibet) is consistent and clear. We never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing while responding to a question.
Meanwhile, the 9th round of India-China Corps Commander-level military talks to defuse tension along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh will take place on Sunday (January 24). The talks are expected to begin at around 9.30-10 am on January 24 in Moldo, opposite the Chushul sector in India.
The military talks come after more than two months. The last talks (8th round) took place on November 6, 2020, in Chushul in Eastern Ladakh.
The talks come even as the many months’ long India-China standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh continues. The standoff that started in April/May last year saw Galwan incident in June during which 20 Indian soldiers died due to aggressive actions by the Chinese army. China has stayed mum about the casualties on its own side, though the Indian side has confirmed significant number.