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Increase in assertiveness by China during LAC patrol: Report

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Defence Ministry on Tuesday red flagged the "on-going contestations" over island territories in the Asia Pacific as a threat to security in the region even as it said there has been an "increase in assertiveness" during routine patrolling by the Chinese Army along the LAC.

In its annual report released in Delhi, the ministry also said that radicalisation and fresh recruitment in South Kashmir are a "cause of concern".

"External factors, including the changing situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, may also impact the internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir," the report said.

Noting that India's security environment encompasses a complex matrix of regional and global issues and challenges, it emphasised on the need to enhance preparedness to address consequences of instability and volatility in parts of the immediate and extended neighbourhood, saying, it remains a key priority.

"At the same time, there are renewed and successful efforts to build strong defence partnerships with a wide range of friendly foreign countries to enhance international peace and stability," the report said.

Without naming China or the US, the ministry said, shift in global balance of power, as reflected in recent developments in the Asia Pacific region, have introduced new dimensions in military and diplomatic interactions among the major powers and regional states.

"This has been manifested in renewed maritime disputes, changes in military posture and great power rivalry, all of which has added to complexities of the security situation in the region.

"In particular, the ongoing contestations over island territories in the Asia Pacific have fuelled regional tensions that could seriously strain the cooperative structures that have enabled a rapid growth of the Asia Pacific region as an engine of global growth," the report said.

On the situation at LAC (Line of Actual Control), the report said India-China border continues to be peaceful.

There are a few areas along the border wherein India and China have differing perception of the LAC, it said.

"Both sides patrol up to their respective perception of LAC and due to this transgressions occur...However there has been increase in assertiveness during routine patrolling by the PLA (People's Liberation Army)," the report said.

The annual report of the Defence Ministry also said Indian Ocean Region is central to India's growth and security.

The ministry said India is committed to building security cooperation with all partners in the neighbourhood on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect.

It identified terrorism and the activities of terrorist organisations as perhaps the "most serious" threat to peace and security.

The use of terrorism as an instrument of policy by a few states has exacerbated intra and inter-state rivalries, it said.

"Peace and stability in various regions of the world are marred by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In particular, the threat of nuclear terrorism continues to be a major international security concern, notwithstanding international efforts to strengthen nuclear security and to prevent non-state actors from acquiring nuclear materials," it said.

The report also said that India is keen to expand its energy basket by deeper engagement in this sector with Central Asian countries that are major energy producers," adding, changes in Iran open up new avenues for establishing regional connectivity between Central Asia and India.


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