New Delhi, March 13: The Chinese have finally arrived on the world stage, said Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat, while addressing  a seminar on Emerging Security Environment and the Role of Indian Army at the Vivekananda International Foundation on Tuesday. General Rawat also noted that China has ensured rise of its military power along with its economic prowess.

“They did not forget that military power should rise simultaneously with economy, that is why they stand strong today in international world order, challenging the might of USA,” The Army chief acknowledged. He also claimed that countries have started looking up to India to see if we could also become a nation that can balance the rise of China.

“As China has risen, countries have started looking up to India to see whether we can also become a nation that can balance the rise of China. It is all because of China’s assertiveness,” Rawat said, lauding the neighbouring country. His statement came days after the Army chief blamed Pakistan and China for influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Rawat also commented on the defence budget, saying that the belief that defence expenditure is a burden on the state is a “myth” and added that a rising economy has to ensure the security to the establishment within the country.

“There is a belief that the defence expenditure is actually a burden on the state. They believe that whatever put in defence it is something that comes without any returns. I want to dispel that myth. If your economy has to rise, you have to ensure security to that establishment that is going to be poured in your country,” he said.

The Army chief also spoke about the importance of developing infrastructure in the remote areas, saying, “When we develop infrastructure on our borders, we are connecting the people who live in far areas with the mainland. This helps in uniting the nation.”