India strengthening its military against China: US officials

For the second time in less than a fortnight, top American intelligence officials have claimed that India is building up its armed forces focused at China's perceived aggressive posture in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The military situation along the contested border is quiet. However, India is concerned over Chinese logistical improvements and is taking steps to improve its own capabilities," Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency Ronald L Burgess said in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"India is raising additional ground forces, is improving logistical capacity, and has based advanced fighter aircraft opposite China," Burgess told lawmakers.

India, he said, conducts periodic tests of its nuclear- capable missiles to enhance and verify its ballistic missile reliability and capabilities.

"India's current delivery systems include nuclear-capable fighter aircraft and ballistic missiles, and India claims it is developing a nuclear-capable 6,000 kilometer-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that will carry multiple warheads. India intends to test this," he said.

China and India resumed military-to-military engagement in mid-2011, held their first strategic economic dialogue in September, and discussed their longstanding border dispute in November, he told lawmakers.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who for the first time made similar remarks less than a fortnight ago, reiterated it before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"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," he said in his prepared testimony.

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