Rubbishing reports that said China has occupied over 640 sq km of Indian territory and is denying access to troops along the Line of Actual Control,Defence Minister A K Antony Friday said that India has strengthened infrastructure on its side of the border in recent years and this was leading to confrontations between the two sides.
However,all issues are being sorted out peacefully,he added.
The defence minister said that since a large amount of infrastructural development has taken place on the Indian side of the border in the last 10 years,China fears that India is catching up. He also said China is superior in infrastructure,be it roads,airfields and railways on their side of the border.
Speaking in both houses of parliament after TV news channels claimed that a report submitted by former foreign secretary Shyam Saran to the PMO had said that a large part of territory in Ladakh has been occupied by China,Antony clarified that no such report exists and that no part of the disputed area has been occupied.
I would like to state categorically Shyam Saran has not stated in this report that China has occupied,or has denied access to India to any part of Indian territory. I would like to assure the house that there is no question of India ceding to China any part of Indian territory, Antony said in the Lok Sabha.
The minister was forced to make a statement on the China boundary issue after opposition parties raised the matter.
Antony told the Rajya Sabha that while China has been upgrading border infrastructure and is ahead of India on this count,New Delhi has built roads and advanced landing grounds and increased troop levels in the last decade.
He said the old policy of not developing border infrastructure to deny access to the enemy in case of a conflict is no longer being adopted and access is being developed to the boundary.
Better infrastructure on the Indian side,the minister said,had led to some face-offs with Chinese troops in the past few years – the longest one being at Depsang earlier this year that lasted over three weeks – but matters are being peacefully sorted out. Antony said the boundary dispute needs to be resolved to sort out the issue.