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Biggest ever deployment along LAC to counter China, says EAM

He also took a jibe at Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and said Indian Army is not in LAC on Rahul Gandhi’s orders. Gandhi had earlier said that the “government is sleeping”

NEW DELHI: Indian Army will not let China change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) “unilaterally” and its current deployment along the frontier was not seen before, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday. He also took a jibe at Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and said Indian Army is not in LAC on Rahul Gandhi’s orders. Gandhi had earlier said that the “government is sleeping”.

“Today we have a deployment of the Indian Army on the China border that we have never had. It is done in order to counter Chinese deployment which was scaled up massively since 2020,” Jaishankar said in reply to a question raised at an India-Japan conclave here.

“If we were in denial then how is the Army out there? The Army did not go there because Rahul Gandhi asked them to go. Army went there because the prime minister of India ordered them to go,” Jaishankar said, replying to Gandhi’s allegations that the government was hiding the fact that China took Indian territory along the LAC.

The Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a fresh clash in Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 9. The incident came amid the over 30-month border standoff in eastern Ladakh.

“People will say things; they may not be credible, they may sometimes contradict their own positions, their own behaviour. All that could happen. But the fact is what is finally the proof of the pudding. The proof of the pudding is that the Indian Army is deployed today to counter any attempt to unilaterally change the LAC,” Jaishankar said.

Asked about Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s criticism of the government for increasing trade volume with China notwithstanding border row, he said India continues to import from that country because there was no adequate focus on manufacturing sector.

Jaishankar said not much attention was given to MSME sector and building supply chains after India opened up its economy in 1991.

“When somebody says why imports are coming out of China, it is because for 30 years, you did not give your industry the kind of support and protection you should have,” Jaishankar said.

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