Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has admitted that China has the edge over India while talking about the capability gap between the two countries in cyberspace. 

Speaking at a webinar organised by Vivekananda International Foundation on 'Shaping the armed forces to meet likely current and future challenges', Gen Rawat said, "While they have a lead over us, we are also evolving technologies so that we are at par with them."

"The biggest differential lies in the field of cyber. We know that China is capable of launching cyber attacks on us and it can disrupt a large number of systems," he said.

Talking about ensuring cyber defence, the CDS said, "We have been able to create a cyber agency within the armed forces. Each service has also its own cyber agency so that even if we come under a cyberattack, the downtime of the attack does not last long. We should be able to overcome that cyber attack and continue with our systems either through alternate means or preventive means through firewalls."

Suggesting solutions to meet this challenge, Gen Rawat said: "We can overcome this only if we integrate the resources of the three services. The Navy is far ahead of the Army and Air Force in the way they have imbibed technology."

Acknowledging that Beijing is far ahead in this field, Gen Rawat added, "We may not be able to fully catch up with China. So we are trying to develop some kind of a relationship with Western nations and see how better we can get some support from them during peacetime at least, which will help us to overcome this deficiency."

'Afghans have a lot of respect and regard for Indians'

Stating that the Taliban is putting pressure on the United States, he said security forces in Afghanistan are trying to combat the Taliban but they are gaining ground and large swathes are coming under their control. 

"We are watching from close quarters because we have a lot of stake in Afghanistan. We are watching the situation very carefully. The moves are being made in the right direction. We are keeping our eyes and ears open. We are making sure that we are not out of the bandwagon and that we understand what is happening in that nation,” he added.

"Anything that evolves there, we will be on board and we will make sure that our national interests are not compromised. Afghan people have a lot of respect and regard for Indians and to that extent they too themselves would not want India to be left out. So I think our security interests will get considered," Gen Rawat said.