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China Restructures Military, India Needs Faster Reforms: Here’s Why

While India grapples with its ongoing elections, China has made a significant move in revamping its military. President Xi Jinping dissolved the Strategic Support Force (SSF) and established a new Information Support Force, emphasizing information warfare capabilities.

This restructuring reflects China’s push for military modernization and its ambition to be a leader in “intelligentized warfare.” Their focus includes:

  • Advanced Weaponry: China has invested heavily in aircraft carriers, fighter jets, missiles, and cyber and space capabilities.
  • Organizational Revamp: Streamlining command structures, improving joint operations, and professionalizing personnel are key aspects of China’s reforms.

India Faces Mounting Pressure

China’s advancements have significant consequences for India:

  • Regional Power Shift: China’s growing military might could potentially tip the regional balance of power, impacting India’s strategic position.
  • Heightened Tensions: Beijing’s assertive territorial claims could lead to more border skirmishes and regional instability.
  • Defense Spending: India will likely need to increase defense spending to counter China’s advancements, potentially impacting other development priorities.

India’s Response: Modernization with Challenges

India has undertaken its own defense reforms, including:

  • Make in India: Promoting domestic production of defense equipment to reduce reliance on imports.
  • Procurement Reforms: Streamlining processes to expedite acquisition of critical military hardware.
  • Infrastructure Development: Improving border infrastructure for better mobility and logistical support.
  • Jointness and Integration: Enhancing cooperation among the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

However, India’s reforms face challenges:

  • Slow Progress: The debate on theater commands remains unresolved, and optimizing human resources alongside technology is nascent.

China’s recent restructuring is a wake-up call for India. Faster and more comprehensive reforms are crucial to ensure its armed forces are prepared for the demands of modern warfare.

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