China taking over territory gradually : Army chief Bipin Rawat

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. PTI file

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. PTI file

China's road building exercises in the Doklam plateau area, which is contested by Bhutan and China were objected to by Indian troops, after which China accused Indian troops of trespassing into their land, while India maintained their troops were on Bhutanese land.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said China was salami slicing its way into Indian territory gradually.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday called on newly-appointed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and apprised her of the overall security preparedness of the Army and the situation along the borders with China and Pakistan.

"The western adversary taking advantage of the situation developing along the northern border is very much likely", he said.

Rawat warned that a war with Chinese PLA would not be limited to northern border and Pakistan in the west could take advantage of the hostilities between India and China. Troops were locked in a tense stand-off during which officials in Beijing hinted at drastic consequences such as a wider conflict.

Speaking at a seminar here, he said that in view of the fact that China had been testing India's nerve in Doklam, he said that the situation could take the form of confrontation.

Mr. Geng pointed to the meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, where he said that the "two sides are each other's development opportunities, not threats".

The foreign ministry spokesperson said China and India are important neighbours.

In his statement, the Indian prime minister had agreed that two sides should work together to ensure the peace and tranquility of border areas, he added.

"Nuclear powers don't go to war and that nuclear weapons are weapons of deterrence ..."

Referring to the remarks expressed by Mr Xi and Mr Modi during their first meeting following the end of a 73-day standoff between the militaries of the two countries at Dokalam, Geng also questioned whether Gen. Rawat was authorised to speak and if his comments represented the Indian government's position.

"We have to be prepared".

China has said its forces will continue to patrol in Doklam, known in Chinese as Donglang, and Wang added that he hoped India had learned a lesson from the incident. Underlining the nature of conflict with Pak, he said that the differences that exist between India and Pak are irreconcilable.

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