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Border situation with China matter of perceptional difference: Rajnath Singh

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday termed the border situation with China as a matter of ‘perceptional difference’ but there are agreements and protocols based on which the armies of both the countries carry out patrolling.

Rajnath, while referring to the stand-off in East Ladakh in 2020, said that the Chinese Army ignored the agreed protocols and unilaterally tried to change the status quo along the LAC.

He lauded the valour and dedication of the Indian Army which prevented the attempts by the PLA to change the status quo.

Rajnath Singh reiterated the government’s stand to resolve the border issue through dialogue and in a peaceful manner. He added that talks are continuing at the military and diplomatic levels to resolve the dispute.

He assured the nation that the government will never compromise on India’s border, its honour and self-respect. “We will never let the sanctity of our borders be violated,” he said.

He touched upon the measures taken by the government to bolster national security, including strengthening border infrastructure and achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence.

He listed a number of steps taken to attain self-reliance, namely notification of positive indigenisation lists and earmarking 75 per cent of the defence capital procurement budget for domestic industry in the Financial Year 2023-24.

“India does not want to depend on imported weapons. Our national security will only strengthen when we become self-reliant in defence manufacturing. Our aim is to ‘Make in India, Make for the world’.

“Our efforts are bearing fruit. Today, we are manufacturing tanks, aircraft carriers, submarines and various kinds of weapons. Defence exports have crossed Rs 16,000 crore from a meagre Rs 900 crore before 2014. The exports will soon touch the Rs 20,000 crore mark,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also enumerated the structural reforms undertaken by the government, including the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff and setting up the Department of Military Affairs.

He added that the government continues to move forward and work is being done to set up theatre commands, which will be another revolutionary reform.

Rajnath Singh underlined the importance of coordination with major world powers, such as the US and Russia, to protect India’s security interests in the globalised world. He stated that India and the US are being seen as natural allies and their strategic partnership is being further cemented.

Rajnath added that India-US defence cooperation has grown rapidly with the expansion of military-to-military engagements, information sharing and cooperation in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, cyber, space and mutual logistics support.

He termed the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US as a landmark event, which ushered the bilateral defence cooperation in a new era.

Rajnath Singh mentioned about the General Electric (GE) Aerospace-Hindustan Aeronautics Limited deal to co-produce F-414 fighter jet engines in India.

“With this deal, we will become the fourth country to manufacture jet engines. Tejas aircraft will be fitted with these Made in India engines,” he said.

Rejecting speculative reports on the price and other terms of purchase of MQ-9B drones from the US, Rajnath stated that the Ministry of Defence will compare the acquisition cost of the drones with the best price General Atomics (GA) offered to other countries.

He said that the acquisition will be made only by following the established procurement procedure.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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