GUWAHATI, April 23 - Though China has been issuing strong statements against India following the recent visit of the Dalai Lama to the Northeast, particularly Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, it is unlikely that the neighbouring country will go for a full-scale conventional war, at least in the near future.
This was expressed by Brig (Retd) Ranjit Borthakur, who, as an Army intelligence officer, closely worked on the China affairs for a long time.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Brig Borthakur expressed the view that while the possibility of a spurt in incursions along the international border cannot be ruled out, it is very unlikely that China would go for a war. He also pointed out that unlike the border with Pakistan, the India-China border has remained peaceful for decades except for incursions, which may continue till the international border disputes are finally settled.
China is obviously unhappy with the Dalai Lama�s visits to Tawang time and again, and it has been expressing its displeasure. This time, his visit was a long one, which included a number of public addresses, and China is worried over the grand reception he has received. Besides, China is also a little concerned over the emergence of India as a major economic power, said Brig Borthakur.
Over the years, India has also improved its defences to a large extent to secure the border with China. Two new divisions have been created, while a strike corps has been raised and the Indian Army is not what it was in 1962. The strength of the Air Force has also increased. In case of any eventuality, the Indian Army is very much capable of securing the borders, Brig Borthakur pointed out.
At the same time, he admitted that infrastructure-wise India is still lagging behind China, and hence, it needs to look into this aspect.
The former Army intelligence officer also admitted that China may try to increase its intelligence gathering to get an idea of deployment of forces, missiles, etc., by India and the militants based in the region may be used for such purposes. Though, officially, China has been maintaining a stand against terrorism and extremism, it is a fact that militants of the Northeast region are receiving assistance from the Chinese, possibly at the lower levels of the government.