Friday, September 6, 2013

China fears India\'s infra build-up at LAC: AK Antony

Saturday, Sep 7, 2013, Place: New Delhi -Facing attack over its China policy, government on Friday asserted in parliament that capacities are rapidly being built along the Line of Actual Control and China "fears" India is trying to catch up with it which sometimes results in face-offs between the two armies.

Rubbishing reports that China had occupied 640km of Indian land in Ladakh, defence minister AK Antony asserted in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha that no territory has been ceded to that country.

He conceded that China was "superior" in terms of border infrastructure as India, because of the 1962 war, was late in deciding on building roads and other capabilities near the Line of Actual Control, which he described as a "collective failure". Making statements in the two Houses, he said all steps are being taken to safeguard national security.

His statements came after Opposition parties and UPA ally Samajwadi Party targeted the government over its dealing with China despite repeated incursions.

"I have no hesitation to say that China is in a better position than India in terms of border infrastructure. It is a mistake, it is all of us who are to be held collectively responsible for it. It is a historical legacy," Antony said. After "years of neglect", he said, India is fast developing capabilities near the China border, including building of roads, raising of two mountain Divisions, many new airfields and landing grounds.

"It is their fear that India is trying to catch up with them," he said answering questions over the reason for increased incursions by Chinese troops over the last few years.

Antony said, "Infrastructure is coming up in disputed areas (along the LAC) also. Patrols are coming closer and as a result, we see there are incursions. They come and go, they come and go and sometimes, situations of face-off also take place. We feel we can go to the areas we feel are ours and they also do so. "...If you compare overall, in the last ten years, our government has developed maximum infrastructure in those areas," he said.

Earlier, Antony said in the Lok Sabha that the National Security Advisory Board's (NSAB) report that the media quoted over encroachments by China primarily focused on border infrastructure. "I would like to categorically state that (NSAB chairman Shyam) Saran has not stated that China has occupied, or has denied access to India to any part of Indian territory. I would like to assure the House that there is no question of India ceding to China any part of Indian territory," Antony said. —With Agency inputs
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