India has taken steps to counter Chinese aggression along its borders by developing new nuclear missiles capable of reaching deep into their rival’s territory. It comes as the two nuclear-armed states have been involved in tense border stand-offs in the remote Himalayas region. New Delhi has embarked on a decades-long nuclear missile programme which regional expert Dinshaw Mistry has said will provide India with the capacity to take out China’s key cities in the event a future border clash sparks an all-out war.
The Professor of International Relations and Asian Studies told Express.co.uk: “India is trying to build up delivery systems and forces that put China’s major cities within range.
“The testing of such missiles has been going on for 15 years now but the very fact that it has been 15 years means the pace is very slow.
“They started testing their first China-specific missile mid-2000s, now it takes typically three tests to validate a missile and each test has occurred at two-year intervals.
“So even that first missile took five to seven years just to be validated.”
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Prof Mistry continued: “Since then there have been two other China-specific missiles with greater ranges.
“The first was a 3,000 kilometres Agni-3 then there was a 4,000 kilometre and now there is a 5,000 kilometre.
“The greater rangers basically mean it can reach China now from far within India rather than be located at the border- China’s main cities that is.
He added: “Right now [India’s missile force] is in the build-up phase.”
“Does that mean we should not worry about escalation? No, because we see a lot of possibilities for escalation.”
Multiple rounds of negotiations between India and China have taken place at both military and diplomatic levels.
However, talks so far have failed to resolve the ongoing standoff at the disputed border.
The hand-to-hand fighting seen last year was the most serious open confrontation between the two neighbours in more than half a century.