New Delhi: General Bipin Rawat warned that a “larger conflict” with China cannot be ruled out if border confrontations and unprovoked military actions spiraled. General Rawat also said China and Pakistan acting in collusion meant an omnipresent danger of regional instability with potential for escalation. While the General indicated that a full-scale conflict with China is low on probability, he cautioned: “In the overall security calculus, border confrontation, transgressions and unprovoked tactical military actions spiraling into a larger conflict cannot be discounted.” These are the most direct remarks made by anyone in the government on China and the possibility of the crisis festering in Ladakh since May spinning out of control.
Referring to China’s ambitions as an aggressive pursuit of hegemonic interests, General Rawat said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto border between the two countries – remained tense amid transgressions and belligerent action by the Chinese. China’s People’s Liberation Army was facing “unanticipated consequences” for its misadventure in Ladakh because of firm responses by Indian forces, the Chief of Defence Staff said at a webinar organized by the National Defence College. “Our posturing is unambiguous; we will not accept any shift in the Line of Actual Control,” he asserted.