The Indian Army is always prepared for any eventuality and India will never cede ‘even an inch’ of territory to China, Home Minister Amit Shah told Network18 Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi in an exclusive interview.
“Every nation is always ready (for war). That’s the purpose of maintaining armies – to respond to any form of aggression. I am not saying this in reference to any particular comments, but India’s defence forces are always ready,” Shah said.
The comments come just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned PLA troops to be prepared for war amid ongoing tensions with India in eastern Ladakh.
Shah, however, added that militaries of both countries are talking to each other and the diplomatic channels of communication are also open.
“I don’t find it pertinent to comment as the country’s home minister. But I will repeat the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are on guard and no one can snatch even an inch of our territory from us,” he said.
Indian and Chinese diplomats and military officials have held several rounds of talks, seventh and latest of which was held on October 13, to pull back from the brink after a clash erupted between border troops in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
But Xi’s recent statements during an inspection of the People’s Liberation Army Marine Corps has further fueled animosity. Addressing the soldiers, Xi had called on them to “put all (their) minds and energy on preparing for war”.
An ill-thought Chinese advisory to Indian media on Taiwan, which elicited a “get lost” from the latter’s foreign minister, further strained ties.
Asked if India should change its diplomatic policy towards Tibet and Taiwan in tit-for-tat response to China’s claim on Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, Shah said, “It’s not right to discuss this here. It’s a very complex issue with far-reaching implications. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar have cleared India’s position (on China) on the floor of Parliament. I think that’s enough. Talks with China are underway…”
He, however, added that India has the support of the global community. “Our intentions are noble and strong. A country of 130 crore people will not bow down to anyone. We are also in the right and have the support of most countries,” he said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had recently called Beijing out for its “bad behaviour” and threats to United States’ Quad partners India, Japan and Australia.
With inputs from News18. Read original article here.