Updated: June 25, 2020 11:42:22 am
India would assert itself on the ground over its perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and continue to claim Aksai Chin, even as it engages with China diplomatically, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Wednesday.
Madhav also took on the Opposition, particularly targeting the Congress for not addressing the issue under governments earlier led by the party.
Speaking at a webinar organised by RSS mouthpiece ‘Panchjanya’ on the India-China LAC issue, Madhav said: “India will continue to stand firm on the ground. We want peace, but not of the graveyard. We have close to 60 roads under construction (in the region), and that work will go on. Our claim is not just the LAC – our claim goes beyond that. After Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were declared Union Territories, their maps include PoK, Gilgit Baltistan and Aksai Chin.
“We continue to claim Aksai Chin and we have to be firm on our perception of LAC.”
Madhav argued that India is facing such a situation because people had not tried to understand China. “In the last several decades we have not tried to understand China from the tactical and strategic point of view. China thinks differently compared to other countries. It has border issues with 13-14 countries. It believes in continuing to gain territory without engaging in war,” he said.
He said: “Today, the Opposition asks us about border violations, but it has not started in 2020. In 2013, when the Chinese entered 19-20 km inside and there was standoff, nothing was being done and questions were raised in Parliament. (Then PM) Manmohan Singh merely said there are differing perceptions of the LAC between the two countries. Now we are insisting on our ownership of LAC, as we perceive it.”
He said, “We are engaging with China diplomatically but on ground we are assertive. We are not letting China get away with semi-permanent structures on our territory. Unlike in the past, we are not turning our jeep around and coming back. We are confronting and pushing (them) back.”
Madhav suggested that in 1988 when then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China, it suited the eastern neighbour, as border issues were frozen. Under P V Narasimha Rao, Madhav said, people insisted that the word “existing” be inserted before LAC in the 1993 agreement, but China did not agree.
“Throughout this period, China was consistently violating our border…. The Opposition has done reverse bhu-daan (land distribution) to China and Pakistan,” he said.
RSS leader and former BJP national general secretary Ram Lal, who made the introductory remarks, said some people in India are playing into the hands of China by validating its actions. “There some handmaidens of China who keep justifying Chinese actions here. When they are unable to do it, they stay quiet on Chinese actions. They try to bring the morale of the forces down,” he said.
Lal also batted for boycott of Chinese products: “WTO agreements are not applicable on people. Today even a child knows (that) Chinese products are not to be purchased. China has been forced to think that if it does anything more, and Indians go against it, the entire market will go out of its hand and it will be in economic trouble.”
Lt Gen B S Jaiswal (Retd), who was part of the event, did not seem to agree with Lal. He said that banning or boycotting Chinese products would only hurt India, as the country make just 2 per cent of China’s export trade, while it is dependent on 28 per cent of imports from them.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.