LAC stand-off: ‘India will retaliate in case China breaches red lines’

NEW DELHI: Warning China of ‘requisite retaliation’ if any red lines are now breached in eastern Ladakh, a top government official on Wednesday said India has further reinforced its forward positions to counter fresh Chinese military build-ups and threatening moves in the high-altitude region.
The warning comes after bullets were fired for the first time in 45 years near Mukhpari Top in the Chushul sector on Monday, and ahead of an expected meeting between Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Moscow on Thursday.
PLA has taken to parading tanks and troops on the south bank of Pangong Tso-Chushul area on a daily basis in a bid to intimidate Indian troops after they occupied multiple tactical heights there in a proactive military manoeuvre on August 29-30.
“The dispute is being directed from the very top of the political-military hierarchy in China, not by the exuberance of local PLA commanders. It can take any trajectory. But if China wants to start a war, it will also have to pay a heavy price,” the official said, pointing out that the events on the LAC were not just an action-reaction sequence. PLA might even try to grab heights elsewhere in a tit-for-tat move but Indian commanders on the ground have been given “full freedom” to respond as they deem appropriate.
“Our soldiers on the heights are well-armed and fully prepared. We have even driven tanks up the ridgeline near Rechin La (Reqin mountain pass),” the official said. The message has been strongly conveyed to PLA to not try to breach Indian perimeter defences, which includes barbed wire, established on the heights.
“They constitute a red line. In fact, nowhere are we under-prepared now,” he added. The Indian security establishment’s assessment is that while China may have positioned around 50,000 soldiers along the frontier in eastern Ladakh as well as around 150 fighters, bombers and other aircraft at airbases in Xinjiang and Tibet, the deployments haven’t yet reached the threshold of a full-blown conflict.
Source Times of India

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