India Fully Prepared to Face Any Situation With China Over Ladakh Standoff, Defence Minister Says

© AP Photo / Mukhtar KhanAn Indian army soldier keeps guard on top of his vehicle as their convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020
An Indian army soldier keeps guard on top of his vehicle as their convoy moves on the Srinagar- Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020 - Sputnik International
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India and China have been engaged in a serious border standoff in the eastern Ladakh region since April, when the two nations accused each other of violating border agreements. The Asian giants have held several military and diplomatic level talks but failed to reach a consensus to diffuse the situation.

Amid an ongoing dialogue to lower tensions along the nation's northern border, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has asserted that the armed forces are prepared for war to protect the sovereignty of the country.

"I would like to say again that we do not want conflict but peace. But we will not tolerate any kind of attack to the country's self-respect. We are fully prepared to face any situation", Rajnath Singh said while addressing air force personnel in the southern state of Telangana on Saturday.

Making a scathing attack, the minister said that China's attitude in times of crisis like COVID-19 shows that country's intentions. Singh said that India has changed over the years and now it is willing to respond to any kind of transgression, aggression, or any unilateral action on its borders.

The statement comes a day after the two countries resumed a formal dialogue to discuss how to begin disengagement in the contested region of Ladakh.

A satellite image taken over Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India, parts of which are contested with China - Sputnik International
More Troops, Equipment in Galvan Valley as India Issues War Alert Along China Border – Gov’t Sources
At the 20th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), the two sides decided to work towards ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the Line of Actual Control in the western sector.

The two countries have deployed military assets along with around 50,000 additional troops in the freezing temperatures of the eastern Ladakh region. Rajnath Singh underlined that the forces in Ladakh are equipped with the necessary weapons, equipment, clothes, and rations.

The ties between the two countries dipped to their lowest point in June of this year, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley. It is still unknown how many PLA soldiers were killed or injured in the skirmish.

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