Days following the brutal encounter between the Indian and Chinese forces in the Galwan Valley on June 15. The Government of India granted emergency funds to all three defence forces for the procurement of arms and ammunition which in turn will enhance India’s military strength along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the galwan valley. The grant allows them to buy any weapon or inventory up to Rs. 500 crore per project, even from the same vendor along with relaxation in certain rules to speed up the purchases.
In the wake of increasing habitual aggression by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the line of actual control (LAC). The Indian Army changed the ‘rules of engagement’ signed by both countries in 1996 and 2005 by authorising our forces to use firearms in extraordinary/rare situations. This development saw retaliation by the Chinese news agency, Global Times, by the editor in chief threatened to take serious actions if new ‘rules of engagement’ are enforced by the Indian armed forces.
The increasing presence of the Chinese Navy (PLAN) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) poses another threat to the territorial integrity of India, especially to the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Indian Navy has reportedly found nuclear-armed submarines near the IOR in the last three months along with PLAN’s underwater unmanned vehicles (UUV) since December 2019.
There is no doubt that China has dominance in the IOR over the Indian Navy due to its surveillance capabilities owing to their strong network of satellites, strategic naval base in the South China Sea in addition to their technological supremacy.
The grant by the Indian government seems promising in such a situation where one can expect the Navy to enhance its equipment to meet exigencies.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshall RKS Bhaduria on June 21 reported unusual movements by the Chinese Air Force on the border. Also ensured that the forces are prepared for any contingency. Both the sides are actively engaged in talks since the standoff in an attempt to advance a settlement.
The Indian Army has been mobilising troops in the area. Reports from Ladakh reveal that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed several aircrafts. Including Apache attack helicopters, Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage 2000, and Jaguars at the airbases around the line of actual control (LAC). As spectators of this geopolitical predicament between the two most populous nuclear countries. One can only hope these deployments are ornamental, for deterrence, not to be used any time soon.