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India preparing for a limited war with China – James Clapper

Washington, Feb 1: The Indian army is preparing to “fight a limited conflict” with China, said a top American intelligence officer who added that New Delhi may not send troops or heavy equipment to Kabul so as not to provoke Pakistan.

“Despite public statements intended to downplay tensions between India and China, we judge that India is increasingly concerned about China’s posture along their disputed border and Beijing’s perceived aggressive posture in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific region,” US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Senate Select Intelligence Committee Tuesday.

“The Indian Army believes a major Sino-Indian conflict is not imminent, but the Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean,” he added.

India and China fought a limited war in 1962 and still dispute each other’s territory. Despite improved relations, irritants persist between the two Asian giants, often leading to major hiccups.

The official also said that India had expressed support for a strong US military posture in East Asia and US engagement in Asia. He said China in 2011 appeared to temper the assertive behavior that characterized its foreign policy the year before, but the internal and external drivers of that behavior persist.

“Moreover, although Chinese leaders have affirmed their commitment to a peaceful and pragmatic foreign policy – and especially to stable relations with China’s neighbors and the rest of the world – Beijing may take actions contrary to that goal if it perceives that China’s sovereignty or national security is being seriously challenged,” he said.

Many of Beijing’s military capability goals have now been realized, resulting in impressive military might.
Other goals remain longer term, but the Chinese army is receiving the funding and political support to transform it into a fully modern force, capable of sustained operations in Asia and beyond, he said.

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