Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday sought to know the Centre’s stance on Chinese transgressions and asked why wasn’t the Chinese ambassador issued a demarche.
“The External Affairs Minister (EAM) claims that relations with China are “not normal”. Then why have we never called the Chinese Ambassador and issued a demarche as we do with the Pakistan High Commissioner? Why is our trade dependence on China at a record high with imports at $95 billion in 2021-22 and the trade deficit at $74 billion? Why did our troops conduct military exercises with Chinese troops at Russia’s Vostok-22 exercise in September 2022? ” he wondered.
The Congress leader said he agrees with the EAM that the jawans should be “respected, honoured and appreciated” as they stand strong against our adversaries.
But where was the respect when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after 20 Indian jawans gave up their lives defending the borders on June 19, 2020, said that no one has entered the border.
“The EAM says that we will not let China change the status of the LAC unilaterally. Has the status quo not been altered by Chinese troops 18 km deep in Depsang for the last two years? Is it not altered by the fact that our troops are unable to access 1,000 sq km of territory in eastern Ladakh that they earlier patrolled? Is it not altered by the fact that we have agreed to buffer zones that prevent our patrols from going to areas they previous could go to? When will the EAM unequivocally declare that restoration of the pre-2020 status quo is our objective?”
He alleged that the EAM said “we are pressuring China”.
“Why then do we have a purely reactive stance? Why did we withdraw from our advantageous position in the Kailash range without ensure a full restoration of the pre-2020 status quo? Why have we not been more aggressive and made counter-intrusions to compel the Chinese to withdraw as we did in 1986 and 2013? When will we stop legitimising Chinese aggression by
referring to “differences in perception” rather than asserting our claim?” Jairam added.