09:23 GMT +323 July 2018
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    In this photograph taken on July 10, 2008 an Indian soldier stands guard at the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China

    Indian Army Chief: 'We Have to Be Prepared' Amid Chinese 'Pressure'

    © AFP 2018 / DIPTENDU DUTTA
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    The Indian Army has confirmed that it has not dropped countermeasures in the Sikkim sector in the country’s northeast as it suspects China may once again increase activities near Doklam after the snow melts.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, while speaking at the annual press conference in New Delhi, said that India was dealing with the "pressures exerted by China" and trying to not escalate the situation.

    "Yes, China is exerting pressure. We are dealing with it. Yes, we should try that it is not escalated. We will not allow our territory to be intruded. Troops are earmarked, should a situation arise our troops are ready to cater," Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

    "The PLA has occupied the northern Doklam area. A large number of troops have gone back from that area. Tents, toilets and observation posts remain, but manpower has thinned down. Once winter gets over, we can expect movement again. We have to be prepared for that," Army Chief General Rawat said.

    General Rawat said the time had come for India to shift focus from Pakistan to its northern border, asserting that China may be powerful, but India is not weak either.  

    Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a bitter standoff which lasted for 73 days last summer at Doklam — a trijunction of India, China and Bhutan, after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army from constructing a road in the area that is claimed by both China and Bhutan as their own. The issue was resolved diplomatically in November. The Indian Army chief claimed that the tension could have turned into a limited war had not India opted for peace.

    Related:

    India, China Avert Another Doklam-Like Standoff
    We’re Back: China Resumes Military Buildup in Disputed Doklam Plateau
    Moving Beyond Doklam Standoff, India, China Preparing to Hold Border Talks
    Tags:
    border conflict, military activity, modernization, Indian Army, Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Bipin Rawat, Doklam, India, China
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