Antony to visit North-East to review security situation, infrastructure development

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NEW DELHI - Concerned over the rapid growth of Chinese infrastructure in the region, Defence Minister AK Antony will be on a two-day visit to the North-East to review the security situation there and the progress of infrastructure development, beginning Friday.

India and China had an accord to reduce tensions along their border to respect the Line of Actual Control, but there seems to have been little substantive progress.

China and India share a long border, which is sectioned into three stretches and follows the Himalayan Mountains. A number of disputed regions lie along this border. At its western end is the Aksai Chin region. The eastern border, between Burma and Bhutan, comprises the present Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Both of these regions were overrun by China in the 1962 conflict.

Chief of Army staff General VK Singh and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar will accompany the Defence Minister during his visit to the North-East.

Antony will be visiting Tezpur and Chabua in Assam, Rangaphar Military Station in Nagaland, Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh and Leimakhong in Manipur.

India has begun to upgrade several airstrips and helipads in the North-East and Ladakh, apart from basing Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets at Tezpur and Chabua in Assam, in counter to China’s rapid modernization in the region.

On Wednesday, Antony said India is not unduly worried over growth of Chinese firces, as it is now modernising its armed forces to meet any challenge from any quarters

“Modernisation of China’s armed forces and its ever increasing military spending is a matter of serious concern. But we are not unduly worried because what we need to do is we have to modernise our own armed forces,” he had said.

“We must also increase our capabilities and also strengthen our infrastructure. That, now, we are doing. The Indian government is also now modernising its armed forces to meet any challenge from any quarters. We are also strengthening our infrastructure along our borders,” Antony added.

Antony also said that the government is carryings out a defence review to assess the modernisation and preparedness.

“We have to always assess the modernisation and preparedness around us. Every now and then we have to review our modernisation and preparedness. Wherever we feel there is a gap, we have to fill up that gap. That process is going on,” he told reporters on Wednesday on sidelines of a function here. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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