A top US intelligence official has said that the Indian Army is preparing itself for a “limited conflict” with China despite their efforts at holding boundary talks and soaring economic relations.
“Despite public statements intended to downplay tensions between India and China, we judge that India is increasingly concerned about China’s posture along their disputed border and Beijing’s perceived aggressive posture in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific region,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in his prepared testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Tuesday.
“The Indian Army believes a major Sino-Indian conflict is not imminent, but the Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean,” he said.
India and China fought a brief but bloody war in 1962. Since then, the two Asian giants have shared uneasy military ties with a series of border talks failing to yield much result.
The latest rough of Sino-Indian special representative talks held mid-January, reportedly ended in a deadlock after Beijing insisted it would settle for nothing less that “its share” of Arunachal Pradesh.
China is the second largest spender on military in world with an official military budget of about US$91.5 billion, a 12.7% rise from 2010.
Clapper in his testimony noted that the Chinese army receives the “funding and political support” to transform it into a fully modern force, capable of sustained operations in Asia and beyond.