Deccan Chronicle

China's infra on Indian border alarms US

Deccan Chronicle.| Pawan Bali

Published on: June 9, 2022 | Updated on: June 9, 2022

Questions raised on what China's intentions are, no end in sight for stand-off

File photo of Pangong Tso lake (AP)

File photo of Pangong Tso lake (AP)

New Delhi: The US Army’s top general in the Indo-Pacific Command, General Charles A. Flynn, said here on Wednesday that Chinese activity near Ladakh was "eye-opening" and that some of the infrastructure being created by the People’s Liberation Army was "alarming".

He said that the destabilising and corrosive behaviour of the Communist Party of China in the Indo-Pacific region was simply not helpful. "I believe that the activity level is eye-opening and I think that some of the infrastructure being created in the (Chinese Army’s) Western Theatre Command is alarming," Gen. Flynn said, when asked for his assessment of the India-China border standoff in Ladakh. He is now on a four-day visit to India during which he will meet the Army Chief, among others.

Gen. Flynn said when one sees China’s military arsenal in all domains, one must ask the question why it was needed. "So, I do not have a crystal ball to tell you how it (India-China border standoff) is going to end or where we will be at. I will express to you that it is worthy of asking this question and try to get their response on what their intention are," he noted.

He said the talks that are going on between India and China are helpful. "However, behaviour matters here as well. So, understanding what they are saying is one thing but the way they are acting and behaving by the way of build-up is concerning. It should be concerning to every one of us," he said.

He also talked about how the behaviour of China had changed between 2014 and 2022. "I was in this command from 2014 to 2018 as the commander of 25th infantry division and then the deputy commanding general of my current command (US Army Pacific) as a two-star general. Then I left and went to the Pentagon to be the operations officer for the Army for three years and I came back a year ago," he noted.

He said when he looks back at what the Communist Party of China and the PRC (People’s Republic of China) were doing then to what they are doing today, it can be said they have taken an incremental and insidious path. "The destabilising and corrosive behaviour that they project into the Indo-Pacific region is simply not helpful," he said.

"Our ability to strengthen relationships in the region are a counterweight to those destabilising activities and to strengthen the network of allies and partners and like-minded countries that care about the protection of their people, national sovereignty, land, resources, a free and open Pacific Ocean and society," he said.

"I think it is worthy of us working together as a counterweight to some of those corrosive and corruptive behaviours that the Chinese do," he said.

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