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Army chief says China’s increased troops build-up is a concern, talks to be held next week

Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane in Ladakh. (Image: ANI Twitter)

Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Saturday that there has been an increased deployment of Chinese troops in the forward areas, which has been a matter of concern, but India expects to hold the 13th round of talks on disengagement with China next week over the military build-up in Ladakh.

"Chinese troops have deployed in considerable numbers all across Eastern Ladakh and Northern Front right up to our Eastern command. Definitely, there has been an increase in their deployment in the forward areas which remains a matter of concern for us," the army chief told news agency ANI.

"But we are monitoring all their developments. Based on whatever inputs we get, we are carrying out matching developments in terms of infrastructure. At the moment, we are quite well poised to meet any eventuality," he said. He also said that he doubts if "any aggression can be shown in any area".

Indian Army has also deployed the first K9-Vajra self-propelled howitzer regiment in the Ladakh sector. 

Also read:  Army spent Rs 18,000 cr to add firepower, logistics: COAS

The artillery gun can strike enemy targets at around 50 km. "These guns can also work in high-altitude areas, field trials were extremely successful. We have now added an entire regiment, this will be really helpful," the Army Chief told ANI.

At the same time General Naravane appeared optimitistic over the issues  being resolved through talks. 

“ We're hopeful of having the 13th round of talks in the second week of October. By and by all friction points will get resolved. I am of the firm opinion that we can resolve our differences through dialogue. I am hopeful we will be able to achieve results.

On Friday, General Naravane took stock of the army’s operational preparedness in Eastern Ladakh. "General Naravane visited several forward areas in eastern Ladakh where he was briefed on the prevailing security situation and operational aspects. He also interacted with the troops and complimented them for their resoluteness and high morale," an Army spokesperson said.

India and China have been locked in a military stand-off for more than a year which was triggered after China amassed troops in the region.