The border issue with China remains unresolved, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tells Parliament

The border issue with China remains unresolved, India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tells Parliament
India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Parliament on September 15Lok Sabha TV
  • The perception of LAC is different for both India and China, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Parliament today.
  • He accused China of violating the 1993 and 1996 agreement between the two countries by increasing the number of troops and weaponry along the border.
  • “Chinese forces have been engaging in violent conduct,” he said.
Addressing the Monsoon session of Parliament, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the border issue with China remains unresolved as of now.

“The question of China’s boundary in its customary and traditional alignment is not agreed upon by China,” he said. While India believes the alignment is well-established and goes back to historical usage of the routes and practices, China’s perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC)differs, according to Singh.

China currently lays claim to around 38,000 square kilometers of territory that overlaps with India’s assertions in Ladakh and nearly 90,000 square kilometres in Arunachal Pradesh. “Around 5,130 square kilometers of Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) has also been handed over China by Pakistan,” added Singh.

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It’s due to this challenging situation that India and China need to resolve the border dispute through peaceful negotiations, according to him. “Any disruption of peace and tranquility along the border will have an effect on the bilateral relations between the two countries,” he said.

Rajnath Singh accuses China of violating border agreements
China has been building up troops along LAC friction points — like eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake's north and south banks — which violates the treaties signed between India and China in 1993 and 1996, according to Singh.

The agreements stipulate that the countries will keep their troop deployment to a minimum along the LAC. Until the border issue is not resolved bilaterally, both sides will strictly adhere to and respect the boundaries established.

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“Chinese forces have been engaging in violent conduct. They have increased troops and weaponry,” said Singh.

The fourth month of the India-China standoff, according to Rajnath Singh. [Four months of the India-China standoff, according to Rajnath Singh.]

  • China has been increasing its troops along the border since April.
  • In May, China started to interfere with the normal patrolling patterns of Indian troops in Galwan Valley.
  • Ground commanders of both countries were engaged in dialogue to try and resolve the issue.
  • In the middle of May, China was seen trying to transgress the border at various points of the LAC like Konkala, Pangong Lake, and Dogra, among others.
  • We communicated to China that we are aware of their attempts to unilaterally change the status quo, and we stand against it.
  • As friction increased, the ground commander met again on June 6 and agreed to disengage via reciprocal actions.
  • Despite this, a violent clash was instigated by China in Galwan Valley on June 15. The India side bore losses but also gave a fitting reply to the Chinese side.
  • During de-escalation talks, China was engaged in proactive movements along the border in August along Pangong Tso lake.
  • Our armed troops thwarted the attempt.
India's stand on the border tensions with China
Singh revealed that the government has a time-tested and elaborate mechanism for its various intelligence agencies to coordinate. It combines the intelligence branches of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

He assured the other Members of Parliament (MPs) that the Indian troops are “ready to deal with any situation.”
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According to him, the 5-point plan agreed upon by India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow will be successful, provided China remains faithful in its promise to adhere to the terms set out.

“The government will remain committed to this cause in the coming day. We are committed to resolving it peacefully,” he said.

“Tents, sweaters, and other supplies have been provided by the government to the armed forces so that Indian troops will be able to continue fighting for the country in terrains where oxygen is sparse, and they have to sub-zero temperatures,” the Defence Minister added.
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