Indian Army Chief of Staff: is dealing with China in a firm and non-escalatory manner

India is dealing with China in a “firm” and “non-escalatory” manner, Indian Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane said May 29 in a speech on the India-China de-escalation process at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Sharing details of the situation on the ground, he said the Indian army has sufficient troops deployed along the Ladakh border and is holding “all important areas in the high altitude areas” to deal with any kind of contingency.

In an interview with PTI, Naravan said, “We are very clear that de-escalation is not possible until all points of friction are disengaged. India and China have signed a number of border agreements, but these have been violated unilaterally by the PLA.” He said, “The Indian Army is very clear that it will not allow loss of territory or unilateral change in the status quo. We are dealing with the Chinese side in a firm and non-escalatory manner to ensure the sanctity of our claims in eastern Ladakh.”

According to Naravan, the Indian Army is currently holding all critical areas at high altitude and has enough personnel in “reserve” to respond to any contingency. He said, “We are very aware that de-escalation is not possible until all points of friction are disengaged.” He added, “While we want peace and tranquility on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and are open to initiating confidence-building measures, we are still prepared for all contingencies.”

Naravan did not forget to say that India is open to “initiating confidence-building measures” with China. He said, “The situation on the northern border is under control and the next few rounds of military talks with China will focus on restoring the status quo ante as of April 2020.” Naravan’s speech followed local reports that the Chinese side had denied India access to the Depsang Plains, Gogra, Hot Springs and Demchok areas. Some reports have even claimed that infiltration attempts and small-scale confrontations have taken place between the two sides at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). In response, the Indian Army issued a clarifying statement denying all such claims.

Naravan stressed, “It is clarified that there was no such skirmish between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh during the first week of May 2021. This article seems to be inspired by sources who may be trying to derail the ongoing process of early resolution of the issue in Eastern Ladakh.”