New Delhi, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat on Friday said the like-minded partners need to build “dissuasive deterrence” against China’s attempts at establishing its hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region.
General Rawat was speaking at the Global Dialogue Security summit on ‘Contesting the Indo-Pacific for Global Domination’ organized online by Global Dialogue Forum in partnership with Global Dialogue Review and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
In his keynote address, General Rawat said today India is “facing increased security challenges and the best guarantor to peace and stability is to have dissuasive deterrence.”
Though the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces did not mention India’s ongoing standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh for the last seven months, he alluded to the Asian neighbor in several references to the Indo-Pacific region.
For nations like India, General Rawat said, the security of land and borders remains a primary concern. “Therefore, there is a need to develop integrated structures to ensure modernization programs to be undertaken by our armed forces based on the correct assessment of the nature of threats and challenges. In addition, we are also partnering with like-minded nations to ensure peace and stability in our region.”
“Our approach to security needs to shift from a unilateral mode to multilateral mode, which mandates increasing training, engagements with partner nations so as to fructify joint response in the future,” he added.
The US, he said, recognizes Indo-Pacific as consequential for its future, adding that similarly, Japan, Australia, France, the UK, Indonesia, and Germany also find the region of strategic importance to them. However, China’s rise as a military and economic power has made the region highly contestable.
Based on the challenges India faces as a rising regional power, he said, “We require structured a long time planning for capacity building and development of our defense forces. In a quest to building a stronger India, we need a peaceful and stable security environment.”
“We need to maintain strategic autonomy and cooperative relations with extra-regional powers, regional linkages. We need to build bilateral, trilateral and multilateral mechanisms like Japan, Australia and India (JAI), India-Asean and similar existing mechanisms to have the right balance in our strategic autonomy.”
Technology, he said, will play an important role in any nation’s quest for supremacy, be it in the military or any other sphere of activity. Therefore, investment in research and development will determine the future course of action for any enterprise, he said.
However, he warned, “Quest to acquire proprietary rights on technology must not deny benefits of development to the global community at large. It must, in fact, create linkages between the haves and have nots. Humanity must not be guided by profiteering alone but must consider an equal opportunity for growth for all.”
In the military, he said, technology must become the means of deterrence and not a source of destruction. “Technology must benefit mankind and not be used for destroying existing systems.”
General Rawat ended his address on a positive note saying that this is India’s century. “Many across the world are bullish about India. It has the talent, demographic dividend, and vibrancy of culture,” he asserted.
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