India-China standoff: Full statement of Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed Rajya Sabha that through ongoing negotiations, both Indians and Chinese have reached an agreement to cut banks north and west of Pangong Lake.
Commenting on the situation in Eastern Ladakh, the Minister of Defense said, “I am pleased to inform the House today that due to our well-regarded approach and ongoing negotiations with the Chinese side, we are now able to reach an agreement on secession from North and South Pangong Bank.”
Here are the full documents of Rajya Sabha’s defense minister
The House will recall that I made a detailed statement of what was happening in the Indian-China border areas in East Ladakh at the last session in September last year. I have pointed out that the Chinese side has since April / May 2020 assembled a large number of troops and weapons in the border areas near Eastern Ladakh.
It has repeatedly tried to cross the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in various parts. These actions by the Chinese side have been identified and responded appropriately by our armed forces. The House and the Nation also honored the brave Indian soldiers who made great sacrifices and laid down their lives in order to protect the integrity of the Indian state. I would like to inform the House today of some important things from then on.
Since last September, both sides have kept private communications through military and communications channels. Our aim was to end divisions and keep the situation out of the LAC in order to restore peace and stability.
Let me briefly summarize the key features of the situation below. As the House knows, China illegally occupied about 38,000 sq. Km. Kms in the Union Territory of Ladakh, especially during the 1962 conflict. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ of 1963, Pakistan illegally donated 5,180 sq. Km. Kms.
Of the Indian territory of Pakistan use Kashmir in China. China, therefore located in an illegal area of more than 43,000 square miles of Indian territory. It also says about 90,000 sq. M. Kms. Indian territory in the Eastern Region of the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. India has never accepted this illegal settlement in our area or illegal claims.
I would like to add here that India has always maintained that while bilateral relations may improve in the same way as negotiations to resolve the border issue, any major disruption to peace and tranquility near the LAC in border areas will inevitably have a negative impact on the direction of our two commitments.
The Chinese side is well aware of our position. In fact, various high-level Joint Statements have acknowledged the point that maintaining peace and stability in the LAC in border areas is a fundamental basis for the development of relations.
The actions of the Chinese side since last year have seriously disrupted peace and tranquility. As a result they also have an impact on general relationships. In our various high-level cooperation with the Chinese side, including my meeting with Chinese Defense Minister last September, my foreign counterpart Shri Jaishankarji in a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister and NSA talks with Shri Doval and his Chinese counterparts, we have made it clear that the main need was to -LAC in the Western Region to help restore peace and stability.
I informed the House last year that there was a lot of conflict in the Eastern Ladakhalong LAC. In addition, the Chinese side had mobilized a large number of troops and weapons in the LAC and in deep areas. Our armed forces had also sent sufficient and effective opposition to these areas to ensure that India’s security interests were fully protected.
I am proud to say that our Armed Forces have faced the challenges posed by the unifying Chinese act and shown bravery and courage in the South and North Pangong Tso banks. Many important points in terms of strategy were identified and our troops stationed them in those Mountain Territories and areas that were very important in our view.
It is because of this great courage of our armed forces that we face extreme weather conditions and maintain a limit. Our armed forces also prove that the integrity of our country remains safe in their hands and that their strength and determination to defend our borders are unshakable.
Last year, we maintained our political and military involvement with the Chinese side. In these negotiations, we have set three key principles that determine how we operate: (i) both parties must respect and uphold the LAC; (ii) neither party should try to change the situation differently; and (iii) all agreements and understanding between the two parties must be fully complied with.
To ensure the separation of conflict zones in the LAC, it was our view that troops on both sides, who are very close, should abandon the 2020 mission and return to a permanent and acceptable base.