India has crossed LAC more times than China, says VK Singh; 'unwitting confession', claims Beijing
The face-off between the two countries began in early May following a clash between soldiers of the two sides near Pangong lake
On Sunday, Union minister VK Singh said that India has crossed the Line of Actual Control more times than China, but the government does not announce it, according to several media reports.
As per The Hindu, the former Indian Army chief, addressing the media in Madurai, said the border with China has never been demarcated.
“China had transgressed many times over the years with its own perception of the LAC,” Singh said.“Similarly, none of you come to know how many times we have transgressed as per our perception. Chinese media does not cover it.”
“Let me assure you, if China has transgressed 10 times, we must have done it at least 50 times,” he added, as per the newspaper.
Singh's comments assume significance amidst the backdrop of close to 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops being deployed in eastern Ladakh and both sides showing indications of having dug in for the long haul.
China on Monday hit back with the foreign ministry calling Singh's statement an 'unwitting confession' and State-run Global Times taking a strong stance.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a briefing claimed that India’s transgressions were the root cause of the tensions at the border, India Today reported.
“This is an unwitting confession by the Indian side. For a long time, the Indian side has conducted frequent acts of trespass in the border area in an attempt to encroach on China's territory and constantly created disputes and frictions, which is the root cause of the tensions at the China-India border,” Wang Wenbin claimed.
“We urge the Indian side to follow through on the consensus, agreements and treaties it reached with China, and uphold peace and stability in the border region with concrete actions,” he added, as per the report.
Singh's remarks come just days after the government said in the Lok Sabha that the Chinese military attempted to transgress the LAC in several areas since May but these efforts were invariably met with an appropriate response from the Indian side.
"From April-May last year, there had been an enhanced deployment of troops and armaments by the Chinese side in the border areas and along the LAC in the Western Sector," Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said.
The minister was replying to questions on the border row including whether the talks have helped in reaching any logical conclusions.
"Since mid-May the Chinese side attempted to transgress the LAC in several areas of the Western Sector of the India-China border area. These attempts were invariably met with an appropriate response frm us," Muraleedharan said.
On 28 January, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in an address at an online conference on India-China ties, said the events in eastern Ladakh last year have profoundly disturbed the relationship and asserted that any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the LAC is "completely unacceptable".
The external affairs minister said any expectation that the situation at the border "can be brushed aside and life can carry on undisturbed" is simply not realistic.
The face-off between the two countries began in early May following a clash between soldiers of the two sides near Pangong lake.
In the ninth round of military talks last month, both sides agreed to push for an early disengagement of troops and resolved to continue "effective efforts" to stabilise and control the situation in eastern Ladakh.
With inputs from PTI
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