426 incidents of transgression by Chinese soldiers in 2017
New Delhi, Feb 5: There were 426 incidents of transgression by Chinese soldiers in Indian territory in 2017, which also saw a one of its kind 73-day-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Sikkim sector, than the number of such incidents in the previous year, Parliament was told on Monday.
"In the year 2017, the number of transgressions were 426 as against 273 in the year 2016," Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply, adding that the transgressions took place due to different interpretations of the border.
"As India-China border has not been formally demarcated, there are areas where both sides have different perception of Line of Actual Control (LAC) and both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions. Due to this, temporary transgressions have occurred.
"AOn account of this, situations have arisen on the ground that could have been avoided if we had a common perception of the LAC," he said.
In response to another question on recent incident where Chinese workers entered Indian territory while constructing a road, Bhamre said: "On December 28, 2017, an Indian Army patrol observed three civilians believed to be Chinese nationals carrying out track construction in the Shiyung La area (in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh) approximately one kilometre on the Indian side of the LAC."
He said the three civilians returned to the Chinese side on seeing the Indian Army patrol.
"As per the agreed modalities, a Flag Meeting was arranged to discuss the intrusion. The Chinese side admitted that the three civilians had crossed over the LAC and agreed to withdraw their equipment immediately," he said.
Bhamre also said that government regularly takes up such matters along the LAC with the Chinese side through established mechanisms including Border Personnel Meetings, Flag Meetings, meetings of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs, as well as through diplomatic channels.
"The government consistently maintains that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas is an important pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations," he said.
The year also saw the long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam plateau, in an area contested by China and Bhutan close to Sikkim border, which started on June 16 and both sides announced disengagement on August 28.