India developing infrastructure, airfields near China border to ensure security and sovereignty : Rajnath Singh

India developing infrastructure, airfields near China border to ensure security and sovereignty : Rajnath Singh

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh responded to Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury argument on why India keeps up aggression in its voice when it comes to Pakistan but being balanced and soft towards China, and said Indian forces are vigilant and protecting our borders. The forces are fully capable of facing any challenge, nobody should have a doubt about it.

“I would like to assure the House that our forces are vigilant and protecting our borders. Our forces are fully capable of facing any challenge, nobody should have a doubt about it,” Rajnath Singh said.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury askeed, “Pakistan shelters terrorists and China shelters Pakistan. China has started sending ships till Andaman & Nicobar. We keep aggression in our voice when it comes to Pakistan, then why are we balanced soft towards China?”

Responding to Congress leader, Rajnath Singh said, “India is developing infrastructure like roads, tunnels, railway lines, and airfields on the China border to ensure the unity, security & sovereignty of the country.”

Rajnath further added, “There is no mutually agreed Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China. Due to different perceptions of the LAC, sometimes incidents of incursion occur, I accept it. Sometimes the Chinese Army enters here and sometimes our people go over there.”

As per the government sources, the suspicious Chinese vessel, which was intercepted near Andaman & Nicobar Islands, was carrying out research in the Indian waters near Port Blair. The Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 1 was detected by maritime surveillance aircraft.

After it was discovered that a Chinese vessel was present and carrying out research in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, the Indian Navy sent a warship to monitor its activities.

Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh said on Tuesday said that the presence of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean is increasing and warned that ships operating in “our Exclusive Economic Zone have to take clearance.”

“Our stand is that if you have to work in our Exclusive Economic Zone, then you have to take our clearance,” he said.

Noting that the presence of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean is increasing, he assured that the naval forces have been keeping a close watch on them and are fully prepared to deal with national security challenges.

His remarks came ahead of a scheduled joint naval exercise of China and Pakistan in the North Arabian Sea.

Speaking at the annual press conference in Delhi, held a day ahead of the Navy Day, he said the Chinese vessel must have entered the Indian Ocean Region to take part in the exercise.

Speaking on future acquisition plans of the Navy, Singh said the force plans to have three aircraft carriers in the fleet in the long term.

“As the Navy chief, I am convinced that the country needs three aircraft carriers so that two are operational at all times. We think, it should be 65,000 tonnes with electromagnetic propulsion,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

The chief of naval staff also expressed his concern over the decline in Navy’s share in defence budget from 18% in 2012 to 12% in 2018.

We should have the first indigenous aircraft carrier IAC-1 fully operational by the year 2022 and it will operate with the MiG-29K, he added.

“50 warships and submarines of the Indian Navy are under construction of which 48 are on order in Indian shipyards,” he further said.

Singh added that the Letter of Acceptance (LoA) from the US for 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters is here and the deal is expected to be signed.

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