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Situation at LAC tense; war with China can't be ruled out: CDS Gen Rawat

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Situation at LAC tense; war with China can't be ruled out: CDS Gen Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat said Friday that the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh remains tense and possibility of a war with China cannot be ruled out even as India's posturing remains "unambiguous". India and China have been engaged in a worst seven-month-long border dispute at the LAC. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough. General Rawat said that the China's People's Liberation Army is facing "unanticipated consequences" for its misadventure in the region because of the "firm and strong" responses by the Indian forces. "In the overall security calculus: border confrontations, transgressions, unprovoked tactical military actions - spiralling into a larger conflict therefore cannot be discounted," Rawat said while speaking at Diamond Jubilee Webinar, 2020 organised by National Defence College in Delhi. His statement came amid an ongoing military-level talks between India and China at Chushul today, the eighth such round of talks. "Our posturing is unambiguous. We will not accept any shifting of the Line of Actual Control," the CDS made it clear. He also spoke about the "unabated proxy war" and the "vicious" anti-India rhetoric unleashed by Pakistan. "The surgical strikes after the Uri attack and Balakot airstrikes have delivered a strong message that Pakistan no longer enjoys the impunity of pushing terrorists across the LoC under the nuclear bogey. And, their Army will continue to raise the bogey of an existential threat from India to justify their disproportionately large strength and need for funds to maintain its warfighting capabilities," said Gen Rawat. Further, speaking about defence cooperation, the CDS said that India understands the importance of leveraging defence diplomacy in building mutual trust and partnerships with strategically important countries. He also said that in the coming years, Indian defence industry will be growing exponentially and contribute to the overall defence preparedness. "The industry will deliver us state-of-art weapons and equipment fully made in India," General Rawat said. The officer said that as India grows in stature, security challenges will rise proportionately. "We must move out of the constant threat of sanctions or dependency on individual nations for our military requirements and invest in building long-term indigenous capability for strategic independence and application of decisive military power to squarely meet present and emerging challenges," the officer added. <em>(With agency inputs)</em>.