Chief of Defense Staff, Foreign Ministry’s different stand on China dispute

The Chief of Defense Staff said China has not violated the Indian “perception” of the LAC. (file)

New Delhi:

Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat said today that the dispute over Chinese coming into Indian territory and creating a new village is “not true”, and that the villages were well on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). . ,

He also said that China has not violated the Indian “perception” of the LAC.

In its recent report, the US Defense Department said that China has built a large village inside the disputed area on the eastern side of the LAC between its Tibet Autonomous Region and India’s Arunachal Pradesh.

Earlier in an official response to the US report, the Ministry of External Affairs said that India has neither accepted China’s “illegal occupation of its territory nor any unreasonable Chinese claims”.

In a weekly media briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said, “China has started construction activities in the last several years along the border areas, which it has illegally occupied for decades. India has neither accepted such an illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted China’s unjustified claims.”

However, at the ‘Times Now Summit 2021’, Mr. Rawat said, “As far as we are concerned, there has been no such village development on our side of the LAC.”

“The current dispute – which has flared up – that the Chinese have come to our territory and built a new village is not true,” he said.

“But what I want to say is that the Chinese are probably building villages along the LAC to locate their civilians or their military, especially after the recent face-offs,” the CDS said. ,

Mr Rawat also said that both the Indian and Chinese armies have their posts in their respective parts of the LAC.

“Wherever the Chinese have developed their posts, we have seen some old dilapidated huts in that area,” he said.

So, some of those huts have been demolished and new infrastructure is being built and modern huts are coming up, he said.

“Yes, some of those villages may have grown in size. I would probably feel that these are meant to harass the Chinese soldiers and later, they sometimes make plans to facilitate the arrival of their families. … our citizens are moving there, our families are moving to further areas, so they are seeing all this.”

Noting that the Chinese soldiers are isolated, Mr. Rawat said, “They (Chinese soldiers) are living thousands of miles away from the mainland. And they see our people in a much happier position. Get home fast.”

Noting that Indian soldiers get leave at least thrice a year if not twice to go home from posts on the LAC, he said Chinese soldiers do not have this luxury.

“They are creating this infrastructure, such so called villages, which are on their side of the LAC. They have not violated our perception of the LAC anywhere,” he said.

He said there are different perceptions about the LAC but the Indian armed forces know where the LAC is because they have been told that this is your alignment of the LAC and this is the area you are expected to protect.

He said, “The Chinese have an assumption and in some areas, we are aware of it, and in some areas, we are not aware of it. Because they never really told where is the LAC as per their perception. “

Asked whether he feels that such village development is muscle-flexible on his part, Mr. Rawat replied: “Not at all, I wouldn’t call it muscle flexibility. With the development of these villages, they Trying to make sure they reach their border areas, and that’s something we should be doing as well.”

He said that India is also concerned about the development of its border area and the government has released funds for BADP (Border Area Development Programme) projects.

“In fact, we are encouraging people to go there and stay back in those villages because a large number of villages along the LAC are being vacated. Why are they being vacated? Because people are getting job opportunities, education , health infrastructure, and more internal areas,” he said.

Last month, India and China failed to make any progress in resolving the 18-month standoff in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh during the 13th round of military talks between the two countries.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive area of ​​eastern Ladakh.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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