Army inflicted heavy casualties on Chinese side during Galwan clash: Rajnath Singh in Parliament

Making a statement on the situation at the LAC in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said India was committed to peacefully resolving the border stand-off even though the Army would "forcefully counter all Chinese aggressive action".

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the border issue in eastern Ladakh with China remained unsolved as Beijing doesn’t recognise the “traditional and customary alignment of the boundary”.

Making a statement on the situation at the LAC in the Lok Sabha, Singh said India was committed to peacefully resolving the border stand-off even though the Army would “forcefully counter all Chinese aggressive action”.

“India and China border issue remains unresolved. Till now, there has been no mutually acceptable solution. China doesn’t recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary. We consider that this alignment is based on well established geographical principals,” Singh said even as Congress MPs staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha and held a protest in front the Mahatma Gandhi statue on not being allowed to speak on the Sino-India border issue. Follow Parliament LIVE Updates

Singh, who met his Chinese counterpart in the first week of September in Moscow, said China was in illegal occupation of 38,000 sq km in Ladakh and Delhi had conveyed to Beijing that attempts to forcibly alter the Sino-Indian boundary was not acceptable.

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“In meeting with Chinese Defence Minister, I clearly stated that while our troops had always taken a responsible approach towards border management, but at same time there should be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty&territorial integrity,” he said.

Ever since the standoff began early May, India has been insisting on status quo ante — of troops on the two sides returning to their April locations. Tensions escalated after 20 Indian Army personnel and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were killed in clashes on June 15. Last month, in a pre-emptive measure, Indian forces occupied dominant positions on some key heights along the LAC, snaking through the south bank of Pangong Tso to Rechin La near Rezang La.

Singh said the Indian Army had inflicted heavy costs, including casualties, on the Chinese side during the Galwan Valley clash on June 15. The Defence Minister further said China had mobilised a huge number of Army battalions and armaments along LAC and inner areas.

“Violent conduct of Chinese troops is a violation of all past agreements. There are many friction points in eastern Ladakh, Gogra, Kongka La, Pangong Lake’s north and south banks. Indian Army has made counter deployments in these areas,” he said.

There has been no progress on the ground in Ladakh since mid-July after some initial disengagement in Galwan Valley and distancing of troops in the Hot Springs-Gogra Post area.

“In past too, we’ve had situations of prolonged stand-offs in border areas with China which were resolved peacefully. Even though situation this year is very different both in terms of scale of troops involved and number of friction points, we remain committed to peaceful resolution,” Rajnath Singh said.

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