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Opinion

‘Chinese Air Force heavily deployed to Ladakh theater in support of PLA’: IAF chief

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The chief of the Indian Air Force, Marshal RKS Bhadauria, said on Tuesday that China has largely deployed the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) to support its army in the Ladakh theater along with a large number of radars and missiles, even as he listed possible Chinese targets for his actions on the northern border.

The air chief said that possible reasons for China’s actions along India’s northern borders could include a planned escalation and an attempt to establish border claim lines and start border talks on the new positions, military signaling, domination efforts with escalation control and deployment and training of its Westerners. Theater forces in real theaters of war in which the Galwan Valley incident was an overreach.

Speaking at an event organized by the International Vivekananda Foundation, Bhadauria said China’s goal could also be to fine-tune its strategy to improve its military technologies and to recognize and fill in the gaps to get its forces to synergize the structures that the Chinese military has created during the last year. Two decades.

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“In any case, all of the above (possible goals) seem to have happened regardless of the initial goal. It could also be a totally military-dominated misadventure that escalated given the rapid decline in the confidence deficit in the post-Covid scenario … and possibly due to the loss of face (for the Chinese), the stock then continued to escalate ” said Bhadauria.

“The important issue is that we recognize what they (China) have really achieved and the four or five points that I mentioned have been taken into account in the real sense,” said the IAF chief.

Responding to a question, he said that the People’s Liberation Border Army Air Force (PLAAF) was fully deployed to support the Chinese army and also had a large “second tier” presence.

“His deployment has been very strong. We have taken all the measures that we were asked to do to address such a situation and be sure that we will handle it, ”said Bhadauria.

The IAF chief said robust actions by the air force in the Ladakh theater had “detained the Chinese and remained there.” He said India’s most important national security challenge was understanding China, its possible game plan, and the deepening and evolving relationship between China and Pakistan.

“We are aware that China’s main aspirations are clearly on the global front and regional dominance is part of the path to global leadership. Any serious conflict between India and China is not good for China on the global front. If Chinese aspirations are global, then it does not fit into their grand plans and therefore it is important to understand what their possible targets might be for their actions in the north (Ladakh sector), ”he said.

He said that evolving uncertainties and instability on the global geopolitical front gave China an opportunity to demonstrate its growing power and also revealed the inadequate contribution of major powers to global security.

He said the budget constraint was a problem for the military.

“While we have our needs, we have taken into account current limitations and we are aware that it will take a while for the economy to recover and that we will have the kind of budget we had before … We cannot expect that we will have an unlimited budget even with the security scenario in the north. The current budget will not be a limitation for us in the north, ”he said.

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He said that the Sukhoi-30 fighter jets equipped with the BrahMos missile had significantly increased the range of the air force and no territory in the area of ​​the so-called ‘string of pearls’ was beyond the IAF’s range. China’s “pearl necklace” refers to strategic attempts to surround India with facilities that can be turned into military bases.

On the Ayni airbase in Tajikistan, which gives India a strategic footprint in Central Asia, the IAF chief said: “It is an area that gave us great capacity in terms of being able to operate from there… it has resulted in not only a lot of goodwill, but it also has a lot of strategic importance and it is going well. ”

On the possibility of joint air exercises between the air forces of India, the United States, Australia and Japan (their navies carry out the Malabar drill), the IAF chief said: “The Quad as an execution has not happened so far to the air force, but as a plan of action, it may emerge soon. At the trilateral level, exercises have been carried out … between the air forces of two Quad countries and the observers of a third “.

China has distrusted the Quadrilateral or Quad security dialogue that was revived in late 2017 by India, the United States, Australia and Japan, and these suspicions have increased since the four countries elevated the forum to ministerial level last year.

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