Had meeting with China: Army Chief

Had meeting with China: Army Chief

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday sought to dispel myths surrounding defence expenditure, insisting that nearly 35 percent of the defence budget goes in the nation-building process. "They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with the economy.As China has risen, countries have started looking up to India to see whether we can also become a nation that can balance the rise of China", he said. "There is a belief that the defence expenditure is actually a burden on the state".

He further went on to state that countries across the world have started looking up to India after the rise of China. "This is a myth I wish to dispel", said the Army chief during a media interaction. "Nearly 35% of our budget goes into nation-building", he said, adding that the economy would flourish only if "you ensure security to that establishment that is going to be poured in your country".

It was because of China's assertiveness that the focus of the global community shifted towards the Indo-Pacific region, said General Rawat.

The Army chief sought to dispel myths surrounding defence expenditure, insisting that nearly 35 percent of the defence budget goes in the nation-building process.

General Rawat also acknowledged the military might of China, pointing out that China ensured the rise of its military power along with its economic prowess.

The reliance of the armed forces has also been on ordnance factories but the picture is now changing, he said.

He said the military diplomacy with China worked and the border personnel meetings that had stopped post Doklam stand-off have begun again.

"The hand-in-hand exercise with China happens every year".

Last week, China unveiled its largest defence spending increase in three years, setting an 8.1 per cent growth target this year.

A major part of the Army's budget was being utilised in developing infrastructure, schools and hospitals in remote areas of the country, Rawat said.