China-specific strike corps formation approved by govt

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New Delhi, July 18: Two weeks after Defence Minister A K Antony's visit to China, the government has approved formation of a new China-specific strike force to be deployed along the China border.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) yesterday gave its in-principle green signal to the Army's ambitious proposal to raise a mountain strike corps. It would be the 14th corps of the army.

The CCS approval came after the Defence Ministry clarified certain questions raised by the Finance Ministry over the proposal. The CCS nod for the Army's proposal, which has been pending for the past few years, came after Antony's maiden visit to China.

The strike corps of 45,000 soldiers is expected to cost Rs. 62,000 crore. The proposed strike corps will draw support from IAF fighters operating from renovated bases in the northeast.

The Army wanted the mountain strike corps to take care of its operational gaps along the undemarcated line of actual control with China.

The strike corps with proposed headquarteres at Panagarh in West Bengal will give India the capability to launch action in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the event of a Chinese aggression.

This is not first China-specific response. In 2009, India had raised two infantry divisions to care of operational needs in Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh has been a border issue with China.

However, India will not be able to match Chinese combat-ready troops and infrastructure along the border. China has five airbases and a rail network to transport nearly 30 divisions of People's Liberation Army (each division has 15,000 soldiers).

OneIndia News

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