Former air vice-chief dismisses fears of India-China war

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Former Vice-Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal (retd) Pranab Kumar Barbora does not foresee a full-fledged military war between India and China, but only a 'war' for economic supremacy.

"As a military person I studied the situation. I don't think we will have a full-fledged war as we are powers with nuclear capability," Barbora said on Monday speaking at a seminar in Guwahati on "Chinese Expansionism, Brahmaputra and Future of Assam" organised by the Hindu Yuva Chatra Parishad.

"Our aircraft have nuclear missile carrying capability. They are deterrents," asserted the former vice air chief who was also air officer cCommanding-in-chief of both Eastern and Western Air Commands.

Barbora insisted that his views expressed in the seminar were his "personal views" only.

"India and China have not exchanged a single bullet though it is done on a daily basis with Pakistan. There are only a few pinpricks here and there along the Indo-China border," he argued.

"India and China both want to become super powers to take our rightful place in the world order. This can be achieved by whosoever has a strong economy and army," he felt.

"People and Parliament have not been told by the government on the 1962 debacle (Chinese Aggression) as it has international ramifications. The next war of India with China may be an economic war. China already economically supports Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan," Barbora asserted.

"Both Indian and Chinese are the oldest civilisations with cultural and trade relations which started between the two several centuries ago when there were no borders," he said.

"Last century there were changes in the world order and realignment of power. Western powers came and took over powers in India and started demarcating borders leading to disputes," the former Airforce Vice Chief said.

"Brits made the MacMahon boundary line between India and China with a vague broad brush," Barbora said.

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