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India no longer ‘weak’, says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh amid tensions with China

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New Delhi,India

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Sunday the country will no longer compromise on its ” national pride” and that the country was not ‘weak’ anymore, as its border tensions with China continue to rise.

Singh, while addressing a virtual rally in occupied Kashmir, stated that the Indian government will not keep the parliament or anyone in the dark about the ongoing standoff with China, assuring that details of the evolving situation will be shared at an appropriate time.

“I want to assure that we will not compromise with national pride under any circumstance. India is no longer a weak India. Our strength in national security has risen. But this strength is not meant to frighten anyone but to secure our country,” Singh was quoted by the TV channel.

The BJP leader claimed that China wants to resolve its dispute with India through talks, and that the Indian government also held a similar view.

“This is also our effort to defuse the tussle between India and China through military and diplomatic level talks,” he said, noting that the two countries are engaged in military-level dialogue.

According to an Indian media report, tensions between India and China have been mounting owing to a border dispute in the eastern Ladakh region. Armies of both countries have moved heavy weaponry and equipment to their base camps near the disputed territory.

Indian military sources have been quoted in the Indian media saying China has been pushing in artillery, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment in its rear bases near the Line of Actual Control or LAC in eastern Ladakh.

The report had stated that the Indian Army is doing the same and deploying additional troops along with heavy machinery at the border.

India claims Chinese troops aggravated tensions by moving into the Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley areas earlier this month. India said the Chinese Army has bolstered its presence in Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie areas as well where disputes are known to take place between the two sides.

On May 6, the troops from both sides clashed and hurled stones at each other. There have been long-running border tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, with a bitter war fought over India´s northeastern-most state of Arunachal Pradesh in 1962.

“Aggressive behaviour by the two sides resulted in minor injuries to troops. It was stone-throwing and arguments that ended in a fistfight,” Indian Army Eastern Command spokesman Mandeep Hooda had told on May 10.

he “stand-off” at Naku La sector near the 15,000-feet (4,572-metre) Nathu La crossing in the northeastern state of Sikkim — which borders Bhutan, Nepal and China — was later resolved after “dialogue and interaction” at a local level, Hooda had revealed.

“Temporary and short duration face-offs between border-guarding troops do occur as boundaries are not resolved,” he had said.

Some 150 soldiers were involved in the face-off, the Press Trust of India had reported.

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