India prepared to go to war with China and Pakistan simultaneously, says top general

Army chief Bipin Rawat says stand-off with Chinese troops on Himalayan border could snowball into larger conflict, with neighbouring nuclear power ready to pounce

Thursday 07 September 2017 08:21
Comments
Indian army soldiers on duty in Chadoora, Srinagar
Indian army soldiers on duty in Chadoora, Srinagar

India’s army chief has said the country should be prepared for a potential two-front war given China is flexing its muscles and there is little hope for reconciliation with Pakistan.

General Bipin Rawat referred to a recent 10-week standoff with the Chinese army in the Himalayas that ended last week. He said the situation could gradually snowball into a larger conflict on India’s northern border. Rawat said Pakistan on the western front could take advantage of such a situation.

The Press Trust of India news agency quoted Rawat’s remarks at a seminar organised by the Center for Land Warfare Studies, a thinktank in New Delhi.

India fought a war with China in 1962 and three wars with Pakistan, two of them over control of Kashmir, since securing independence from Britain in 1947. All three countries are nuclear powers.

Rawat said credible deterrence did not take away the threat of war. “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,” the news agency quoted him as saying.

India last week agreed to pull troops from the disputed Doklam plateau high in the Himalayas, where Chinese troops had started building a road. The 10-week standoff was the two nations’ most protracted in decades, and added to their longstanding strategic rivalry.

“We have to be prepared. In our context, therefore, warfare lies within the realm of reality,” Rawat said.

His comments came a day after India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and China’s president, Xi Jinping, agreed on a “forward-looking” approach to Sino-India ties, putting behind the Doklam standoff.

Xi and Modi met on the sidelines of a summit of the Brics emerging economies in the south eastern Chinese port city of Xiamen. The Brics nations are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in