Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Manoj Pande on Tuesday said that China has increased its military drills in areas across the Arunachal Pradesh sector, PTI reported. Pande added that India was ready to deal with any security challenges arising from the area.

“The annual training exercise that the PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] carries out has seen some increase in the level of activities in the depth areas,” Pande said. “Some of the reserve formations which the PLA mobilised continue to remain in their training areas that are in the operational depth areas.”

He added that India has increased surveillance along the Line of Actual Control.

“We have adequate forces that are available in each sector to deal with any contingency that may arise,” he said.

Pande said that the government has approved Integrated Battle Groups – combat formations that can be mobilised quickly in times of emergencies at borders with Pakistan and China. The battle groups comprise units of infantry, artillery, air defence, tanks and logistics.

The Army officer said that India has been abiding by the mutually agreed protocol with China on troop deployment and infrastructure building along the Line of Actual Control, PTI reported.

“In terms of our larger guidance, strategic guidance in terms of dealing with situations on the LAC is to respect the mutually agreed protocols and agreements, and that has been our effort, notwithstanding what has been the action or response from the other side,” Pande said on Tuesday.

However, he said that building of infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control by India and China has created certain issues at times.

In December, India had criticised China for “unilaterally” changing troop deployment in the Ladakh region.

Pande said that the government may review the Line of Actual Control protocols on a strategic level in the future.

Earlier this month, the 13th round of military talks between India and China failed to resolve the standoff between the two countries in eastern Ladakh.

After several rounds of talks, India and China had disengaged from Pangong Tso Lake in eastern Ladakh in February. After the commander level talks on July 31, the two countries also agreed to disengage from Gogra.

The two countries have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four.