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Business News/ News / India/  Want peaceful resolution at China border but ready for contingencies: Rajnath
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Want peaceful resolution at China border but ready for contingencies: Rajnath

Ties have been strained since May when India detected intrusions into its territory by the Chinese. The Galwan clash and India's pre-emptive moves in August to prevent China from taking commanding heights have exacerbated tensions

Tensions between China and India rose following multiple intrusions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army personnel along the LAC in Ladakh. (Photo: PTI)Premium
Tensions between China and India rose following multiple intrusions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army personnel along the LAC in Ladakh. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday told the Parliament that while India remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the border dispute with China, it is also prepared to "to deal with all contingencies."

“While no one should doubt our determination to safeguard our borders, India believes that mutual respect and mutual sensitivity are the basis for peaceful relations with neighbours," he said, adding that peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh will impact India-China ties.

Relations between the two neighbours have been strained since May when India detected intrusions into its territory by Chinese soldiers. The Galwan clash in June and pre-emptive moves by India in August to prevent Chinese troops from taking commanding heights on mountains along the south bank of the Pangong Tso have exacerbated tensions.

Singh met his counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow on the sidelines of a regional conference earlier this month as did Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar who discussed the tensions with his counterpart Wang Yi on 10 September, also in Moscow.

In the Jaishankar-Wang talks, the two sides agreed to a five-point joint statement that said that the rise in tensions was not the atmosphere for ties to prosper.

India noticed a Chinese troop build up along its borders since April and in May, Chinese soldiers started hindering Indian patrols along their undelineated border triggering a tense military face off between the two countries, Singh told the Parliament giving an official account of the events.

Singh said that initially Indian patrols were stopped by the Chinese side which was followed by repeated attempts of intrusion into Indian territory.

During the violent clash at Galwan on 15 June, India lost 20 soldiers but had also "inflicted costs including casualties on the Chinese side," the minister added.

Currently, "the Chinese side has mobilised a large number of troops and armaments along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) as well as in the depth areas. There are several friction areas in Eastern Ladakh including Gogra, Kongka La and North and South Banks of the Pangong Lake," Singh told lawmakers in the Lok Sabha.

Refuting repeated accusations from China that it was Indian troops that violated the LAC and pacts signed between India and China to ensure peace and tranquility on the borders, the minister said Indian armed forces “abide scrupulously" by all bilateral protocols and pacts to ensure peace along the LAC.

But this “has not been reciprocated by the Chinese side," Singh said. "Their actions have led to face-offs and frictions from time to time along the LAC…. in the recent incidents, this year, the violent conduct of Chinese forces has been in complete violation of all mutually agreed norms."

Referring to the meetings that the two countries have had at different levels – military commanders, diplomats and ministers – Singh said this was because India wanted to “resolve the current situation through dialogue."

Singh recalled that in the past too, there have been face-offs between the two countries that had been resolved peacefully.

“Even though the situation this year is very different both in terms of scale of troops involved and the number of friction points, we do remain committed to the peaceful resolution of the current situation," Singh said assuring Parliament that India remained ready “to deal with all contingencies."

Noting that India and China are yet to resolve the border dispute, the minister said "China does not accept the customary and traditional alignment of the boundary between India and China."

“We believe that this alignment is based on well-established geographical principles confirmed by treaties and agreements, as well as historical usage and practice, well-known for centuries to both sides. The Chinese position, however, is that the boundary between the two countries has not been formally delimited, that there exists a traditional customary line formed by the extent of jurisdiction that they claim was exercised historically by each side, and that the two sides have different interpretations of the position of the traditional customary line," he added.

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Published: 15 Sep 2020, 05:01 PM IST
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