Amid increasing tension between India and China following clashes in the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India Army Chief General MM Naravane’s visit to Ladakh holds a great significance.
In case of a war between India and China, experts believe that the Indian Army is likely to give a befitting reply to the Chinese troops. A report by Howard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, published in March 2020, explains that Indian forces in the Himalayan range can defeat China’s army and may prove the assessment of experts wrong that India lags behind China in the military strength.
A comparison of the troops of China and India shows that China has deployed a total of 200,00-230,000 ground forces under the Western Theater Command, Tibet, and Xinjiang Military districts. This apparent numerical near-equivalence with that of Indian regional ground forces is misleading. Experts say that a significant proportion of these forces will be unavailable, as they reserved either for Russian taskings or for countering insurrection in Xinjiang and Tibet.
The majority of forces are located further from the Indian border, posing a striking contrast with the majority of forward-deployed Indian forces with a single China defense mission.
The Indian Army divides its ground and air strike forces facing China into Northern, Central, and Eastern Commands. The Air Force is organized into Western, Central, and Eastern Air Commands. The total available Army strike forces near China’s border areas are assessed to be around 225,000 personnel.
This incorporates the roughly 3,000 personnel attached to a T-72 tank brigade stationed in Ladakh and the estimated 1,000 personnel attached to a BrahMos cruise missile regiment in Arunachal Pradesh. For the Army, the total deployment near China’s border areas is divided as; about 34,000 troops in the Northern Command; 15,500 troops in the Central Command; and 175,500 troops in the Eastern Command