India is “very serious about issues of sovereignty” and the country is “prepared for all outcomes” to ensure that it is maintained, Union minister Rajnath Singh told parliament today in what was seen as a strong warning to China.
“I met my Chinese counterpart in Moscow recently, and put forward our concerns, but made it absolutely clear that India is very serious about issues of sovereignty,” Mr Singh told parliament as it resumed after more than five months.
“I also made it clear that we want to resolve this issue in a peaceful manner and we want the Chinese side to work together with us. At the same time, we also made it clear that we will do our best to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.
A similar stance was taken by foreign minister S Jaishakar when he met his counterpart in Moscow, Mr Singh said. “However, I want to inform this august House and through it the entire nation, that we are prepared for all outcomes to ensure that India’s sovereignty is maintained,” he added.
The government’s statement comes amid repeated transgressions by the Chinese troops at Pangong Lake and several other areas in Ladakh since April. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the line of duty — a first in more than four decades.
The border issue with China is still unresolved as China “does not recognise the current boundary”, Mr Singh said. The difference in perception has led to the face-off at the Line of Actual Control, he said.
India, he said, has been following the customary line that was agreed upon in the 1960s. “But China does not agree to this now and says that both sides have different perspectives of this line,” he said.
The minster also said that China has “unilaterally violated the bilateral agreements signed in 1993 and 1996,” adding that the Indian soldiers stopped these transgressions showing “patience and resolve when required and courage and valour when required”.
The government, which has been under Congress pressure to explain what the party called the “real situation” in Ladakh, said there will be no discussion on the matter given the “sensitivity” of the situation.