China more powerful but no need to worry: Defence experts

RPK

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China more powerful but no need to worry: Defence experts


New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Even as Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta raised eyebrows with his comments that India cannot match China in military capability, former armed forces chiefs and defence analysts say that while Beijing was certainly more powerful, one need not be “overly concerned”.

“China is more powerful nation but it is not that our capability is what it used to be earlier. We are much more capable now. It is difficult to match force by force,” former Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, told IANS.

The same opinion was echoed by former Indian Army chief, General V.P. Malik, who led the army during the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan.

“There is a sealing now on the scale of conflict between the two countries as both are nuclear armed nations. So the maximum we would see in terms would be a threshold of a full-fledged war. But there is nothing alarming,” Malik added.

“What the navy chief has projected is that our military asymmetry to China is similar to our asymmetry vis-a-vis our economies. Instead of matching China force by force we should harness technology more innovatively. It is not alarmist at all but a prudent suggestion that money allocated is spent and spent wisely,” National Maritime Foundation director Commodore (retd.) C. Uday Bhaskar said.

Terming China one of India’s primary challenges, Mehta said at a lecture Monday that “it would be foolhardy to compare India and China as equals”.

“Whether in terms of GDP, defence spending or any other economic, social or development parameter, the gap between the two is just too wide to bridge (and getting wider by the day). In military terms, both conventional and non-conventional, we neither have the capability nor the intention to match China, force for force,” Mehta told an elite audience at the India Habitat Centre.

Earlier IAF chief Major, who retired May 31, had said that China was a bigger challenge for India as little was known about its capability.

“What I meant was while it is easy to gauge the intentions of other countries, it is slightly difficult with China because it is a closed society. Moreover quantity does not matter but capability does. We need not be that overly concerned with China. We do not have to put them on such a high pedestal,” Major added.

The Chinese armed forces overrun the Indian armed forces in sheer numbers. While India has a 1.3 million strong army, China’s is around 2 million.

However, the Chinese air force and navy have been lagging behind in terms of quality platforms and vessels. However, China has increased its defence spending exorbitantly to achieve rapid modernisation of its two forces and lately has flexing muscles to spread its influence in the South Asian and Indian Ocean Regions.

The Chinese air force is at a nascent stage but the infrastructure that it is coming up with in north-eastern region is cause for concern, say Indian military experts.

Caught unawares, the Indian Air Force has also started work to revive its advanced landing grounds and upgrade its existing runways in the north-eastern states and Ladakh region bordering China.

India recently deployed its frontline fighter jets Sukhoi-30 MKI in Tezpur in Assam. Though a symbolic induction has been done, a squadron strength has not been completed yet, according to defence ministry sources.

The Chinese navy, which is currently termed as a ‘brown water’ navy with limited reach and endurance, does not operate a single aircraft carrier. The Indian Navy, which operates one aircraft carrier, is already constructing indigenous aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine, compelling China to increase the pace of its efforts to get an aircraft carrier soon.
[LM1]
 

pyromaniac

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I have to say that I find Mr.Malik a little too optimistic. China would be out of its mind to engage in a open and full scale all out war against any country, especially India. Instead, they will go for a quick and precise strike against key targets/areas. For example if China deemed that it had a chance to strike at Arunachal pradesh, I highly doubt if we can mobilize our forces quickly enough to stop them. The Chinese enjoy both numerical and logistical superiority in such areas. They can move troops a lot faster and resupply them much more effectively...a lightning war on the part of the china would be almost impossible to stop when considering the current state of our forces in such areas. That is something we need to be concerned about, especially given the alarming attrition rate of our air force and to a certain extent our artillery pieces and such.
 

no smoking

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For example if China deemed that it had a chance to strike at Arunachal pradesh, I highly doubt if we can mobilize our forces quickly enough to stop them.
Just a quick question.

After PLA's quick victory over Arunachal pradesh as you suggested, how can PLA defend it?

As i learned from Chinese book, the environment around there is so difficult for the logistic, there is no way to support a hugh army deploying there.
 

ahmedsid

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Just a quick question.

After PLA's quick victory over Arunachal pradesh as you suggested, how can PLA defend it?

As i learned from Chinese book, the environment around there is so difficult for the logistic, there is no way to support a hugh army deploying there.
You are correct in your thinking, The Chinese can overpower their way through, but to defend will be a mammoth taks. And by that time, Indian counter attack will be huge! This is the same reason I feel the chinese didnt stay on and capitalise on their surprise victory in 1962.
 

sayareakd

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Nuclear weapons has bring back the equation with India Vs China in the same footing as with respect to Pakistan Vs China.

but we have to make sure that Chines dont go for short period conflect. we have to have quality weapon system and force miltiplyiers.

we have to develop infrastructure for force mobilsation with respect to chines border.

it is also important that we have to continue with missile test and ABM test.
 

