NEW DELHI: China’s rapid build-up of military infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control with India is ‘alarming’, and adds to its overall `destabilising and corrosive behaviour’ in the entire Indo-Pacific region, a top US general said on Wednesday.
Visiting US Army’s Pacific Commanding General Charles A Flynn said the US, India and other like-minded countries should further strengthen their partnerships and increase military interoperability to act as a `counterweight’ to China in the region.
China’s recourse to an “incremental and insidious path” with its “destabilising and corrosive behaviour” projected on to the Indo-Pacific region is “simply not helpful”, Gen Flynn added, after holding talks with Army chief General Manoj Pande and others here.
Towards further enhancing military interoperability, India and the US will conduct their top-notch “Yudh Abhyas” exercise at an altitude of 9,000-10,000 feet in the Himalayas in October after the last edition was held in Alaska.
The US is also willing to offer or co-develop cutting-edge military technologies like counter-UAS (unmanned aircraft systems), which were showcased to defence minister Rajnath Singh at the Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii after the two-plus-two dialogue in April, Gen Flynn added.
Responding to a question by TOI on his assessment of the over two-year-long continuing military confrontation between India and China in eastern Ladakh, Gen Flynn said, “I believe the activity level (of the People’s liberation Army) is eye-opening.”
“I think some of the infrastructure that is being created in its Western Theatre Command (WTC) is alarming. And so much, like across all of their military arsenal, one has to ask the question, `why’, and get a response as to what are their intentions,” he added.
The WTC is the largest of China’s five theatre commands and handles the entire 3,488-km LAC from eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh as well as oversees the restive Tibet and Xinjiang regions.
Since the multiple PLA intrusions into Indian territory in eastern Ladakh in May 2020, China has assiduously built and consolidated its military positions and border infrastructure all along the LAC as well as upgraded its air bases facing India.
The latest example is China’s construction of a second bridge across the Pangong Tso in the Khurnak Fort area, illegally occupied by China since 1958, for better connectivity of its troops between the north and south banks of the brackish lake.
China has still not shown any signs of de-escalation and de-induction of troops in eastern Ladakh, with the two sides continuing to forward deploy over 50,000 soldiers each along with heavy weapons along the frontier, despite multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks.
“The talks that are going on between India and China are helpful. But the behaviour matters here as well. So, understanding what they (the Chinese) are saying is one thing but the way they are acting and behaving by the way of build-up is concerning. It should concern every one of us. We have to pay attention to that,” Gen Flynn said.

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