India's procurement of US rifles 'can't yield border advantage'
By Liu Xuanzun Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/29 18:58:43
India's latest military procurement plan worth Rs 2,290 crore ($310 million) involving US-made rifles cannot help it gain an advantage in the border tensions with China, and recent Indian military moves again revealed its insincerity in solving the dispute through talks, Chinese analysts said on Tuesday.
India's Defense Ministry approved the procurement of 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the US "for troops guarding the borders with China and Pakistan," Indian media outlet Deccan Chronicle reported on Monday, citing unidentified officials.
The Indian Army has been replacing its aging and obsolete infantry weapons with purchases of rifles, light machine guns and carbines since 2017, the report said.
The rifle procurement again showed the weak combat readiness of the Indian Army and the low level of its defense industry, as India's domestically developed, flaw-ridden INSAS rifles are being replaced by US ones on a large scale, a Chinese military expert who asked not to be identified told the Global Times on Tuesday.
India is also aiming to introduce thousands of AK-203 assault rifles, to be jointly manufactured with Russia, Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Monday.
India has been using weapons bought from all around the world, and there have been many compatibility and logistics support problems that are serious burdens to its military, the expert said.
The deployment of tactical infantry weapons such as rifles will not make a significant difference in the power balance between China and India. It might make up for some Indian disadvantages at best, the expert said.
India has been conducting frequent military activities despite the latest round of military commander-level talks between China and India over the border tensions.
Beside the procurement, India has also been reportedly building roads near the border region.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a routine press conference on Tuesday that China does not recognize the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh illegally established by India, and opposes infrastructure construction in disputed border areas for military control purposes.
According to the recent consensus reached between China and India, neither side should take any actions in border areas that would complicate the situation, so as not to affect the efforts of both sides to ease the situation, Wang said.
India also held joint maritime drills with Japan from Saturday to Monday in the Arabian Sea, test-fired a domestically made, nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile on September 23, and recently rushed weapons, fuel, food and winter supplies to the border region to maintain combat readiness through the treacherous winter, which lasts about four months, in its biggest military logistics operation in decades, media reported over the past week.
These actions showed that India is insincere in solving the border dispute through talks, Chinese analysts said.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|