China consistently locks horns with India in their respective frontiers be it at LAC, or Arunachal Pradesh. Always at the helm of its expansionist activities, China has displayed its aggression in Doklam, Galwan and Pangong Tso etc. Border flareups occur repeatedly between the two countries. At times, the situations turn into a face off. In order to combat and avoid such irritants, The Indian Air Force (IAF) along with the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) are jointly planning to develop a direct hotline.
The use of hotline in military studies, is an element of the CBM. CBM stands for “Confidence Building Measures” these are steps taken to avoid the risk of an armed conflict along with reducing tensions and suspicions. It can be said that CBM’s are a part of “Conflict Resolution”. It also increases mutual understanding and trust between adversaries. CBM’s can be political, cultural in nature. However, in reality they are mostly diplomatic and military steps taken to build lasting peace. Third parties, individual governments and non-state actors can initiate CBM. It is a method to prevent or reduce the use of military power.
According to some sources, the issue and need for a direct hotline is that issues related to fighter aircraft can possibly lead to an escalation of conflict. On the 25th of June 2022, China began its air power activities in the Eastern Ladakh Sector. As always, they repeatedly violated the 10km CBM line. Both India and China have accused each other regarding extensive flying near the border zones.
The Mirage 2000 (nicknamed “Vajra”) by the IAF is a multirole fighter aircraft of French Origin. A squadron of these jets took off from an airbase in Jammu and Kashmir and the Chinese were taken aback by their presence. As far as China’s violation of airspace is concerned, Indian Air Force had responded as per orders from its HQ (Air Headquarters). The IAF is also keeping a watchful eye on the Hot Springs and Finger Area.
Additionally, a soldier from India’s paramilitary force (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) is reported to have been missing since Monday. Indian has enquired with Chinese border officials if he inadvertently crossed over the Chinese side. Fortunately, he was found in his own side and has been back into the base camp post rescue.
Inspite of several border talks post skirmishes, the Chinese do not budge and continuously violate Indian airspace and never halt their military activities. It has doubled the frequency of its aircrafts and manpower near Indian Territory. The Western Theatre Command (WTC) of the Peoples Liberation Army is geographically posed and oriented towards the LAC. Major Chinese airbases region in the WTC are Hotan, Ngari Gunsa, Kashgar that house many fighter aircraft having advanced capabilities of the PLAAF. The Chinese are also developing a base in Eastern Ladakh called “Shakche” where they have extended their runways. There have been several breaches in the Chunar Area.
In response, India has deployed its fighter jets to counter the possible incoming threat from China. MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and Su-30MKI are some of the best India has against Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) Forward area bases of the Indian Armed Forces are also under threat from ballistic missiles which are hidden in underground tunnels.