Speaking to CNN-affiliated News18, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said Tuesday that a “significant number” of Chinese troops had moved to the effective control line (LAC) between the two countries.
“It is true that the Chinese people are on the border. They claim it is their territory. Our claim is that it is our area. There has been a disagreement about it … India has done what it has to do.” . Singh said during the interview.
“We don’t want any country to bow before us and we won’t bow to any country,” added Singh.
India and China share one of the longest land borders in the world. In 1962, the two countries engaged in a bloody Himalayan border war, and tensions continued to break out there sporadically in the decades that followed.
Last month, an aggressive cross-border skirmish between Chinese and Indian forces caused minor injuries to the troops. The incident has been followed in the past few weeks by unconfirmed reports of tensions in the mountainous area, although neither party has publicly acknowledged anything extraordinary.
“The two sides can solve related problems through diplomatic mechanisms and channels established on border matters,” he said.
“Chinese border defense troops tightened border control measures and made the necessary moves in response to the recent illegal construction of defense structures in India across the border in Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region in May,” said the article.
Effective control line
In 1993, after years of conflict and territorial negotiations, China and India finally signed an agreement that attempted to delimit a long stretch of the border between the two countries.
Former Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said on his official Twitter account that Delhi and Beijing have not even been able to agree on the length of the border between the two countries.
“The border between China and India is 3,488 kilometers (2,167 miles) long … In the Chinese definition, the border between India and China is approximately 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) long,” he said.
Chinese state media have also addressed the problem.
“There is no effective line of control along the China-India border that both sides recognize,” the Global Times said in an May 25 article.
US voices support India
On May 29, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo entered the territorial saga, expressing his concerns about the border dispute over a podcast.
“The Chinese Communist Party – the nature of the activities they are undertaking … Even today, China’s growing forces have moved north to India on the line of effective control there at the Indian border,” said Pompeo. “These are the kind of actions taken by authoritarian regimes and have a real impact.”
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said last month that the United States would be willing to mediate or arbitrate border disputes between India and China.
“We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their stormy border dispute. Thanks!” he tweeted.
Relations between the United States and China have rapidly deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic and as Beijing attempts to strengthen its hold on the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in response that it did not need “third-party” interventions on the border with India. But U.S. officials continued to talk about the situation.
“China is proving once again that it is willing to mistreat its neighbors rather than resolve conflicts under international law,” he said in a statement.
“I warmly urge China to abide by the rules and to use existing diplomacy and mechanisms to resolve its border issues with India.”
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