• Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

India says Chinese Air Force still present across disputed border

  • Published at 11:20 am October 5th, 2021
India China Ladakh Galwan Valley
File photo: A satellite image of Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India June 9, 2020 Reuters

His comments came just three days after Indian Army chief said that China deployed a considerable number of troops at the disputed border at Ladakh

The chief of Indian Air Force (IAF) has claimed that the Chinese Air Force is still present on three air bases on their side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)- a massive disputed border between the two nations in the Himalayan region.

Addressing the media on the 89th anniversary of the force on Tuesday, the Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, however, claimed that the IAF, too, is fully deployed and prepared.

"The situation on the LAC is that the Chinese Air Force is still present on three air bases on their side of the LAC. We are fully deployed and prepared on our side," he said.

The IAF is fully prepared to deal with any security challenge in eastern Ladakh and that new infrastructure created by the Chinese side in the region will not affect India's combat readiness, the air force chief claimed.

His comments came just three days after Indian Army chief said that China deployed a considerable number of troops at the disputed border at Ladakh—a remote Himalayan region.

On the Chinese Air Force capabilities near Ladakh, the air force chief said China's capability to launch multiple high-altitude missions would remain weak.

The induction of Rafale, Apaches have significantly added to India's combat potential, he said, adding that the IAF is in the process of new combat systems to ensure that we retain an edge over our adversaries.

"The induction of Rafale, Apaches have significantly added to our combat potential. Our offensive strike capability has become even more potent with the integration of new weapons on our fleets," said the IAF chief.

He added that India has hardened its networks to avoid cyberattacks. Adequate safeguards are being taken to protect our critical infrastructure, he said.

"IAF is keen on integration amongst the Armed Forces. The joint planning and execution of operations by the three Services will result in a maximum increase in our net combat capability," Vivek added.

Indian troops were monitoring the situation across the LAC, Indian Army chief General M M Naravane said on Saturday. Based on the observations, the army is carrying out “matching developments” in terms of infrastructure and deployment, he added then.

Thousands of soldiers of both countries have been facing off since April 2020 on the LAC, or the de facto border, including at the glacial Pangong Lake in Ladakh.

Also Read - India says China deployed more troops in Ladakh

Both Indian and Chinese soldiers were killed in a clash in June last year - the first combat losses on the disputed border in more than four decades.

Tensions ran high in mid-2020, when troops clashed in hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan valley in Ladakh, abutting the Chinese-held Tibetan plateau.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed, with China suffering an undisclosed number of casualties, and both sides ramped up their military presence, moving men, weapons and supplies to the high-altitude desert region.

The root cause of the tension is an ill-defined, 3,440km-long disputed border, a BBC explainer reads.

Rivers, lakes and snowcaps along the frontier mean the line can shift, bringing soldiers face to face at many points, sparking a confrontation. 

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