Pak-China nexus worrisome, says Defence Minister

India to keep track of Chinese military capabilities to devise response

Pak-China nexus worrisome, says Defence Minister

Defence Minister Antony

“The increasing nexus between China and Pakistan in military sphere remains an area of serious concern,” Antony said on Friday while delivering the foundation day lecture at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) here.

Concerned about the growing Chinese ministry influence, Antony said New Delhi will carry out continuous appraisals of Chinese military capabilities so that the Indian response can be shaped accordingly. 

Second time

This is the second time that India is voicing its concern about the growing closeness between its neighbours in the last six months.

In July, the Defence Ministry in its annual report stated its concerns over Beijing’s possible use of Jammu and Kashmir to increase its connectivity with Pakistan.
“The possibility of (China) enhancing connectivity with Pakistan through the territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have direct military implications for India,” the report said. India may take “military” steps to stop any such activity, which has serious security implications.

Stressing the need to remain vigilant, Antony, however, hoped that China will reciprocate the initiatives aimed at mutual trust-building.  He also said terror networks in Pakistan are thriving. 

India always strove for peaceful relations with neighbours. But, the minister said, the government cannot afford to ignore security steps.

New Delhi had sensed new threat perceptions and also  aired its concerns on a road connecting China and Pakistan through Karakoram.

Almost three decades ago, when the road—located within the occupied territory ceded by Islamabad to Beijing—was laid, India made a formal protest. Subsequently, the issue was put on the backburner till 2009. It again cropped up this year.

New Delhi is upgrading some of the dilapidated advanced landing grounds (ALG) near the Sino-Indian border, ostensibly for rapid troop movement if the need arises. Three such ALGs have been reactivated in Ladakh. Work  on other ALGs in Arunachal Pradesh is progressing.

While Beijing assistance to Islamabad’s missile programme is known to the world, China recently entered into a  contract to supply 36 J-10 fighter jets to Pakistan. The two countries have also joined hands to develop JF-17, the third generation fighter aircraft.

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