Officer of Engineers

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You are correct in your thinking, The Chinese can overpower their way through, but to defend will be a mammoth taks. And by that time, Indian counter attack will be huge! This is the same reason I feel the chinese didnt stay on and capitalise on their surprise victory in 1962.
You guys really don't understand the terrain.

The fight is at max at multi-brigade level, not even a divisional fight.
 

threadbrowser

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OOE sir, have been trying to understand your comment. Is this what you mean by the effect the terrain has?
Took a look on google maps at a part of the border. Wow!


Internal connectivity within Arunachal Pradesh remains one of the pressing problems which need urgent attention - to travel to five different towns in Arunachal Pradesh, one has to cross back into Assam as many times. Air dropping of essential civil and military supplies in remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh is the prevailing norm and a number of AN-32 transport aircraft are used on a daily basis from the Guwahati, Jorhat and Dibrugarh supply bases in Assam.
Articles #2924 , Arunachal Pradesh’s Border Roads

To sum up, few roads, prone to landslides and snow, little or no interconnectivity, few small airstrips and even in existing roads very little capacity.
Either side will find it difficult to push in infantry let alone anything heavy. Units would be isolated and dependent almost totally on air supply.
 

Officer of Engineers

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Yes, the fight would be mostly between companies and battalions. The few areas, such as the towns, where brigade level actions are possible are most likely to be bypassed unless they are the OPOBJs, ie to destroy the defending force or need the water but still, this is a brigade/regt fight. Nowhere can you mass a division.
 

sky

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The strong do not make peace with the weak.
which is why we must act tough and continue the modenization of our armed forces with real urgency.we are on the right track we just need to pick up the pace.this will have other benifits,regarding pakistan.
 

Ray

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China statistically appears more equipped and with greater military manpower as gleaned from open sources.

However, to believe that China has a walkover is a bit too fanciful an imagination and Adm Mehta never meant it to be so. It was to reply to a question asked and good that he answered in such a way that it was a wakeup call (hopefully) for the fool politicians of India.

If one goes into the issues of the 1962 conflict, one would notice that China withdrew from the NE but not in the West. It was not because China was suddenly seized with immense morality and milk of human kindness. It was because it was militarily prudent to do so. There were no roads and the terrain was most difficult and so the logistical support would be immensely difficult and no artillery could be fetched up to hold on to what was captured! So, before losing face, they withdrew with the smug cuteness that China always adopts after each encounter the world over.

Right now, it is an even fight if there will be any.

The Chinese Navy will be blocked at the Straits of Malacca and the IA is capable of taking on any Chinese challenge.

IAF is favourably placed compared to the PLAAF which will have to operate from High Altitude airfields of Tibet.
 

hit&run

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Are chines trying to involve india into counter productive(for India) arms race. Being critic of recent comments of In navy chief i am thinking in a different dimension that he is trying to message china that we are not going to compete you as force by force equation, we are not going to set equilibrium in terms of numbers with them.
Furthermore he is suggesting that there is nothing to worry for substandard chines weaponsrather one should stress on quality of war tools and strategy.
 

kuku

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“In military terms, both conventional and non-conventional, we neither have the capability nor the intention to match China, force for force. These are indeed sobering thoughts and therefore our strategy to deal with China would need to be in consonance with these realities,”

Common sense dictates that cooperation with China would be preferable to competition or conflict, as it would be foolhardy to compare India and China as equals...Whether in terms of GDP, defence spending or any other economic, social or development parameter, the gap between the two is just too wide to bridge and getting wider by the day,”

Warning that China will be one of India’s primary challenges in the years ahead, Mehta said that the country is in the process of consolidating its “comprehensive national power” and is creating “formidable military capabilities” and boundary issues between the countries could lead to mistrust.

“Once that is done, China is likely to be more assertive on its claims, especially in its immediate neighbourhood. Our ‘trust deficit’ with China can never be liquidated unless our boundary problems are resolved,” the Navy Chief said.

Pointing out that India’s expenditure on Defence has been hovering around a low two percent of GDP in recent years, Mehta said that the strategy to deal with China on the military front would be to introduce modern technology and create a “reliable stand-off deterrent.”

“On the military front, our strategy to deal with China must include reducing the military gap and countering the growing Chinese footprint in the Indian Ocean Region,”

However, he warned that unless spending on defence is increased substantially, the military gap could even widen further. “Let alone bridging the gap between us and our potential adversaries, without a substantial increase, the gap may widen further and dilute our operational edge,” Mehta said.

