Indian Army is always ready to answer aggression, says Amit Shah as Xi Jinping asks Chinese troops to prepare for war

In an interview to Rahul Joshi, the Union home minister also said that India 'will not bow down to anyone' and that it has the support of most countries

CNN-News18 October 17, 2020 19:55:58 IST
Indian Army is always ready to answer aggression, says Amit Shah as Xi Jinping asks Chinese troops to prepare for war

Union home minister Amit Shah and Network18 group editor Rahul Joshi. CNN-News18

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Saturday that the Indian defence forces are always ready to respond to any form of aggression, days after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned PLA troops to be prepared for war amid ongoing tensions with India in eastern Ladakh.

In an interview to editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi, Shah said India will never cede “even an inch” of territory to China.

"Every nation is always ready (for war). That’s the purpose of maintaining armies — to respond to any form of aggression. I am not saying this in reference to any particular comments, but India’s defence forces are always ready,” he said.

Shah, however, added that militaries of both countries are talking to each other and the diplomatic channels of communication are also open.

“I don’t find it pertinent to comment as the country’s home minister. But I will repeat the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are on guard and no one can snatch even an inch of our territory from us,” he said.

Indian and Chinese diplomats and military officials have held several rounds of talks, seventh and latest of which was held on 13 October, to pull back from the brink after a clash erupted between border troops in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

But Xi’s recent statements during an inspection of the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps has further fueled animosity. Addressing the soldiers, Xi had called on them to "put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war".

An ill-thought Chinese advisory to Indian media on Taiwan, which elicited a “get lost” from the latter’s foreign minister, further strained ties.

Asked if India should change its diplomatic policy towards Tibet and Taiwan in tit-for-tat response to China’s claim on Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, Shah said, “It’s not right to discuss this here. It’s a very complex issue with far-reaching implications. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar have cleared India’s position (on China) on the floor of the Parliament. I think that’s enough. Talks with China are underway....”

He, however, added that India has the support of the global community. “Our intentions are noble and strong. A country of 130 crore people will not bow down to anyone. We are also in the right and have the support of most countries,” he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had recently called Beijing out for its "bad behaviour" and threats to United States’ Quad partners India, Japan and Australia.

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