ITANAGAR- Despite ongoing diplomatic and military dialogues to reduce border tensions, China has continued “taking incremental and tactical actions” to press its claims at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India and has unsuccessfully sought to prevent New Delhi from deepening its relationship with the United States, said a Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense in it’s comprehensive report on China released on Wednesday.
The Department of Defense has categorically said China is indulging in aggressive and coercive behaviour with its neighbours, India in particular. In addition, a substantial reserve force from the Tibet and Xinjiang Military Districts were deployed to the interior of Western China to provide a rapid response to the border situation, the report said.
The Pentagon confirmed that in 2020, China built a large 100-home civilian village in a piece of “disputed territory” between the Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC.
At the height of the border standoff between China and India in 2020, the Chinese Army even installed a fiber-optic network in the remote areas of the western Himalayas to provide faster communications and increased protection from foreign interception, the report said.
China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much more quickly than anticipated, narrowing the gap with the United States, the Pentagon said in its latest report, pointing out that Beijing could have as many as 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027, and could top 1,000 by 2030 – an arsenal two-and-a-half times the size of what the Pentagon predicted only a year ago.
The report said that China is actively investing in, and expanding its land, sea, and air-based means to deploy nuclear weapons, building the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces, not unlike the other two leading nuclear powers – the United States and Russia.
The Pentagon, however, said that it is unlikely that China is seeking a capability to launch an unprovoked nuclear strike on a nuclear-armed adversary – primarily the United States – but this current expansion is aimed at deterring attacks from others by maintaining a credible threat of nuclear retaliation.
SOURCE- input from agencies