Congress’s Rahul Gandhi again sounded a warning about China today and said around 2,000 sq km of India territory in Ladakh has gone under Chinese occupation. “I keep repeating that the approach the government is following, by denying that the Chinese have taken our land, is an extremely dangerous approach,” Mr Gandhi said at a press conference in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar today.
This, he added, is “going to give them the confidence to do even more aggressive things”.
“I think the way to deal with the Chinese is to deal with them firmly, and to make it clear that they are sitting on our land and it is not something we will tolerate,” he said.
Repeating the allegation he had raised after the 2021 clashes at Ladakh’s Galwan, Mr Gandhi said the country is under the impression that the Chinese have not taken any land from India.
“I recently met some ex-army people and even a delegation from Ladakh has clearly said that 2,000 sq km of Indian territory has been taken over by the Chinese. They also said that many, many patrolling points that were in the Indian territory is firmly in Chinese hands,” he added.
During the Bharat Jodo Yatra also, Mr Gandhi has spoken of the issue several times.
“What the Chinese are saying to us is that be careful with what you are doing, because we will alter your geography. We will enter Ladakh, we will enter Arunachal (Pradesh), and what I can see is them building a platform for that type of an approach,” Mr Gandhi said in a conversation with film actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan.
Mocking Mr Gandhi as “perpetually confused,” the BJP alleged that he has “made his intention clear that India should surrender before China in the same way it used to happen during his party’s government”.
After Mr Gandhi cited a report by a senior police officer in Ladakh that India has lost access to 26 of 65 patrolling points, foreign minister S Jaishankar claimed the land “was in fact occupied in 1962” – a period when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister.
“Sometimes they spread news that they know is false. They project as if it happened just now, when it, in fact, happened in 1962… They won’t talk about that,” Mr Jaishankar had said.