Don’t See Serious Trouble, But Forces Are Prepared: Army Chief On Doklam

New Delhi:  The army does not see any “serious trouble” post-Doklam standoff as the border forces of India and China are holding regular exchange and the earlier “bonhomie” has returned, but the forces are prepared for any exigency, army chief General Bipin Rawat said today.

General Rawat also insisted that the PLA soldiers were not in the same numbers in the North Dolam (Doklam) area as they were at the time of the (India-China military) stand-off.

“They have carried out some infrastructure development, most of it is temporary in nature. But while their troops may have returned and the infrastructure remains, it is any body’s guess whether they would come back there, or it is because of the winter they could not take their equipment away,” General Rawat said.

He was responding to a question on Facebook Live, posted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), one of the organisers of the multi-lateral ‘Raisina Dialogue’.

“But then we are also there. In case they come (back), we will face them,” General Rawat added. The army chief’s remarks come in the wake of media reports about China carrying out some infrastructure development in the disputed region.

He said the mechanism in place to defuse the tensions between the two countries are working very well.

“After the Dolam incident…we have started our border personnel meeting. We are meeting regularly, exchanges are taking place, communications between the commanders at the ground level is on and the bonhomie has returned which was prior to the Dolam (incident),” he said.The army chief added, “We don’t visualise serious trouble but then one has to be prepared for it.” Indian and Chinese troops had been locked in a stand-off for over two months last year in the Doklam area near Sikkim before “disengaging” on August 28.

There was also an incident of road building by Chinese civilians at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh, but that was resolved last week.

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