No threat from China: Manmohan
Mulayam Singh alleges Beijing is preparing to attack India
New Delhi, December 14: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday refuted the views of Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh that China was making all-out efforts to attack India and had marked some posts across the border.
“Our government does not share the view that China is out to attack India. There are problems on the border. But by and large, the border remains peaceful. Peace and tranquillity has been maintained in the border areas,” he said.
Dr. Singh, replying to a supplementary question in the Lok Sabha on the subject, said: “There are sometimes intrusions according to us. But the Chinese perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) sometimes differs. Therefore, I think, some confusion is created. These matters are sorted out between the area commanders on both the sides.”
Dr. Singh rejected another allegation of the SP leader that China had diverted the waters of the Brahmaputra. He said he did not share the view. “Relations between India and China are sensitive. We are dealing with a very sensitive subject. Therefore, I think, great responsibility lies on all concerned not to say things which can be misunderstood.”
“India and China are two great neighbours. Our policy has been — this is not a new policy and this was the policy also of the NDA regime — to engage China to find peaceful ways of resolving the border dispute. We made some progress in 2005. We agreed with China on the political parameters for the resolution of the border dispute. Since then, not much progress has been made. But peace and tranquillity continue to be maintained along the border. India has been assured at the highest level that the Chinese government had the same intention,” Dr. Singh said.
Earlier, Mr. Mulayam Singh alleged that the UPA-II government was remaining silent when China was preparing to attack India and that country had even established posts along the Kashmir border. “They are trying to take our land,” he said and sought a reply from Dr. Singh.
Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, who was answering another question on the subject, said India would work towards strengthening its relations with China. The government would keep a constant watch to promote India’s national interests at any cost.
By and large, there was peace and tranquillity in the border areas. However, there were differences between India and China on the perceptions of the LAC. Due to these differing perceptions, the Chinese patrols some time entered areas that India considered as lying on the Indian side. “The government regularly takes up these transgressions with the Chinese side. We have underscored to the Chinese side the importance for both sides to respect the LAC,” he said.
New facilities near border
Conscious of China developing infrastructure in the border regions opposite India in Tibet and Xinjiang Autonomous Regions there, the government was “giving careful and special attention” to the development of infrastructure in the border areas opposite China, “to meet our strategic and security requirements and also to facilitate the economic development of these areas,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
In a written reply, Mr. Antony said the infrastructure development included the Qinghai-Tibet railway line, with proposed extension up to Xigze and Nyingchi besides roads and airport facilities. “The government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it,” he said. The States, where the government is focussing on include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.