China has recently stated that it opposes the joint Indo-US military exercise being held near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), revealed the latest report by the US Department of Defense. The 18th edition of the Indo-US joint military exercise, called ‘Yudh Abhyas’, is currently underway in Uttarakhand, about 100 km from the LAC.
The nearly two-week exercise began earlier this month. Military exercises are conducted annually between India and the US to exchange best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the militaries of both countries.
China, which wants to “contain” tensions at the LAC to prevent India from “partnering more closely” with the US, warned US officials not to “interfere” in its relations with India. It further said that the Indo-US military exercise violates the spirit of the two boundary agreements signed between New Delhi and Beijing.
The report also revealed that throughout 2021, and as it looked into 2022, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) increasingly viewed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as “an instrument of governance in support of its national strategy and global ambitions”. was changed as
The report also highlights that the PLA has “adopted more dangerous, coercive and aggressive actions” in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Throughout the standoff, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] Officials tried to downplay the seriousness of the crisis, stressing Beijing’s intent to maintain border stability and prevent damage to other areas of its bilateral ties with India,” the China Military Power Report 2022 submitted to the US Congress Handed over to
The report further states that in early May 2020, Chinese and Indian troops faced clashes involving rocks, poles and clubs wrapped in barbed wire at several locations along the LAC.
It said, “Different perceptions of border demarcation along the LAC, combined with recent infrastructure build-up, have led to an ongoing standoff and military build-up, multiple unarmed clashes on both sides of the India-China border.”
In addition, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “The joint military exercises between India and the US close to the LAC on the China-India border violate the spirit of the agreements between China and India in 1993 and 1996.”
China also aims to enhance interoperability and expertise sharing between the two militaries in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. “It does not meet the mutual trust between China and India,” Lijian said in response to a question asked by a Pakistani correspondent.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s reference to the 1993 and 1996 agreements comes as India in May 2020 termed the PLA’s efforts to move its troops to disputed areas in the LAC as a violation of bilateral agreements, stating that the boundary question resolved through peaceful and friendly consultations. ,
The Pentagon report also examined China’s military build-up in areas far from the country’s immediate sphere of influence, including the Indian Ocean. It also noted that Beijing is “seeking to expand its overseas logistics and infrastructure to allow the PLA to project and maintain military power over greater distances.”
It added, “At the end of March 2022, a Fuchi II class (Type 903A) supply ship Luomahu docked at the 450-meter pier for re-supply; The first such reported PLA Navy port call to Djibouti Support Base, indicating that the pier is now operational,” the report said of China’s operations in Djibouti, which India views with concern. “The jetty is likely to be able to accommodate the PLA Navy’s aircraft carriers, other large warships and submarines.
The US Department of Defense assessment also showed that China’s official military budget of $209 billion for 2021 was higher than the combined defense budgets of India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. However, this was less than a third of what the US spends on its military.
(with inputs from agencies)