India closely watching Chinese activities along LAC: Defence Minister in Parliament
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday addressed the Rajya Sabha over the dispute with China and current situation in eastern Ladakh. Addressing the Upper House of the Parliament, the Defence Minister stated that China attempted to change the status quo along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh by making provocative military manoeuvres on August 29/30 at a time when the two sides were engaged in military and diplomatic talks. In response, Indian armed forces along the LAC made necessary counter deployments to prevent China’s attempt from succeeding and to protect the security interests of the country, he added.
The Union Minister also said that India and China are yet to resolve the boundary dispute, adding that Beijing does not accept the customary and traditional alignment of the boundary between the two countries.
Based on well-established geographical principles confirmed by treaties and agreements, as well as historical usage and practice, well-known for centuries to both sidesUnion Minister
He highlighted that the boundary alignment between India and China 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.” China, on the hand, believes that the boundary between the two countries has not been formally delimited.
Rajnath Singh further stated that China has continued to be in illegal occupation of about 38,000 square kilometres of Ladakh.
Giving the details about the latest developments in Ladakh, Singh said that Indian forces have observed a gathering of Chinese soldiers and weaponry in the border areas adjacent to Eastern Ladakh since April. He further added that China took steps to hinder the traditional parolling process of Indian troops around Galwan Valley which resulted in a face-off between the two forces.
In a bid to de-escalate the increasing tensions along the border, senior commanders of both sides had met on June 6, 2020, and agreed to initiate the withdrawal process.
“Both sides had agreed to respect and abide by the LAC and not undertake any activity to alter the status quo,” he said.
However, China violated the peace negotiations and which led to violent confrontations between the two sides at the border.
Our brave soldiers laid down their lives and also inflicted costs including casualties on the Chinese side,” the minister added.
The Defence Minister noted that India has stressed on three key principles to reduce the border tension – strictly respecting the LAC, not attempting to alter the status quo unilaterally, and abiding by all agreements and understanding between the two sides.
He had earlier addressed the Lok Sabha over the India-China border issue during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.