If China again carries out a Galwan, they will get it in same coin as last time: CDS Bipin Rawat

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Disengagement of closely deployed troops at friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is taking place but a larger de-escalation of border tensions with China is still farfetched, as thousands of PLA troops have been placed at forward positions, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has said.

Speaking at the Times Now Conclave, the top officer said that it is up to China to carry out another Galwan-like incident on the border but Indian troops are fully prepared and the PLA will ‘get it in the same coin’ again.

“We are well prepared for any misadventure by our adversary be it on the border or the high seas. For a Galwan to happen again, it is not in our hands, it is up to the Chinese. They can carry out a Galwan again but should they do it, they will get in the same coin they got last time,” Gen Rawat said.

The officer said that the Chinese side has been building villages along the LAC but said that no such village has come up on the Indian side of the border. He said that PLA has been upgrading existing infrastructure on the LAC and that old dilapidated huts are being replaced with modern living units, perhaps to house the families of Chinese troops who are missing.

“Some of the (old) huts have been broken and modern ones have come up…what I could feel is these are to billet the Chinese soldiers and subsequently they may also be planning to facilitate the arrival of their families…the Chinese soldiers is isolated thousands of miles from the mainland. He is seeing that our people are in a much happier state,” Gen Rawat said.

The officer said that building up of this infrastructure is not muscle flexing by the Chinese but an attempt to reach out to their border areas and that India should do the same.

On differences that have come up during on going dialogue with the Chinese side for disengagement of troops, Gen Rawat said that the main issue is deciding on how the separation of troops that are facing each other will be carried out.

“We want both sides to go back to their original positions and we want some assurances that the posts will not be re-occupied. Because of better infrastructure on the Chinese side, we cannot go with equidistant separation, we need to go with equi-time separation. They say go by distance, we say go by time (to reach the posts),” he said.

On larger de-escalation, Gen Rawat said that the Chinese side has built permanent infrastructure including tunnels and weapon storage silos on its side and if they plan to stay permanently on the border, the Indian side will do the same.

“Disengagement seems to be far fetched because of the kind of Chinese deployment. Disengagement is likely but de-escalation will take time,” he said.



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