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India’s military high command meets Prime Minister Modi amid mounting border tension with China | India News

NEW DELHI: Amid mounting border tension between Chinese and Indian troops in eastern Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on Tuesday with national security adviser Ajit Doval, chief of general defense personnel Bipin Rawat and the three chiefs of service with a focus on reinforcing India’s military readiness to face external security challenges, government sources said.

The military chief is known to have briefed PM Modi on developments in the east Ladakh, although officials argued that the agenda of the scheduled meeting was to discuss ambitious military reforms and ways to boost the combat prowess of the India.

The meeting came hours after the top four generals briefed Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation at Pangong Tso Lake, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldi, where Indian and Chinese troops participated in positions aggressive for the past 20 days.

People in the military establishment said that the Prime Minister was informed of the situation in Ladakh. There were no official comments or details available about the meeting.

Official sources said the NSA Doval has been closely monitoring developments in the situation throughout LAC in Ladakh, as well as in northern Sikkim and Uttarakhand.

“China’s strategy to exert military pressure on India will not work. We want to restore the status quo throughout LAC,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

At the meeting, senior military officials are known to have briefed Modi on the implementation of key infrastructure projects throughout LAC, the de facto border with China.

Official sources said India will not halt infrastructure development projects in strategic areas along the nearly 3,500 km Sino-Indian border, despite China’s well-coordinated efforts to stop them by trying to vitiate the situation in areas like the east of Ladakh.

The defense minister is known to have already communicated to top military officials that there was no need to review the implementation of any of the key projects across LAC in Ladakh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand or Arunachal Pradesh.

In light of the nearly 20-day standoff between the two sides, the Indian military has significantly increased its presence in sensitive border areas in northern Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to Ladakh, to send a message that India will not wither. under no aggressive military stance by China, the sources said.

The Chinese side has been particularly upset with India, which places a key highway in the finger area of ​​the Pangong Tso Lake region, as well as another highway connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie highway in the Galwan Valley. .

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed violently on the night of May 5, which lasted until the next day before the two sides agreed to “withdraw” after a meeting at the level of local commanders.

More than 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were wounded in the violence. The trigger for the incident was China’s strong objection to the highway India is tracing in the Finger area at Pangong Tso Lake.

The incident at Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident at North Sikkim on May 9.

Since then, the Chinese military has increased its strength in Pangong Tso Lake, Galwan Valley, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldi, and has resorted to “aggressive patrol” in these areas. The Indian army is also carrying out a similar exercise in the region, the sources said.

Last week, India said that the Chinese military was hampering the normal patrolling of its troops, saying that India has always taken a very responsible approach to border management.

At a press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava also strongly contested China’s claim that the tension was triggered by the invasion of Indian forces on the Chinese side.

India’s response came two days after China accused the Indian Army of invading its territory, claiming it was an “attempt to unilaterally change the state” of LAC in Sikkim and Ladakh.

On May 5, Indian and Chinese army personnel dealt with iron rods, sticks, and even resorted to throwing stones in the Pangong Tso Lake area where soldiers on both sides suffered injuries.

In a separate incident, about 150 Indian and Chinese military clashed near Naku La Pass in the Sikkim sector on May 9. At least 10 soldiers on both sides suffered injuries.

Troops from India and China clashed in a 73-day standoff at the Doklam crossing in 2017, even raising fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

At the meeting with the Prime Minister, the sources said, General Rawat briefed him on the implementation of the recommendations of Lieutenant General (Retired) Shekatkar’s committee for military modernization.

The government has accepted almost all of the panel’s recommendations, including ways to strengthen border infrastructure.

Times of India