Follow pacts, don’t blame India’s infra growth for LAC tensions: MEA to China

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 14

India on Thursday responded strongly to China blaming its border infrastructure development for tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The MEA suggested at a media briefing that China was misplaced in blaming development of infrastructure. “The restoration of peace and tranquillity can be best done by scrupulously adhering in entirety to the various agreements,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.

“The Government was focused on creating infrastructure for its people to facilitate economic development and also meet Indian strategic and security requirements,” he added.

“Our position on this has always been clear and consistent. J&K and Ladakh have been, are, and would remain an integral part of India. China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters. We hope that countries will not comment on India’s internal matters, as much as they expect the same of others,” he said to a question on China doubting the status of both UTs.

On Arunachal Pradesh too, Srivastava said China has been told several times, “including at the highest level”, that the state is an integral and inalienable part of India.

Dwelling on the India-China Army Senior Commanders talks on October 12, Srivastava underlined that for the second successive time, a joint press release was issued. “As indicated in the press release, the talks were positive and constructive. The two sides have a better understanding of each other’s positions,” he said while repeating the earlier formulation that disengagement is a complex process that requires redeployment of troops by each side towards their regular posts on their respective sides of the LAC.

To achieve disengagement, he said the two sides plan to maintain the current momentum of communications towards complete disengagement in all the friction areas along the LAC and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas.

Submarine for Myanmar

At the same time, India has been moving quickly to consolidate its relationships in the neighbourhood. As part of this attempt, India will deliver a submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar which will give the country its first-ever underwater capabilities, Srivastava said.

The recent joint trip to Myanmar by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Chief of the Army Staff Gen. M M Naravane, the MEA spokesperson said led to several other outcomes besides the delivery of the submarine. Bought originally from Russia, it was refitted by an Indian shipyard for handing over to Myanmar, originally in March. The submarine is likely to be used for training purposes and should keep away similar offers from China.

Srivastava described cooperation in the maritime domain as part of “our diverse and enhanced engagement with Myanmar”. India has already helped strengthen Myanmar’s aerial surveillance and counter-terrorism abilities.

Myanmar approved Indian plans to set up an embassy liaison office in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw while New Delhi has contracted for the import of 1.5 lakh tonnes or urad dal by March next year.

“In overall terms, the visit reflected the high priority by India to sustain the momentum in bilateral ties,” said Srivastava.

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