Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Tuesday said that a serious conflict with India will not be good for China on the global level, ANI reported. His remarks came amid continuing border tensions between the two countries.

At a webinar on national security challenges, Bhadauria said that “evolving uncertainties and instability” in the world had given China a chance to demonstrate its growing power. He added that China’s behaviour had also exposed the insufficient contribution of major powers to world security.

“If Chinese aspirations are global then it [the conflict with India] does not suit their grand plan,” Bhadauria was quoted as saying by the news agency. “What could be possible Chinese objectives for their action in the north? It is important that we recognise what they have really achieved.”

The Indian Air Force chief also said that China had heavy deployment of troops along the Line of Actual Control. “They have a large presence of radars, surface to air missiles and surface to surface missiles,” he added. “Their deployment has been strong. We’ve taken all actions required to be taken.”

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Bhadauria also hit out at Pakistan, saying that it had become China’s pawn. “Under an increasing CPEC [China–Pakistan Economic Corridor] related debt trap there will be further military dependencies in future,” he added. “US exit from Afghanistan has opened increased options for China in the region both direct and through Pakistan.”

The India-China conflict

India and China had on December 18 agreed to continue working towards ensuring complete disengagement of soldiers along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh as the border standoff between the two neighbouring countries continues.

On December 11, India had blamed China for the ongoing border standoff between the two countries, claiming that it tried to effect a “unilateral change” in the eastern Ladakh region. This came two days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the ties between the neighbours are passing through their most difficult phase, claiming that Beijing has offered “five differing explanations” for violating agreements on maintaining peace.

On December 8, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the country was working with India for “further de-escalation” in Ladakh.

The tensions along the Line of Actual Control started with initial scuffles that led to a pitched battle – without firearms – in June that saw 20 Indian soldiers killed. Beijing, however, refused to release casualty numbers on its side. The two countries have held several rounds of talks to resolve the conflict but there has been no breakthrough.