Lt General Deependra Singh Hooda (Retd) with Congress Party leaders during a press meet

Was speaking during a a virtual meet on “The future of Indo-China Relations” organised by Chandigarh University, Gharuan

During a a virtual meet on “The future of Indo-China Relations” organised by Chandigarh University, Gharuan, on Wednesday, Lt General Deependra Singh Hooda (Retd) said the Indian Army has more experience operating at higher altitudes than the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.

Hooda, former general officer commanding-in-chief of the Indian Army’s northern command, said, “Both India and China have deployed huge number of army personnel who are prepared for long term eyeball to eyeball situation. But, the Indian Army has a tactical advantage, as they have been operating at higher altitudes and hilly terrains in harsh winters for a long time.”

“Although a series of military, diplomatic and ministerial level talks have taken place between the two countries, PLA has refused to disengage at ground level and maintain status-quo at Line-of-Actual Control (LAC). Both nuclear powers cannot afford to have a full-fledged war,” he added .

The virtual meet was also attended by national security experts and senior administrative officials of the Punjab Government .

Bharat Karnad, national security expert and emeritus professor, centre for policy research, said, “India needs to increase its defence spending as the gap between China and India’s defence budget will touch $500 billion by 2030 as per studies.”

Rahul Bhandari, secretary of higher education, water resources, mines and geology, government of Punjab, said, “Currently, there is huge trade imbalance between India and China which can be ascertained from the fact that Chinese products have 2.7% penetration in Indian markets while Indian goods have merely 0.1% penetration in China. 68% of pharmaceutical formulations and 90% of antibiotic medicines in India are currently being sourced from China.”