India-China situation like Russia-Ukraine, Jaishankar doesn't understand threat: Rahul Gandhi
Equating the border dispute between India and China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) Centre's position on Beijing. He said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar doesn't understand the China threat and discarded his idea as "ludicrous." Gandhi earlier said he didn't have a significant disagreement with India's foreign policy.
Why does this story matter?
- Notably, India and China have been embroiled in a border dispute since 2020 based on their varied perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- In June 2020, a clash in Galwan Valley of Ladakh—reportedly the deadliest in nearly five decades—resulted in 20 Indian soldiers getting martyred.
- Reports claim that China entered Indian territory and established infrastructure, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has denied.
China threatening India against its closeness with US: Gandhi
Speaking at Chatham House think tank in London toward the end of his weeklong United Kindom tour, Gandhi said, "Russia has told Ukraine that we do not accept your relationship with Europe and America, and if you do not change this relationship, we will challenge your territorial integrity." Similarly, he said, China is unhappy about India's closeness to the US and is threatening India.
PM Modi sent troops to LAC, not Rahul Gandhi: Jaishankar
Replying to Gandhi's repeated attacks on the government regarding the China border issue, Jaishankar earlier said that Congress should have the honesty to look at how things went down in 1962, referring to India's defeat in the 1962 Indo-China war during Congress rule. Furthermore, Jaishankar said it was not Gandhi but PM Modi who sent the troops to the LAC to counter China's deployment.
Congress blaming Modi government for bridge captured in 1962: Jaishankar
Targeting Congress, Jaishankar further said, "The Chinese first came there in 1958 and captured it in October 1962. Now you are going to blame the Modi government in 2023 for a bridge that the Chinese captured in 1962." He also pointed out that Rajiv Gandhi went to Beijing in 1988 and signed agreements in 1993 and 1996, which were necessary to stabilize the border.
Centre kept nation in dark for days: Opposition
The most recent skirmish between India and China reportedly occurred last year on December 9 in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang sector. Though forces from both sides disengaged after a brief scuffle, it wasn't reported officially until media reports made the information public. Congress leaders cornered the BJP, saying that it should be transparent regarding Chinese transgressions and not be silent to "protect its political image."