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AK Antony admits China incursion

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 - 3:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

The defence minister said India's northern neighbour is strengthening its capability along the border.

Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday admitted that there have been incursions from the Chinese side and said his ministry is working on mechanism to resolve border issues along the Line of Actual Control.

“In recent past, we have learnt that China is strengthening its capability on the border area. We also need to do the same. In the past, India was negligent in strengthening its capabilities in the eastern sector,” Antony said at the 30th Annual Coast Guard Commanders’ Conference here.

“Simultaneously the government is working on setting up of a mechanism to resolve border issues in consultation with all stake holders. This mechanism will be coordinated through the ministry of external affairs,” he added.

Instead of “grumbling” over the issue, India has started modernising it own capabilities by taking steps such as raising new Army divisions and Advanced Landing Grounds  (ALGs) for aircraft operations, he added.

Asked about recent incursions from the Chinese side, the minister said this was due to differences in perception of boundary which was not properly demarcated.

He went on to add that the overall situation along the border was “peaceful”.

“The main thing is that in the absence of a demarcated border, there is a difference of perception. Sometimes incursions take place when they go to areas which they think is with them and sometimes we also do that,” he said.

Antony said as a follow-up to the decision taken by prime minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese president Hu Jintao in April this year, a joint mechanism to tackle border issues would be established in the next few months.

“There was an incident (of incursion) like that few months ago and we have conveyed our concerns to them.... Of late, we have taken a step to constitute a mechanism to tackle these issues on the border. I am hopeful that with this mechanism, which will come in few months, things will improve,” he said.   

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