Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday warned that any serious situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh is bound to impact the bilateral relations between India and China.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Singh said that during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, he has conveyed that Indian troops have always taken a responsible approach towards border management, but at the same time “there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The defence minister further said that the Chinese military had started increasing its presence in the region since April and was creating obstructions in the Indian forces’ patrolling.
China’s People’ Liberation Army (PLA) made attempts to transgress LAC in May, their attempts were spotted and foiled in time by the Indian army, Singh said in the lower house of the Parliament. He added that during the Galwan clash on June 15 in which 20 soldiers sacrificed their lives, the army inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese forces.
India and China have decided to resolve the issue peacefully as it is a “complex one” with both countries having different perceptions about the LAC, the minister said. “There are many agreements and protocols between both the countries to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border,” he added.
Singh, however, said that violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements and our troops have done counter deployments in the area to safeguard borders.
“China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq kms in Ladakh. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq km of Indian territory in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to China,” the defence minister told the Lok Sabha.