India-China bonhomie now like pre-Doklam days, but we have to ‘be prepared’: Army chief Gen Rawat

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam that began on June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed area by the PLA.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2018 17:51 IST
Agencies
Agencies
New Delhi
Army chief,Indian Army,China
New Delhi: Army Chief Bipin Rawat addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh(PTI1_12_2018_000101B)(PTI)

Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday the bonhomie between India and China had returned to what it was prior to the Doklam border standoff and that he did not visualise a “very serious trouble”. He, however, said “one has to be prepared for it always”.

General Rawat recently said India needed to shift focus from its border with Pakistan to that of China and spoke of pressure being exerted by Beijing along the Line of Actual Control.

Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam that began on June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed area by the PLA. The face-off ended on August 28. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue on Wednesday, General Rawat said: “…mechanisms that we have of defusing tensions between our two countries are working very well and after Doklam we’ve started our Border Personnel Meeting. We are meeting regularly, exchanges are taking place, communication between commanders at ground level is on.”

“While troops (PLA) may have returned and infrastructure remains, it is anybody’s guess whether they would come back there or is it because of the winters that they could not take their equipment, but we are also there, so in case they come, we will face them,” ANI quoted the army chief as saying.

General Rawat also said countries that support terrorism need to be “tackled” and terrorism is here to stay unless the world joins hands to end it, without naming Pakistan.

He stressed on cutting terrorism funding and raised concerns over nuclear, biological and chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 16:39 IST