India-China border situation tense, can escalate: MoS Defence Bhamre

Subhash Bhamre
Eight months after the Doklam standoff, junior Defence Minister Subhash Bhamre today said the situation along India's border with China is "sensitive" and it has the potential to escalate.

"At the Line of Actual Control the situation is sensitive as incidents of patrolling, transgression and standoffs have a potential of escalation," he said.

The nearly 4,000-km-long border between the two countries is referred to as Line of Actual Control (LAC).

"While confidence building measures are being enhanced, we shall continue to take all action deemed necessary to ensure sanctity of LAC," the minister of state for defence said, addressing a seminar on the Army's contribution to nation building.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam from June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The face-off ended on August 28.

Sources said China has been keeping its troops in north Doklam and significantly ramping up its infrastructure in the disputed area.

In January, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat had said the time had come for India to shift its focus from borders with Pakistan to the frontier with China, indicating that situation along it was worrying.

Talking about the regional security situation, Bhamre also talked about likelihood of Pakistan becoming a "conduit" for spread of ISIS ideologies to countries like India.

He also said that rising instability in India's neighbourhood had increased the possibility of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non state actors.

"Today, we are facing a difficult neighbourhood with myriad security challenges. Ceasefire violation along the Line of Control continues to target Army and civilians. Situation in hinterland in Jammu and Kashmir remains a challenge," he said.

Bhamre also emphasised the need to effectively deal with "inimical threats" to the country and added that rise in religious fundamentalism and its spread through social media remains a cause of concern.

"We need to continue with firm action to negate, mitigate and destroy elements inimical to our security," he said.

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