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China's assertiveness is increasing, says Antony

Source: PTI
September 13, 2010 19:37 IST
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Recent events in Jammu and Kashmir indicate Pakistan's continuing proxy war and China's assertiveness in the region is increasing, Defence Minister A K Antony cautioned on Monday, while asking the armed forces not to drop their guard.

Antony, who addressed the two-day Combined Commanders Conference, said there were multiplicity of threats.

"Our geographical situation and the compulsions of history and geography pose challenges that are unique for any country. At the forefront of these challenging situations are those emanating from neighbours who continue to dwell in the past and are keen to foment threats to our national integrity," he said.

"A multiplicity of threats poses challenges to us. Events in recent months indicate that the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir continues unabated. While required measures have been taken to prevent the recurrence of acts of terror like 26/11 attacks on Mumbai; intelligence inputs demand that we cannot afford to drop our guard," he added.

Noting that India wanted to develop friendly relations with China, Antony, however, said the country could not lose sight of China's increasing military and physical infrastructure along the borders.

He, though, sounded a word of caution that the two largest nations of the region had "equal stake" in maintaining peace and ensuring development through which both could benefit and prosper by taking the trading partnership to even further heights.

"We want to develop friendly relations with China...However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that China has been improving its military and physical infrastructure. In fact, there has been an increasing assertiveness on the part of China," he said.

Antony said India was taking all necessary steps to upgrade capabilities, but noted that these were "never linked" to countering any particular nation.

The defence minister said the internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Naxalism needed the government's undivided attention, adding that the Maoists' activities that have grown in the recent times needed to be addressed urgently.

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