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Former Army Chief, General MM Naravane, ignited discussion at a recent literature festival with his bold statement: the 2020 Line of Actual Control (LAC) standoff with China served as a positive wake-up call, clarifying the “number one threat” India faces.

“What happened (the LAC standoff) is not a bad thing,” he declared, challenging a long-held reluctance to identify China as a primary threat. He explained that the confrontation “worked out well for India” by forcing a sharper focus on the true source of concern.

This viewpoint resonated with some experts, who see it as a necessary course correction. Prior to the standoff, they argue, India often adopted a nuanced approach to its relationship with China, downplaying potential threats in favor of economic cooperation.

However, others expressed caution, highlighting the complexity of India’s relationship with China, a major trading partner and key player in regional politics. They emphasize the need for a balanced approach that acknowledges both potential threats and areas of collaboration.

Regardless of individual perspectives, General Naravane’s statement has undeniably sparked a crucial debate about India’s strategic priorities and foreign policy direction. His words serve as a reminder of the importance of clear-eyed assessments and proactive measures in ensuring national security.