On the fourth day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke on the military standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh on Thursday.
Asserting that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approx 38,000 sq. kms in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the Defence Minister also said, “Chinese actions reflect a disregard of our various bilateral agreements. The amassing of the troops by China goes against the 1993 & 1996 Agreements.”
“The situation this year is very different both in terms of the scale of troops involved and number of friction points. We do remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the current situation. At the same time, we remain prepared to deal with all contingencies,” Singh added.
His statement comes two days after he addressed the Lok Sabha on the border tensions between India and China, following which the Opposition members had slammed the government after they were not allowed to ask questions following Singh’s statement.
Defence Minister Rajnath said China attempted to change the status quo along the LAC with its provocative military manoeuvres late last month and that there is a mismatch between what Beijing says and does. Making a statement on the situation in eastern Ladakh in Rajya Sabha, the minister said India wants a peaceful solution to the boundary issue, but will not shy away from any action required to defend the sovereignty of the country.
While the two sides were engaged in diplomatic and military dialogues, Singh said the “Chinese side again engaged in provocative military manoeuvres on the night of 29th and 30th August in an attempt to change the status quo in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake”. “But yet again, timely and firm actions by our armed forces along the LAC prevented such attempts from succeeding,” he said, adding that, “Unki kathani aur karni alag hai (their actions are at variance with their words”.
In Rajya Sabha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that China does not recognise the traditional customary alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) 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.