Updated May 15th, 2024 at 19:16 IST

EAM Jaishankar Affirms India's Vigilance Amid Abnormal Chinese Deployment Along the LAC

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reaffirms India's commitment to safeguarding territorial integrity amidst ongoing border challenges with China.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Line of Actual Control | Image:ADGPI
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Mumbai: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reaffirmed India's robust response to the ongoing border challenge from China, highlighting the nation's commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity. Speaking at a conference in Mumbai, Jaishankar underscored India's proactive measures, including the deployment of a record number of troops despite the hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The root cause of the tension between India and China lies in the disputed border stretching over 3,440km, characterized by shifting topography and strategic interests, leading to frequent confrontations between the two nations. Competing infrastructure development along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) exacerbates tensions, with India's construction activities often triggering friction, as witnessed in the deadly clash with PLA troops in 2020.  

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Recent Developments Along the LAC 

Despite sporadic military-level talks, tensions persist along the border. In December 2022, clashes erupted near the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, resulting in minor injuries among troops, signalling the persistent volatility of the situation.  

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"I think we need to get the China issue right...Yes, there is a challenge from China, yes, it has violated agreements and sent a large number of troops to the border. But the country should take pride in the fact that, despite COVID, we counter-deployed and sent a record number of troops to the border. Those troops today are holding their own," Jaishankar said.  

Following the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020, characterized by hand-to-hand combat, both sides engaged in de-escalation efforts. The skirmish, marked by casualties on both sides, was indicative of the fragility of the India-China relationship.

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Refuting claims of recent Chinese encroachments, Jaishankar cited historical evidence to debunk allegations, urging a nuanced understanding of geopolitical realities and historical context.  

"The country should be supporting the military, the country should not be running them down. This running down your people, and your forces is a sad thing. A lot of the country is very unhappy about it," the External Affairs Minister said.  

Diplomatic Engagements Amidst Border Standoff  

Despite the persistent standoff, India and China have engaged in diplomatic dialogues to seek avenues for de-escalation and resolution along the border, underscoring the importance of diplomatic channels in mitigating tensions. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Official Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reiterated India's commitment to dialogue, emphasizing the multifaceted engagement with China to explore peaceful resolutions to the border standoff.

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With tensions persisting, sustained dialogue and calibrated responses remain essential in managing the intricacies of the India-China relationship and promoting regional stability in the face of evolving geopolitical challenges. 

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Published May 15th, 2024 at 19:16 IST