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Rajnath Singh delivers strong message to China from Rajya Sabha

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In a strong message to China, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that no force in the world can stop Indian troops from patrolling the country’s border in Ladakh region. Rajnath Singh was replying to questions raised by the Rajya Sabha MPs on the border face-off with China.

The minister said tussle with China in the last few months have been primarily over the issue of patrolling the Ladakh border along the LAC.

Mismatch between what China says and does

The defence minister said, “I want to make it clear, skirmishes and face-off are because of this (issue of patrolling).” Singh added that the patrolling pattern is traditional and well defined.

“No force in the world can stop Indian soldiers from patrolling. Our soldiers have sacrificed their lives only for this,” Rajnath Singh said.

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In his statement, Singh 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.

India wants a peaceful solution, says Rajnath Singh

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, Rajnath Singh said the “Chinese side again engaged in provocative military manoeuvres on the night of August 29 and 30 in an attempt to change the status quo in the southern bank area of Pangong Tso 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”.

China does not respect bilateral agreements

While addressing the Rajya Sabha, the defence minister said that the Chinese side has not respected the bilateral agreements drawn between India and China previously.

Singh claimed that China has in the recent past illegally occupied 38,000 sq km of India’s territory in Ladakh. He also said that China has undertaken significant infrastructure construction along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Rajnath Singh also claimed that while India has completely respected the bilateral agreements, China has shown complete disregard for them.

India-China border dispute

The Indian and Chinese armies were locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for over eight weeks since May 5.

The tension escalated manifold after the violent clashes in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.

Following the Galwan Valley incident, the government has given the armed forces “full freedom” to give a “befitting” response to any Chinese misadventure along the LAC.

The Army has sent thousands of additional troops to forward locations along the border following the deadly clashes. The IAF has also moved air defence systems as well as a sizable number of its frontline combat jets and attack helicopters to several key airbases.

 

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