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China has gained a lot after decades of ‘salami slicing’ India’s border: Ex-Army Chief

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec17’22) – China has gained a lot as a result of its army’s moves to alter the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) through a series of very “small incremental steps”, reported the ndtv.com Dec 15, citing the country’s former Army chief Gen MM Naravane.

Citing the recent Indian fightbacks in Ladakh in the west and Arunachal Pradesh in the east, Naravane has said China’s “salami slicing” tactics have now led to a “more assertive” response from the Indian Army.

“China has been trying to alter the status quo along the LAC for many years, decades in fact, and they have been doing this in very small incremental steps which by themselves do not look very dangerous. They look quite innocuous. What we call salami slicing, coming up one inch at a time. But in the bargain over a period of time, they have gained a lot. This is the tactics they have adopted and were continuing to do,” Gen Naravane has said in a podcast interview with Smita Prakash, editor-in-chief of the ANI news service.

“There was a time to say this much and no further. So that is what actually happened as they kept trying to probe especially north of the Pangong Tso (lake in Ladakh). They come time and again and then they want to make it a historical fact that we have been coming here. They tried to alter the status quo as it is existing,” he has added.

He has said the casualties suffered by the Chinese Army during the Galwan Valley clash in eastern Ladakh Jun 2020 were the first time they got “jhatka” (jolt) amid China resorting to “encroaching” territory of its neighbours over the past two decades and its territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

He has said India’s response to Chinese aggression in the Galwan Valley showed to the world that it is possible to take on “neighbourhood bullying”.

He has agreed that the Galwan Valley clash, in which China suffered more casualties than it admitted, diminished Beijing’s stature on the global stage. “After this clash occurred and we showed that it is possible to stand up to China who tries to bully its smaller neighbours.”

“Once we did that…I think it is from Canada to Lithuania and Europe to the Philippines, everyone actually got that feeling that yes…if you are fighting for what is correct and if your principle stands, it is possible to take a stand even against China. And we do not have always to be cowed down by the might they try to project. India as a country showed to the world that it’s possible to take on neighborhood bullying. We showed, it can be done,” the former Army chief has said.

With regard to the Dec 9 incident, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told both Houses of Parliament Dec 13 that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops had tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh Tawang Sector and unilaterally change the status quo but they went back to their locations due to the timely intervention of Indian military commanders.

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