NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Lok Sabha that India is ready to deal with any situation regarding the India-China border tensions has irked Beijing and the hostile neighbouring nation has warned that ”it is ready for both peace and war.”
An article published in China’s state-run Global Times said, “Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressed Parliament on Tuesday. Singh bragged of how righteous and brave Indian troops were while emphasizing the importance of peacefully resolving the border crisis to China-India ties. The latter part was the keynote of his speech.”
The Global Times editorial further stated that the Indian military’s moves on border areas have eased these days, which coincided with Singh’s address. “This is the result of strong pressure from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA),’’ the editorial stated.
The article penned by Hu Xijin, who is the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, claimed that increased deployment of PLA troops along the India-China border areas has made the Indian Army feel that engaging in a military confrontation with China is not a good option.
The article stated that “there are different forces in India. Some ultra-nationalist ones stubbornly refuse the easy way and stick to the hard way. When China engages in diplomatic negotiations with India, it must also use the only language those forces could understand – cooperation will last long when it is achieved through struggles.’’
The article concluded by saying, “China should continue to strive for a peaceful settlement of China-India border disputes but must keep its army prepared.” The jittery response from China came after Rajnath Singh said that India is ready to deal with any situation regarding the India-China border tensions.
“I want to assure you that we are ready to deal with any situation. I request this house to pass a resolution that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces who are guarding our borders to safeguard India`s sovereignty and integrity,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha.
He said that China does not recognise the traditional customary alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the border issue between remains unresolved.
“India and China border issue remain unresolved. Till now, there has been no mutually acceptable solution. China disagrees on the border (issue). China does not recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary. We consider that this alignment is based on well-established geographical principles,” Singh said.
“Both India and China agree that to maintain peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas, it is essential for the further development of bilateral relations,” he added. The Defence Minister said that India has told China through diplomatic channels that the “attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements”.
“Violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements. Our troops have done counter deployments in the area to safeguard our borders,” he stated. Singh said that China has mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along LAC and inner areas. “There are many friction points in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake`s north and south banks. Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas,” he said.
The two countries have been engaged in a standoff position since April-May timeframe and the Chinese have refused to vacate areas in the Finger area and other friction points in the Eastern Ladakh area.