Union Minister and former Army chief General V.K. Singh (Retd) on Wednesday said his statement on transgressions by the Indian troops on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was distorted that gave China a platform to try and “cover their own aggressive tracks”.
Singh’s comment about Indian troops crossing the LAC had sparked a war of words between the two countries prompting Beijing to blame New Delhi for the military tension at the borders.
The Minister also lashed out at the newspaper ‘Indian Express’ for carrying out a sustained campaign against him.
“For almost a decade, ever since I was the COAS, the Indian Express has launched a sustained campaign against me. A misinformation campaign that sometimes bordered on the bizarre, as was the case with the now infamous coup story, have repeatedly hit the headlines,” he said.
Singh was referring to a news article carried by the daily on April 4, 2012 titled ‘The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt’
Clarifying his remarks in Madurai on Sunday, the Minister said that he was purported to have said “India has been transgressing the LAC with China, five times to everyone ingress of theirs.”
“This distortion could not be further from the truth. I had simply stated the established fact that the borders along the LAC have not been demarcated and until that is done there will always be differing perceptions,” Singh tweeted.
The Minister also added that the fact is that the People’s Republic of China has refused to settle the border as part of the bullying tactics they have adopted.
He said that Indian side is aware of these tactics and any aggression will be responded to with equal or greater level as was the case in Galwan.
Singh pointed out that in the race to create sensational headlines, newspaper editors must verify what was said and what is reported.
“The distortion of my statement/reply has needlessly given the Chinese a platform to try and cover their own aggressive tracks and shift the blame on India,” he said.
In Tamil Nadu’s Madurai on February 7, Singh, while addressing the media at a Circuit House, had said that China has transgressed into India many times over the years with its own perception of the LAC.
“But none of you come to know how many times we have transgressed, as per our perception. The Indian government does not announce it, while the Chinese media does not cover it,” he said.
“Let me assure you, if China has transgressed 10 times, we must have done it at least 50 times,” Singh claimed.
China reacted to Singh’s statement and its foreign ministry called it “an unwitting confession”
According to the statement published on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website on February 8, spokesperson Wang Wenbin reacted to Singh’s statement and blamed India for the ongoing border conflict along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
“This is unwitting confession by the Indian side. For a long time, the Indian side has conducted frequent acts of trespass in the border area in an attempt to encroach on China’s territory and constantly created disputes and frictions which is the root cause of the tensions at the China-India border,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.