Along with economy rise, China also focused on military modernisation: Bipin Rawat

Had meeting with China: Army Chief

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said that military diplomacy with China had paid off, while maintaining that ceasefire with Pakistan along the Line of Control would be declared on India's terms. I want to dispel that myth.

The Army Chief also announced that the annual India-China military exercise will resume, noting that the relationship between the two countries which had turned "sour" after the Doklam stand-off was now improving.

According to the Army chief, counties across the world have started looking up to India after the rise of China. I can say that.

"They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy, that is why they stand strong today in worldwide world order, challenging the might of USA", The Army chief acknowledged.

Last week, China unveiled its largest defence spending increase in three years, setting an 8.1 per cent growth target this year, fuelling an ambitious military modernisation programme and making its neighbours nervous.

The Army told a parliamentary panel that the funds allocated to it in the defence budget for the next fiscal is insufficient to deal with various security challenges facing the country including from a more assertive China along the northern border and from a hostile Pakistan on the western frontier. Attempting to dispel rumours concerning military expenditure, Rawat said, "There is a belief that the defence expenditure is actually a burden on the state".

"After that focus of the global community shifted towards Indo-Pacific region".

Explaining further, General Rawat said the development of infrastructure on borders would connect the people who live in far-flung areas with the mainland and that it will help in uniting the nation.

To step up defence production within the country, India is looking at collaborating with other nations, he said. His statement came days after the Army chief blamed Pakistan and China for influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The border personnel of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff a year ago in Doklam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit China in June this year to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting.

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