Kolkata: Army vice-chief designate Lieutenant General MM Naravane on Tuesday had strong words for China who he said ‘acted like a bully’ in the 2017 Doklam face-off between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Speaking on the topic of ‘Defending our Borders’ at a seminar organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce in the city, Lt. Gen Naravane said that Doklam gave a clear signal that the Indian Armed Forces are no pushovers. He added that China acted as a ‘regional bully’ during the crisis but India stood up to it.

The officer, who is currently the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, further said that it was Beijing which was caught unprepared during the crisis.

When questioned on increase in incursions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by the Chinese troops, he said, “If China transgressed our grey zone 100 times, we did so on 200 occasions.”

Lt Gen Naravane, who will succeed incumbent Debraj Anbu as vice-chief when the former retires from service on August 31, further said that he does not see India’s defeat in 1962 Sino-Indian war as a ‘black mark’ on the Army as all its units fought well and did the assigned tasks.

He also said, “If China tells us not to forget the history, we should tell them the same.”

The Doklam standoff between the two countries took place in June 2017, over China’s construction of a road in Doklam near a Bhutan-China-India trijunction area. Indian troops crossed the Sikkim border into Doklam to stop the Chinese troops from constructing the road.

After months of China threatening India, the crisis was resolved in August 2017 when the two countries agreed to and pulled back their troops from the face-off site.