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India sees China as 'de facto competitor'

(China Daily)

16:06, November 10, 2011

BEIJING - Recent bold moves regarding India's armed forces have political rather than military objectives, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily said.

India's repositioning of its national security strategy has led to the country "starting to treat China as a de facto competitor", it said in a commentary on Wednesday.

"China has always adhered to the principle of 'peaceful rise'. But this has been misinterpreted by some countries as a 'rising threat'," it said.

The response came a week after the Indian Ministry of Defense announced its biggest expansion package to date, a $13 billion military modernization plan.

Within five years, the project is set to deploy 90,000 more soldiers and raise four new divisions along India's border with China, the largest such mobilization since the Sino-Indian border clashes of 1962.

The Indian military is also in the final phase of choosing between two fighter jets in what is said to be the world's largest defense deal. For months, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Dassault Rafale aircraft have been competing for an Indian Air Force contract that is now worth more than $20 billion - almost double the original estimate.

These moves followed the Indian government's decision in October to deploy Brahmos cruise missiles against China, the first time it has taken such a step with offensive tactical missiles.

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