Navy Chief says China to be India's primary challenge in years ahead

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New Delhi, Aug. 11 (ANI): Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta has said that China will be India's primary challenge, as the nation charts out its security plans.

"It is quite evident that coping with China will certainly be one of our primary challenges in the years ahead. China is in the process of 'consolidating' its comprehensive national power and creating formidable military capabilities. Once that is done, China is likely to be more assertive on its claims," Admiral Mehta told reporters on the sideline of his lecture "India's national security challenges - an armed forces overview" organised by the National Maritime Foundation on Tuesday.

Admiral Mehta acknowledged that India's trust-deficit with China could never be removed completely till the boundary issue is settled.

He added that Beijing's propensity for intervention in space and cyber-warfare would also be major planning considerations in New Delhi's strategic and operational thinking.

He said cooperation rather than competition or conflict with China was preferable since it would be "foolhardy" to compare India and China as equals in terms of economy, infrastructure and military spending.

Admiral Mehta said both in convention and non-conventional terms military terms, India neither does have the capability nor the intention to match China force for force.

According to some American studies, China spends anywhere between 70 billion dollars to 200 billion dollars even though the official figure by Beijing is under 40 billion dollars, he said.

A military conflict, he said, would have grave consequences on the economic front for both nations and therefore it would be in the interest of both the countries to cooperate with each other in mutually beneficial endeavours and ensure that the potential for conflict is minimised. (ANI)

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