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India, China respecting bilateral pacts for peace at border: Rajnath

By PTI Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:58 am

New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI): India and China are respecting bilateral agreements to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Lok Sabha, as he sought to assuage the opposition’s concerns over incidents of Chinese troops entering Indian territory.

Both the countries have put in a mechanism in place to control incidents of incursions and transgressions, he said.

Making a statement on the prevailing situation along the Sino-India border, Singh said there is complete restraint by armed forces of India and China at Doklam following months long stand-off between them in 2017.

“In general, peace has prevailed on India-China border. However, on Line of Actual Control (LAC), due to difference in perception there have been some unpleasant incidents at local level temporarily. This fact cannot be denied,” he said.

That has been the situation since 1962, he said referring to the year of India-China war and added that the root cause is the lack of commonly delineated LAC between the two countries.

Singh’s statement came after Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary raised the issue of Chinese troops entering over six km in Demchok in Ladakh.

Chowdhary said China has often been transgressing into India and follows it up with aggressive diplomacy.

Singh said there are many mechanisms between India and China to deal with these kinds of situations, such as meetings between commanders of both the armies on border, flag meetings, hotline to avoid incursions and transgressions.

The defence minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had an informal summit meeting at Wuhan in 2018 where it was decided that peace and tranquillity will be maintained at the border.

Following the Wuhan meeting, both the governments issued strategic guidance to their armies, he said.

“India and China are respecting bilateral pacts to ensure peace and tranquillity along border. Both countries are respecting the agreed mechanisms,” he said.

“I assure the House regarding security of not only India-China border but also other borders,” Singh added.

He wondered as to why the Congress leader raised the issue in the House and asserted that the Union government is very much attentive to the situation on India’s border and periodically reviews it.

The government is aware of the security needs and has focused on building infrastructure, like tunnels, roads, railway lines and air fields along the Indo-China border, he said.

Both the governments, Singh said, periodically engage at different levels, including meetings between their NSAs and join-secretary-rank officials.

BJD’s B Mehtab stressed on the need to back the government on the issue and also its foreign policy. The House should extend full support to Prime Minister Modi in one voice, he said.

By PTI Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:58:46 am