CONFLICT between China and India has the potential to become reality after Beijing deployed “seven to eight People’s Liberation Army Navy warships in the Indian Ocean Region” according to a senior Indian Navy commander.
Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh confirmed the constant presence of Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean, part of Beijing’s ambitions to build and protect global trade routes. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, the admiral warned: “If anyone operates in our region, they have to notify us first.” The Indian Navy released a statement that said: “The Dornier squadron of the ENC, INAS 311, operating from the air station, has been undertaking regular maritime surveillance missions.
“Additionally, all other air assets have been kept mission-ready and prepared for immediate deployment should the need arise.”
The statement from the military commander comes against the backdrop of movements of a Chinese aircraft carrier and warships through the Miyako Strait in the fraught South China Sea.
According to a Japanese military report, released late last year, China has the third-largest ground force in the world following India and North Korea, with approximately 9,80,000 personnel.
The report read: “Since 1985, China has continuously sought to modernise its military by curtailing the number of personnel and streamlining organisations and systems through reforms, including those currently being implemented, in order to improve operational capabilities.
“China has rapidly modernised its missile forces in recent years.”
China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army, PLA, was always regarded as the largest army in the world with an approximate strength of two million soldiers. But recently India has overtaken the Chinese in the size of its land forces.