Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : Our correspondent in India, Hu Bofeng and correspondent Li Sikun Page No. : 3

According to several Indian media reports, India’s Chief of Defense Staff Rawat said on December 14 that the country’s army, navy and air force “are carrying out high level of preparations” and “have enough strength to deal with any threat or challenge at the border”. This is believed to confirm a message that has been widely circulated in the Indian media in recent days. India’s Asian News Agency (ANI) reported on 13 December, citing government sources, that the Indian Defense Force have been authorized to “increase their stockpile of arms and ammunition from the existing 10-I level to 15-I level — for 15 days of intense warfare”, enabling the Indian Army to prepare for a two-front war with China and Pakistan. The report called this a “significant step forward” for India in its border standoff with China.

The ANI report said the Indian military is expected to spend more than 500 billion rupees (44.4 billion yuan) to procure military equipment and ammunition from local and foreign sources, with the help of the emergency financial authority granted to it for meeting its enhanced inventory requirements. The authorization was approved some time ago. Under the previous authorization of many years earlier, the Indian Army’s war depletion reserves were supposed to support 40 days of intense fighting, but due to storage problems and the changing nature of warfare, the reserve level was reduced to 10-I level. The Hindustan Times of the 15th said the Indian Navy, Army and Air Force also received emergency financial authorization to purchase Rs. 3 billion worth of equipment that they believe may be required for combat. ANI quoted sources as saying that the Indian military has purchased “a satisfactory number of missiles and ammunition for tanks and artillery to ease the worries of the ground forces.”

According to Indian media The Week, the Indian military’s war attrition reserves, which were previously available to support up to 40 days of combat, were reduced to 20 days in 1999 and later to 10 days. in 2015, a report by India’s audit department revealed that the Indian military had only enough ammunition reserves to support 10 days of war attrition.

The Chinese and Indian armies held their eighth round of military commanders level talks on the border on Nov. 6, after which a date for the next round of talks has not been set. Against this backdrop, top Indian military and diplomatic officials have continued to cry foul. According to the Hindustan Times, India’s Chief of Defence Staff Rawat said at an event on 14th December that “we are at a standstill in Ladakh and China has been carrying out construction activities in the Tibet Autonomous Region — we are also carrying out similar activities, so there need not be much concern about this”. He claimed that the Indian armed forces have enough strength and reserves to deal with any threat and are looking to equip themselves with more sophisticated technology. According to The Indian Express, Rawat also said earlier at the Global Security Dialogue Summit that a “dissuasive deterrence” mechanism should be established among like-minded partner nations to “counter China’s attempts to dominate the Indo-Pacific region”. In addition, Deputy Chief  of the Indian Army, Saini recently said that the India-China border standoff negotiations may be protracted and that “India will ensure territorial integrity and sovereign security at any cost”.

According to a report in the Indian “Deccan Herald” on the 15th, India’s Defense Minister, Singh told India’s Federation of Industry and Commerce annual general meeting that India’s armed forces on the border had displayed “the utmost bravery to fight the Chinese army, forcing it to retreat”, and that “future generations of the country will be proud of what our troops have achieved this year”. He did not give a detailed explanation on this. Speaking on the 14th, Singh also confidently said that whenever there is a situation in the border area, the military power of India and China will be compared and “the question of whose military power is stronger is up for serious discussion, but there is no doubt that India is far ahead of China in terms of soft power and ideas” because “for a considerable period of time, Buddhism has influenced China.”

In contrast, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s statement was relatively low-key. “I can’t predict whether the India-China border standoff will be a long-term one or whether a breakthrough is possible in the short term, he said at an Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry event last weekend, “but I think what is happening now is equally not in China’s interest because the incident has had great international repercussions “. He added that the border standoff is disturbing and raises fundamental concerns, and that the real danger is that “the mutual trust that had been so carefully developed will be lost as a result.

Qian Feng, Director of the research department at Tsinghua University’s National Institute of Strategic Studies, told the Huan Qiu Shi Bao on the 15th that, for the time being, India does not have the possibility of launching a large-scale military operations of any kind against in the near future, especially w.r.t. the military standoff on the border. India has started a new round of reform of its troop establishment, weaponry and personnel since 2017, which is still in progress. India’s movement to increase its war attrition reserves is actually taking advantage of the tensions with China and Pakistan to accelerate this reform process. The Indian military has experienced the problem of low weapons and ammunition stocks over the years, a problem that has persisted since the outbreak of the Indo-Pakistani military conflict in Kargil, Kashmir, in 1999. As a result, the Indian military wants to use the current opportunity to reach out to the country’s civilian government to reform the current lengthy defense procurement process and force the government to give more financial and equipment support in the allocation of funds,

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