Deployment of force at LAC with China now abnormal: Jaishankar

Deployment of force at LAC with China now abnormal: Jaishankar

Kolkata | External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that the deployment of forces at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China is "abnormal" and the security of the country should not be disregarded.

Speaking at an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) here, Jaishankar said India responded to the Galwan clash by counter-deployment of forces there.

"After 1962, Rajiv Gandhi went to China in 1988 in many ways that was the key step towards normalising the ties (with China)...there was a clear understanding that we will discuss our boundary differences but we will maintain peace and tranquillity on the border. And the rest of the relationship will carry on," the minister said.

Since then, it has been the basis of the relationship with China, he said.

"What changed now is what happened in 2020. In 2020, the Chinese, in violation of multiple agreements, brought a large number of forces to our border and they did it at the time when we were under COVID lockdown," he said.

Jaishankar said "India responded by counter deployment of forces" and for four years now, forces have been deployed ahead of the normal base positions at Galwan.

"This is a very abnormal deployment along the LAC. Given the tension between the two countries... As Indian citizens, none of us should disregard the security of the country...it is today a challenge", he said.

There is also an economic challenge, he said, which is due to "neglect of the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors in the previous years".

"Why is Indian business buying so much from China... Is it good to be so dependent on some other source?" he asked.

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