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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/16/20

Indian Defense Minister admits: China occupies 38,000 sq km of Indian territory

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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China is in illegal occupation of 38,000 square km of Indian land and it considers another 90,000 square km as its own, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament on Tuesday.

China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq km in the Union Territory of Ladakh. In addition, under the so-called Sino-Pakistan 'Boundary Agreement' of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq km of Indian Territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China. China also claims approximately 90,000 sq km of Indian Territory in the eastern sector of the India-China boundary in Arunachal Pradesh, the minister said.

China does not accept the customary and traditional alignment of the boundary between India and China.

"We believe that this alignment is based on well-established geographical principles confirmed by treaties and agreements, as well as historical usage and practice, well-known for centuries to both sides," the minister said.

The two countries had engaged in discussions during the 1950s and '60s but these efforts could not yield a mutually acceptable solution.

Rajnath Singh said though India wants a peaceful resolution of the India-China border issue, "the House can be assured that we remain prepared to deal with all contingencies".

Analysts in India pointed out that Raj Nath's statement contradicts Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim of June 20, 2020, that '"Na koi wahan hamari seema mein ghus aaya hai aur nahi koi ghusa hua hai, na hi hamari koi post kisi dusre ke kabze mein hain" (No one has intruded and nor is anyone intruding, nor has any post been captured by someone). Does not the nation deserve an answer from the 56-inches-chest Prime Minister to state in obvious as to which of the duo is right?

Commenting on Rajnath Singh's parliament speech, Chinese official paper the Global Times said Singh bragged of how righteous and brave Indian troops were, while emphasizing the importance of peacefully resolving the border crisis to China-India ties.

Indian military's moves on border areas have eased these days, which coincided with Singh's address. This is the result of strong pressure from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Global Times said, adding:

"The PLA has been increasing its deployment in China-India border areas and taking resolute actions, which have formed an overwhelming momentum to annihilate the Indian troops on site once an armed clash breaks out. It has made the Indian army truly feel that engaging in a military confrontation with China is a gamble they simply cannot afford.

"There are different forces in India. Some ultra-nationalist ones stubbornly refuse the easy way, and stick to the hard way. When China engages in diplomatic negotiations with India, it must also use the only language those forces could understand - cooperation will last long when it is achieved through struggles."

China should continue to strive for a peaceful settlement of China-India border disputes, but must keep its army prepared. Without strong military pressure, India won't behave on border issues, the Global Times concluded.

Rajnath's admission in parliament about the Chinese occupation 38,000 square km of Indian land came in less than a week meeting of China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Moscow who reached a five-point consensus.

The consensus has mentioned the two troops should disengage as soon as possible, maintain a necessary distance, and speed up the completion of new measures to build mutual trust. Whether in terms of crisis management or maintaining long-term stability at the border area, the consensus has hit the key points.

However, in a comment on the 5-point consensus, China's official Global Times Friday questioned how the consensus should be implemented.

The fundamental problem between China and India is the lack of basic mutual trust, it said, adding: China takes a defensive position, but India is trying to connect the China-India border conflicts with Indo-Pacific geopolitics, which is a gamble.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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