Rajnath on India-China border row: We want peaceful solution but ready for all eventualities

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi | PTI Photo
China is trying to change the "status quo" along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and responsible for the military standoff, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament on Tuesday.

"India and China border issue remains unresolved. Till now, there has been no mutually acceptable solution. China disagrees on border," he said in the Lok Sabha.

"China doesn't recognise the traditional and customary alignment of the boundary. We consider that this alignment is based on well established geographical principles," he said. "We have told China through diplomatic channels that the attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements."

"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 said

The two countries pledged to de-escalate tensions along the LAC after their foreign ministers met on September 10 for the first time since May when the stand-off began. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agreed that “the current situation in the border area is not in the interests of both sides,” according to a joint statement after a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Moscow.

The nations “should abide by the existing border affairs agreements and regulations, maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, and avoid any actions that may escalate the situation,” they said.

India and China have been increasing their troop strength along the 3,488-km LAC since May. The military standoff, in which gunshots were fired this week for the first time since 1975, remains unresolved despite multiple rounds of negotiations between commanders and diplomats and two phone calls between Wang and Jaishankar.

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