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Army's tough stand helped Indian diplomacy resolve Doka La stand-off, says ex-air chief marshal Arup Raha

Former air chief marshal Arup Raha on Sunday said the army's tough stand helped the Indian diplomacy resolve the Doka La stand-off with Chinese troops last year.

Underlining the importance of the military providing the "spine" to diplomacy, Raha predicted that Doka La-like incursions by the China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will increase.

"In Doka La, the army faced the stand off for 15-odd days. It was not diplomacy which really saved the day, but it was the stand taken by army that they will not budge from the position, and stare eye to eye...," Raha said while delivering a lecture in Ahmedabad on the subject "Statecraft and Diplomacy: Role of Military Power".

"That (army's stand) helped diplomacy overcome the issue. It's very important our military provide spine to our diplomacy," Raha added.

He was invited here by the Air Force Association, Gujarat, for the "Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon Annual Lecture Series".

Doka La was one of several incursions by China along the LAC and such incidents will "happen more often" in the days to come, Raha said.

"The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passing through the PoK, is a direct threat to India. China is unhelpful in India securing membership to the UNSC or NSG. All this indicates we have a huge security concern. You have to be prepared," Raha said.

The Doka La standoff refers to the military border standoff between the Indian armed forces and the People's Liberation Army of China over construction of a road in Doka La, a territory which is claimed by both China as well as India's ally Bhutan.


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