Updated: September 17, 2020 4:48:03 pm
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha on Thursday said that China does not recognise the traditional customary alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India and that the recent conduct of PLA troops reflects a disregard of bilateral agreements between the two sides. Singh also said that India’s timely actions had foiled the attempts to change the status quo in Pangong Tso.
“I would like to assure Parliament that India will not step back from taking any harsh decision and that our forces are in a better position to retaliate,” Rajnath Singh said adding that China has built up war machines and troops near LAC.
During his address, Singh also said that China continues to illegally occupy a large area of Ladakh. “China continues to be in illegal occupation of approx 38,000 sq. kms in the Union Territory of Ladakh. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km. of Indian territory in PoK to China. China also claims approximately 90,000 sq. kms. of Indian territory in the Eastern Sector of the India-China boundary in Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements,” Singh added.
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Stressing that India believes in “peaceful coexistence”, Singh said that the armed forces have shown ‘sayyam and shaurya‘ (patience and bravery). “The amassing of the troops by China goes against the 1993 and 1996 Agreements. Respecting and strictly observing LAC is the basis for peace and tranquility in the border areas. While our armed forces abide scrupulously by it, this has not been reciprocated by the Chinese side.”
The defence minister assured the house that the armed forces would face the current challenge successfully. “As we all know earlier too there have been standoffs which were resolved peacefully. Although, this year it is different, still we are committed to peaceful resolution. But I want to tell the house we are ready to face all situations,” Singh said.
In Lok Sabha, on Tuesday, Singh had said through its provocative, violent and aggressive actions since April-May, China had violated all bilateral agreements to maintain peace and tranquillity on the borders. During his speech, Singh described in brief detail how the crisis precipitated and all the diplomatic and military steps taken by India, but he refused to divulge operational details due to sensitivities involved. “In the current situation there are sensitive operational issues involved. So, even if I want, I can’t reveal details. I am sure the house will understand this sensitivity,” he said.
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