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Military

Modernisation of Chinese armed forces a matter of concern

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 17, IRNA -- Expressing 'serious concerns' over Chinese military modernisation, Defense Minister A. K. Antony Wednesday said India needs to carry out a 'comprehensive review' of its defence preparedness and 'remain vigilant' to meet its security challenges.

'Modernisation of armed forces in China and its ever-increasing military spending is a matter of serious concern but we are not unduly worried because we also will have to modernize and strengthen our armed forces,' pti reported quoting Antony as telling the reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Security Conference in New Delhi.

'We also must strengthen our capabilities and infrastructure in our area and we are doing it. Government is also modernizing the armed forces and strengthening the infrastructure in border areas,' he said.

After China started deploying missiles and strengthening its military infrastructure along the Indian territory, India has also upgraded its roads and aviation infrastructure there.

It is also in the process of deploying four squadrons of the Su-30 MKI air superiority aircraft along with the raising of two new Mountain Divisions of the Army.

The Minister said the review of capabilities of the armed forces was an 'ongoing and constant' process and the defence preparedness was being reviewed on a regular basis and 'if there are any gaps, they will be filled up.'

Asked if the Indian military modernization was moving at a slower pace than China's, Antony said, 'We are not modernizing our armed forces by keeping in mind any other country's modernization. We are modernizing our forces on the basis of a comprehensive review of the emerging security scenario around us.'

On the reported Chinese objections over the trilateral Malabar series of war games between India, America and Japan, the Defense Minister said, 'Malabar exercise started 15 years ago and we hold it every year. There is nothing against a particular country. It is to increase capabilities of our Navy.'

Antony said, 'As two largest nations in the region, India and China need to enhance cooperation levels on common issues such as climate change and trade.'

On the unresolved border issues between the two countries, the Defense Minister said, 'The complicated border issue can be settled only through dialogue and discussions.'



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