New Delhi, June 2: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to a leading news channel on Tuesday over the row at Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh between the Indian and Chinese troopers. Singh categorically stated that India would not be a mute spectator if its territorial integrity is challenge. But the Minister added that the situation would be peacefully resolved as military and diplomatic-level talks with Beijing are underway. Xi Jinping Tells China's PLA to Prepare for War, Be Ready for 'Worst-Case Scenarios' Amid COVID-19 Pandemic.
Singh, in his interview with CNN-News 18, claimed that India is well-positioned to settle the border row in a peaceful manner. The channel had earlier reported that he acknowledged the presence of Chinese troopers in Ladakh. However, a corrigendum was later issued to rectify the error.
Clarification Issued by News 18
The Defence Minister was further reported to state that talks between India and China at military and diplomatic levels are underway, and a "high-level military meeting with the Chinese is scheduled on June 6". His remarks came in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Ladakh border. Earlier, Singh reiterated that incidents happen because of the difference in perceptions of the LAC.
"Nobody can deny the fact that there has been difference in perceptions about the India-China border,” Singh had said, but “there is no question, and nobody can imagine that India can be arm-twisted like the situation in 1962." India has said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim and strongly refuted Beijing’s contention that the escalating tension between the two armies was triggered by trespassing of Indian forces across the Chinese side.
The troops of India and China were engaged in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam tri-junction in 2017 which even triggered fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.