New Delhi: Rajnath Singh speaking in Parliament on Tuesday on the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, affirmed that the India and China border issue remains unresolved, and till now, there has been no "mutually acceptable" solution to resolve the issue.
"We have told China through diplomatic and channels that the attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements," said the union minister.
Singh added that China doesn't recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary, adding that the Indian side considers that this alignment is based on "well established geographical principals."
"Respect LAC, no unilateral attempts to change the status quo and respect bilateral protocols. These are three principles for peace at the border. China has violated 1993 and 1996 agreements on boundary dispute," Singh stated, adding that in a meeting with Chinese Defence Minister, he had clearly stated that there should be no doubt about the country's determination to protect India's 'sovereignty' and 'territorial integrity."
The Defence Minister further informed Parliament that China has mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along LAC and inner areas and there are many friction points in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake's north and south banks. In response, the Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas, Rajnath added.
The Minister informed that the Indian troops stationed at the border are accordingly being provisioned with suitable clothing, habitat and required defence wherewithal.
Singh also announced that China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq. km in Ladakh. Additionally, 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, Singh said.
In spite of the heightened tensions this time around, Singh said that the government remains committed to a "peaceful resolution" at the border. He further informed that India has conveyed to China that attempt to forcibly alter Sino-Indian boundary is "not at all acceptable."
In the face-off in Galwan on June 15, Singh said, Indian forces inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese forces. He further added Indian forces will "forcefully counter" all Chinese aggressive action along the border, says Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha.
The defence minister's statement assumes significance in the backdrop of demands made by the Opposition for a debate on the issue amid heightened tensions at the border.
During the ongoing monsoon session, which began on Monday, the opposition has been questioning the government on its handling of the standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, among other issues.
It is pertinent to mention here that Singh had met his Chinese counterpart Gen Wei Fenghe in Moscow recently. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had also met in Moscow a few days ago.
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