New Delhi, Sep 07: China is gradually taking over territory and testing India’s threshold, army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday, a little over a week after the countries ended one of their worst military face-offs.
Hindustan Times reported that while referring to China, Rawat said it had started flexing muscles and Pakistan was likely to take advantage of the situation developing along the northern border. He referred to China and Pakistan as India’s northern and western adversaries, and said the country needs to be prepared for a two-front war.
“As far as the northern adversary is concerned, flexing of muscles has started…salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits of threshold… is something we have to be wary about and remain prepared for situations which could gradually emerge into conflict,” Rawat said at a seminar organised by defence think-tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies.
“Salami slicing” refers to a string of small, clandestine operations meant to achieve a larger goal that would be difficult to accomplish in one go.
The chief’s comments come more than a week after India and China ended a 73-day border face-off in Doklam plateau near Sikkim. Troops were locked in a tense stand-off during which officials in Beijing hinted at drastic consequences such as a wider conflict. Soldiers from the two country also traded blows and threw stones at each other in a more northern region – in Ladakh – while the Doklam problem went on.
“Whether these conflicts will be confined or limited in space and time or whether these can expand into an all-out war along the entire front (remains to be seen)…with the western adversary taking advantage of the situation developing along the northern border is very much likely,” Rawat said.