A week after India and China withdrew their longest military standoff at the border region of Doklam, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has now ruled out possibilities of a possible two-front war against China on the North and Pakistan from the West.
Speaking about China at a seminar organised by defence think-tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies, General Rawat said, “As far as the Northern adversary is concerned, flexing of muscles has started. Salami slicing, taking over territory in a very gradual manner, testing our limits or threshold is something we have to be wary about. Remain prepared for situations that are emerging gradually into conflict.”
‘Salami slicing’ defines a series of small and covert operations executed to attain a larger goal which is not easily accomplishable in one go.
Further stating that India’s conflict with China might also bring Pakistan to the scene, Gen Rawat was quoted by NDTV saying, “Whether these conflicts will be limited and confined in space and time, or whether these can expand into an all-out war along the entire front with the Western adversary (Pakistan) taking advantage of the situation developing on the Northern border is very much likely.”
India and China have been locked in a standoff for over two months at the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector. The face-off began after Indian troops stopped Chinese military from constructing a road in the area. Reportedly, the Indian Army had deployed as many as 350 armed military personnel to counter the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the area.
Speaking on the issue, Gen Rawat said, “Whether these conflicts will be confined or limited in space and time or whether these can expand into an all-out war along the entire front (remains to be seen)…with the western adversary taking advantage of the situation developing along the northern border is very much likely.”
Further commemorating the 1962 war against China and the other three major wars against Pakistan, Rawat said, “Nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence. Yes, they are. But to say that they can deter war or they will not allow nations to go to war, in our context that may also not be true.”
However, in a positive note towards a treaty between the two nations, Chinese President Xi Jinping, during the recently concluded BRICS summit, stressed on the necessity for the relation between India and China to get on ‘the right track’.