“China’s aspirations are global. Their regional domination is perhaps a part of global leadership they aspire,” the air chief said.
The biggest national security challenge India faces today is to understand China, their game plan and the deepening Sino-Pakistan relationship, says the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal (ACM) RKS Bhadauria. Due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related debt trap, Pakistan has become a pawn in the Chinese policy. “China’s aspirations are global. Their regional domination is perhaps a part of global leadership they aspire,” the air chief said.
According to him in future India will be witnessing further military dependencies.
Where did he say this?
He was speaking at a webinar by Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF).
With the US exiting from Afghanistan, there are more options for China to expand its presence not only in the region but to also enter Central Asian countries.
“The IAF Ayni airbase in Tajikistan “is an area that gave us a huge capability in terms of being able to operate from there and it has resulted in a lot of goodwill and strategic importance” and “it is going well”, the chief said.
What did he say about Ladakh?
According to the Air Chief Bhadauria for India, the biggest challenge is to understand the intentions of China in Ladakh and its `deepening and evolving’ relationship with Pakistan.
Though the Chinese have deployed heavily in Eastern Ladakh, the counter-actions taken by the Indian armed forces made sure that the Chinese troops were stopped in their tracks. And they continue to be there, where they were stopped.
IAF’s role in the ongoing stand-off
Responding to a question about the role of IAF in the ongoing standoff between India and China, his response was that the actions taken were serious and robust. And the taken managed to stop the Chinese in their tracks.
According to him any Sino-Indian conflict is not good for China on the global front. In his talk, the chief questioned if the Chinese aspirations are global? And, what is the Chinese objective for their actions in Eastern Ladakh?
While listing out the likely causes, he stated that it could be a totally “military-dominated misadventure’’, which escalated due to trust deficit post-COVID, combined with the Chinese state position and possibly loss of faith.
Because of huge infrastructure development, the Northern borders have literally been flattened. And the travel time has shrunk.
The Western border became active the day Pakistan was created.
What about IAF’s capabilities in the Maritime Domain?
According to ACM Bhadauria, the IAF has SU-30MKIs which are equipped with BrahMos cruise missiles. And, with refuellers ‘string of pearls’, all is within reach.
What is `string of pearls’?
These are series of dual-use facilities which have been set up by China in various countries in the Indian Ocean Region, around India.
Referring to the Chinese debt trap diplomacy he said this has allowed foreign created and controlled ports and facilities – which are too close to India’s mainland and island territories.