‘Next 72 Hours Are Crucial’ as China Deploys Artillery to Border

Rajnath Singh

Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh

"I want to assure the country that we will not let India's pride be hurt in any circumstances", the defence minister told the Aaj Tak television channel.

"The Chinese fighter aircraft were flying around 30km, 18 miles, from Eastern Ladakh, almost 6 miles away from the Indian areas as per the worldwide border norms".

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on the evening of May 5 which spilled over to the next day before the two sides agreed to "disengage".

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India has moved in additional troops from a reserve division near the Union Territory of Ladakh and they are trained for high altitude warfare. As of now dialogue is on with China both at the military and diplomatic level.

"Threats like the one that is happening on its border with India, they have been making for an awfully long time", the Secretary of State said and added, "With respect to the Chinese Communist Party's military advances, they are real". "Though the distance maintained from the border is not threatening but we can't take chances as they can come close to our areas within minutes", the sources said.

However, there are no signs of de-escalation yet but, a new report claims that both sides are stepping up their guard. An attempt has been made to link it to the situation in the northern borders which is incorrect. But India and China have been resolving these issues through dialogue, said he while citing Dhoklam standoff of 2017.

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The denial echoed the fallout of Trump's attempts to play interlocutor between India and Pakistan in their own tense Kashmir border dispute last summer.

He also said that India's effort would be to ensure that tensions did not escalate any further. Ajai Shukla, a former Indian army colonel, estimated that China had brought in three brigades of the People's Liberation Army - amounting to thousands of troops - and India had deployed around 3,000 reinforcements.

Rajnath Singh's tone was clearly defensive and he deflected a question the question related to advancement and settlement of Chinese troops in Ladakh region. Differences between the two countries will also be resolved through negotiations between military commanders.

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Even as both sides are locked in a war of words, India has rejected allegations by Beijing that the Indian troops were responsible for triggering tensions. Since then, the Indian government has also ignored several incursions into Arunachal Pradesh, according to a parliamentarian and local politicians. The Global Times, China's state-run English daily, reported in mid May that the country had "bolstered border control measures ... in response to India's recent, illegal construction of defense facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley".

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