Slamming China for objecting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the IAF on Wednesday said it does not "fear" the Chinese military and that the neighbour should not have any problem with it upgrading airstrips in the North-East.
IAF vice chief Air Marshal P K Barbora said when India does not object to China's military activities in Tibet, the latter too "should have nothing" against Indians developing their military capabilities in the North-East.
"Early this year, President Pratibha Patil, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, visited Arunachal Pradesh. China had no objections then. Why should they protest when the Prime Minister visits the frontier state now?" Barbora said at a press conference in New Delhi.
He said Chinese reactions to the Prime Minister's visit to the border state should be "read between the lines," as democratic elections were taking place in the state.
"IAF does not fear. We (India) have not said anything against their military activities in Tibet. They (China) should have nothing when we build defence capabilities in our areas (in the North-East)," he said.
The IAF vice chief was replying to questions if the Air Force feared adverse Chinese reaction to it upgrading six Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in Arunachal Pradesh for operating heavier transport aircraft.