China’s contention over its rights in the South China Sea and reported incursions by its troops in Ladakh could be its way of asserting itself but India will protect its rights “strongly”, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said today.
“I think like any nation which wants to assert its right, I guess China is trying to do its bit… As a country, we are very clear about our rights and interests. We will protect our interests very strongly,” Raju told reporters here.
The Minister was asked to comment on the recent incursions by Chinese troops in Ladakh and the objection raised by it over oil exploration by Indian companies in South China sea on the sidelines of a Navy function.
Asked if the Government was scared of China, Raju said, “As a country, we will do whatever it takes to protect our interests… There is no reticence.”
Urging the media to focus on the positives of relations between India and China, he said, “We have great economic engagement with China which is growing and we have to focus on positives.”
Raju said the two countries had differences in perception over the demarcation of the Line of Actual Control dividing them and were engaged in a dialogue to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, replying to a query on an alleged scam in the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) under the Defence Ministry, he said, “Whatever report has been given to us, we are looking into irregularities.”
On the age issue of Army Chief Gen V K Singh, he said, “I think that has been answered in a Parliamentary question. This is not an issue for public debate but an internal matter which we is being looked into. Everybody is dealing with it in a dignified manner.”
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