Union Minister Nitin Gadkari  |  Photo Credit: IANS
- India officially admits about Chinese buildup along the Line of Actual Control
- India and Chinese troops remain deployed in large numbers in the Galwan Valley: MEA
- India has never attempted to unilaterally change the status quo at LAC: Govt
Nagpur: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that China tried to ‘intrude’ into Indian territory but India ‘responded’ to it. While referring to the stand-off in Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the senior BJP leader assured that the country is well-positioned to give a befitting reply.
Addressing a virtual rally of BJP workers in Maharashtra on Thursday, Gadkari said, “India is not expansionist, but if anyone tries to encroach our land we will give a befitting reply.”
Giving the example of the Bangladesh Liberation War, the union minister said it was the then Indian government that fought for and liberated Bangladesh but we did not grab their land.
“We liberated the country, ensured that a government was formed there and we came back. Our policy towards neighbouring states is just, cordial and cooperative,” Gadkari asserted.
He also said that India has “never tried to take a single (square) foot of land (even) from a small country like Bhutan”.
China amassing troops, armaments along LAC
Gadkari’s statements come after New Delhi confirmed that China was enhancing troops and weaponry along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since May. Reacting strongly to the Chinese military build-up along the border, the ministry of external affairs said ‘conduct of the Chinese forces is in “complete disregard” of all mutually agreed norms’.
“At the heart of the matter is that since early May, the Chinese side has been amassing a large contingent of troops and armaments along the LAC. This is not in accordance with the provisions of our various bilateral agreements,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
“A continuation of the current situation would only vitiate the atmosphere for the development of the relationship,” he asserted.
Sino-India relations deteriorated after Galwan Valley clash
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched a ‘premeditated’ attack on the Indian Army soldiers at Galwan Valley on June 15 night. 20 brave soldiers lost their lives while fighting with the Chinese troops. It is reported that China lost around 40-50 soldiers, but there has been no official confirmation from Beijing.
New Delhi said that India has deployed a large number of in the Galwan Valley region.
On June 6, military commanders of both the countries had met and an agreement was reached to de-escalate and disengage along the LAC that involved “reciprocal actions”.
Despite the understandings reached during the meeting, “The Chinese side departed from these understandings in respect of the LAC in the Galwan Valley area and sought to erect structures just across the LAC,” the MEA said.
“When this attempt was foiled, Chinese troops took violent actions on June 15 that directly resulted in casualties,” the spokesperson added.
To defuse the simmering tensions along the Line of Actual Control, New Delhi and Beijing held diplomatic level talks on June 24, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears as reports continue to emerge that the PLA increased number of troops, weaponry along LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand.
Prior to this, senior military commanders of the two armies, Commander of the 14 Corps, Lt Gen Harinder Singh and Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin held a nearly 11-hour marathon meeting on June 22.