If talks fail with China, then military options on table: Gen Bipin Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said on Monday that if diplomatic talks with China over the border issue fail, then military options are on the table.

“The military option to deal with the transgressions by the Chinese is still on but will be considered only if the talks at the diplomatic and military level fail,” said General Bipin Rawat.

He however, refused to share what military options India is looking upon.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are sitting at various disputed and friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

They have refused to disengage since mid-July and have started construction work on those disputed junctions.

Apart from that they have been raising unacceptable points before India.

To deal with the emerging situation, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday held a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the top military brass to discuss the situation at the border with China.

Talks between India and China remain deadlocked.

India has to move around three additional formations to reinforce the border.

Singh held the review meeting with Doval, Rawat and the three service chiefs on the prevailing situation at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh where Chinese troops are still camping.

“The meeting happened for almost one-and-a-half-hours in South Block,” said a source.

The de-escalation of troops at the LAC has stopped for now as the disengagement talks between India and China have hit a roadblock.

China has refused to move back from its present military position north of the Pangong Tso and Depsang.

The PL) has refused to pull back eastwards from the 8-km stretch it has occupied from Finger-4 to Finger-8 by building scores of new fortifications there since early May.

The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as Fingers in military parlance.

China has also increased its troop deployment at Lipulekh, the place that became a trigger for strained relations between New Delhi and Kathmandu.

Lipulekh is a tri-junction between India, Nepal and China situated atop the Kalapani Valley.

China has changed the status quo on the LAC at various places. India has objected to it and is taking up the matter with China at all levels.

Both the countries are locked in a more than three-month-long standoff at multiple points, hitherto unprecedented, along the border.

During the meeting, it was also discussed that Beijing has started troop and material build-up in depth areas across the 3,488-km LAC.

India has found that China has deployed troops, artillery and armour in three sectors of the LAC — western (Ladakh), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).

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