“China’s known propensity for intervention in space and cyber warfare would also be major planning considerations in our strategic and operational thinking,” he said.
Don’t have capability or intention to match China force for force: Navy chief


This just sounded very werid, cooperate not compete.
Create a stand off deterrence (nuclear forces?)

Trust deficite with PRC requires border disputes to be solved.

Reducing military gap and countering PRC/PLA-N in IOC (half a dozen ships?)

Growing military gap is diluting the operational edge.

Counters to PRCs Space and Cyber capabilities.
That just made no sense at all.
 

Om3357

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Would it mean that we have a WW-III in prospect in case if such a situation arises?
I mean Pak will surely try and make a merry out of it finding Ind in desperation, a similar thing was attempted in '65. So, likewise, there'll be some more allies coming out and there could well be a possibility of a nuclear war. Also, the extremists in some parts of the world would definitely want to be a part of such an adventure...
 

Koji

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Furthermore he is suggesting that there is nothing to worry for substandard chines weaponsrather one should stress on quality of war tools and strategy.
"In military terms, both conventional and non-conventional, we neither have the capability nor the intention to match China, force for force."

That is what he said. Regarding the technology of weapons, he said it to mean that it should "help" level the playing field, but he, the chairman of India's Chiefs of Staff Committee, says that India cannot match China.

Personally, I don't understand the hooplah over his statement. The defence budgets simply don't match.
 

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So, likewise, there'll be some more allies coming out and there could well be a possibility of a nuclear war. Also, the extremists in some parts of the world would definitely want to be a part of such an adventure...
too much thinking/imagination. Not happening. Not plausible.Not Realistic
 

Sabir

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"In military terms, both conventional and non-conventional, we neither have the capability nor the intention to match China, force for force."

That is what he said. Regarding the technology of weapons, he said it to mean that it should "help" level the playing field, but he, the chairman of India's Chiefs of Staff Committee, says that India cannot match China.

Personally, I don't understand the hooplah over his statement. The defence budgets simply don't match.
he also said later we dont need to match china step by step..and quantitive gap can be covered by better quality. you should have followed that too...

A large portion of China,s expenditure goes to maintaining world's largest army and a huge inventory (unfortunately a large part of it is obsolete now and China also trying to substitute them). So no wonder China cant match the standard of US,UK,France, Russia etc in term of quality. There are several areas where China lags behind India qualitatively.
 

Kumar

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China statistically appears more equipped and with greater military manpower as gleaned from open sources.

However, to believe that China has a walkover is a bit too fanciful an imagination and Adm Mehta never meant it to be so. It was to reply to a question asked and good that he answered in such a way that it was a wakeup call (hopefully) for the fool politicians of India.

If one goes into the issues of the 1962 conflict, one would notice that China withdrew from the NE but not in the West. It was not because China was suddenly seized with immense morality and milk of human kindness. It was because it was militarily prudent to do so. There were no roads and the terrain was most difficult and so the logistical support would be immensely difficult and no artillery could be fetched up to hold on to what was captured! So, before losing face, they withdrew with the smug cuteness that China always adopts after each encounter the world over.

Right now, it is an even fight if there will be any.

The Chinese Navy will be blocked at the Straits of Malacca and the IA is capable of taking on any Chinese challenge.

IAF is favourably placed compared to the PLAAF which will have to operate from High Altitude airfields of Tibet.
Sir,

We never treated them as equal, we always have a inferiority complex with China and due to this we lag behind them on every issue. They oppose the development loans, nuclear deals, provides arms to the ones who are against India.
They are the ones who create a psychological impact on our minds showing these huge numbers. Given that the infrastructural developments the chinese have made as compared to the us on the eastern front, they seem to be better prepared than us to take an offensive. I fear if IA will again face the same set of problems(Logistics, Air Support and quick reaction ability) as in 1962 when the enemy attacks.
 

Kumar

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Sir,

We never treated them as equal, we always have a inferiority complex with China and due to this we lag behind them on every issue. They oppose the development loans, nuclear deals, provides arms to the ones who are against India.
They are the ones who create a psychological impact on our minds showing these huge numbers. Given that the infrastructural developments the chinese have made as compared to the us on the eastern front, they seem to be better prepared than us to take an offensive. I fear if IA will again face the same set of problems(Logistics, Air Support and quick reaction ability) as in 1962 when the enemy attacks.
It might also happen that they might be far away from us in the qualitative terms due to the large defense budget they have.
 

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