India not worried over China-Bangla military relations

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Shillong, Sep 27 (UNI) India was not worried over increased military cooperation between China and Bangladesh as New Delhi felt any sovereign nation has a right to do so, India's Chief of Air staff, Fali Homi Major said here today.

''Bangladesh has very right to acquire what they want as a sovereign nation and India has no problem with it,'' the Air Chief Marshal told mediapersons after addressing Station Commanders at the Eastern Air Command headquarters.

Recently, Bangladesh had set up a missile launch pad with China's help near Chittagong port. Dhaka had also conducted its first C-802A anti-ship cruise missile test having a strike range of 120 km this year again with the help of Chinese Defence expert.

Official sources in the Defence Ministry said China was the biggest supplier of small weapons to Bangladesh. In 2002, China and Bangladesh signed an important Defence agreement to meet Bangladesh's Defence requirements.

The increased military relations were also believed that China would get a strategic foothold on India's eastern flank in Bangladesh, he said.

Asked about China's upgrading its Defence capabilities, the IAF Chief said, India, too, was on par with China's militarily set-up.

''Yes! China has built many Defence assets, but this too does not concern us and India's aerospace has also become more potent and effective over the years,'' he revealed.

On perceived threat from China, the Air Chief Marshal said, ''We go by intents and not by threat perceptions.'' He, however, said the Indian Air Force was upgrading all the existing Advanced Landing Grounds in the North Eastern states and two more Air fields were being developed in the region.

''Our Tezpur Air Base is being upgraded and very soon squadrons of the Sukhoi would be based there,'' he informed.

On India's Aerospace Command, the Air Chief said the Aerospace command was still evolving, adding the initial groundwork has been completed.

''We are in the process of having a complete set up (aerospace command) to exploit outer space by integrating its capabilities,'' he said.

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