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India Army Warning To PM: China Can Deploy Half-A-Million Troops On Lac For A Month


Apr 3, 2005
New Delhi China now has the capability to deploy and sustain more than half-a-million troops for over a month on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in case of a high threat scenario with India.

Combining deft defence diplomacy with India’s neighbours and major infrastructure upgradation in restive Xinjiang and Tibet, Beijing is expected to be increasingly assertive towards New Delhi and may put pressure on Arunachal Pradesh in near future.

This threat perception and assessment in the form of a presentation in South Block was given to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony, National Security Adviser S S Menon, Principal Secretary T K Nair and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar by the Indian military brass last month.

While the government is tight-lipped about the presentation, the military brass told the PM that Chinese PLA has acquired the capability to deploy 34 troop divisions (one division has 23,000 troops) along the LAC in case of a high threat scenario by pulling out troops from Chengdu and Lanzhou military regions. When compared to the Indian strength of nine holding divisions along the northern borders, the PLA with a defence budget estimated at $150 billion holds overwhelming advantage.

As part of major infrastructure upgradation in Tibet and Xinjiang, China is doing the following:

Connection with all counties in Tibet with border roads completed. Road network increased from 51,000 km in 2008 to 58,000 km in 2010. Plans to increase black topped roads by another 70,000 km on the anvil.

Extension of Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Golmund to Lhasa and thereon to Shigatse (close to Sikkim). Rail connectivity is planned to link Kathmandu, Myanmar, Bhutan, Pakistan and Central Asian republics. Eleven new rail lines on the anvil in Tibet and Xinjiang for rapid deployment of PLA.

There are eight airfields in Tibet, including five operational ones; 18 air bases in Tibet and Xinjiang have the capability to put India under range of Sukhoi 27 aircraft.

The Indian security concerns get multiplied when this Chinese advantage is backed with an all-weather friend like Pakistan. Beijing is in the process of supplying four F-22 frigates along with JF-17 aircraft to Islamabad. PLA has pushed some 1,000 troops in PoK for upgradation of Karakoram Highway and to link it with sea ports of Karachi, Gwadar and Bin Qassim. This will not only give strategic depth to Pakistan but also allow PLA to control the Persian Gulf.

China’s Dong Fang Electric Supply Corporation and Pakistan Railways have also signed a feasibility study contract on a Havelian-Khunjerab Pass rail link. The military brass also gave information on Chinese inroads into Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.




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