New Delhi has given the Indian Army the go-ahead for a new force that will deploy 80,000 additional troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) separating India from China, the Times of India reported
The new strike force, to be called the 17 Corps, will consist of two infantry brigades and two armored brigades to be deployed over the next seven years. Its focus will be the defense of Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian state sitting on territory claimed by China.
Beijing has long been a backer of Pakistan, India’s archrival, and a nation that has gone to war with India numerous times since 1947.
China and India fought a brief war over demarcating the border in 1962, and there have been lingering tensions between the two Asian giants since then.
The new forces specialize in “rapid reaction force capability in mountains” and will allow India for the first time to launch a counter-offensive into the nearby Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the event of a Chinese attack, according to the Times.
China continues to strengthen its military capabilities in the TAR. It has built five fully operational airbases and an extensive rail network, giving Beijing the ability to quickly move close to 450,000 soldiers to the LAC — a giving it a 3-1 size advantage over Indian forces there.
Meanwhile, India has also moved to counterbalance Chinese naval expansion.
The Guardian reported
that on Saturday, India took possession of its third aircraft carrier: the Admiral Gorshkov, a refurbished Soviet-era ship.
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