Defence

China Reacts To India’s Deployment Of M777 Howitzers On LAC, Says It Opposes ‘Arms Race’

By swarajyamag

China has reacted to India’s deployment of US-origin M777 Ultra Light Howitzers on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), where the two sides have been locked in a military standoff since May last year.

Responding to a question from Russia’s TASS news agency, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying accused India of pursuing “forward policy” and said that China “opposes any arms race”.

“The Indian side has long pursued the “forward policy” and illegally crossed the LAC to encroach on China’s territory, which is the root cause of tension in the China-India border situation,” Hua said.

“China opposes any arms race in the disputed border areas for the purpose of competition over control. We have always been firm in safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and security, and committed to peace and stability in the China-India border areas,” she added.

The development comes after news reports said that India had deployed three regiments (18 guns make an artillery regiment) of M777 howitzers on the LAC to deter Chinese misadventure of the kind seen last year, when the People’s Liberation Army had diverted a large number of troops and equipment to the Indian border after an exercise.

“As the BRO [Border Roads Organisation] further takes the road network to forward areas, we will be able to deploy our guns in more locations,” Lieutenant General T K Chawla, Director General Artillery, said at a press conference on 27 September, a day ahead of the Gunners’ Day.

Due to their light weight, 155mm/52-caliber M777 howitzers can be airlifted to frontline locations using helicopters, including the Chinook heavy-lift, tandem rotor helos of the Indian Air Force.

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