Prepared for challenge of Covid and China, says Navy Chief amid border standoff

Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh has said that the Navy is prepared for the dual challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic and China.

Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh

Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Wednesday said the Navy is prepared to face the dual challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic and Chinese attempts to change the Line of Actual Control.

He said, “We have deployed the P-8I aircraft at various locations on the requirement of Army and Air Force. In addition, we have deployed the Heron surveillance drones on the northern borders.”

“The Navy’s activities are in close coordination and synergy with the Indian Army and Indian Air Force,” he added.

He informed, “There are 3 Chinese warships in Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy missions. These are the only Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean Region. Have been present there since 2008.”

Speaking on the recovery of the MiG-29K, he said, “Most of the wreckage of MiG29 recovered. The forward seat of pilot missing. Co-pilot is safe. Attempts on to look for the missing pilot.”

There have been eight rounds of military talks at the Corps Commander level to find a solution to the standoff that started early May but the deadlock continues.

Despite the previous talks on November 6 discussing a disengagement plan, there has been no forward movement and no further dialogue has taken place to implement measures discussed to ease out tensions.

There was a staggered disengagement planned earlier soon after the Galwan clash on the 15 June where 20 Indian Army soldiers including a commanding officer Colonel B Santosh Babu were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops. The plan did not fructify as China was adamant on not leaving for Finger 4 area of Pangong Lake.

Earlier, in July there were some signs of thaw as both armies made a slight retreat in Pangong Lake after the initial disengagement in Galwan, Gogra and Hot Springs area but there was no final breakthrough to restore status quo as has been India’s stand.

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