Reminding the Lok Sabha assembly of the 2017 Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops, BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh Tapir Gao on Tuesday said, not to allow the situation to happen again in Arunachal Pradesh as China has encroached more than 50 km of land of the state. Whenever President, Prime Minister, Defence Minister or Home Minister visit the state, objections are raised by China, he said raising the issue in Parliament during Zero Hour.
He said China raised objections by conducting an official press conference when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Tawang on November 14, 2019. “I request the House and media to voice protest against this,” he said. “If a repeat of Doklam takes place, it will happen in Arunachal Pradesh because China has encroached 50-60 km of the state,” he claimed.
Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam near Sikkim last year after the Indian side stopped the illegal construction of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army.
Indian troops intervened to stop the road as it posed a security risk to the narrow corridor connecting India with its north-eastern states. The standoff ended on August 28, 2017 following a mutual agreement under which China stopped the construction of the road and India withdrew its troops.
This is not the first time that Gao has made the claim. Earlier this year, in September, the MP had claimed that the Chinese Army intruded into Arunachal Pradesh’s remote Anjaw district and constructed a bridge over a stream. However, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju had later insisted that there was absolute peace on the Indo-China border along his home state of Arunachal Pradesh. “There is absolutely no problem. There is peace along the border,” he had said.
Explaining the circumstances, Rijiju had said, “When there is no demarcation of boundary, so if their (Chinese) army comes in, we say intrusion. When our forces go that side, they call it intrusion.” India and China share a nearly 4,000-km border, which is not clearly demarcated, leading to incursions by the two sides into each other’s territory.